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Vekst Boardtracker

Posted on October 1, 2012 by Scott in Tracker. 35 comments

Tally ho old chaps! It’s been a splendid weekend of moustaches, smoking pipes and all things distinguished. As gentleman from around the world hang up their suits – until their next court appearances that is – it’s safe to say the first Distinguished Gentlemans Ride was a resounding success. We thought it was fitting to feature this hat tip to the vintage board tracker. However, this exquisite board tracker is surprisingly not the vintage most would expect. Built by Co Bappe who was inspired by the board trackers of old. “Bikes never really appealed to me until I discovered the early board track racers” says Co Bappe. After some research Co realised he could never afford a vintage one and would probably never have the opportunity to ride one. “So I bought a welder, angle grinder, and tubing notcher from Harbor Freight and 11 months later I had built my own board track racer” he says. If you’re thinking 11 months is a long time, that’s because Co was learning how to weld and fabricate along the way.

Mr Bappe started by doing a lot of research on the original bikes, in terms of engine size and bike dimensions. “After that I had to do more research to find parts to use.” say Co. “Not having a machine shop available or the knowledge I had to make due with what I could find. I then had to figure out what engine to use, I settled on a 23hp 630cc Briggs and Stratton v-twin for a few key reason. One, it had the same power output as the original bikes and two, it had the same rpm range.”

Co then began to gather images of all the bikes that really caught his attention and would use as inspiration. Specifically the 1919 Jefferson, 1923 Harley, and a 1919 Excelsior. “I found profile photos of all these bike and took measurements of them and started on a original design.” he says. “I transferred that design into a life-size drawing on butcher paper. I also had to set a time period that this bike would have existed to which I chose 1926ish.”

Then Co started the actual fabrication process, cutting tubing and building a ghetto frame jig out of 2×4’s and threaded rods. “It was a quite a contraption that I’m surprised even worked. This bike was built entirely in my apartment using only basic tools from Harbor Freight.”

One of the biggest challenges Co had was finding parts that looked like the originals, and were easily accessible and reliable. “The idea behind the bike was to make something that captured the spirit of the original but was more reliable and rideable on a daily basis” he says. “The transmission is Comet CVT that transfers power to the rear wheels via a 420 chain to a Puch moped hub. The rims are Worksman industrial bike rims and the tires are Coker servi-cycle speed rated for 92mph. The bike unfortunately needs a front brake so I used one from a Honda cb125. I think that is the only actual motorcycle part on the whole bike. Most of the parts for this bike came from go-karts, minibikes, bicycles, and tractors.”

The exhaust pipes were another challenge. “I didn’t have a tubing bender so I had to find a alternative” says Co. “I got lucky and found some old excise equipment  that was the perfect size and bend. I also wanted them to look like the old bikes. So I got some gas pipe flanges from the hardware store and welded them together to look like the real deal.”

Co finished the bike off by using a small air compressor and HPLV gun and painting it in his laundry room. “Which in retrospect was a bad idea” he says. “Since this was my first time painting I had no idea that paint would go everywhere. I ended up inadvertently painting the washer, dryer, floor and window screen; but as they say lesson learned (or earned as I like to say).”

Co has now got the bike bug and is already working on his next project which is going to take it’s influence from even older machines. “More along the lines of the very early bikes from around 1909.” he says. Mr Bappe does plan to get this bike road legal and has the pefect headlight which he plans to attach soon.

For more pictures of this delightful board tracker, check out this distinguished website.

[To see more from the Distinguished Gentlemans Ride, check out all the photos on the Facebook page]

  • An elegant motorbike for a more civilized age.

    • There’s something that doesn’t quite gel with board track racers and civility. Call me a snob, but I think it’s maybe it’s something to do with whole “murderdromes” thing…

      • A nostalgic view is best at polishing a turd.

      • It was the AGE that was more civilized. The bikes may have been elegant, but they were a death trap. Much like the autos of the day.

    • arnold

      Tony, may I suggest this is the steam punk attitude without the steam. It needs a different moniker, no doubt. Oh Mr Copyright, help please. What have you got left for style names that are revenue free and snappy?

      • Hey Arnold, my copyright holdings were bought out by Bain Capital so I got nothin’. It looks like board track punk to me but that’s not very snappy. Tony has a much younger and fertile brain than I so mabe he can come up with something that will go virile. My brain is floating in Guinness right now so about all I can do is look at the pretty pictures.

        • How about “The Crackerjack Capital Impletion Emancipator.”

          • That means ‘handy dandy filling remover.’ Watch the video. Hit any holes at speed and you may loosen more than your kickstand.

          • arnold

            Yeah, and splinters would be a definite owie, ifn’ you had to lay it down. I wonder if Old would urethane the surface to prevent that? They don’t make draw out salve and gauze in industrial quantities……………er……… sorry, yes they do.

            Walnecks sometimes has a wall of death for sale to practice with.

  • Best Line “It was a quite a contraption that I’m surprised even worked. This bike was built entirely in my apartment using only basic tools from Harbor Freight.”

  • arnold

    Ab fab *.ald

    *(Absolutely Fabulous).

    Love the shoe leather brakes on #1 bike.(at the link)

  • Ugh

    So… doesn’t really like bikes, wants a board tracker, can’t afford one, makes one with tools he learned how to use along the way.
    I admire the Can-Do, improvisational attitude, but I really can’t see how that bike won’t ride like total shit.

    • revdub


    • Aside from being single speed and the old style handlebars I don’t know why it should ride ‘like total shit.’ Anyway, for some people the beauty is in construction and final product more than riding, just look at the crazy stretched-out choppers that obviously can’t handle or stop to save your life (literally), but are almost universally drooled over.

  • itsmefool

    Despite its looks, I’m assuming the front fork is rigid…

  • Great build – best use of a Briggs and Stratton v-twin I’ve ever seen.

    • revdub

      Also a great use of a Puch hub!

      • I’ve got a Puch hub from the moped I bought recently to mod – the brake shoes are tiny!

        • revdub

          Tiny shoes for sure. They stop okay under 50mph, much past that – not so much. On a side note, I just picked up a ’72 Yamaha RD250 and it seems like a big moped! I guess I just can’t get away from these 2-strokes.

          • arnold

            Post a picture, when you get a chance. good on ya.ald

          • revdub

            Hi Arnold. Here’s a picture. We’ll call this the “before” shot.

          • arnold

            Looks like somebody loved it (except for the front fender). Amazingly stock looking from the beauty shot. Keep us posted. tx. ald

  • At least he is trying to imitate what inspires him instead of looking at the
    negatives and just complaining on an Internet comment section. Being his first bike i give him major props for the limited
    availability of tools. I am sure his next one will show even further improvement of his skills.

    • Good point, Steve. May I call you Steve? I appreciate the fact that he used ingenuity to get it done and get it done the way he wanted; learning along the way so that the next one will be that much easier. Besides, the boys way back when, when these things were first being designed and built, were of a similar spirit (and lack of resources.)

  • Oldnbroken

    If you have the trees and the cash Co, I would happily volunteer my time and expertise to help you build the board track to run it on. As long as I get to give it a run myself, twirl my mustache, then dance with a few Flappers at the after race party.

  • ecosse

    major kudos for a job well done mr. bappe! however, i went to the site and found nothing on the bike. question: if there’s a “store” on the site should we expect bike/parts for sale? you’ll need a bigger apartment. 🙂

  • clydefrancis

    Maybe this is a silly question: What does one do with a boardtracker once it’s been built? It’s amazing (10-fold since it’s a first build), but where can you ride it? Maybe living in NYC limits my vision, but…you know…just sayin

    • There’s only one thing for it. You’d have to build yr own board track…

    • (real) Board track bikes don’t have many venues, but there are two tracks in Germany that you can ride on, and some of the guys race their bikes on the dirt at meets like Davenport, Iowa.

  • arnold

    Take a lesson from the Pittsburgher. Go Steelers.

  • Jon

    Dude, this thing is gorgeous! i am super envious of your abiility to fabricate this with less than a year of practice. amazing job. i would not have changed a thing my self

  • sreekumar

    an outstanding work for a beginner, congrats

  • sac916

    love your build,truely fine work for a beginner without proper tooling. i would like to see the work of the critics on here who seem to have much to say and nothing to show???

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