(MBBO#05 Class 2) "King 'Cuda" (1972 Ross) *DONE!*

Jun 11, 2012
4,477
4,374
48
Visalia, CA
Remember Alice in Wonderland, when she had to take a bite of the cake labeled "Eat Me" to grow? I'm feeding some cake to a bike to make it bigger.



This is a 1972 Ross Barracuda. It's a 20" 3-speed bike. I love this particular picture, and have loved this bike for years. This year I'm going to build one for myself... just bigger. And while the Barracuda only came in 3-speed, the "King 'Cuda" will be a 5-speed because A) I love 5 speeds, and B) a bigger version deserves 2 more gear options.





This project started in January when an RRB member offered me a Coast King Commander, a 26" cruiser with a Barracuda looking frame. Ross built them. This is how the bike came originally.





My goal is to stay as authentic as I possibly can, using actual Ross parts, or parts that at least look the part. You may know JungleTerry? Terry has well over 50 Ross Barracuda's in his collection. He has been instrumental in helping me source parts, and pick the correct ones specifically for the year I'm building. Hopefully I can still rely on his guidance as I run into challenges along the way.
 
Last edited:
Sep 7, 2014
3,172
6,166
52
Columbus OH
Awe man that's killer!! You've really got the eye for the cool muscle bikes CRASH. Can't believe you found that 26 frame that's an exact match. Those proportions and lines are on the money.

Where's the trademark CRASH mockup?
 
Jun 11, 2012
4,477
4,374
48
Visalia, CA
Alright, here we go... The first obstacle: The shifter.

The Commander's twin top bars are too close together to accommodate the shifter console.

From the front


From the back



I was worried my idea to spread them wouldn't work, but let's give it a try.
Hammer in a big wedge (I had to buy specifically to do this)


Success!






That's the easy part. Here comes the hard part. From a friend (FirstYearChevelle) I obtained a shifter mount from a junked Ross Apollo. The good news is that I have a plate, which would be next to impossible to find otherwise. The bad news is, it doesn't come close to fitting. So, I'm going to have to come up with some modification ideas, then attach that to the frame.

Here's the plate on an Apollo




Here's my cut one




You can see how much bigger it is under the top bars.



Another challenge I just figured out... Do you see this tab in the back of the console?


It mounts under the lifted tab at the rear end of the plate.




That's fine on an Apollo since the console sits flush on the plate above the top bars. But on a Barracuda it won't work like that. So... I need to see what the shifter mount set up on a Barracuda looks like.
 
Jun 11, 2012
4,477
4,374
48
Visalia, CA
Good news: I bought a NOS shifter handle/stick. Looks real nice!





Bad news: The shifter I got seems to be pressed in. How on earth do you take it apart and get it back together? The ball bearing making it a 3-speed click shifter is in there. I want it out so I can have a 5-speed friction shift!


 
Apr 18, 2015
6,907
10,290
central ohio
Remember Alice in Wonderland, when she had to take a bite of the cake labeled "Eat Me" to grow? I'm feeding some cake to a bike to make it bigger.



This is a 1972 Ross Barracuda. It's a 20" 3-speed bike. I love this particular picture, and have loved this bike for years. This year I'm going to build one for myself... just bigger. And while the Barracuda only came in 3-speed, the "King 'Cuda" will be a 5-speed because A) I love 5 speeds, and B) a bigger version deserves 2 more gear options.





This project started in January when an RRB member offered me a Coast King Commander, a 26" cruiser with a Barracuda looking frame. Ross built them. This is how the bike came originally.





My goal is to stay as authentic as I possibly can, using actual Ross parts, or parts that at least look the part. You may know JungleTerry? Terry has well over 50 Ross Barracuda's in his collection. He has been instrumental in helping me source parts, and pick the correct ones specifically for the year I'm building. Hopefully I can still rely on his guidance as I run into challenges along the way.
Whatever you do, please DON'T mount a snow ski to the front wheel.:headbang:
 
Jun 11, 2012
4,477
4,374
48
Visalia, CA
Angle grinder or drill to remove the riveted over section, replace with a bolt, washers and a nyloc nut?

Cutting down that shifter mounting plate so it fits underneath the tubes where it should be may be your only option.

Luke.
I plan on cutting down that plate. I just have to figure out how I need to cut it and then exactly how to weld it on.

And an angle grinder would seriously scare me. If I ruin this... ugh
 

The Renaissance Man

__CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster)
Pro Member
Nov 24, 2012
8,076
19,195
The Tropics of Alabama
Good news: I bought a NOS shifter handle/stick. Looks real nice!





Bad news: The shifter I got seems to be pressed in. How on earth do you take it apart and get it back together? The ball bearing making it a 3-speed click shifter is in there. I want it out so I can have a 5-speed friction shift!


If you want to keep it intact and remove the ball, bend the stop tab back and rotate the shifter around till the ball falls out.
 
Last edited:
Jun 11, 2012
4,477
4,374
48
Visalia, CA
After the hub I mocked up the sprocket/crank/chain guard for the first time. The chain guard was the real kicker of this build. Barracudas have a very specific look. I thought I was going to have to make a guard to fit. But with the help of FirstYearChevelle I was able to buy a donor bike in New Jersey for cheap and have all the parts sent out to California.






And for Chad, here's my (weak) mock up.

 
Jan 9, 2013
1,251
1,541
Los Angeles
Drill out the rivit from the backside. Just center a bit close to the od of the hole as possible. You should just cut off the crimped lip knock it out with a punch in a vice opend up enough to let the rivit drop while supporting the rest of the shifter body.
 
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