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Old 07-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #91
I Am Murphy OP
Vagabond Sportster
 
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Taneytown, MD
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Belt to Chain

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With the wiring back in service I turned my focus to the chain. I had been hanging onto my belt to chain kit for a while at this point, so I was excited to finally get it out of my car and onto my bike. I enlisted the help of Earl Luhn of T-Bone & Earl's Cycle Shop in Taneytown; after our recent move, my bike is in a parking lot instead of a garage, and though I have many of my tools here, there are some jobs I don't exactly have the place or time for.
 photo 5D8F815F-1DE3-4C84-9069-31B370FF6039-5618-000006E1CD8F2872_zps3dd1e1a6.jpg
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:25 PM   #92
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A lot of the OEM 883C parts sold quickly, but the original Sportster seat was worth almost nothin', and wasn't catching the interest of any buyers, regardless of price. So it dawned on me finally that I could take this seat of no interest and rip it up to make something smaller that would perhaps open up some fender space. Anyway, the idea at the cusp of this was that, the seat's of no value to me anyway, so if my upholstering skills turn out to be crap, I've learned an expensive lesson cheaply.
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So I yanked out the staples holding down the fabric over the passenger portion… photo 6B5B63E2-9B95-4082-AEEB-DB2F6938A448-5618-000006E1F9921341_zps6545ecb2.jpg
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…and used the reciprocating saw to rip the plastic seat pan in half.
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I hacked up the foam cushion with a utility blade and bent the original mounting bracket with a hammer.
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Thus far, I stopped after I folded the original fabric back and stapled it down. I am still hoping to re-upholster the whole thing and reincorporate the original "Sportster" stitching from the old seat…but it looks cool, and seems to be at a nice intermediary point for the time being.
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I Am Murphy screwed with this post 08-26-2013 at 03:06 PM
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:45 PM   #93
WhicheverAnyWayCan
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Not a bad idea wrapping wires with heat wrap.. The fairing, is it something you can strap on to the fork tube? I think I read that this fairing from Canada company is what you can use to strap on to fork tube? And can you please take pic of the front of your sportster?

I am just getting ready to powder coat my parts and rims but unfortunately it has been raining non-stop for past 3 weeks here in NC, which is not normal. Waiting for next window of opportunity to open up before I can do that. I'm powder coating metals outside using old swing frame with steel rod sitting on hooks so that's why..
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:36 AM   #94
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhicheverAnyWayCan View Post
Not a bad idea wrapping wires with heat wrap.. The fairing, is it something you can strap on to the fork tube? I think I read that this fairing from Canada company is what you can use to strap on to fork tube? And can you please take pic of the front of your sportster?

I am just getting ready to powder coat my parts and rims but unfortunately it has been raining non-stop for past 3 weeks here in NC, which is not normal. Waiting for next window of opportunity to open up before I can do that. I'm powder coating metals outside using old swing frame with steel rod sitting on hooks so that's why..
The installation of the fairing was slightly more complicated than just strapping on; it required some minor drilling/tapping, and I used zip ties to overcome a mounting issue at the very end, but all in all I think it was the easiest plug and play fairing you'll find - plus the guy who makes them and ships them is available by phone and is very helpful and friendly. I think his name is Ian.
...as for photos, there is an index on the first page if this blog, there you can see the exact page on which I laid out most of the installation, and I think I have a picture of the front end on maybe page 4.
Thanks for checking it out! How'd the powder coating go, or have you gotten to it yet?
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:13 PM   #95
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My dad and I rode out to Johnson City, TN a couple weeks ago for our annual ride. Being in the saddle for so many hours a day was a great opportunity to figure out what improvements could be made to increase my comfort for longer treks.

I came up with seven changes I wanted to make. The first was the addition of highway pegs, and the second was to soften them so I could lay my ankles out on long stretches of highway. I picked up a pool noodle for a few dollars, cut them to fit the length of the highway pegs, painted the ends black and wrapped them in duct tape. This was a simple solution that really seems to have added a new element of comfort. I was too excited to see this idea come to life to remember to take process photos, but the idea is clear.

Next I wanted to take care of my sweet custom pipes. It's been several months since I put them on, and they were really starting to rust around all the rough welds. Since I have no intention of getting off the bike for a little rain, and I don't want to watch them rot out from underneath me, I knew it was time to take care of this.

I started with a wire brush and cleaned up the headers. Once it was good I painted with high temp paint and set them aside until I could get to the rest.


Working my way back to the muffler union, I taped off the I.D. plate and finished the paint work.



Once the paint was cured, it was down to the wrap. I used to have this stuff on my straight pipes, and I really liked the way that an evenly maintained exhaust temp affected my throttle response. I've been wanting to set aside the time to do this for a while, and it came out as nicely as I had envisioned.







Here are the pool noodle ankle pads on the highway pegs. The black and silver duct tapes kind of help it to look like it belongs, and I'm hoping they will also serve to protect the foam when I smash my grubby soles into it.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:22 PM   #96
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Something else that became painfully evident was how much my newly made solo seat sucked. I started by de-stapling the upholstery and yoinking the Sportster embroidery.



That done, I borrowed my parents' electric carving knife to cut through a memory foam pillow. I began by cutting it in half.



Smashing the pan down into the foam, I marked around the edge with a Sharpie and cut out the shape.



I cut out the same shape twice, but leveled off one piece to make a base.



I used the left over material from when I made the water resistant leather pants to upholster the base in place, and then upholstered over the second layer.





I left the back open for drainage; I'm still not sure this was a good idea, but I guess time will tell.
Next I sewed down the flap.



Never having made anything of this sort before, I took a page out of the book of boot making, and used strips of leather to make a Goodyear Welt around the base. The strips are stapled to the underside of the pan, and the outer leather will be sewn to the strips. My hope is that this will keep the outer upholstery from coming out wrinkly.




I rounded the corners on the top the sportster logo and sewed it to what will be the back of the seat.





I used a pencil to mark the interior upholstery with a few ideas for the initial outer covering, and a Sharpie to line out the final designs. It was only after much head scratching that I figured out a way to cut my next pieces with minimal waste - masking tape! I filled the area I wanted to make a piece for with tape, layered it over a couple times, and traced my sewing edge onto the tape with a marker.



The tape peeled right off when I was done. I attached it to the piece I wanted to use and cut along the lines. Now time to see how well it sews up.



…and it looks like I've got a working model now.



So I repeated the process for the front end









With the basics out of the way, I decided to take a hiatus to decide how I want to cover the rest and come up with a design plan. I'm thinking either a leather mosaic or stacked leather image. Most likely I'll try to incorporate an war bird and an 8, since the bike's proper name is Hawk 8.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:44 AM   #97
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I threw together a few design ideas in Illustrator to try to help me decide with a side by side comparison.

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Old 08-24-2013, 12:01 PM   #98
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...Down to the final two.


I used the same tape and mark model as before to lay out a sheet that will cover the remaining area. My plan is to draw the final design onto the sheet, then I can cut out small pieces of leather to fill the shapes. Once all the pieces required for the image are cut, I plan to glue them onto the sheet, and then sew them to the sheet, and then to one another. With the design in place I will use the same technique to cover the rest of the cloth in leather, and then sew the resulting product onto the seat.

I used the marked tape to cut out my cloth, marked the slightly imperfect shape for center, and checked the crosspoint with respect to the seat. All seems well, so now I just need to make a decision and get going.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:13 PM   #99
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I've been watching this show for over a year and a half. Keep it up and thanks.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:20 PM   #100
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Finally done with the design work, I changed the head and feet of the bird on the right, and brought the 8 down inside the wings to get a little closer to what I was envisioning. It'll look a lot different once it's all Frankensteined together out of scrap leather, but this is going to be the base image.



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Old 08-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #101
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As I began digging through my leather pile to gather material, I started realizing that I was going to be scrapping the background together with pieces. My stitching is very rough, but I am expecting it to come together nicely; I'm trying to avoid the full Frankenstein look though. To avoid Buffalo Bobbing the background, I decided to use a sun pattern to give the many pieces a purpose. They'll be the last to go in, but if I wait for the rest of the design to be in place my marked center point will be gone. So I laid it out with the Sharpie on the pattern. Now once the bird is down I can just sew in pieces wrt the guides...fool proof!

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Old 08-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #102
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Between my lunch break and the wait for my first day back to school to begin, I had some free time on my hands today. I was happy to see the base patch come to fruition, although after having to draw the whole thing with a Sharpie I can safely say this is going to be a real hassle to make out of leather. It'll be worth it though, and my hope is only to have it done before 2014…faster if at all possible.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:15 AM   #103
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...I got one piece cut out, and it took my whole lunch break to do it. I think 'll need a better method if I'm going to finish before Christmas.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #104
Ditch
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Just curious why you don't tool out your design on a single piece of leather?

Enjoy watching your progress, keep at it!
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #105
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I've sewn a few of the pieces to the cloth piece, it's starting to take shape. As it looks right now, I'm not too crazy about it...but the only way to know how it will really look is to finish it.
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