Frequently Asked Questions
This is where I'll try to find time to post the most frequently asked question that visitors send in.
Q: What size wheel hub will fit on one of the CBH Springers?
A: The CBH Springers come in two standard widths (we do make custom sizes for customers). The narrow model has the legs at 6.5-inches on centers with 5.375-inches clear between legs and 7.125-inches clear between the rockers.
The standard CBH Springer has the legs at 8.5-inches on center with 7.375-inches clear between leg tubes and 9.25-inches clear between rocker faces. Spool type hubs will fit on either size of Springer but look far better mounted on the narrow forks. A standard Harley 'Narrow-Glide' hub is 4.46-inches wide (plus .375-inches if you're running a brake) so it will also fit either size forks. The Harley 'Wide-Glide' 6.375-inch hub (with single rotor) will not fit either version of our forks if you're running a front brake. Our Springers are intended to be used with narrow 'old-school' style hubs so if you want something to handle large aluminum hubs you really need wider forks or a set of our custom trees.
Q: What's so special about the various CBH plans compared to others I've seen advertised at the Chopper sites?
A: Actually there isn't really anything 'special' about the CBH plans. Plans are plans no matter where you find them and are primarily intended to provide some basic dimensional information for a fabricator. On the other hand I think that most experienced people will tell you that the CBH plans are probably the best and most detailed that you can use for a project. The plans we offer are based on 'real-world' experience and were first drafted back in the late sixties and early seventies. Over the years I've improved them with feedback from other builders and in 1984 we redrew them using CAD. I know for a fact that well over a thousand frames and forks have been built using my drawings over the years so if you do decide to use them you won't have any nasty 'surprises' down the line. These are well proven designs and drawings that have stood the test of time by hundreds of builders. On the other hand, speaking as a fabricator, I'd never just use one set of plans since I'd want to see as many different interpretations of a design as was possible to find. For this reason I expect that most serious builders will buy copies of drawings from several different sources. Your own end product will most likely consist of ideas that you gather from a wide range of drawings mixed in with your own personal modifications. Plans from anybody are great to have as reference material but it is the builder that ends up bending the steel into something tangible.
Q: If you're such an expert why don't you build Choppers that are seen at Bike Shows or on the television?
A: At one time I did build bikes that were shown and some even won some awards but that was over 40 years ago and before I understood that show bikes didn't really make very good 'riders'. I have never built bikes for a living. My shop was a general fabrication outfit and we built everything from mining equipment, refinery equipment, cars, trailers, bikes, dragsters, mini-backhoes, log-splitters, gates, fences, machinery repairs and you name it. I'm basically a fabricator and will build virtually anything somebody wants or needs but my sweet-spot has always been Rods and Bikes. I'd be building more bikes today but I'm almost 70 years old and even though my hands are still steady my eyesight is pretty much shot so I understand my limitations. I can still do good work but it takes a lot of time. I like to think that my best work is still to come. By the way there are tons of great bike builders out there who have never been on television or even featured in a magazine. Never judge a book by it's cover; still waters run deep, and all the other old sayings should apply to all builders who have thankfully never been on television.
Q: Our shop would like to get a link and a banner ad on the CBH site. How do we do this.
A: Unlike almost all other Chopper sites we do not sell advertising banner ads or links. Never have and never will. The banners you see on our site are there for free because those sites listed have provided their customers with outstanding services over a long period of time and based upon their reputation in the industry are deserving of our endorsement. Ironically some of the businesses we endorse are in some ways our competition but that is a healthy situation for all of us involved in the Bike industry. Word of mouth advertising is all that you need in this business and when we hear about a shop that stands out above the others we'll post their banners. We could do pretty well financially by selling advertising space as we send a huge amount of web traffic out to other sites but then we'd be just like all of the other 'hack chopper' sites on the web and that isn't where we're at. From a personal perspective when I visit a Chopper site that has advertising I don't bother to stay there and browse around no matter how good it looks at first glance.
Q: The CBH site looks pretty bad and ranks low in the search engines. I'm a web designer and can help you make it look better.
A: This question is actually about on the top of the list as far as what we receive in emails. Yes we know that the CBH site is not a 'show-piece' of Internet technological perfection. Yes we know that it's a pain in the ass to navigate, Yes we know that there are no fancy 'flash' pages, embedded videos, animated gif's or naked women. The visitor needs to understand that we cobbled together this site from bits and pieces of material that we've had on old bulletin board servers going back into the eighties. The site is a 'patchwork' of material and it will never be a 'slick' piece of work no matter how much it gets massaged by some web designer. To me it kind of has a 'lived-in' look and feel as Martha Stewart would say. As time goes on and other people take the helm the look will certainly change but I hope that the 'spirit' of the site never changes. I like to think of this small place on the Internet as being a 'quilt-work' that was put together by several dozens of people over a long period of time so certain parts of the site do look and read differently. I think that's the beauty of what we have here so far. I had very strong resistance of even changing the old header banners to the new ones that my girlfriend designed but I'm beginning to like the new 'look'. As far as search rankings go I really don't give a rat's ass about that kind of stuff but it's interesting to note that after we were down for almost a year our traffic reached over 5000 hits per day within five days of coming back on line. I think that's pretty impressive. I hope those people who visited the site right after it came back up found something useful that they could use. We're trying to do something good here no matter how bad it looks to the casual visitor.
Q: What happened to the free plans in the old 'download' section of the site?
A: Old timers will remember that way back around 2002 when we first went on the Internet with the original 'Neatstuff' site that we posted virtually everything for free downloads. By 2003 there were a couple of sites 'selling' our free plans. By 2005 there were several dozen sites and numerous eBay sites selling our 'free' plans. The unfortunate thing about this situation was that these sellers made rather capricious changes in our pans in order to skirt the copyright laws. I was getting calls all the time from people who had purchased these pirated plans with modified dimensions and finally got fed up with the situation. I have to admit that eBay was pretty good about protecting our copyrights but a lot of plan sales slipped through anyway. As a result of this situation I began selling our plans for $120 per set. I figured that anybody willing to pay real money wouldn't be ripping us off. This worked out pretty well for a few years until the pirates again started selling our drawings. Today you can download virtually all of the drawings and the entire set of CD's from several pirate sites. Fortunately most of those files are seriously virus infected now so the people trying to get something illegally are getting paid back in some weird karmic way. We still have a lot of free material on the site and I'll be adding more over time but we'll have better control over the download procedures by issuing passwords to site members or something along those lines. It will take time to get the site back up and fully operational again.
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