Posted on July 04 2017
Today’s enthusiasts and chopper builder’s have a number of options to consider when it comes to choosing a front end for their existing bike or new project. Over the years choppers have been built with Rigid Forks, Spirders, Girders, Telescopic and a wide variety of Springer Forks. Here I will be concentrating on Harley Davidson’s Springers of the mid 1930s through to the mid 1940s as used on their big twins. Springer front ends have been around since the 1890s and first appeared on bicycles before being used on motorcycles. These days the most commonly sought after Springer front fork enthusiasts and chopper builder’s use (or hope to use) is no doubt the Harley Davidson Springers as used on their Big Twins from the mid 30s to mid 40s. These days the most commonly sought after Springer front fork enthusiasts and chopper builder’s use (or hope to use) is no doubt the Harley Davidson Springers as used on their Big Twins from the mid 30s to mid 40s. Most aftermarket generic type springers simply just can’t compete with the sheer good looks of the Harley Davidson Springer front fork and if you’re trying to achieve a certain or period correct look these generic aftermarket springers simply don’t look the goods. However, bolt on a genuine or replica Harley Davidson Springer fork and it all comes together like the bike in the photo below. One of the most common questions I get asked is “how do I work out what length Springer I need for my bike?” If you’re running a stock Harley frame the question is generally easy to answer, but if you’re using an aftermarket frame the question is almost impossible to answer due to the number of variables available with aftermarket or modified frames. When using aftermarket frames neck heights, rake, backbone stretch, rear stretch, down tube stretch and wheel size all need to be considered. Rather than doing in your head (or mine) with complicated mathematical equations and or complicated CAD programs you just can’t beat the old fashion method of mocking up your bike by placing wooden chocks under your lower frame rails. As long as you have the frame/bike and know what diameter wheels and tyres you intend on using the mock up method is almost bullet proof. Check it out here http://www.meatballsspringers.com.au/customer-builds-2/ Just to complicate things further there were a couple of years where Harley made Springer front ends with negative or positive offset that would need to be considered when determining Springer length. All Meat-Balls early style replica Springer front ends are manufactured with Zero offset, otherwise known as Zero Rake or In Line. Due to the large amount of generic aftermarket Springers available there is also some confusion on how to measure the length of the forks themselves. The most excepted method is as below in this diagram. Check it out here http://www.meatballsspringers.com.au/customer-builds-2/ There’s no arguing that a nice set of Springer forks adds a truly custom look to any Bobber, Chopper or period motorcycle.