Frame Build Part One

A very British motorbike

We started with a 2009 Speed Triple as a donor bike. This is how the frame building began.

Enigma 1050 Donor Bike 2009 Triumph Speed Triple

Triumph could not sell us a new engine so we bought a low mileage 2009 Speed Triple from Hills Motorcycles in Skelmersdale. Here it is in Peterborough before we got the spanners to it.

We weighed the bike before we started taking it apart.  You can’t ride a bike without fuel, oil, coolant and brake fluid so dry weights are meaningless. Fully wet, the donor bike weighed in at a hefty 220 kilograms. We think we can shave quite a bit off that.

Enigma 1050 donor engine. Three cyclinder Triumph 1050The engine is a heavy piece of machinery but we think it is one of the nicest road engines around at the moment. Before we took it out of the frame we measured the power at the rear wheel and recorded 121 bhp.

Components from the 1050 donor engine that we kept for the Enigma 1050We kept all the stuff in this box – exhaust headers, instruments, wiring loom, ECU, all the electrical components, the oil cooler, radiator, header tank and the side stand. We plan to use most of them on the completed bike.

This is what was left. We sold it to a welder from Poland who turned up to collect it at midnight one Sunday with a pocket full of cash. He needed it to rebuild a badly crashed bike.

Headstock for the enigma 1050 chassisOne of the first tasks was to make the headstock. This is the finished item ready to be mounted into the Tigcraft frame jig. The finished bike will be using taper roller steering head bearings. Alongside is the standard ignition switch. To control costs and to keep development time as short as possible, we are using production components from the donor bike wherever possible. However, when it comes to cost versus quality, we put quality first.

Enigma 1050 engine jigThe next step is to get the frame into the Tigcraft jig and position the headstock and the dummy swing arm spindle. Once this was done, Dave Pearce loaded it into his car and drove from Hampshire to Derbyshire to meet up with the rest of the team for a progress meeting and to get some measuring done.
Fabien at K-Tech measure the engine using a digital armFabien, one of the technical staff at K-Tech, is using a Faro digital arm to take measurements from various points around the engine. This allows us to build a digital image of the engine with all the relevant pickup points where we need to attach frame tubes, plates and other components. It is vital to record this information if you want to produce more than just a single chassis.
First CAD drawing of the Enigma 1050 chassisFrom the data taken by Fabien, we the produced a basic CAD drawing of what the frame would look like. You can see already that it is moving away radically from our initial concept illustrations. The finished frame will differ in detail from the original CAD drawings as we make adjustments throughout the building process. Dave Pearce has sufficient experience to work without the need for CAD, but for the long term it allows, us to build as many frames as we need in the further without having to start from scratch every time.

That’s how we made a start. In Part Two, we take a look at the materials and techniques involved.

Enigma 1050 – a very British motorcycle being built in Hampshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Surrey, Sussex, Suffolk, Shropshire and Cambridgeshire.