Assembling the bike

This section will talk you through the assembly of one of our bikes. Please use this in conjunction with any instruction literature from the manufacturer of individual components. The following page assumes that we have supplied all your parts and performed all the required fabrication for you. This section simply explains the order and the way we tackle each step; it does not mean that it is the only, or even the best, way to do it.

We recommend using red loctite on almost all fasteners, with blue loctite in cases where a smaller bolt is threading in to aluminum.
Please remember that this will all sound very complicated until you have the appropriate part in your hand and can ‘see what we’re talking about’. Don’t be put off.

Slide your motor into the frame. It should be installed from the right side. We suggest wrapping your frame with rags or tape to protect freshly painted surfaces. Install the lower motor mounting hardware and start the nuts on the threads, but do not tighten. If you are building a Softail, then this would be the time to install the swing-arm in the frame.

Mount the transmission plate to the transmission. It will only fit in one location. PLEASE NOTE that we do not manufacture our components with oversize holes because that increases the chances of loose hardware and movement in the alignment of the drive train. Once you are sure that the transmission plate fits perfectly to the transmission, then slide the front bolts that bolt the transmission plate to the frame through the holes in the transmission plate before tightening the nuts holding the transmission plate to the transmission. With some transmissions it is not possible to install these bolts with the plate bolted fully to the transmission. Bolt transmission plate to transmission.

Position transmission with plate attached into the frame. Install the hardware to mount the plate to the frame, but do not tighten. Install the transmission sprocket or pulley. Don’t forget the locking screw or plate that prevents the sprocket nut from coming loose.

Install your inner primary or motor plate. This is the step where you should expend the time and effort to get it right. The plate or inner primary should bolt up smoothly to both the transmission and the motor with out being forced to ‘bend’ into place. If you are using our motor plate there may be a spacer between the motor plate and the transmission, and you will need to use a couple of shorter bolts to ‘mock’ fit the plate at this stage. The motor will be able to shift and rotate slightly in the frame and so will the transmission, and you must get them positioned so the primary plate or case aligns with them without effort. Rarely, it may be necessary to take a file to the holes in the frame, the transmission plate or the motor plate to achieve this smooth alignment. A shim may occasionally be necessary between the transmission fifth mount stud and frame. Do not tighten anything down yet.

Now is the time to bolt your rear fender into the frame, as the bolts attaching the fender struts to the frame axle blocks are hard to access once the rear wheel is in place. Consider mounting/wiring your tail-light at this point, and also your license plate if either one is related to the rear fender.
Mount the rear sprocket or pulley to the rear wheel and install the wheel in the frame using the axle spacers provided. Be sure to follow the instructions and use plenty of red loctite when installing a sprocket/rotor. If you are using a Sprocket Brake then the order of components on the axle is typically this: longest spacer, wheel, shim washer supplied with caliper, caliper, shortest spacer. If we have mocked up the bike then the axle adjusters will probably be in their final position (note that there may be a lock screw in the axle adjuster on one or both sides). Do not tighten the axle nut at this point. You will need to mock fit your chain at this time. Offer the chain up to the sprockets and determine the length needed. Your chain will be probably be slightly over-length, so you will need to remove a few links. Do this by grinding the heads completely off of the two pins over the side plate at the point you need to break the chain. Take precautions not to cover the entire chain with grinding dust! Position the chain on the sprockets and insert the master link, but do not connect the master link at this point. Check that the chain or belt tension is close to that which is required. At this point we want to check the alignment of the final drive pulley or sprockets. Offer a straight edge along the face of the rear wheel sprocket and the transmission sprocket (or pulleys). Adjust the axle adjusters until the two are parallel and check that the chain or belt tension is still good. At this point we need to tighten the rear axle but as we will need to remove it again you should use some form of spacer or washers under the nut so that you do not use the ‘Nyloc' part of the thread. Tighten the axle nut and recheck alignment. Note that the sprockets are not as wide as the ‘space’ in the chain, which means that some slight ‘stagger’ between sprockets will not be a problem (0.050”), but they do need to be parallel. If your primary mounts smoothly, your belt or chain tension is good and your final drive sprockets or pulleys are parallel, then you have successfully mocked up the entire drive train. Start to tighten down the drive train components. Tighten the motor plate (or primary case) to the motor and transmission. If you are using our electric start kit, then install it at this point (except the starter nose). Tighten the bolts holding the engine and the transmission plate in the frame. The point is to tighten down your drive train without stressing any components or upsetting the alignment. It is worth taking the time to install your drive train and align the primary and final drives properly. DO NOT forget to connect the chain master-link before heading down the road, but don’t do it until the final tightening of the axle AFTER the Sprocket Brake caliper has been bled.
The top motor mount can be installed at this point. If you are using our one-piece billet mount then it may be necessary to use shims between the frame and the mount. (Different motors have different cylinder heights). Mount the coil at this point whilst you have good access to the area.

This is a good time to install the kickstand. Check the pin fits easily into the hole in the stand and through the hole in the frame tab. Hook the spring to the stand and to the frame and then lever the stand into position. Have the pin to hand so you can push it into place as soon as the holes line up.

Install the primary drive as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t forget to bolt the starter ring gear to the clutch pulley if you are using the Exile Starter Kit. If you are using one of our pulley covers, remember to install it at the same time as you install the belt and front pulley.

Now it is time to fit the oilbag. Remember to install the electric starter with wires attached before the oilbag is installed. Screw in the outlet fittings using Teflon thread tape or ‘pipe-dope’. Install the oilbag, being sure to include any shims that may have been supplied for spacing between the rubber bushings and the oilbag. Connect up the oil-lines. On the Exile oilbag the right (when sat on the bike) fitting is the vent, the center is the feed to the oilpump and the left is the return from the oil-filter. The instructions with the engine will help you identify where to attach these lines to the engine oil pump. The return line from the oil pump connects to the fitting that feeds into the side of the oil filter. Clean oil then circulates from the center of the filter back to the oilbag. We like to route the oil-lines down behind and under the transmission end cover for a real clean appearance. Where possible, use rubber sheeting around the battery to protect it from vibration damage from contact with the oilbag. On the Exile oilbags we like to route the main positive cable from the starter to the battery (as well as the wire to the starter solenoid) up through the hole in the bottom of the battery box to the battery terminal. BE SURE that there are no sharp edges and that the cable will not be damaged by the movement of the oilbag (it’s rubber mounted). A dangerous short could occur!

Install the forward controls and shift linkage (and rear master cylinder and push-rod if separate).
Install the exhaust pipes. If you are using the Monster Drag Pipes with a Sprocket Brake Kit, do not install the rear pipe until the final tightening of the axle as you will need to remove the axle to reposition the caliper for brake bleeding.

Install the triple trees. Pack the neck bearings thoroughly and follow the instructions that come with the “Sani-Trees” if you are using our trees. Fork assemblies can now be installed in the trees. It is easier to install a Front Trojan fender before the front wheel is installed. Installation of front wheel and fender should be straight-forward. The front caliper can be fitted and may require some shims (usually included with the caliper) to center it on the rotor. On 15” front wheels it may be a tight squeeze to get the caliper onto the rotor; install the wheel with the rotor only loosely bolted in place and remove the bolts once the axle is tightened. This will allow the caliper to slide onto the rotor before the rotor is permanently installed with loctite.
Handlebar and headlamp installation should require no explanation. The internal throttle is far easier to understand when you have it in front of you and will be supplied with detailed instructions.

Gas-tank mounting should be obvious.
Wiring; this task seems to scare everybody, but on this type of bike it is fairly simple, and can be very satisfying when everything works. Wiring is simply the job of connecting the wires from each electrical component to the other electrical components they are supposed to connect to! Each component comes with instructions telling you where each wire needs to connect. Once the bike is assembled you start with any component and route wires from its terminals to wherever they need to go. Once you have done that for each electrical component, everything will be connected and you will have some spaghetti that constitutes your wiring loom. Run these wires through heat shrink, cut them to the appropriate length, fit terminals as necessary, and pretty soon your bike will be wired. Take your time and be careful to connect as directed, as mistakes can be costly. DO NOT ground the battery until you have double-checked everything. A simple multi-meter will enable you to check circuit continuity (i.e. what is connected to what) and will tell you what is live once you hook up the battery. If this sounds way too scary then find some-one else to handle the task, but if you have a reasonable grasp of the properties of electricity and the job each component performs then you may be surprised how easy wiring is. Small in-line circuit breakers are often used as these are easy to hide. Remember, there are no rules to custom bike building. We use a 30 Amp breaker between the battery and the ignition switch, and occasionally a separate 15 Amp breaker between the ignition switch and the light circuit.

Make up your brake lines. The Goodridge hoses are of the cut-to-length type and the various fittings are easily attached where necessary. The basic instructions for attaching a fitting to this type of hose are as follows: measure the hose to determine where you want to cut it. Slide the ‘nut’ portion of the fitting on to the hose past the point where you are going to cut. Also, slide on the heatshrink if you are going to cover the stainless hose. A good pair of strong snippers can be used. Alternatively, wrap a piece of masking tape twice around the point where you want to cut. With a fine cut-off wheel (e.g. dremel tool) cut around the hose, just cutting through the braided stainless, not trying to cut all the way through the plastic core. Cut the plastic core cleanly with a sharp blade. Check for any burrs etc. on the cut end of the plastic. Remove the masking tape. The stainless sheathing will spread slightly; gently spread it further with something like a small screwdriver. Put the brass olive onto the end of the plastic and push against a flat solid surface to push it ‘home’. Install the male portion of the fitting onto the end of the hose and slide the nut back down the hose and screw it onto the male part of the fitting. A drop of oil on the threads is a good idea, but do not use thread tape. An in-line hydraulic brake light switch can be used, although it is a little bulky. We like to use the Goodridge banjo bolt that incorporates a brake-light switch – very clean! If you order our ‘Goodridge hydraulic supply kit’ we will send you what we recommend you use in your particular application.

Bleeding brake-lines is a topic covered in every other type of publication. One thing to remember is that air will be trapped at the top of any component and must be released by positioning that component so that the air can escape into the hose and be bled out. For this reason it is necessary to bleed the rear caliper for the Sprocket Brake off the axle. Pull the rear axle out enough to remove the caliper (after the brake hose has been attached to the caliper). Put something of equal or greater thickness to the sprocket/rotor (0.350”) between the pads whilst bleeding. Position the caliper so that the bleed nipple is the highest point of the caliper if bleeding from master-cylinder down, or the lowest point if bleeding from caliper up. We like to put the fluid into the system by ‘syringe’ feeding it in from the caliper up to the master cylinder (with bleed nipple at lowest point). Then we close the bleed nipple and top off the master-cylinder and then bleed in the conventional manner (with the bleed nipple as the highest point). Once you are sure all air is out of the system, reinstall the caliper, tighten the axle nut and install the rear exhaust pipe. The seat is about the only thing left to permanently install. Seat installation will be self-explanatory once you have the components.
When you are ready to take your new bike for its first ride, travel only a very short distance. Stop and check the bike thoroughly before repeating. Brake rotors and pads will offer poor performance until bedded in. Try to avoid excessive braking force for the first few hundred miles to avoid glazing the brake pads.