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Author Topic: Custom bike project (the Secapocalypse)  (Read 5915 times)
53Bash
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« on: January 29, 2013, 07:27:49 am »

Secapocalyps - from "Seca" and "Apocalypse".

Seca being a motorcycle made by the company founded in 1897 by Torakusu Yamaha, the first examples (of which mine is one) produced in 1981

Apocalypse being a synonym for "revalation", both in the sense of a new vision and mass destruction.

Basically an old sport touring bike with some good and bad styling points from the 1980's that's getting a pretty much ground up re design.  And golly, look its way past my bedtime, so for now I'm just gonna throw up the "project logo", a design that will be lazer-eteched into the bike's polished clutch cover (a nice 6" disk of shiny aluminum).  The celtic gog is my own design from 1998, the asian pheonix with the tuning fork is the original Yamaha corporate logo.  Torakusu Yamaha knew very little about building organs when he started, but he did a lot of diligent research and used the best tools (including the tuning fork) he could get.  I've never built a motorcycle before, but hope to follow his spirit.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 01:19:46 am by 53Bash » Logged

'Hidden Steampunk Name' : Sebastian Danger Wirefields
selectedgrub
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 08:16:43 am »

Yes most definite priority is to select the logo first.
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Drew P
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 12:37:26 pm »

Unfortunately,I cannot see the image.
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Maets
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 03:17:15 pm »

Nice logo.
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53Bash
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 03:40:28 pm »

Yes most definite priority is to select the logo first.

Not sure if sarcasm; given your blog pictures, I'm gonna guess not.  In either case, it wasn't selected first, just posted first.  A lot of fundamental design choices and coincidences of construction led to me deciding it was an appropriate detail to add.

The image is hotlinked from another forum, I'll see if I can get a properly hosted image up.  Can't figure out how / if this forum lets you edit earlier posts, so may have to re post.
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markf
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 05:34:42 pm »

Unfortunately,I cannot see the image.
Neither can I. markf
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US ARMY-WORKING HARDER, NOT SMARTER. Steampunk Smart Car & Office Cubicle, Levitating Mossarium, Dive Pocket Watch; 1915 Wilson Goggles/Swing-Arm Monocular; Boiling Tube Lamp; Pocket Watch/Cell Phone; Air Kraken Augmentotron. http://sites.google.com/site/steampunkretrofuturedesignsmd
53Bash
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 07:37:17 pm »

Image in first post updated to avoid hotlinking issues that affected some users.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 01:23:30 am by 53Bash » Logged
Ponyboy
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 07:42:45 pm »

It shows up just fine in the first post.
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 08:13:51 pm »

Nice logo Smiley

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53Bash
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 06:40:03 am »

So, some details on project ideas / progress.  I figure I'm about 20% done at this point... so LOTS left to do, and ideas may evolve still.  It'll never be 100% done, because once the build is done I can start in fiddling with the engine, polishing things, etc.

I'm still building up my fabrication skills doing the easy stuff- I've never done this before, though I do have a decent range of general fabrication skills, mostly from study of sculpture in art shool (I spent a brief time trying to make a living selling welded scuplture and funiture).  Fortunately the city I live in has a Hacker Space that I joined, which has got a rather amazingly good array of metal fabrication equipment (along with a full woodshop, 3d printer, 30 watt laser cutter, electronics lab, CNC router bed, and other stuff I have no idea how to use).

What I have done is stripped the bike to the frame, mounted a new tank that has space under it for my battery and electronics, and mounted a solo saddle and metal rear cowling / fender unit adapated from the old gas tank.  The rear cowling covered up the old tail section and shock mounts, so I decided to do a monoshock adaptation, which took even more design time (and a lot of math and shopping on ebau fro the right shock - you CAN just slap in any shock that looks good, but if you want it to ride well, you shouldn't).  I'm currently in the middle of that, its going pretty well, and definately helping to push the bike's styling firmly into the realm of "mad invention".  

Which is exactly what I wanted.  For a long time, I've wanted a bike with a Hassock front end, which is pretty wierd in its own right, and the product of a bona fide real life eccentric inventor.  Its a design invented in the 1970's by Normal Hassock; he's still around and his website explains how it works pretty well; its got a LOT of benefits over any conventional fork, and it also adapts well to a range of styles.  In fact, people often mistake them for old school girder forks.  The best known examples of this style of front end are the Britten v1000 race bikes, and the new BMW "doulever" bikes that use his (now expired) patent concepts.

My other inspirations for the bike were classic cafe racers, Mad Max vehicles, various custom builds I've seen online, and a (pretty small) dose of steampunk.

My bike's front end is going to be a lot more like the Britten model, except it will be made from wrought iron instead of carbon fiber.  That's not as crazy as it sounds; by building a heavily triangulated trusswork of metal rod, I can use the same basic shapes as you would in carbon fiber.  To make it even more fun, the metal rod has a hexagonal cross section, and I'll be heating it in the middle of each open span and adding twists to the metal like you see on many items made by blacksmiths.  The rod will be joined using tig brazing, which lays a heavy bead of brass around the joint, much like you see on old "fillet brazed" bicycles.
There's obviously some weight penalty to using a trusswork of steel instead of a carbon fiber moncoque, but this isn't a race bike, its a 540 pound sport touring bike.  My expected weights are actually not far off from what BMW sells.  For aerodynamic purposes, I expect to eventually add a clear plastic vacuum formed fender & shroud setup around the front end, or maybe a transparent dustbin fairing.

Whats fun is, the front end design I've come up with could probably be bolted (or at least welded) onto to almost any motorcycle (certainly any that has twin down tubes) with minimal other alterations.  Once I've got a working model, I may try selling custom adapted versions though Etsy... though probably not, given the liability issues.

I haven't gotten to building that anyhow - like I said, I'm building up my skills, refining the design, buying parts (rose joints, ball joints, bushings, shocks, metal, new bars and controls, full LED head and tail light setup, even some bicycle parts) and tools, figuring out what I need to machine, etc.  But the more I iron those ideas out, the more I lean towards a look that, if not intentionally steampunk, is at least quite retro-tech, only updated with modern power and machining.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 07:01:06 am by 53Bash » Logged
Angus A Fitziron
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 11:45:38 am »

Looking forward to this thread with interest. Googling 'Normal Hassock' gave me lots of hits but none of them involving motorbikes! Norman Hossack worked much better...

 Wink

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53Bash
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 05:00:36 pm »

LOl - yes, in the early stages I often ended up researching padded foot cushions instead of motorcycle suspensions.
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53Bash
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 11:03:32 pm »

Went to my pusher today to get my fix.

By which I mean I went shopping for some metal, since I didn't have any 12 gauge sheet (mostly using tube and rod).

Figured I'd give a shout out to the place I shop; its an industrial tooling and materials shop, and would be a GOLDMINE for any steampunk prop builder.  Not so many gears, but tons and tons (literally) of other stuff like brass hex rod (and other shapes) and threaded parts, woven brass hydraulic lines (!), hinges, springs, assorted machine parts, plus your common every day stock metal.  All at "by the pound" pricing.

http://www.amblesmachinery.com/

Owner is literally a cigar chomping grouch behind the counter, and there's a wrinkled old native american looking guy who will help yah if you need to cut some stock metal, also keeps the wood burning furnace in the back going.  Its pretty much a ready-made setting for a steampunk story where the main character is gearing up.  You seriously could build an awesome suit of steam-power armor just with the stuff he has on hand.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 08:30:24 pm by 53Bash » Logged
Will Howard
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 12:15:53 pm »

Wow!  Amble's sounds like quite the place!.  A little too far from Texas to help me, though...
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Dr. Hax
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 04:19:48 pm »


I see potential for a steampunk street fighter there..... That... that would be fun. Granted with my tastes it look less street fighter and more steampunk cafe racer.
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Dr. Darko Hax
53Bash
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2013, 08:56:55 pm »

I also prefer cafe to street fighter.  My first ever bike was an old gs450 twin with a cafe fairing; pretty much factory cafe.
I'm building this bike on a street fighter site (for a build contest) but am not a big fan of a lot of street fighter cliches (murder-out flat black everything, mask-shape fairings or even actual masks, stubby rear end, tail that points up) and am kind of going in the opposite direction on every one of those. 
The idea to use the old rusted gas tank as a rear cowling was totally cafe racer inspired.  That's how they actually used to make those "bubble tails", before you could just order a fiberglass seat pan kit that had one built on.  The builder would chop the front off an old tank and flip it around, tack it on back of the metal seatpan.  Also gonna be running clubman bars (in the drop position), & reverse levers.  Cafe is a BIG influence, even it the result might not be a canonical cafe bike. 
I'd really love to run some spoked wheels, but the only set I've found that would work with my shaft drive cost $999 (rare item from 1100cc Virago).  I may eventually try picking up some cheap junk yard wheels (the stock ones for my bike sell for under $50 a set) and just cut it down to the hub and machine that so I can mount spokes on it, and lace it up to a rim.  Seems like a lot of work, but avoids any issues with having to muck with getting a non-stock wheel to fit (axle spacers, bearing adapters, relocating the brakes).  I've laced a dozen or so bicycle wheels, would rather enjoy giving a moto wheel a shot.
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Dr. Hax
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Why, yes I'm quite mad... and your point is?


« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 12:40:01 am »

That's awesome man.. awhile ago there was a broken NINJA in our welding room apparently the guy busted the crankshaft or something and was welding it back together *Pulls on collar* the whole bike was stripped apart, but while others saw a hunk of japanese junk (live in a highly rural area in the states... tends to have some issues with how people view foreign stuff.)  I saw a potential to make something quite cool.. Granted mine would look a lot like some crazy gothic steampunk  monstrosity. Brazing the parts together, getting and old style motorcycle seat, making an old chopper style coffin tank. making parts of brazed chain... it would insane absurd and probably be a safety hazard. It's quite interesting how when you look at stuff you can just the see the pieces line up. This is why nobody lets me go to a junk yard, and why I have a draw filled with random odds and ends. But yeah sorry to side track. Keep us posted mate. I would love to see what's going on with this thing... I am so excited.
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53Bash
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 02:35:56 am »

Depending on the year and model, I'd love to work on a Ninja.  However, my bike is a bit closer to the UJM traditional, so pretty easily can go cafe.

Here's what it looked like stock.



Here's what it looked like the day I brought it home (seller helped me mount the new tank).



Here it is with the body styling laid in approximately the right places (rear is a bit of kilter).  Both the tank and rear cowl will be getting stripped to bare metal, sanded, and clear-coated.  Front end won't be going back on.



Here's a WIP shot from a couple weels ago when I was figuring out how to do the monoshock rear conversion.  Haven't taken any more pics because I got sick and didn't do any work for a while, and because I'd rather finish that job than post a mid-mess WIP.  Also need to paint the underside of that seat black, touch up some frame work, etc.
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Dr. Hax
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Why, yes I'm quite mad... and your point is?


« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 08:39:00 pm »




Here it is with the body styling laid in approximately the right places (rear is a bit of kilter).  Both the tank and rear cowl will be getting stripped to bare metal, sanded, and clear-coated.  Front end won't be going back on.




That is going to look sweet. I can't wait to see how this thing turns out.
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Dr. Hax
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Why, yes I'm quite mad... and your point is?


« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2013, 08:49:07 pm »

Went to my pusher today to get my fix.

By which I mean I went shopping for some metal, since I didn't have any 12 gauge sheet (mostly using tube and rod).

Figured I'd give a shout out to the place I shop; its an industrial tooling and materials shop, and would be a GOLDMINE for any steampunk prop builder.  Not so many gears, but tons and tons (literally) of other stuff like brass hex rod (and other shapes) and threaded parts, woven brass hydraulic lines (!), hinges, springs, assorted machine parts, plus your common every day stock metal.  All at "by the pound" pricing.

http://www.amblesmachinery.com/

Owner is literally a cigar chomping grouch behind the counter, and there's a wrinkled old native american looking guy who will help yah if you need to cut some stock metal, also keeps the wood burning furnace in the back going.  Its pretty much a ready-made setting for a steampunk story where the main character is gearing up.  You seriously could build an awesome suit of steam-power armor just with the stuff he has on hand.

By jove! It's in MINNESOTA?! Wonderful! AHAHAH YES!!! VICTORY! * claps hands together* and here I thought Axeman was the only place around where I could get stuff! Wonderful! WONDERFUL!
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Shadow Of The Tower
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2013, 11:52:31 am »

Looking forward to seeing it all put together.
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53Bash
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2013, 07:44:28 pm »

By jove! It's in MINNESOTA?! Wonderful! AHAHAH YES!!! VICTORY! * claps hands together* and here I thought Axeman was the only place around where I could get stuff! Wonderful! WONDERFUL!

AxMan gets all the publicity, but Amble's is the real deal.  Probably not as popular for that exact reason.  It's also rather hard to figure out how to get to- not because its out of the way, but because its near a major intersection, and easy to miss the turns you need to make.  I strongly suggest navigating there via google street view before driving it, to avoid frustration and a possible accident.

Looking forward to seeing it all put together.

God how I wish I could.  Its turning into a real endurance haul, and frustrating that I can't just jump to the end.  Hopefully it will be assembled & running by May 26, the cut off for the contest I'm in (gotta post a video of it running & riding).  May not have all the nice details by then (money concerns, mostly) - will probably just slap the stock controls back on, no lights (doesn't need to be street legal) etc.  At that point I'd get to tear it apart again and rebuild the engine, rework the electronics and controls, and do all the other little things needed to turn it into a polished and dependable daily rider.
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53Bash
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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2013, 04:06:17 pm »

Did some "ghetto cad" work to figure out the metal shapes I need to do a quasi-moncoque form on my rear swringarm.  It needs stiffening because I'll only have one (very strong) shock, mounted on one side, instead of the two the bike was built with.






Cut the patterns with a metal bandsaw.  Pieces fit well and the welds are coming along nicely.



The end result of the rear swingarm and suspension mod will position the shock much as seen on this bike although the similarities pretty much end there.
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2013, 04:50:18 pm »

A friend of mine uses cardboard to work out every thing when building bikes.

I walked into his garage once and there was a cardboard petrol tank sat on his bike.

All cut up, welded and painted it looked the dogs doodahs!

Watching this with interest.

~SeVeN~
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steamcowboy92
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2013, 12:29:13 am »

Currently in the middle of Rebuilding a 1980 Honda Goldwing 1100 and a 1994 Yamaha Virago 535 so this is a rather interesting post. I look forward to more updates.
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