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An Unwise Journey

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ratatooie
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Location : Isle of Man

Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 11:53 am

Jameshambleton wrote:bump, dates  Laughing




ratatooie wrote:I was also really interested reading through and only noticed the dates after Jameshambleton posted the bump!

Haha yes I suppose I am due to give an update on this project.

I was about to type "not much has been done" but actually thinking on it, I have done quite a bit.

Tank

The tank was a right pain in the bum. It took three weak acid baths in the end to get it right. This is because it would flash rust while it was drying out no matter what I did or didn't do. This was extremely frustrating! The last one that did the trick involved completely submerging the tank in the acid via a makeshift large container from B&Q (the black one with yellow fasteners and wheels), which was large enough to get the tank fully in. I also used a tarp to ensure no acid would get out and this also allowed me to minimise the amount of acid I used (although a few trips to the local catering supply cash and carry were needed!) 

My solution to avoiding the flash rusting was to use some Lab/Pharmaceutical Grade Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol (99%)) to slosh in and around the tank. This serves to absorb the water and make it much much easier and quicker to evaporate. With the aid of my other halve's hairdryer set to cold (said hairdryer being confiscated immediately afterwards once she twigged what I was doing), the tank was dry inside and out in about 5 minutes. I then used Petseal to seal the inside of the tank, which seems to have worked a treat. 


My next pain with the tank (which I was shamefully putting off). Is to have the petcock moved slightly so as to give better clearance with the frame. The tank is currently with my welder mate (who is as of writing competing in the Southern 100 races) to do this and seal up the hole that the fuel pump once occupied (the tank was originally from a 1980s Yam FZ600). 

I will then reseal the tank (just to be sure) and work on polishing it up for the clearcoat. 

Any advice on specific products for a really good, hard clearcoat very gratefully received!

Shocks

I received some stock shocks from a forum member, which I cleaned up and seem to still work well. However, I am on the fence whether to just drop £50 or so on a pair of the TEC ones (or more to get some adjustable ones).

Forks

The front forks are begin rebuilt and fettled by my local mechanic (who to be fair has had them for a while!) so I will be chasing him this weekend. I was chatting to him about the cartridge method of improving the forks, but he reckons he can get good handling out of them for much less money via playing with the size of the holes and oil weight. I trust his judgement because he builds race bikes for a living.

Seat

I got a seat off a chap here who was breaking his bike (see pictures in previous post). It is made from a skateboard deck and old leather armchair I think, but does the job well and has a really nice weathered look that I think will go with the bike well. This is currently with my welder mate mentioned above who is fashioning me a section of metal tubing that follows the underside of the seat so as to raise it up over the rear tank fastenings (and give the bike a bit of bling).

No pictures this time I am afraid as all the bits are off the bike and away! 

Questions:

1. Can anyone recommend some decent and preferably cheap clip-ons? The bike has some on now, but I am not happy at all with them as they seem to have rusted and are beyond saving.

2. I a considering getting rid of the underseat storage, but this will mean that I will need to relocate the battery somewhere. Any ideas on that front? It is a lithium ion one so the orientation of it does not matter. I think I remember seeing a fabricated minimalist metal box on ebay at some point so this might be a way to go.
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Beresford
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by Beresford on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 1:35 pm

Jameshambleton wrote:Any advice on specific products for a really good, hard clearcoat very gratefully received!

Seat
I got a seat off a chap here who was breaking his bike (see pictures in previous post). It is made from a skateboard deck

Questions:
1. Can anyone recommend some decent and preferably cheap clip-ons? The bike has some on now, but I am not happy at all with them as they seem to have rusted and are beyond saving.
You could investigate the "sprayability" of "Diamond Hard" floor varnish, which is good abrasion resistant stuff. When I repainted my wheels I gave them a top-coat of Diamond Hard but brushed on, and it is very resistant to chipping. I've used it on the engine side casings as well to cover silver paint which is definitely in need of the protection the varnish gives.
I like the idea of the skateboard as a base for the seat - very flat-track style !
For the bars, have you considered the TEC Jota bars. I believe they are a copy of those on the old Laverda, and are widely adjustable to cafe racer posture though they attach on the normal clamps.
They are available elsewhere but the TEC price is the keenest that I have seen.
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 2:58 pm

For the bars, have you considered the TEC Jota bars. I believe they are a copy of those on the old Laverda, and are widely adjustable to cafe racer posture though they attach on the normal clamps. 

Thanks! I have now looked into them and they look the business. I'll probably combine them with some new TEC shocks too for good measure, just to do it properly. 

Update as of 9 August 2016

The tank is back from the welder and he has done a great job. The pertcock clears the frame nicely and is even hidden slightly from view behind the frame in its new place so improves the lines of the bike in that respect. The tank is also now completely sealed. Separately, I have invested in some smallish polishing wheels, clays and a drill bit adaptor for them. The result is brushing up really really well. It gives a shine much better that I have been able to get so far on that tank and that is just after about 15 minutes work! I also have some superfine wet and dry paper coming (up to 2000 grit), which will apparently give a great finish as well. I will post pictures once the process is complete. 

I think I am going to rough sand down the bottom of the tank and apply a few layers of paint to it, since it will not be seen. This will hopefully keep maintenance to a minimum. 

I sourced some leather polish for the seat that is more or less spot on in terms of colour and have been applying that nightly for the last few evenings. It was amazing at first how quickly the leather absorbed the polish. It must have been crying out for a bit of TLC for quite a while! I also have some leather grip tape on order, which is a similar colour, so I will be using that to carry the colour through the bike. 

In all honesty, I don't think I have any hope of hitting my 28 August self imposed deadline (the date of the festival of motorcycling up in the north of the Isle of Man, which is in the middle of the Classic TT/MGP), which is a bit irksome, but at least I can look back and be quite chuffed with the progress so far. 

Forks are still not present. Hopefully they will be ready after the Classic TT/MGP as the mechanic will likely be working flat out at the moment on race bikes.
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Jameshambleton
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by Jameshambleton on Tue 29 Nov 2016, 8:51 pm

Anymore updates with this?
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:59 am

Jameshambleton wrote:Anymore updates with this?



Funny you should ask I was just thinking it was high time that I post something on this.

Update as of 30 November 2016

The tank is now looking great in my humble opinion. The amount I have now spent on tools for buffing, polishing, sanding down etc etc. brings a bit of a tear to my eye, but at least I now have all the stuff I need to polish anything to within an inch of its life! The pictures below show the before and after of the tank. I think its fair to say that it is now very much back from the dead!





I have refined the process down to the following after MUCH trial and error. This also provides the quickest way for larger areas. 

Tools:

Cheapo angle grinder - £15 from B&Q
Corded Bosch drill - £25 from B&Q
Set of specialist angle grinder disks (including three grades, which take the surface from rusted to hell to nice and shiny, but polish-able further) - £29.10 from Amazon
Full polishing wheel set with full set of clays for a drill - £21.83 from fleabay

This is how I would do it if I was to do it all over again. At £40 for basic tools (which I had already and I suspect all of you do too) and £50.93 for consumables/bits it isn't the cheapest, but it is cheaper than paying someone else to do it and you have everything left over to use in the future. I think the above also gives a really good balance between cost vs quality. 

Full disclosure is that I have tried another cheapo polishing wheel set that (in hindsight) was awful and various other paint/rust removal drill buts, which were good, but took ages. I also avoided the bench grinder polishing wheels because of the awkwardness of the shape of the tank. 

Method should be self explanatory, but basically, go through the grits with the angle grinder all over then use the polishing wheels on the drill with a few grits of the clays (I did three) for the end result above. I'm confident that you could do all this in a day or over two or three evenings. It has taken me much longer!

I have to say that the Bosh drill has been amazing. I have been frequently running it at full speed and giving it lots of resistance for long periods of time and it has come out as good as ever (this is in addition to all the jobs I have used it for up to this point). I can provide links to the polishing set etc if you are interested, just give me a shout.

Other than that I have invested in a long neck generic petcock on the advice of a friend, which given much better blind access (primarily for safety concerns if the fuel needs to be turned off quickly for any reason). 

Feeling flush after a pay day last month or so, I bought a set of the fully adjustable TEC shocks, which look great. The build quality is really really good and they come with two sets of springs depending on how firm you like the ride (or how heavy you are).

I have a set of decent fully adjustable clip-ons now, which due to the fact I have no fairings, do not foul anything on the bike so are fine. 

In an effort to clean up the lines of the bike, I have also bee toying with the idea of LED fully integrated brake and indicators in either of the following styles:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/391465744778?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1PC-Universal-Flexible-Motorcycle-Light-Strip-8-Soft-48-LED-Tail-Brake-Stop-Turn-Lamp-Motorcycle/32712116934.html

I ordered one of the LED strips to have a look (at £2 it is worth a punt). I will report back when it arrives. I'm concerned about visibility/brightness and build quality. There are UK based similar units at about 10x the price, but I suspect that they are just reselling the Aliexpress ones. 

I have also recently purchased from our own ANDYC a set of the upgraded all in one ignition coils, which seem great and again clean up the under tank area (see his recent update posts for further details and pictures). 

On the forks, I am STILL waiting for them back from the mechanic. This weekend I will hopefully have them. These are honestly the only thing that is holding up the build now. Frustrating!  Mad
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eternally_troubled
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:43 pm

Tank is looking good!

If you could post those links to the polish bits you used *I'd* certainly be interested Smile
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Jameshambleton
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by Jameshambleton on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 10:22 pm

Also interested in the polishing stuff as I'm thinking about doing up my fork legs.
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Thu 01 Dec 2016, 10:47 am

eternally_troubled wrote:Tank is looking good!

If you could post those links to the polish bits you used *I'd* certainly be interested Smile

No worries! The first step with the angle grinder bits can be found here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00EZIELYY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I did not use the black attachment that looks like a sponge, but it goes black - red - grey in terms of grit getting finer.

The polishing kit for the drill I used was this (it has gone up in price since I got it):

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/122133481108?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

This one also came up, which is cheaper and seems to be similar, but I can't vouch for it directly. 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/18pc-Polishing-Kit-Buffing-Polishing-Wheels-for-Stainless-Steel-Aluminium-Brass/141108209059?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D38661%26meid%3Dc86e41209184444583d35e76c8ea8b12%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D2%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D122133481108
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Tue 31 Jan 2017, 11:04 am

Update as of 31 January 2017

Good things come to those who wait (nearly a year as it transpires)!

My friendly local mechanic let me know last Friday that my forks were done and ready to be picked up so I blasted down to pick them up. They are really quite something. Stancions are brand new (old ones were done), the legs have been blasted and the internals have been fettled with to improve handling no end. In any event, they are now on the bike:





You can also see the adjustable clip-one that have been fitted and are temporarily dangling until I can work out the angle etc that I like them and drill holes for the switchgear etc. 

You can also see the ABBA Skylift that my mate and I saved our pennies up for. It is an amazing piece of kit. The whole process from getting the bike fitted to the lift, forks swapped and bike off the lift took all of 30 minutes. You can even put the bike in the stoppie or wheelie position to ease fitting of various parts. (I am not affiliated to ABBA, it is just worthy of mention).

I will shortly put the forks that came with the bike up in the for sale section. 

Lastly, here is a picture of the seat unit in all its glory and polished up:



As you can see, my welder friend has done a great job. the profile of the seat is followed really well. I don't have pictures of the polishing process, but I used much the same method and tools as for the tank described in the above post (although with the exception that there was a thick layer of weatherproof paint to take off. You can't see it from the picture, but the tank end of the tubing is currently joined under the seat. I will be cutting this away so that it shimmys up to the tank and so that the front of the seat meets the tank and covers the tank's fixing bolts. The LED indicator and brake light strip will be affixed to the rear of the metal hoop under the seat. If this works well, I will be definitely cutting the rear frame back so that the rear sections do not protrude from under the seat. My original plan was to fit two brake lights on the end of each frame section (which also looks good in my opinion), but I am edging toward the minimalist LED look. I will do mock ups and post them here for your thoughts in the near future.

In a moment of enthusiasm following the fork fitting I also ordered some race style rearsets in aluminium from a UK company. They look brilliant and I will be fitting them as well as the clip-ons properly this coming weekend. 

It is amazing how even a little progress cheers you up on a project. While I hadn't thrown in the towel (or even really come close), I was mentally a bit drained by the whole thing, being forced to a stand still for so long. 

Anyway, onwards and upwards!
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Jameshambleton
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by Jameshambleton on Tue 31 Jan 2017, 11:52 am

Looks really well, how long will it be before she's completed?  I maybe interested in the forks. Th welding for the rear seat looks really well, Have you done a mock up yet to see what it's going to look like?  

Have you thought about ground clearance while cornering as the exhaust sticks out a long away from the bike.
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:12 pm

Jameshambleton wrote:Looks really well, how long will it be before she's completed?  I maybe interested in the forks. Th welding for the rear seat looks really well, Have you done a mock up yet to see what it's going to look like?  

Have you thought about ground clearance while cornering as the exhaust sticks out a long away from the bike.

Thanks! Still a work in progress. I will do a mock up soon (I will have to anyway to decide on a few non-reversible modifications). I reckon I may be able to get it done in time for the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT this year, but as ever that is subject to a good few factors!

The exhaust clearance is a good point. I will be confirming this, but I think it is pretty similar to stock to be honest. Possibly a little further outward angled toward the end of the mufflers, but they are angled high enough relative to the ground that I think it cancels out. My skill level combined with the amount of effort I have put into this bike are such that I am unlikely to be seeking to drag a knee anyway to be honest!

I will get a few good photos of the forks up in the for sale section - they would benefit from a rebuild, but aren't particularly pitted. I will also be listing a few other bits as well.
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 4:18 pm

Update as of 15 March 2017

The last few sessions in the garage have consisted of attempting to get the the handlebars and controls sorted out (positioned to my liking, holes drilled for the switchgear etc. However, this devolved into primarily reconditioning the front brake master cylinder. 

The brembo master cylinder and caliper that I got from Ebay a good while ago is not in as good condition as I first thought. The brake lever did actuate the caliper, but there was a lot of play and the lever moved almost completely into the bar. I have braided steel lines to put on so was planning to bleed the brakes properly anyway, but this has turned into a bit of a drama. 

The (horrendously expensive) kit from Wemoto for the Brembo master cylinder arrived, but did not include the most worn parts - the plunger and outer spring inside the rubber cap that the brake lever makes contact with. These were incredibly gunky and the spring was almost completely rusted away! I have ordered the necessary parts and these should arrive soon. I must say, for a "rebuild kit" of that price, I'm not impressed that the Wemoto one didn't include the bits that are in most need of a replacement!

The notched circlip was also very very rusty, with one of the loops for the circlip pliers totally rusted away, which made getting it out interesting. I wonder what the best way of stopping this happening again would be, given it is a pretty big design flaw - slather it in some sort of non-petroleum based grease?

On the upside this at least gives me time to strip and repaint the master cylinder since I made a mess of it getting the brake fluid out...It is funny how one job that is supposed to be relatively quick can snowball into something much more.

I have also removed the battery underseat storage box thing and am pleasantly surprised with the amount of space that this leaves for a custom one. I should be able to work out something that can take both the battery and as much of the loom as possible. I have some sheet steel, sheet aluminium, sheet perforated galvanised steel and a vice mounted metal bender so should be all set. I have been looking for inspiration and like the look of the following ones:

Traditional shape.

Interesting shape that incorporates some storage.


Obviously I will put my own mark on whatever I end up with, but I like these concepts. All ideas or suggestions welcome though!
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eternally_troubled
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by eternally_troubled on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 8:38 pm

Given how individual this bike is I'd suggest that you should go for one that stands out, even if it isn't octagonal!
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Mon 03 Apr 2017, 5:35 pm

Update as of 3 April 2017

Interesting weekend in CB terms. I discovered that the battery wasn't getting charge so broke out my multimeter and deerstalker and worked out that the wires from the Stator to the R/R were cut and taped up! Puzzling. I assume this must be due to a failure of the R/R at some point, but I don't understand why you wouldn't just unplug the R/R and replace as opposed to cutting the wires. In any case I have a new one which will be wired in. I also have a spare wiring loom, so I'm planning just to solder the R/R connector from that on to my loom. I could just crimp individual female spade connectors on, but the former seems like a cleaner solution.

The discovery above got me thinking about the rest of the loom and whether anything silly has been done that I have not discovered yet so I spent an hour or so tracing and labelling everything. The rest seems more or less on point happily.

Incidentally, in my travels on reading up about motorbike wiring, I came across the following few sites, which seem like fairly decent primers on the subject: 

Simple harness (comments are worth reading too)

Much more in depth - download link is in the last page.
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Jameshambleton
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by Jameshambleton on Mon 03 Apr 2017, 6:20 pm

I'd personally run it independently of the loom less resistance but glad to hear that the rest of it is relatively unmolested.. at least electrically Wink 
Those links are very good but it's quite amazing how much of the cabling is just for the lights.
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Jameshambleton
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by Jameshambleton on Mon 15 May 2017, 7:43 pm

Here is an idea for redesigning the crash bars.... I mean exahust Wink 
https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1135649031.htm
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Tue 16 May 2017, 11:16 am

Jameshambleton wrote:Here is an idea for redesigning the crash bars.... I mean exahust Wink 
https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1135649031.htm

Hahah thanks. Those look pretty smart actually, but 4,000 Euros is a bit ambitious! The google translated page is great: "coffee racer" and "To debate, No exchanges! Charles." 


I think I should have a decent amount of lean angle when all is said and done. Time will tell. 


I should have another meaty project update ready after the weekend with a bit of luck, although the pre-TT classic races are on at the Southern 100 course, so I dare say the temptation of classic bikes being ripped around the south of the Island will be too much to take!
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ratatooie
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Re: An Unwise Journey

Post by ratatooie on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 12:07 pm

Update as of 16 June 2017

A decent amount of progress in the headlight department. I went ahead and bought an aftermarket LED headlight with a "halo" around the outside, which would act as a daytime running light (see pictures below). I liked the design and managed to find one angled for UK roads. The throw of the light is not the best (better than stock though I think), but this bike is never going to do long distances or much night time riding. It is also a completely sealed, weatherproof unit, which as it transpired, would not readily mate up with the stock headlight bowl! 

To remedy this, I used my google-fu and found a ready made mounting ring that is designed to hold the headlight in situe, but also mate up with generic headlight surrounds and bowls. However, perhaps predictably, this didn't lend itself readily to Honda headlight bowls! 

My solution was to fabricate three brackets out of a sheet of mild steel that I had:



The two "L" shaped ones at the back are to fix the mounting bracket to the bowl using the two bolt holes already in the headlight bowl at the bottom:



The three brackets at the front of the first picture above are the various mock ups and iterations that I went through (chronologically right to left) to get the exact measurements, angles and fitting that I needed to fit the top of the mounting bracket snugly to the top of the bowl, using the stock recessed clip/stop point (my vocabulary fails me on this, but hopefully you know what I mean if you have ever had the headlight out). Note that the large hole in the middle is only to let the spring pass through. The bracket on the left works well for its intended purpose if I say so myself. 

A few more angles of the finished part in case it helps anyone in the future. The bracket is held in the bowl side by friction alone and is bolted on to the mounting plate via nuts and bolts:





I found that the tried and tested method of using C.A.D. (cardboard aided design) worked very well to get the measurements close enough to be traced on to the sheet steel then cut out using my jigsaw. The one thing I did work out quickly is that the best results are from cardboard that is the same thickness as the steel as this will give a good approximation of the bend radius.  

My goal was to leave the stock headlight bowl as untouched as possible, while fitting the new mounting ring and modding that as necessary. It sounds straight forward, but all the various holes and potential mounting points on the mounting ring that are already there out of the box are at strange angles and not nicely symmetrical, so you have to be very careful with measurements so that the headlight is not skewiff. The sheet steel I chose was also fairly thick so getting it bent to the right angles was a bit of a chore! On that note, the tool I used for that was invaluable. It is a vice mounted blade and receiver arrangement that uses the blade to push the sheet metal into a recess on the receiver and allows you to bend it well over 90 degrees, which was invaluable. It is similar to  this product (I'm not affiliated at all, it was just really helpful for this part of the build - I think I got my one cheaper from Frost).

From then on in, it was just a case of fettling the fitting until everything was straight and then carefully drilling the required bolt holes. I have just realised that the photos do not show the holes and bolts that mount the two lower "L" brackets to the mounting ring. What I did was to drill two holes at a diagonal for two bolts each side to prevent any movement. I chose this method also because as you can see there are already some pesky pre-drilled fitting holes on the mounting ring where the (camera's) right hand "L" bracket meets it. The diagonal arrangement of bolt holes neatly sidestepped this issue, as there is enough meat on the mounting ring to permit holes to be drilled. 

You can see below that the mounting ring is made up of three distinct parts: (i) the back plate that anchors the springs and fits to the bowl; (ii) the mid ring which acts as a back plate/support for the headlight as well as bolting in the other ends of the springs; and (iii) the front ring, which holds the headlight in:







Lastly, a few shots of the mounted headlight and as it looks on the bike and as a whole. I'm quite happy with how it has turned out. It looks a bit rough and ready, but that is pretty much the look I am going for anyway, so happy days. I may end up creating blanking plates for the gaps in between the the mounting ring and headlight bowl, but I will see how I go with this first. A happy consequence of the aftermarket headlight and mounting ring arrangement is that I now have a ton of room behind the headlight unit so hiding away all the various wires will not be difficult!







You can see that the ends of the "L" shaped lower brackets stick out. This is because I am still trying to work out whether I want to go for indicators that are strips that wrap around the from forks or mount indicators at the end of these brackets. Opinions very welcome!

Cheers!

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