11. The area below the red line was to be removed. It was a small piece, but it could have made the difference between a strong and weak weld.
12.The replacement piece was modified and re-tested on the frame. It then fit perfectly to the backbone with no gaps.
13. A small belt sander was used to finish removing the powdercoating from the frame edges in preparation for welding.
14. Getting into the crevices of the original welds around the front tank mounts and removing any leftover paint was the job of a stout-bristled steel brush.
15. Devin clamped the replacement neck piece into place and made sure it was as close proximity to the frame as possible in order to create the best possible welding surface for the best possible weld.
16. A TIG welder tacked the neck in strategic points that connected the replacement neck piece and the frame.
17. Once TIG tacked into place, the new neck rake was measured—which they found to be exactly where the kit claimed it would be—bringing the rake to 37 degrees.
18. The next step would take them beyond the point of no return, so to speak. So, as added insurance that the job would be done right, the Freedom Cycles crew mocked-up the future tank skins, triple trees, and part of the speedometer housing, and inner fairing cap assembly to the bike and took the frontend to its stops. Not surprisingly, everything checked out perfect with no interference.
19. The final welds were completed around the entire edge of the replacement neck. Devin then smoothed out the welds with a flap wheel sander disc mounted on an angle grinder.
20. As HHI states on its website, the new neck reaches forward an extra inch and a half and raises the neck height another inch, which is exactly what’s needed to get the new, big wheel into the correct geometry with the frame.
21. The new neck and upper frame was prepped, primered, and painted by Chivo in preparation for fresh paint.
22. Stock triple trees are already raked 4 degrees—HHI’s kit adds another 5 degrees for a triple tree raked 9 degrees that is specifically designed for 26-inch wheels. While the combined rake seems astronomical, keep in mind the height of a stock wheel is only 17 inches tall, and swapping out the wheel to a 26er drastically changes the bike’s geometry. Rest assured, the engineers at HHI not only designed a kit that’s relatively easy to install, but it also creates the optimal rake for tall front wheels.
389 Lumpkin County Parkway
1520 W. Katella Ave.