Monday, 27 September 2010

The sum total of this week's progress was that I finished making the seat base. That's not to say that I sorted the mounts for it out, just that I made the seat base. In fairness, it is a little more complicated than your average custom built seat base, and it is going to get a little more complicated yet. Since assorted electrical items (mainly the fuses and the battery) are located under the seat, then to my mind they need to be easily accessible. Given that the R65 doesn't have a kick start, and I have a dodgy leg that rather precludes a running bump start, in the event of a flat battery, it would be far less of a disaster if all that was required was a set of jump leads and a slave battery, rather than the use of a complete tool kit to remove sufficient parts of the motorcycle to gain access to the battery. Which is why I've got it in mind to make some sort of latch and catch arrangement to mount the seat. The front of the seat hump has been cut away to provide access to the battery, and the current theory is that the base proper will get some sort of hook arrangement at the front, arranged so that the font of the seat base hooks on, and then the rear is pressed down and a simple spring loaded catch locates that.

While that sounds over the top, I'm fairly sure that the ability to change the light fuse at three in the morning, in the rain, without using any tools, is something that can only truly be appreciated at three in the morning, when it's raining, the lights fuse has just decided to shuffle off this mortal coil and you don't have any tools. In other words, I feel it's not enough for a motorcycle to be nice to look at, it ought to be nice to use too.

As I may have mentioned before, you ought to spend more time riding a motorcycle than you did building it, so it makes sense to invest some more effort in building it if it's going to make using it free of irritations and niggles. Fundamentally the question is, who are you trying to gratify? Passers-by, or yourself?

The result of applying those parameters to designing the seat is that it's quite a complex fabrication, the design and manufacture of the seat hump was less straightforward than it could have been, and the whole thing has taken for ever. That said, it's not uncomfortable to sit on the bare base, which bodes well for the levels of comfort once it's upholstered, and I'm quite pleased with the way it looks so far. I've still got to make the latches and I'll probably have to make the catch too, along with some sort of cable release and a back up for that which is either going to take for ever, or not very long, partially depending on whether or not I can remember what I did with the pack of compression springs I remember having about the place.

I have a tendency to look at the Beemer all week, without doing anything to it, and then have a bit of a flurry on saturday so I have something to write about here. Next weekend though, I'm off to visit my parents so there won't be a saturday in the workshop. Which limits the chances of my actually achieving anything somewhat...

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