2011 April 06 to May 21 ~ Kawasaki Custom Gallery Three ~ 100 pix, Hi Gabe!
This Gallery shows the latest pix First (Begin at Bottom to see progress) ~ Click Pix to Enlarge ~ Best on Wide Screen ~ Press F11 ~ Hold mouse over pix for title.
The information here is for anyone that is trying to build what is widely known as a "Back Yard Custom". You not only get to make absolutely everything from junk you also get to make all the tools too and in this case even the hardware. This is presented as a bit of a catastrophe just for the sake of interest and in no way means I wasn’t having total fun chopping this Kawasaki 550 LTD. At This Week at Grampa’s we always have time to stop and take a picture of a dazzling Moon rise or my cats or somebody’s dog, never a dull moment here. Next Spring we will finish this project with custom paint and a lightshow gastank.
2011 May 11 to 13 ~ Making Honeycomb Tail Light Mold to Cast Ceramic Bezels
The main ’Motif’ for this custom is Honeycomb pattern and I wanted to try it out right away on the tail lights so all the other things that follow could match. Normal people would probably have customized the bike first and then made the tail lights but it was still cold out and I wanted something to do in the house. Naturally everything wound up needing at least two try’s and the light bezels were no exception. You will notice that they were all put together and had to be cut up and reassembled. Also the popsicle sticks indicated that they were still crooked at that point. Remember the sequence of pix is reversed. (earliest at bottom)
2011 April 09 to May 06 ~ Learning to Weld, all Over Again
Chopping forks is lots of fun. You get to take a perfectly good motorcycle and hacksaw it into three pieces.. Then you get to figure out how the heck you are going to weld it back together? Don’t laugh but I had to try this a couple of times too. You will notice the picture with a long rod stuck through the head of the bike, well that’s how a camera was used to check the alignment. the first time the head was welded on it went on crooked and had to be cut off again. The second time there was so much heat involved that it slightly elongated the bearing cups and they had to be recut.
2011 April 06 to 09 ~ Let the Custom Begin!
The first pictures appear to be repeated many times but at the point that they were taken I was trying to get some idea of the new profile and fork angle by using a dowel to simulate a 45 degree fork. In the end the rear fork or swingarm was extended three inches and the front axle moved ahead about 6 inches giving a total overall wheelbase increase of 9 inches. But we all know that cutting it all up is the easy part.
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