Thanks for the interest, and the offer of help. Honestly, much of this is already done, I'm simply slow to get around to putting the images and write up online.
So to move forward, we figured we might need to work with a fast and dirty material to start mocking up what the bike was going to look like. I mentioned that we should get our hands on some foam to do this, and Nemo called me the next day to say, "Guess what?" Here's the image he sent me a few minutes later:
Having your shop in no-man's land has it's perks! People come along and drop off some really wierd crap on the side walk. In this case it was a giant block of foam only partially stained by canine urine.
We have never worked with foam together, but I've worked with a number commercial foam cutters that can cut 12x12 blocks. I had no idea how to cut something over this size, but Nemo figured all of that out before I showed up to the shop next. In the image above you can see the big size of the foam cutter, and the image below, you see the small 'hand' size. Nemo fashioned these and wired them up to heat the wire. It doesn't make for the best smell, but it sure was a fun process!
And here we are carving out the underside of the tank. The CX500 has a pretty complex set of coils and hoses popping out under the tunnel and this proved to be a bit of a pain!
We started with an exceptionally big block as we had no idea how much we would carve away or how big would could keep the tank. (that's me, not Nemo).
While we were filling Nemo's shop with off-gases and foam scraps, we found that some members of the team were more focused taking naps rather that working. "Ingot" is Nemo's shop cat, named after the fact that his shop is a former foundry. Some of the found objects that Nemo typically works with can be seen about the table.
Here is how we ended the first day of foam. After going back and forth about what the bike wanted to be, we simply started with the fact that both Nemo and I are 6'3"-ish and the bike would be designed to fit us comfortably. Therefore we started elongating the tank from the stock length and moving the seat back to reflect our long arms and legs. Leg dents at the back of the tank were perfectly sculpted to fit our knees, a very rare thing on any stock japanese bike.
We were fairly happy with the geometries at this point. The way the tank would deflect slightly for the cylinders on either side was a real plus to us. We had also gutted the airbox, battery and all the electrics from the rear loop - underseat area, as we wanted to highlight the nice curve back here. Next we will tackle the true challenge: actually hand forming metal.