airhead frame crack -advice?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by rockyuk, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. rockyuk

    rockyuk Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    london , england
    While cleaning up my frame i found these tabs to be cracked . I cant see that these add anything to the stiffness(haa) of the frame, they carry the exhausts, pillion pegs and the end of the pannier frame.
    I dont carry a passenger but do some light touring so i use the panniers.Is it worth the bother of getting these welded?
    I found a similar article on another website and the fellow welded them but he had stripped down to the bare frame,.I only have the swingarm off so i cant move the bike, i dont want to strip it right down so it means calling a mobile welder as i cannot weld.
    I,m going to get a price for welding them first ,they are only about 25mm long.If i don,t weld them are my exhausts and panniers gonna end up on the floor?

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    #1
  2. jackd

    jackd Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
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    3,484
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    North Cowichan
    I found some similar gusset cracking on the rear subframe of my GS when I purchased it. I had them welded and no further problems have arisen. The factory puts them there for a reason - I would suggest that you repair yours as well.
    #2
  3. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
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    believe or not, most airheads do that.
    I believe all it takes is a good wonk on the peg/muffler mounting bracket.
    which actually happens alot.
    I wouldn't stress over getting it welded right away. Of course you should do it eventually, but most airheads running around out there are cracked there, It will be fine for years.
    Robert
    #3
  4. Max Headroom

    Max Headroom lost in the '70s

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I suspect those brackets crack due to the vibration of the mufflers, combined with the length of their overhang. Almost every frame I've seen has cracked there, but as Wirewrkr said, the cracks don't seem to cause any harm even over a long period of time.

    With the bikes I've rebuilt, I've had the cracks welded and then had a small steel plate brazed over the weld to beef up the area. No further problems.

    Photo shows the plate brazed in, before trimming it to shape:

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    May 6, 2009
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    4,649
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA

    I've parted out 6 Airheads in the past couple years. Without fail every one had the same cracks. Tack weld it and watch it crack again , reinforce / weld it if you want to go to the trouble or ignore it and ride onward.
    #5
  6. rockyuk

    rockyuk Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    london , england
    The welders coming to have a look today if hes got time, his rate was quite reasonable .
    #6