We've been really fortunate here at The Kneeslider, you and I have been able to watch an idea come to life from the first sketches and designs, all the way to the advanced stages it's reached right now. Aniket's Musket 998 is a study in persistent pursuit of a goal and many aspiring motorcycle builders could learn a lot just following the progress.
A new batch of photos showed up this morning and it's clear Aniket has made a lot of design decisions so he could get on with the final build up.
Tried to give this one it's own character compared to the first one which was rather a smooth and mellow tourer. This one is more along the lines of stripped down to bare bones. The 'pipe and muffler on both sides' caused quite a bit of agony particularly as the curved downtube left limited room between the front wheel and itself for the front pipe to cross over. The classically beautiful symmetrical exhaust of machines such as the 1939 Triumph Speed Twin is very dear to all of us and was a worthy cause to strive for, in spite of the challenge posed by this V twin as opposed to an inherently symmetrical parallel twin.
The slim rear mudguard is actually a stock front one. Custom stays were made to mount it to the swingarm which allow it to hug the tire closely and move with it over bumps.
The custom downtube was curved to allow room for the front cylinder without increasing the wheelbase too much- only 2.5", which brings it to 56.5", only 1" more than a Vincent.
The left-shifting gearbox was converted to right side shift by fabricating a custom gearshift lever and a simple linkage, avoiding replacement of the inner and outer covers and shift mechanisms. The clutch has also been beefed up to handle the extra power and didn't exhibit signs of slippage yesterday.
She was taken for a brief yet truly exhilarating ride yesterday, she goes, solid punchy torque available right from idle. Have to break it in, must be easy on her for now. It's going to be very cold for the next few days, which I will use for tying up random loose ends such as cleaning up random wiring, re-routing cables etc.
I like the look of this, modifying the front down tube allows the V-Twin to snuggle right into the space formerly occupied by the single and the symmetrical exhaust really adds to the appearance. Right now the bike looks very near the finish line, but builders know how these last hours of "tying up random loose ends" as Aniket mentions, can take a surprising amount of time, but we're having some cold weather at the moment so there's no need to rush.
I have a hunch quite a few Royal Enfield owners out there are getting an itch to do some major work on their bikes about now. This could get interesting.
Link: Musket V-Twin
UPDATE: It's on the road - watch the videos!