'66 Desert Sled (Better Late Than Never)

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by earwig, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

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    Prescott, Arizona USA Earth
    I was going to suggest a coal shovel (very period correct) but I can see you're way ahead of me. Great project... I'm jealous.
    #61
  2. earwig

    earwig Crowbar of Embrayage

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    The easy thing would be to rivet the cover onto the seat pan, as is most common today, but Bates always used specific trim screws with the little matching trim washers. I'm not trying to fool anybody into believing this is a completely original Bates seat, but I'd like it to be as much in the original spirit as reasonably possible. With this in mind, I found some similar screws and washers. Not an exact match, but close enough for my purposes and recreating the feel, if not the exact dimensions of the original.

    I added some zip ties to the original holes to stretch the cover tight and get it looking right:

    [​IMG]


    After multiple tries I decided to omit the smoothing foam. It just looked too bloated and a little too smooth. I want it to look real, and allowing it to buckle and wrinkle just a bit ended up looking better to me. Having seen a few over restored Bates seats, I just felt it was important to avoid that over stuffed look.

    Even though I drilled first, the screws didn't want to cooperate:

    [​IMG]


    After breaking several trim screws I changed my strategy and went with some self tappers. This compromised the look further, but the trim screws were just not going to work. :bluduh

    I knew it was a possibility when I started and, sure enough, the dried up original holes started to tear out. I had no choice but to choke up on the cover a bit and make another small compromise:

    [​IMG]


    I worked my way around, constantly rechecking and adjusting the cover . . . :

    [​IMG]


    . . . tucking and folding the edges to make it around the curves . . . :

    [​IMG]


    . . . and finally trimming the excess dried out edges away:

    [​IMG]


    So, the final job isn't perfect and I succumbed to a few compromises for the state of the leather, but I'm still happy with the result:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The patina of the leather looks great and it has the short, minimal look that distinguishes Bates seats. Maybe not exactly what I'd hoped for, but it still looks pretty good on the bike:

    [​IMG]
    #62
  3. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

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    Very cool, I like it. Is that leather as dry as it looks?
    #63
  4. earwig

    earwig Crowbar of Embrayage

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    Except for the edges I removed, the leather is really quite soft and pliable. It doesn't feel at all crunchy or likely to crack soon. I guess I'd have to answer that it isn't as dry as it looks.

    I treated the leather, which seems to have helped a lot. I've ridden it quite a bit and there doesn't seem to be any imminent danger.
    #64
  5. TXspeedDemon

    TXspeedDemon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    I LOVE IT :clap:clap:rofl

    i think any of us that own a few bikes have that one.. the loved bike that for some reason keeps getting put back. brings a tear to my eye:cry

    mine was a little ke100 that im finally giving the attention the poor little thing deserves.


    but i love scramblers and anything made to actually ride and ride hard.

    you doing anything to the suspension?

    and how the hell do you modify a shovel into a skid plate :lol3
    i actually want to know for personal use :deal
    #65
  6. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    ...careful, you'lll burn your legs on those pipes...
    #66
  7. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    beautiful.

    more pics please.
    #67
  8. Ron Bullard

    Ron Bullard Been here awhile

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    Apr 9, 2008
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Bitchin'. :D Here's a few pics of my old SL350 when I picked it up - definitely an old trail machine.

    [​IMG]

    Note the skid plate....

    [​IMG]
    #68
  9. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    Location:
    East La Jolla... it's just Clairemont!!
    Too bad you will lose points for using a NEW shovel!

    Seat looks great.
    #69
  10. TXspeedDemon

    TXspeedDemon Adventurer

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    maybe the man just keeps his shovel in good shape. you don't know don't judge.


    :lol3
    #70
  11. earwig

    earwig Crowbar of Embrayage

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    You're right. New shovel sucks, but she's a work in progress and I'm still looking for an old shovel.
    #71
  12. CraigB

    CraigB bOOb

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    Jun 25, 2009
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    88
    That bike is so cool! The story makes total sense, i have a bike that sits unloved while other bikes come and go, pretty sure its going to be a while to finish the last 10%
    #72
  13. earwig

    earwig Crowbar of Embrayage

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    Summer has been busy and Trudy has gotten very little attention. :cry

    BUT, as WetFest approached I stole a few moments to address some issues . . .

    Even though I've always known the reputation of alloy mudguards, I resisted installing a brace for the rear mudguard just because I liked the look of it bare. This weekend, as I worked feverishly on my clutch, oil leak and carburetor problems, the mudguard finally gave way to the vibration:

    [​IMG]


    No one to blame but myself. I knew better, but I guess I was living in denial. :baldy Anyway, it's no great loss, because this one had been cut short to accommodate the old oil tank and has an ugly straight cut along the rear edge. I've been looking for a replacement for a while, but alloy is difficult to find and quite expensive. The problem is that with the crack already 1/4 of the way through, it is not long for this world and I don't want to find out what happens when it cracks off while I'm riding and swings into the rear tire on the taillight wires! Plus, my cool '66 plate will get lost or mangled.

    As the list of issues grew, and with so little time left, I was getting discouraged and ready to throw in the towel. But, with phone conversations and encouragement from Road Rash and Mr. Fisherman, I was able to get the sand out and get back to work.

    First thing I'll need is a rear mudguard support. I've had this one hanging around, but it's got the grab bar from the later models:

    [​IMG]


    I called some local sources, but can't find anything fast. There are a few on eBay, but they are too expensive and too far away to be ready for WetFest. I hate to hack away at a perfectly good part, but it seems the most logical choice for my timeframe.

    A few minutes with the portaband and the hacksaw gets me this:

    [​IMG]


    A few more with a bench grinder, flat file and some sandpaper and it's ready for paint:

    [​IMG]


    Now remember: Trudy isn't a show bike. Quick and dirty fits her style best, so this isn't gonna be pretty, but it's gonna do the job.

    Next I need to affect the same style of repair to the mudguard. It's not gonna last forever, but it will get her through WetFest and beyond . . . hopefully.

    I drilled at the end of the crack in an effort to stop it's progress, then went for the obvious farm bodge . . . splint with a strap of aluminum and a few pop rivets:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    She also got a bodged alternator grommet in the form a truncated wellnut that seems to be holding back the oil splash from the primary case. The correct part is on order to arrive after WetFest, of course.

    Her clutch problem seems to have been the fact that her clutch adjuster screw has majorly messed up threads. In my attempt to adjust the clutch, I interpreted the adjuster screw stopping as it putting pressure on the clutch rod, when in fact it was just stopping on the f'ed up threads. Removing the adjuster screw and cleaning up the threads yields a much different adjustment point . . . and makes it possible to shift into first without grinding gears. :clap I'll call it a tentative victory for now. New adjuster screw on order . . .

    Here are a few details of the reassembled bodge job:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I still liked the simplicity of the unsupported mudguard, but I'll have to live with this:

    [​IMG]


    Now, if RR still has room on his trailer, maybe she'll be at WetFest after all.
    #73
  14. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

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    Trailer! TRAILER! Bend isn't that far!

    (Just kidding, it looks great!)
    #74
  15. earwig

    earwig Crowbar of Embrayage

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    :lol3

    You're right. Unfortunately she's still got enough teething issues that I can't rely on her for that long of a ride. Plus, I'm riding my Tiger out to the event. The Tiger has much more luggage (whisky) capacity.



    Actually, my buddy wants us to ride old Triumphs down to Baja next year. If she gets sufficiently sorted it would be a great little adventure! We'll see . . .
    #75
  16. BubbaJim

    BubbaJim Adventurer

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    Aug 28, 2010
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    Location:
    Birr, Ireland.
    Hey earwig, you are doin' a great job with your sled! The belt and braces way that you do your fixes and repairs is very refreshing in these days of over restored (ie. unused) machines. Keep goin' the way you're goin' with her! :thumb
    #76
  17. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    ...coming along nicely!

    Now all you gotta do is find some desert. :D
    #77
  18. dagwood

    dagwood Banned

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    :thumb
    #78
  19. earwig

    earwig Crowbar of Embrayage

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    Did I say Desert Sled?


    I meant Tavern Sled! :1drink
    #79
  20. .fisher

    .fisher pissin' in the wind

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    150
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    Columbus OH
    Exactly my thoughts after seeing the rivet fix on the rear fender. Bike looks loved and I think that's great, keep it up! :evil
    #80