Hooniverse & False Neutral regulars will know that I’ve been building a custom Bultaco street bike, “Bultakenstein,” for a decade. Many will also remember that I put that on hold a while back to work on The Bride of Bultakenstein: an unlikely Shepherd’s Pie of a motorbike that combines the frame from a Taiwanese-built 1974 SST Panther Black Shadow 175, a 6½ horsepower industrial engine, a CVT mini-bike transmission, and a random assortment of cast-off spare parts that had been cluttering my workshop forever. (For example, I’ve had the swing arm and front wheel for over 15 years.)
Why? Well, we did a podcast episode on a couple of Predator/GX clone-powered bikes that Garrett and Mike Festiva built. It gave me the bug to build one, too. Also, a 6.5 HP industrial engine is a ridiculously cheap way to re-power a derelict bike: my engine and CVT together cost me $180, brand new.
Well, my CVT bike is coming together much more quickly than my other projects, even though it (like all projects) had its share of unforeseen complications. I had selected this particular frame with hopes that it would not need extensive modifications. That turned out to be impossible, and I had to cut the frame and weld in custom-bent down tubes.
Most recently, I have finished the engine mounts. The chain lines up nicely, though I did had to modify the sprocket carrier in the Kawasaki Ninja 500 rear wheel, and add an idler sprocket on the swingarm pivot.
Next on the punch list: carb intake, shock mounting, steering stops. I have all the parts to rebuild the front brake, so maybe that, too.