Saturday, 14 August 2010

After falling from grace, and not achieving anything last week, I thought I ought to make an effort to do something concrete this week. The obvious candidate for a slapping was the nefarious seat hump, now that I've got the fuel tank located, and made some provision for supporting the seat base at the correct height.

I briefly touched on my idea that the actual metal shaping isn't the hard part of this, and that the real skill lies in conceiving the shape, in a previous post. I also mentioned that I wanted the seat hump to look like it belonged with the rest of the motorcycle.

Given that the motorcycle is German in origin, and that the Germans aren't renowned for their automotive styling, that seemed to offer a clue as to why I felt that the last attempt at a seat hump didn't float my boat. In short, it lacked Teutonicness.

This is what the first effort looked like. On the whole, not offensive, or even particularly unpleasant I feel, but it doesn't seem to belong to the rest of the motorcycle.

It's a bit much to expect to come up with, and then craft, a shape which sat on a shelf on its own would prompt an interested observer to remark that it looked like it belonged on a BMW, but after a while I came to feel that in this case, the observer would be more likely to say something along the lines of "No, what's it for really?" if they were told it was for BMW.

Rather than just remake the hump, I also folded up a new seat base from some 16 gauge steel as getting the tank positioned and the seat height sorted meant that I would have needed to change the shape of the lower edge on the old one, and it was less trouble to make a new one than it was to weld a couple of pieces onto the old one.

Basically, throw it all away, and start again. Not something I like doing, but needs must when the Devil drives. I kept the original steel template I'd made and clamped it back in place for another look. It's shape had been based on the rear of the R80 tank as some sort of start point. The basic premise behind the template was that if it echoed the tank, then it ought to look like it belonged on the motorcycle.

Slightly simplistic you would have thought. What I ended up doing was simplifying it even further by squaring off the back corner of the template so that the lower edge of the hump didn't curve under. Slightly to my amazement, this seems to have worked.With the shaped pieces just tacked together and sprayed black so the hump didn't contrast with the tank, it all looked quite a lot like it might have actually been made by BMW. I left about 3/8" of "spare" along the lower edge so I could fold it back on itself and not leave a raw edge, so the finished result should be a little shallower than the picture shows.

Finally, I'd like to apologise for what I can only describe as the unmitigated asshattery of typing this post and then, for some reason lost in the mists of last week, saving it as opposed to publishing it. Bugger.

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