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Head steadies - a necessity? #767965
03/13/19 1:43 am
03/13/19 1:43 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,568
Jordan, NY
Al Eckstadt Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Al Eckstadt  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,568
Jordan, NY
I'm trying to get back to working on Project 39-1/2 (see Brit Bike Specials) after about 6 months of being away from it. Now the weather is starting to lighten up and working in the garage will be possible. My next step is to make a bracket for head steadies off the rocker boxes - which are 1966 style boxes. So here are some questions.

I seem to remember reading that head steadies are important - so is leaving them off not an option?
Can I steady just one rocker box? Or do I need both rocker boxes held as on a stock 60's 650?

It's not going to be difficult, once I decide what I need. Maybe there are other questions I didn't ask that need to be considered.
Thanks
Al


Al Eckstadt
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Re: Head steadies - a necessity? [Re: Al Eckstadt] #767975
03/13/19 3:40 am
03/13/19 3:40 am
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,327
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Online content
BritBike Forum member
HawaiianTiger  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,327
Maui Hawaii
My understanding is that your exhaust ports will suffer without head steadies, and possibly the entire exhaust system. I have seen cylinders break right above the flange on bikes without head steadies.

There may be some benefit with regards to vibration and handling as well.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Head steadies - a necessity? [Re: Al Eckstadt] #767993
03/13/19 10:43 am
03/13/19 10:43 am
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,031
Asheville, NC
Mike Baker Offline
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Mike Baker  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,031
Asheville, NC
You're putting the motor into a Benelli frame? Is there some place you've got in mind for a top steady? If so, I agree, it shouldn't be difficult to make one.
My take- use a head steady. I had an OIF motor in a dry frame without one and it was a buzzy ride. Finally made a steady and it calmed it down significantly. I'd connect both rocker boxes to some place on the frame. A piece of 3/32 steel would work fine - test fit, heat with a MAPP torch, bend, tweak, drill, tweak again, rinse, repeat. If it fits well without stressing anything there's little chance of fatigue failure.

Re: Head steadies - a necessity? [Re: Al Eckstadt] #767994
03/13/19 11:07 am
03/13/19 11:07 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,568
Jordan, NY
Al Eckstadt Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Al Eckstadt  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,568
Jordan, NY
Thanks Mike. Yes the Benelli/Mojave frame has a couple tubes across the top and a plate could be tucked in between them with a 90 degree bracket where I could attach a set of original Triumph steadies. But I might want to try a different style of mounting so it doesn't look so much like a stock Triumph.
Al


Al Eckstadt
Re: Head steadies - a necessity? [Re: Al Eckstadt] #767996
03/13/19 11:33 am
03/13/19 11:33 am
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 518
new jersey usa
P
pushrod tom Offline
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pushrod tom  Offline
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P

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 518
new jersey usa
To bolster Mikes comments, head steady is very important for many reasons including prevention of frame fractures. PRT

Re: Head steadies - a necessity? [Re: Al Eckstadt] #767997
03/13/19 11:44 am
03/13/19 11:44 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,412
Finger Lakes
Hillbilly bike Offline
BritBike Forum member
Hillbilly bike  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,412
Finger Lakes
Head to frame mounts are bike dependent ,some have them, some don't...Eliminating the mount when required can cause issues mentioned above...Using a mount when none is required may create a problem... On a custom build using a Triumph 650, probably a good idea..


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ,2001 Sportster....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Head steadies - a necessity? [Re: Al Eckstadt] #768033
03/13/19 9:03 pm
03/13/19 9:03 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,568
Jordan, NY
Al Eckstadt Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Al Eckstadt  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,568
Jordan, NY
Thanks prt and hb.
Got the boxes of tools and junk put away that were blocking my bike worktable since November when I left my last job. Next task - clean off the workbench.


Al Eckstadt
Re: Head steadies - a necessity? [Re: Al Eckstadt] #768046
03/13/19 11:15 pm
03/13/19 11:15 pm
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 26
Houston, Texas
T
TrophyGuy Online content
BritBike Forum member
TrophyGuy  Online Content
BritBike Forum member
T

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 26
Houston, Texas
This old engineer's guess is that head steadies are as much to protect the frame as the engine and exhaust. Tying the entire engine-frame assembly together makes for a much stiffer structure to resist bending loads. Almost all modern motorcycles work this way, using the engine as a stressed, load carrying member. My guess is that loads from the front suspension through the steering neck are pretty significant. Without head steadies in place bending loads from front suspension would cause larger deflections in the top and bottom frame members and larger bending moments at fixed points, especially the steering head and its notoriously crack prone welds. Whatever the case, Triumph/BSA found the weak points and fixes the hard way. They're pretty crude pieces of heavy wall pipe with flattened ends for attachment. Being painted black and tucked under the tank they're hardly visible.


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