I also got the back wheel mounted properly in the frame. The Suzuki Bandit 400 axle is 17mm, and the Aermacchi’s original was 20mm, so I had to make up some 1.5mm thick steel collars to make up the difference. I forgot to take pictures of them, but they are a tight slip fit on the axle and fit into the swingarm adjustment slots with just enough clearance to slide fore and aft, with no vertical play. The width is just slightly narrower than the swingarm chain adjusters, so that the Aermacchi parts are all snugly against the OD, the axle fills the ID, and the parts can all squeeze together properly when the axle is tightened.
I then had to make up some spacers to center the wheel. I made these out of alloy, not so much for weight savings as for machining ease, as well as having suitable round stock handy. I also had to make an additional spacer to take up a small amount of extra length in the Bandit 400 axle, visible at the right side the photo outboard of the swingarm.
My measurements were thankfully correct, and the tire is perfectly aligned, right on the center line of the frame:
So, I have a rolling chassis! The side stand got a jinky, temporary repair to keep it from collapsing, and there are lots of little things to do, including steering stops, properly attaching the rear brake arm, and ordering rear shocks. But I’ve met my original goal of being able to easily roll the whole lump out of the way when I’m tripping over it, and in the meantime, solved a bunch of chassis setup questions with good, permanent, roadworthy solutions.
I am very pleased how quickly and easily this is all going together. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’m somewhat amazed there haven’t really been any real show-stoppers yet, given how audacious a concept this project is, how little I had to start with, and how little money I have into it at this point. I’ve gotten almost as far with this bike in 10 months as I have with Bultakenstein over 8-1/2 years! A big part of this is “Baby,” my South Bend 8K, which my wife bought me for my birthday about six years ago.
Having a lathe is the difference between “Hmm, that’ll never work; you’d need a part that could fit this, and that, like this…” and “Here, hold my calipers…” As somebody who grew up in a mechanically inept family with no tools or equipment, I still get giddy at the ease with which I can fabricate my own stuff from blank stock.