Metric Bobber
Volusia build story. - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: Volusia build story. (/showthread.php?tid=10275)



Volusia build story. - Wiggo - 08-02-2018

Pics seem to be a bit erratic, but I'll give it a go...

So I had wanted to build a bobber for a good 10 years. I did try way back, but there weren't the parts around over here, and I didn't have the fabrication skills, so it all got shelved. Then I rediscovered a US board I used to frequent and found some links to places like Blue Collar Bobbers and Black Ops Bobbers, and it all got me thinking...
When I looked at this 10 years ago, there were two major issue to solve: how to attach the rear fender at the front end, and how to support the seat. Blue Collar and Black Ops seem to have solved those, but there were some things I wasn't happy with. Specifically, both the kits use a sort of 'stepped' tray to cover the battery box which I didn't like, and the Blue Collar one has holes in the top that let you see the battery posts. It rains a lot here, and I worked out some while ago that electrics and rain don't often play nicely. Black Ops seemed to be (temporarily) out of production, and the other issue with the Blue Collar setup was that it requires you to saw off the inner rear fender mounts (the 'horns' that stick up and lean inwards from the top of the frame tube). That was a no-no for me, because I wanted the option of returning to stock. The only option, then was a bit of fabrication.
So, the starting point was to strip the back of the bike. At this point, I had already received the front and rear fenders from Blue Collar, a separate lay down side-mount bracket for the license plate, some lights and a seat (under £25 from China on Ebay). So, I measured, notched and bent a length of 30 x 30 x 3mm angle iron and drilled two 10mm holes to create a seat support):
[Image: 3.jpg]
The next job was to cover the battery tray. The kits all seem to use flat steel plates put together to give quite an angular look, but I decided to take a different approach. I cut several pieces of thin (0.8mm) aluminium sheet and formed it with a soft mallet around a 32mm broom handle! That worked perfectly because the frame tubes are 30mm. The various bits were clamped in place and taped together:
[Image: 2.jpg]
Now, don't get me wrong, if I could have got away with polished aluminium or stainless like that, I would have, but my welding skills weren't up to that, so this was just a form for the next bit, which was to lay a load of glass fibre over it. Some of the 'missing' areas were simply covered over with multiple layers of duct tape. I put down four or five layers of CSM and let it set before offering up the seat:
[Image: 4.jpg][Image: 5.jpg]
The form was then removed and the whole thing covered in a thick layer of Plastic Padding (Bondo), before being sanded back. Rinse and repeat.
[Image: 6.jpg][Image: 7.jpg]
Now, at this point, I installed the rear fender for a test fit, and it was obvious that at full deflection the fender was going to hit the bottom of the seat mount, so it had to come off and get modified. At the same time, I had to modify the back of the GRP seat moulding, but I took the opportunity to use a couple of mastic tubes to form recesses for the springs:
[Image: 10.jpg][Image: 8.jpg]
Once these had been removed and sanded, the seat goes like this:
[Image: 9.jpg]
There's a deal of work still to do at this stage: I needed to fabricate a mounting plate for the license plate, the handlebars were being swapped to a set with more pullback, and I had some cute indicators to modify. I had a slight concern that the only tail/stop light was low down and shielded by the rear wheel from the right, so I bought a set of combined LED orange turn/red running/red brake lights from Ebay. They were Chinese, made of plastic, and utterly horrible, but the lamp part would fit inside these with a bit of modification:
[Image: 41Hlg-xwZPL.jpg]
So far, the bike looked like this:
[Image: 11.jpg]
So my lad decided to help a few days later by swapping out the corroded footpegs. Being blessed with more enthusiasm than experience, when one bolt refused to move, he applied a big breaker bar and sheared it off inside the frame. Nice. Anyway, the damned footpeg mount finally got sorted out after 45 minutes of drilling. I hadn't been able to get the 8mm hole dead centre because of the awkward location, but because the thing was a good 55-60mm deep, and drilled and tapped all the way through, I tapped it from the other side i.e. with the tap starting between the front frame tubes and running in good, undamaged thread. That was a right pain, because the clearance meant no more than a quarter of a turn at a time. Eventually, the tap emerged on the (damaged) outside and I was able to get the chuck of a drill on it and wind it the rest of the way out. Footpegs now all reinstalled. OK, and the new 40" Beach Bars arrived and got bolted on. They're slotted for internal wiring, which would be awesome, but will mean changing the controls, so a project for another day:
[Image: 12.jpg]
Next, I needed to decide on where to mount the rear indicators. The options were a) on the rear fender strut:
[Image: 13.jpg]
or b) on the battery box cover:
[Image: 14.jpg]
Option b) has simpler wiring, as the harness is under the cover already. Personally, I preferred Option a) even tough hiding the wiring would be a pain. OK, so finishing the battery cover took way too much time, P38 and sandpaper, but it was nearly complete. I decided to mount the rear indicators on the fender struts, and then discovered that for reasons best known to themselves, Blue Collar make them different shapes. The one on the right has a nice vertical run, but the one one the left leans over at about 15 degrees.. So the left one got beaten straight, then had a new bend put in at the top to match the one on the right.
New indicators on the front, too:
[Image: 17.jpg]
But mostly the battery cover got its first couple of coats of paint.
[Image: 18.jpg][Image: 15.jpg]
The sidemount plate had a bracket already, but I had to fabricate a curved plate for the license and reflector and a light bracket:
[Image: 19.jpg][Image: 20.jpg]

Now, after all that work, it still didn't look and feel right, so the risers were replaced with a much lower set. While that dropped the bars lower, it also moved them a couple of inches forward, too:
[Image: 21.jpg][Image: 22.jpg]
Finally, the hubs, spokes and brake rotor were blacked out, and custom graphics featuring my initials added to the tank, and a new radiator cover fitted... [Image: 30.jpg]
[Image: 31.jpg]
[Image: 32.jpg]
[Image: 33.jpg]

[Image: bobber.jpg]


RE: Volusia build story. - metricbobber - 08-03-2018

Very Nice! Nice write up on your build!