Having cut the frame apart, it's time to put it back together. I'm spacing it out 2". Actually, it's 50mm. I'm driving Rick nuts because he thinks in inches and I keep talking to him in metric.
To review, supposed advantages are:
Lower center of gravity.
Better swingarm pivot geometry and chain slack.
Better footpeg-exhaust-frame-skidplate relationship.
Easier R+R of the motor.
First thing is to make a bunch of spacers and sleeves. The sleeves go inside the spacers and frame tubes. These make both the alignment and welding much easier.
I started with some test welds. This is the first time I've used this TIG welder, and it's been a long time since I've used one at all. Fortunately the setup seems to work fairly well and there's a lot of range between getting full penetration and burning through.
The TIG setup is pretty basic. The argon goes to the torch, and the stick welder clamps on to the same adapter that the argon goes to. There's a valve on the torch for the argon, and the power is always on. There's no auto start, so it has to be scratched like a stick electrode to strike an arc.
I'm only extending the four main tubes, the rear tubes for the shock mounts are probably going to be completely replaced. The sleeves are tack welded in place. The front tubes have the sleeves in the frame, the rear have the sleeves in the spacers. This is due to the different diameters of the tubing. There are four different sizes involved here.
I assume the rust around the weld means I should be using a bigger cup on the torch?
Rick came up with a great way to get the alignment right.
With this much progress, it was time for another mockup and pose.