Tony Carabine and Moen
I got this mail from friend and customer Tony Carabine in England in the course of regular business, idle chat and general keeping in touch:
Good evening Moen, Not sure if I will visit Mannheim this year. I have 3 projects on at present & do not require any parts urgently. The 1923 Scout I need time to sort out the carburation on. The 1941 metalic blue bobber is to be rebuilt. I am also building up a Chout: 1927 Scout frame and 1200cc Chief power plant, leaf spring front forks, 1923/6 slim petrol/oil tank - To be built in the bobber style again. 19" front wheel with double sided 4 leading shoe front brake: I want to be able to stop OK! Fat 16" rear, not sure which hub & brake to use yet. Big single saddle. Open straight pipes. The paint job on this will be all black & no pin stripes. Tthat is the plan today we may change as the build continues. To be honest Moen, work interfers with my hobby. I think the Indians are most important and my collection still grows.
Interesting (I thought). Tony is famous for the quality and speed of his projects (Triton cafe racers being something of a specialty before his slow - but sure, judging from the above! - conversion to Indians) so this might make a good follow-up to the Chout story in the '04 issue (we will have part 2 of that next year, by the way). Tell me more, Tony!
Tony Carabine 101 and Triton Cafe Racer at the NEC show
parcel has arrived, it was like Christmas day early! My son Andy who is
rebuilding the Scout bobber was in our workshop when we unpacked and checked
everything. He fitted the grips onto his bike straight away & was well
All the other parts are layed out with the rest of the Chout project. I am at present modifying a double sided twin leading shoe front hub to fit into leaf spring Indian forks (2" over repro from Kiwi). We have just made up the new special spindle & locking nuts, and now onto the brake anchor system, one step at a time.
I am looking for a good solid front brake lever to suit 1" bars with a twin pull cable system. Do you have anything like in your store or know of a bike which had these? I have my engine and transmission all rebuilt now and in one piece. I am now going to build up the rolling frame before trying to fit the engine into the frame.
5" x 16" back tire on drop centre alloy rim. Not sure about the front yet, either 21" x 3" or 4-10" x 19". I have 2 bikes with the 21" front now, so the Chout may be fitted with the 4-10" x 19 fat chunky tire. What do you think Moen? We want it to look the dog's bollocks at first impressions.
Regarding the fitting of the engine, modifing the frame, re-alinging the kickstart shaft, and then the exhaust, we will address later
"Dog's bollocks" sounds about right from the description! So, after some hints on the brake issue, I asked for more info:
Carabine 741 bobber which had an accident at the Swedish rally this summer, but is already rebuilt to its former glory.
Moen, you see the start of another Indian project under construction in
the Carabine workshop. Not quite a classic restoration, but a collection
of parts, mainly Indian, assembled together with one off home made parts
to form the basis of a fun machine. It is a blend of the old and the new
mixed to create the next toy. Here is the list of components to date:
1 x 1927 Indian Scout frame.
1 x set of repro Kiwi leaf spring front forks.
1 x 8" double sided twin leading shoe front brake assembly.
1 x set of twin cables from the drums to dual pull front brake lever.
1 x 7" rear brake assembly with cushion drive sprocket.
1 x 1923 repro petrol/oil tank to be modified.
1 x 1200cc Chief motor all reconditioned.
1 x Standard 3 speed transmission all rebuilt.
1 x 19" alloy front rim on order + polished stainless steel spokes.
1 x 4-00" x 19" tyre on order.
1 x 16" alloy rear rim on order + polished stainless steel spokes.
1 x 5-00" x 16" tyre on order.
1 x Twin spark coil.
1 x 12 volt Cycle Electric generator with built in regulator.
1 x set of standard Scout footboards.
1 x set of standard Scout foot pedals.
1 x set of control rods to suit.
1 x Standard Chief saddle (brown).
1 x set of chrome seat springs and surport bracket.
1 x set of Chief bars complete with all controls and switches.
We are still in the process of the first build up for the rolling chassis. The plan is build up all the cycle parts first and then address the installation of the power plant. We are not sure yet if the frame tube is to be cut out and modified or the heads machined to suit the frame tube. this situation will be resolved in due course. Due to be delivered: 2 x exhaust pipes, long, straight- through, chrome with fish tail ends. 1 x standard Chief saddle (black) as alternative. The lighting system has still to be designed. The mudguards and surport stays still to be designed. The chain gaurd also has to be designed. Once the project is up and running and all the testing carried out we can decide on the paint work plan. Hopefully within the next year.
Best regards, Tony
PS: One day I will build my dream machine. At present I do not know what it is exactly.
Rebuilt Chief engine.
I know that feeling! (about the dream machine, I mean). If only there was
one Perfect Motorcycle (even if it was just perfect in one's own opinion),
how easy life would be! Sell everything else - running bikes, almost running
bikes, long dormant projects, tons of "might come in handy one day" parts
- and go for the one and only. Almost no matter what this one motorcycle
would cost, and almost no matter how much work would have to go into it,
it would still be cheaper and less stressful that having 20 projects that
(in my case, I am not talking about Tony now) will only ever be finished
if I live to be 200 years old. Think about it. A Brough Superior SS100
or MVAgusta 750S or Crocker - or 1942 Indian Four, to keep this a little
in context - might, to most of us, seem so far out of financial reach that
we have stopped dreaming seriously about ever getting one. Then consider
how much money and effort is tied up in the "typical" (or is that just
me?) collection of lesser junk that many of us have amassed. Trading all
that in towards the Dream Bike might actually bring it within grasp. But
life doesn't seem to be that simple. Still, maybe (wishful thinking!) a
Chout might be the ticket?? Sorry about the digression - back to Tony's
Chout. By the way, Tony, how do you intend to fasten the front brake plates
to the leaf forks? This can be a little tricky, as the brake plates must
be able to rotate on the axle, while being restrained by an upright and
link to the fork main frame. Or at least that is the orthodox way.
Moen, I did not explain the front axle modifications. We made a new spindle with threaded ends and locking rings to set the bearing tension next to the back plate, and retaining nuts on the outside. The brake backplate is now clamped to the fork bellcrank between the rings and the nuts. On the front side of the pivot bolt is the h-section anchor bracket attached to the original anchor bolt with a spacer bar and stud. The anchor h-section is then bolted to the bellcrank.
Aha. Kind of like a NSU Quickly moped, then? These used to rear up as the front brake was applied - it being fixed directly to the bellcrank instead of the Indian link system, feeding brake reaction forces into the fork main frame with the link parallel to the bellcrank, leaving the suspension unaffected by brake forces. The NSU forks were leading link though, as opposed to the Indian trailing link setup, so I think you will get some degree of nose dive under braking. Looking forward to hearing how it works in actual use.
is the latest on the Chout project. The frame tube has been cut out under
the tank to allow the installation of the power plant. Spent all day cutting,
modifying and fitting the engine.The frame tube is now to be modified with
joint sections at each end.The centre head fins require machining to allow
the frame tube to be re-installed, and then the top engine steady to designed
to clamp the heads to the frame. Both the front & the rear hubs are
stripped and polished now the 2 x alloy rims plus the 2 sets of polished
spokes are on order.
Areas still to plan, fabricate and install. Final position for the rear brake cross over rod. Decision on the operation of the clutch peddel, I am not sure at this stage if to be heel & toe or toe only with spring return. The exhaust system. One or two pipes, high or low level, turn up at the end or horizontal.I do have a pair fish tail ended pipes which maybe the ones.
The front and back guards cannot be designed until the wheels are built and installed. The electrics still to be designed, but I do have a 101 scout type dash panel on order for the ammeter, light switch and the on/off switch.The final choice on the lights will be made later in the build but I do have a very old brass CAV headlight which may be the one for the front.
The kick start pivot spindle has to rebuilt and redesigned to suit the wide swing chief kick start 10 tooth model for easy turn over and clear high level pipes if fitted.
Good Evening Moen, Hot of the press!!! The latest pics will show you progress to date. It is now taking shape I can sit on it and it feels good. I think the colour will be black frame with metallic/pearlesant black tank, guards and any other tin work with gold pin stripe and the gold Indian logo, big letters only, on the tank side. Looks like another 3 / 4 months yet before finish. Soon be dry built, then test run. If all is OK, strip down again for the paintwork,chrome work, nickel plating together with the engraving work.
This where we have to leave Tony for this time, but we will have a follow-up article - with riding shots and good info on living with a Chout - next year! Stay tuned...
Frame tube cut under tank. It will be modified into a bolt-in design with head fins grooved for clearance.