The winter months are a great time to catch up on bike maintenance, so I have finally removed the rear suspension from my Cagiva Elefant 750. I bought the bike secondhand a few years ago and was prepared for the worst when I finally got round to this task.
And the worst I did find. Bone-dry bearings in the linkage had deeply scored the hardened steel bush/spacer/shaft that runs through them. And being from Cagiva, this part is nowadays ‘unobtainium’ – you can’t buy it anywhere. Spin one up on a lathe, then? Well, once the part is made the steel needs to be hardened – not something that’s really feasible in a home workshop, at least not if you want the part to last.
Thankfully I found out that some Ducatis have a similar shaft, albeit longer. Trent, the Garage Night elder, confirmed this by checking on his Monster.
So, how to cut it down to fit my bike? You can’t turn hardened steel on a lathe, you can’t cut it with a hacksaw. You need to grind down hardened steel using an abrasive disc, and hitting it with an angle grinder would not allow the required precision.
After much searching I found this diagram of a simple bracket to attach a Dremel grinder to the toolpost of a lathe. Trent agreed to set this up on his own lathe – he really is a great friend to have.
This video shows the successful results. My swingarm’s just been powdercoated, the bearings have been ordered and we’re planning our next video of the process.