Tuesday, January 15, 2013

XS750 Project, Part 14 -- Rear...ummm...Fender?

One of the problems I have been trying to solve recently on this build is how to protect the electronics from spray from the wheel. I have considered building a fiberglass rear hugger, but, while I am confident that I can make a fiberglass layup that would look good and cover the rear wheel, I am not confident that I can engineer a way to mount it to the swingarm. The right hand side looked pretty straightforward, but the shaft side...not so much.

However, I think I've come up with a workable solution that is within my capabilities to engineer and build. Rather than making a fiberglass wheel hugger, I have decided to make a steel panel to fit between the rear-most upright pieces in the frame, the tubing just behind the fiberglass sidecovers that I am trying to make.

To make the piece, I started by buying a large sheet of posterboard, which I used to make a template. First, I measured the approximate size of the frame, and layed out the measurements on the posterboard. After cutting the rough shape out of the posterboard, I kept trimming until I had the shape I wanted.

Once I had the posterboard cut to more or less the right shape, I used it as a template to transfer the shape to a thin piece of sheet steel that I had left over from another project. I then used an angle grinder to cut the steel into the shape that I had drawn from the template.

Here is the final product, ready to be tacked onto the frame.

I'm not an experienced welder. I've got an oxy-acetylene torch that I bought back in the '90s, but I have never bought gas for it. I also have one of the cheapo Home Depot MAPP gas/oxygen torches which I have used multiple times, although I can only braze with that torch; the flame isn't stable enough to actually weld, in my experience. Unfortunately, before I can braze the...ummm...fender(?) in place, I have to remove all of the paint from the tubing on the frame.

So...grabbing my sandpaper, I got to work on the tubing. I called it a night once I had just about reached a suitable point for brazing the steel sheet in place. Ya' know, I've got a $25 gift card to Lowe's...maybe I need to go pick up some MAPP gas and oxygen...

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