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D3 Swinger Trail Build
Sunny Felixstowe
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December 3, 2020 - 9:04 am
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This post is really to make sure I don’t get distracted from my aim!

Let me explain. The day before “Lockdown ll” I drove to near Norwich and picked up the frame and wheels of what had been a D3 swinging arm framed field bike of sorts.  When I got it home what I found was not encouraging.  The front end looks like MZ with butchered tops to the stanchions to make them “fit” what look like C15 yokes. The rear wheel is Suzuki which entailed a swap over cable operated brake and what looks to have been a misaligned chain if the groove in the swinging arm is anything to go by.  It also meant some bodged welded brackets (so bodged that the welds had not penetrated the metal so at least they came off fairly easily). To complete the picture there were folding trials footrests welded onto the front of the footrest hanger brackets (the rears having been crudely cut off) but welded too high for comfort/balance and a dodgy brake lever made of re-bar and fixed to the boss for the intermediate brake rod plate.

So what to do? The frame is mercifully straight and now I’ve cleaned up the rear subframe and swinging arm they look passable. Now someone told me years ago that this frame is the one for trials (??) and I’ve always hankered after a bit of off-road work so a scheme is emerging whereby this frame, fitted with a D7 engine, is transformed into the ideal mount for some gentle off roading and having a go at one of the (gentler) LDTs.

I’ve read up about what others have done on a shoestring and the plan is for a simple conversion using stuff that I’ve got. The aim is emphatically NOT an all singing all dancing trials bike, just something that I’m confident in and that will be adequate for most situations.

Progress so far ... frame stripped and beginning to be tidied up. The swinging arm has no chain adjusters but I’ve got a pair of snail cam adjusters (from a Fantic!) so that’s a job. Plus the boss for the D3 torque arm has been ground off and I don’t have a D3 wheel but I do have a D7 wheel which goes in the swinging arm so a new wrap around torque anchor is needed plus some spacers. It will then be time to perfect my brazing technique to ensue everything stays put.

In the meantime I’m thinking about the front end, Honda? Heavyweight Bantam? C15? Or stick with the MZ stuff and make it work?I’ve got a Suzuki 18 wheel with brake plate and speedo drive, maybe that’s the way to go?

More details when I get round to it. (Photo’s to follow).

“There’s nothing new under the sun”.

Central France
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December 3, 2020 - 9:33 am
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Interesting. I think I'd look at some of the hybrids for a start, Flintdog seemed to favour Honda front ends and Dave BSA (among others) have gone down similar routes. As for chain adjusters, it is possible to do without if you can mark the swinging arm with matching lines around the axle slots.

Sunny Felixstowe
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December 6, 2020 - 3:03 pm
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Some preliminary pictures


Mercifully the frame is straight and doesn’t seem to have any cracks. The top photo shows where the rear footrest hangers have been removed, this is after I have tidied them up with the grinder! The front engine bracket has seen better days, and yes those are washers welded on to give somewhere for the bolts to go!

I’ve been through my ‘stock’ and reckon I’ve got most of the bits and pieces I need for the rolling chassis ... except forks. I’ve ordered new sprockets (420 in 15T and 58T) together with a chain from Feked, not much more combined than the cost of an original spec chain. Drat that VaT.

“There’s nothing new under the sun”.

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