Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bearing the fruits of my labors......

Ok, so last installment got us thru the 'work' part of making the motor plates. 
Now Let's take a look at the pieces after final appearance machining and surface finishing.....on the bike. It's really starting to look like a motorcycle now, I also took the time to mount the freshened up CB360 swingarm that my friend Kiley gave to me for the build. It's a few inches longer than the stock 450/500T swinger and should enhance the long lean look I'm working toward. I also got another aspect of the build all but dialed in and we'll take a quick tour of that as well......

So let's see some pretty pictures!
Here are the front motor plates all finned up and looking sharp if I do say so myself! I replaced the softer than butter OE hardware with some nice beefy stainless hex what point does a screw become a bolt? These are burly. You can see on the front faces, the M6-1 drilled and tapped holes that are there for later use. I have more plans.....

Here's a shot of the rear motor plates in-situ, note again the M6-1 mounting holes on these as well. I'm currently making an aluminum battery tray that will bolt to this and locate the battery with a brass buckled leather belt. You can also see the dressed up cam chain tensioner....if you haven't picked up on it yet I'm detail oriented...hehe
I decided that I didn't like the original way I did the starter so I went back and made solid brass spacers rather than the flimsy tube I used before. This is much more solid looking and feeling. I also dressed up the mounts. I'm not entirely happy with the wrinkle paint on the starter body but I'm not going to worry about it as there's come that will cover that bit.
Profile shot! Oops....let the cat out of the bag didn't I? Here's that 'other aspect of the build' I was talking about at first. I wanted this one to stand out and have a timeless quality to it. I'm not trying to make this looks like an old motorcycle, just infuse a little something into it that perhaps isn't too common these days. I don't like suicide shift bikes, especially foot clutch setups. Having ridden one around a bit I found it clumsy and not all fun. I do however like tank shifters and decided to fab my own setup with the clutch lever incorporated. How about a closer look?
Still need to nip off the excess screw length and add lock nuts. There are reamed bronze bushings in the small pivot points.
note to self: work on the blend.....
The main pivot is supported by dual sealed ball bearings because that's what I had on hand. I could have ordered a more suitable nice wide roller bearing but like I said, I have a pile of these on hand. The pivot itself is the black oxide grade8 bolt and the piece of brass hex is there as a bearing spacer and visual element. The handle itself is 2pc, the part that bolts  to the base is machined from solid and the handle portion is 1"d x .125"w aluminum tubing. I spend a lot of time filing and sculpting these pieces once the critical machining steps were done. I rather like the way it came out!

A detail shot of the linkage arm I made. It's just a piece of 1" x .375" 6061 that I machined some coved slots into and narrowed to suit. The slight arcs were added at the last minute to take care of a couple things. First, I miscalculated the length needed by an excess .130" so the handle arm and shifter arm on the bottom were slightly out of phase. Not a huge deal but I don't like it. I was all set to re-drill one end and then thought that it still needed...something. In a fit of angst I randomly bent them to the shape you see here and accomplished both desires without making any hard changes to the arm. I think the arcs add a little grace to the piece? What do you think?

This should be a decent indication of what I'm doing for a clutch lever on this bike. This is just a ganky photochop but it gives and overview. This is (see above) just an old Honda lever taped on as a visual aid. Ultimately I'll be milling a lever and base from brass to interface with the internal clutch cable. This too makes me happy. Ok...giddy like a school girl but whatever..... For general info purposes; the throw at he highest point is just a hair over 1" so it's got a nice tight action and should still allow relatively quick shifting.
Here's a quick peek at the high-tech cardboard seat shape I'm working on dialing in. I racked my brain trying to decide what to do for a seat as my initial effort was less than satisfactory. This is close to the final shape I think though I'll add just a bit of 'loft' in the front and the sides will fall over the frame rails. I'll fab the pan from .187" aluminum plate (because I have a pile of it here) and have a real live upholstery shop carve up some foam and stretch some nice leather across it.
As you can see in these last two pics there's a gap between the back of the tank and the seat. The plan as it stands now is to make a compact "dash panel" that'll live down there holding switches for the turn-signals and hi/low dip. I have yet to settle on a design but whatever I do will flow with the rest of the build.


  1. I really love the engine mounts, but that shifting mechanism really has me scratching my head - preferring a more-so sporting bike that this thing had the looks of until this point.

  2. Heh....yeah this is a bit of a departure for me. I'm normally looking for ways to shave 1/10th off as well. This bike is going to be more of a 'roadster' though I hesitate at labels.
    I have a second frame with some very tasty suspension pieces and am currently looking for a good engine to start from.....that one will be sporty for sure!

  3. is this a project for a customer, or something to illustrate your capabilities as a machinist? I must say, I may be sending you some cardboard templates for custom mounts of my own if you'd be interested in the job.

  4. Well....she started out at a showcase bike, one I'd display in the window of the shop here but I've had a few inquiries so who know...maybe she'll be headed back to the Land of the Rising Sun. We'll have to see

    email me if you want to chat about some mounts, I'd be happy to whip some up for you....