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Build It (pt 3)


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After going to the Airman's Rest Custom Show, the Rock & Blues Custom Show and the Bulldog Bash in 2000, I figured that my bike could do with a bit more than the standard 'bolt on goodies'. 

I took a long look at my rear fender and rear brake pedal and knew they really ought to be changed to flow with the bike. The rear fender needed extending downward by about 3 inches and the square brake pedal should be replaced to match the round, ball milled gear shift lever.

Having been to the Airman's Rest earlier in the year, I sought the help of one, Mr. Phil Piper of Phil's Chopper Shack (Phil is well respected on the custom scene in the UK). I described what I wanted, Phil made some recommendations about what would and wouldn't work and the bike was booked in to his workshop in the middle of October 2000. Thus begins a long saga of the rear fender...you see, some things just aren't that easy.

(Oh, by the way, when I left the bike at his workshop, I looked up at the sky and said " I don't care what you do now. You can rain all you like until I get my bike back on the road". So now you know who to blame.)

Extended Fender, Polished disc, New Turn SignalsThe Japanese motorcycle manufacturers aren't known for using a lot of metal in their bikes. But the rear fender has to be the thinnest known to man! We had two rear fenders to make a single extended fender. The cutting and shaping wasn't that hard but the welding had to be taken to a specialist that Phil knew.

This fender was soon to be called "That accursed mudguard!!" , and all who knew it were afraid...With hindsight, anyone who wants an extended mudguard should consider having a new one rolled from decent gauge sheet steel instead of re-using old material.

Once the welding was completed, new indicators from the Custom Chrome range were fitted - again a seemingly impossible job if we wanted the lines to look right. The dual filament bulbs were replaced in favour of Hyperbright White LED's (nine each side), basically because they're a lot brighter and much more reliable. These weren't cheap but well worth the toil. I'd swear you can see them for at least a mile.

The fuel tank needed to be longer, and so, Baron Custom's 3 inch extensions were fitted, again by that great welder that Phil knows. If you're going to do this, always remember to have the tank pressure tested before painting - leaking petrol can have serious consequences on your paintwork!

Once the sheet metal had been prepared, it was off to a fabulous chap called John Cooper, who sand blasted, moulded, nurtured and generally made good all the parts. The tank was sealed internally to stop any corrosion (again the Japanese don't do this!) and stonechip guard was applied to the inside of the fenders.

New Brake Pedal, Cylinder Cover and Billet ReservoirPhil machined a lovely brake pedal to match the Yamaha single arm gear shifter that I'd bought. (Nice to have an 'easy' job for once eh?). I also fitted Baron's New Billet Rear Reservoir and Yamaha's Rear Brake Cylinder Cover. The Pro One Chrome Oil Filter cover can be seen too.

The left side front engine cover was sent out for chroming with the brake pedal and the bike was back in my garage for Xmas. Whoopee!!!!

Now for the seat..



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Last modified: January 31, 2012