Monday, March 26, 2012

Some Better Shots

Gas Tanks and Foot Controls: GS550 Update!

Ok! So these pictures really suck. I forgot my camera going to the shop today so my phone was all I had. But heres some recent and major updates on the bike. I finally got the sheet metal bent on a press brake for the inside of my tanks. I'm still going with the split tanks and needed the inside plates bent for my "tunnel" over the back bone.
 The main mounts will be on the back bone so they will be hidden. No mounting hardware on the outside of the frame. Should be a super clean look.
 Adam helped me out making a few bungs for the frame.
Super tight, super clean.
 I now have a great silhouette of the tanks. And oh yeah, my seat is getting upholstered. I hope to have that in another 2 weeks. 

The foot controls!! I made this quick sketch in class. I decided to skip on the brass bushings. Really no need. Everything will be greased before assembly and will work just fine. I tried to keep this set up as simple as possible. Take a piece of cold rolled steel, turn one side down to the size of some DOM pipe, drill and tap the end to mount the pegs. I had to eliminate the bolt from the plate because there was simply no room because of the frame. Welding is a better, stronger, option anyway. I just had to be careful where I mocked up the pegs so when I bolt them down that they're in the right position. 
I have two sets of original shifters and brake pedals that I'll use to make my controls. No sense in buying new when you have used already in the box!
 On the lathe. Its really been over a year since I used one and it was great to be using it again. 
A few hours later and the finished product! Peg, washer, DOM pipe, threaded rod, and the turned down cold rolled. 
 Tig welded the turned down cold finish to the brackets. Before welding, I drilled a hole in the back of the plates so I can weld these pieces from the back. They're super strong and won't break off. EVER. Top it off, all this will be sent out to be chromed.
 Everything is mounted and is looking great and most importantly working great. And yes, thats the another shifter hanging off the side of the frame. More on that later...
  These pegs and controls  have turned out so incredibly strong. It may seem extreme to use solid stock but since these mounts are so heavy, it should eliminate any vibrations. I should seriously patent this set up.
 Not too much is left! Next, I need to make a few more tabs and cut the rods for the rest of the controls and finish the gas tanks. Also, build a new battery box. Then just a few odds and ends. For instance, that side cover with the red tape on it. I peeled off the thin Suzuki emblem to discover a huge hole behind it. It will have to be tig welded closed and smoothed out. It was nice to spend a solid day away from the computer but it's time to get back to working on my animation. Check more of that out here:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

God Speed Dirty Rick

Yesterday I lost someone that was the best boss, mentor, and friend. His real name was Rick Beers. Yes Beers and he liked his beers too. He also wasn't called Dirty Rick for nothing. He was a real rough around the edges character but the best damn mechanic I ever met, and a genuine person. I first met Rick and started working for him when I was 16. Everyday he would pick me up at 7am and we would hit the deli on the way to his shop. He would always get a coffee, a Snapple and 2 packs of Marlboro Reds. 11am I'd hear the first beer crack open. We worked on everything from simple brake jobs, to restoring vintage tractors, reparing farm equipment, to tanker trucks. It was only for the summer but I learned so much and continued to learn from him to this day. Back in the day he built hot rods, chopped triumphs, and his specialty, garden tractors for tractor pulls. They were heavily modfied machines and were not your "average lawn mower." Rick really was a jack of all trades. He helped me out on so many of my projects from major overhauls to just simple questions. Rick always had an answer. The man really knew everything. One it comes to these situations its a shame they pass on and its a shame the wealth of knowledge that goes too. You will be greatly missed Rick.

Summer of 2008 Rick re-painting the cop car. This car was a disaster when I got it and it was through his help that got it back on the road again for me.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Old Foto Friday

 Now these guys are really packed up! And so am I. Finally heading back to NJ for a long awaited break and lots of riding. I need it.
 Dave Bader (Right) Joe (left)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It Will Be Here Before You Know It!

Mark your calendar and tell your friends!
Credit goes to Chris for this cool artwork! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Packed Up

 Planning and scheming this summer's adventures...

A few summers ago the night before a trip to upstate NY.
Also upstate NY.
Last summer, just before Strange Days.
After Rhinebeck this year, the Sportster is going to go through another major change to make it more suited for long trips again.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Foot Control Stuff

To keep moving forward with my forward controls I had to make a rocker arm to transfer the motion from the forward controls to the rear wheel. I had two brake levers and chose to cut up the bottom one. Sorry for the bad cell phone pics, its all I had at the time.

 I could see that by shaving down the material where it curves, there was a tab hidden inside.
I just used a cut off wheel and then mostly the die grinder to get the shape I wanted. No mill work here!

This setup will look snazzy once its all re-chromed.
For me personally when building bikes, I find it more rewarding finding creative ways to use the stock parts you have. Anyone with the proper skills can chuck something up on the lathe or the mill and make the part above, but it takes a creative eye to use what you have and still make it look cool.