Tail light swagger

IMG6056The plan was to repair the leaking petcock and work on the new seat. The reality was I did neither. As soon as I entered the man cave I got an idea. Why don’t I work on the tail section of the bike instead? At least get some measurements and start planning before I get to it with the seat fabrication. Well, I didn’t really get to that stage…

As soon as I removed the stock seat and put the skateboard on top of the frame, it hit me: I don’t have to cut the subframe to weld a loop if I somehow could remove the stock plate carrier and remove the plastic storage area where the cables are, because that’s what’s protruding too much.

I removed the plate and tail light, and then I got the idea to use the turn signals as bolts through the rear bolt hole of the passenger foot peg mounts. Perfect, the turn signals are now a lot tighter. And since I don’t want to cut that part off due to structural stability for the exhaust and foot pegs, I would only be able to cut off like an inch and a half anyways.

Next revelation: If I could use the crossover bar where the stock seat ends that now has a couple of unused bolt holes to fasten a custom made plate holder. That would definitely save me some inches in length. Now where can I find such a holder…?

IMG6057I brought forward the 18 gauge sheet metal and started cutting and with cutting I mean sawing and with sawing I mean using a small bow saw. It took me a lot of time and effort as I made some measuring errors. The lack of tools is frustrating. Even such a simple task as bending steel turns to a project. With the help of a rubber mallet and a couple of wooden blocks I managed to get some kind of bend to the holder.

I drilled a couple of holes to attach it to the frame and what’s left now is measuring and drilling holes for the tail light itself and the plate. With everything mounted I think it will look much better than the stock solution. Instead of the loop I was going to weld, I think I am going to bolt just a plain crossbar made from steel tubing and maybe attach some kind of extra cool super special LED lighting somehow…

As soon as that is done, I’ll repair the tank and get working on the seat. This bike will actually look pretty cool when I’m done, I think. Maybe not what I once had in mind – the process has changed both skills, taste and expectations – but still cool enough for a bike to be ridden in the urban jungle, showing off while roaming the streets…