Hard to believe that it’s been 5 months since I’ve posted an update to this site, but such is the case. I won’t bore you with excuses – life has been busy, other priorities, blah blah blah – you know the drill. Work, family, life - etc. With Sandy pounding on the east coast today I have unexpectedly found myself with the day off and few things to do. Since I’ve got school girl excitement over the progress that’s been made on the FXR I figured I’d give you all an update.
Let’s start with a little history since it’s been so long. Here she is the day I brought her home, about a year and a half ago. I did a few minor things at the time (mostly taking shit off and throwing on some mid controls / seat) but rode her pretty much unchanged for the summer and fall. Winter came and I started what I thought would be some minor projects but snowballed into more and more “customization”. You all know how that goes, 3 changes turns into 3 pages of things you want to do to make it truly yours. The volume of modifications I took on was a mistake because it kept me off the road, but looking at it now - the final result will be worth it when it’s done.
Some iteration of this photoshop mockup is probably the last time you saw it. I had been wrenching in my 8×12 plastic shed, going down to see Steve at Troy Fab from time to time to get some little projects done. This turned out to be a pain in the ass. Not having the bike at Steve’s while we were fabricating left us flying blind. We’d work on something then have to wait until I could check it on the bike back at home. A lot of unnecessary back and forth. Steve graciously offered to let me bring the bike to his shop, and it just made too much sense not to do it. Once the bike got to Troy Fab, progress started moving a lot faster.
First thing we finished up was the exhaust. The exhaust can is off a Ducati Monster 696. The can was cut open so that all the baffles and the catalytic converter could be removed. Unbeknownst to me, this is called “coring”. Apparently the Ducati guys do this with some frequency because I was able to find a “How-to” that was able to walk us through the process. A few cuts, some pounding, scraping and welding and it was done. It was a bit more time consuming than that sounds, but in my eyes totally worth it. I’m digging the look, can’t wait to hear what it sounds like. It’s worth noting that the pipe that comes out of the Ducati can is a lot smaller than most Harley exhaust pipes, so it’s not a direct bolt on. We went back and forth on different ways to make it work and finally just ended up welding a simple exhaust adapter that you can pick up at any autoparts store.
The mini fairing is coming along quite nicely. The mounts were contoured and the headlight hole was cut out. The headlight mount is in place, just waiting for some new H3 bulbs so that we can aim it and weld in the brow. If anyone happens to know how to step down the light output of an 100W H3 bulb so that it acts like it has a high and low beam, I’m all ears. An H4 bulb won’t fit inside the headlight I’m using, so I’m stuck with using an H3 bulb, which I haven’t been able to find a dual filament version of (I don’t think they exist).
The next big project was the rear fender. It all started with this drawing and a sheet of aluminum. Actually, that’s not true - Steve did 2 prototypes before this one to nail down the technique and shape before we went ahead and did the final.
Steve also bent and pounded out the seat pan with a trick front mount to keep everything clean and tidy.
The finished product. I honestly couldn’t be happier with how this turned out. It’s better than I expected and I’m super stoked on it. There is still a little clean up to do on some of the edges, but Steve straight up killed it. Next up - the seat pan will get powder coated, foam will get shaped and then I’ll have to figure out what I’m going to do for a covering.
So here’s how she sits as of 4pm yesterday. There are a lot of small things we’ve done that I just didn’t take pictures of and a lot of trial and error that we went through to get to this point. The list of things to do is still long, but I’m stoked.
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a photoshop. So here’s an idea of some of the fabrication work still to come. Aluminum tank, powder coated wheels, Troy Fab prototype air cleaner, shaved and powder coated fork lowers, I will probably end up rethinking the handlebars for something lower. Then there is all the “other stuff” that still needs to get done, like the wiring and painting.
As always, huge thanks to Steve at Troy Fab for all his help, guidance and talent. Extra special thanks to his wife for all the tasty meals. Make sure to check out and support Troy Fab. I’ll try to post more regularly, but no promises. There will be some changes around here in the future, I’m just not 100% sure what they’re going to be yet. In the meantime, like us on facebook and you can stay in the loop.
-GrailOctober 29th, 2012 by grail21 in KB News, Projects | Comments (7)