2007 Dotson Design Custom Swingshot

I built this bike with the goal of highlighting and expanding my design, engineering, and fabrication capabilities. I loosely constrained myself to using only vintage technology. The hub-steer front wheel was built using a vintage Harley Sportster front hub that now houses a handmade spindle, utilizing an early Ford steering pivot. The wheel bearings are now located in the “cone” on the side of the hub. Moving rearward, the handmade swing arm is supported by a quarter-elliptical automotive leaf spring. Ride height can be adjusted by turning a bolt under the “hood ornament” detail on top of the spring. The spring is dampened by a friction shock under the spring. The steering linkage is all automotive based, using a series of universal joints, rods and arms the connect the handlebars to the front wheels. The handmade frame is based around the large-radius backbone that contains the engine oil, as well as a separate conduit for some of the wiring. The engine is a 93” Accurate Engineering Panhead with magneto ignition. The twin, hand shaped fuel tanks bolt to side of the frame, taking inspiration from a vintage Bugatti. The handmade seat is suspended by a cantilever system using engine valve springs as suspension. The air intake is a vintage Ford horn that was adapted to mount to the S&S carb. The hand shifter incorporates a push button to toggle a relay to control the hi/lo beam on the headlight. The exhaust system is brushed stainless steel with no visible seams and machined tips. The kickstarter was made to lock out of place when not being used. The foot controls were made from scratch, and all hand/foot were wrapped in shellacked twine, much like vintage golf club handles. The rear fender is supported by a single center spine that also contains the taillight wiring. The two fender halves bolt to the center spine, following the theme of the fuel tanks. The rear brake is based off of a Harley hydraulic drum brake, housed between two machined covers. Ending it all, the taillight is a 1” LED in a machined housing on top of the fender.

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