Junkyard Dog Custom Bike Project

Junkyard Dog Part 16 – One man went to mow and then discovered Dave had cut his mower up

I ended up having to remake the front engine mount, which was rather annoying, didn’t take long though. I had a wee issue (don’t mean there is something wrong with my bladder) in that I couldn’t find a piece of metal to weld to the frame to bolt the mount to. Luckily my next door neighbour, Nathan, was working in the barn behind my workshop so I popped over to see if he had anything. A support bar off some ancient Ransomes mower provided the part that I needed. Sorry to any lawn mower collectors reading this – I cut it up, turned it in to a cross member and welded it in to place. It’s amazing the places you find useful pieces of metal.

Custom bike front engine mountThe frame is now ready for stripping and painting, which is a pretty major milestone, Before I do that I think I will have a go at mocking up the seat base. I figure that I can then bash it over the frame and any damage I do can be rectified in the painting stage.  I would hate to have it all looking pretty and then hit it with a hammer and ruin it. I’m a clumsy bugger at the best of times.

I have a couple of choices for the seat pan – sheet metal or fibreglass. To be honest I am not brilliant at either discipline so it’s not a job I have been looking forward to. It would be quite easy to mess about with a cardboard template and then cut out a bit of steel but I need to form a return in it otherwise it won’t have any strength. I am building it so it will take a passenger, which has made my life difficult. The old seat was aluminium and floppier than a very floppy thing that had been soaked in floppy juice, no good at all. When the pan is built I will get somebody else to cover it – my skills with a sewing machine are non existent and I don’t fancy a trip to A+E with a sewing machine and an unfinished, blood soaked king and queen seat still attached to my finger.

Custom bike seatHaving slept on it I have decided to go the steel route and make the cushioned bit out of 2 separate pads – I figure it will be easiest. The pillion part of the seat will be made from 3 pieces to give lots of stiffness. My original designs did not allow for an upward slope on the rear and could have resulted in the pillion passenger sliding in to the rider every time the brakes were applied, which is less than ideal.

I went with the CAD (cardboard Aided Design) so I didn’t waste steel but sadly the bit I bought for the princely sum of £4 is now not big enough. I shall just go back to the shop tomorrow and get some more.

One thing I absolutely must stop doing is going to see Scott and Ian every Saturday. Not only do I usually end up buying somewhere between one and five motorbikes but I keep seeing things that would work well on the dog – things that cause me ever more work and aggravation. This week it was a front wheel. I don’t know what it is off but the minute I saw it I just knew it had to be bound for the dog. This would represent a huge amount of wasted effort on the brake caliper mount I made the other week and I would have to find a different disc if I am to use the current Triumph caliper but it looks really cool and goes well with the Suzuki FZ rear wheel. I think I may keep it for phase 2 otherwise it will never get to the end of phase 1. I may also go through my box of discs and if I can find one that would bolt on there without rebuilding the bracket it may end up in phase 1. I just don’t know. I shouldn’t have polished a bit of it to see what it would look like really. I have done my own head in, basically.

I think before I do anything I need to clean up the workshop, it’s got full of jumble again where there are no auto jumbles on at the moment. In this job you inevitably accumulate a load of stuff that is too good to through away but not good enough to list on line or a load of stuff that can’t be readily identified. It’s great when you have a project like the dog on the go but it all has to be stored somewhere.

Anyway I hope you will join me again next time when I will make the final version of the seat base and then strip everything ready for cleaning, painting and reassembly. Exciting times.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

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