The purpose of this thread is to pass on some techniques accumulated over the years on building real parts out of composites. In this case, motorcycle parts. Our friendly inmate HickOnACrick provided a good overview of composites in general. Let's take a look of how to apply some of that knowledge. Disclaimer 1 - About me - First, I do not claim to be a composites genius. So don't get upset if I say something that may conflict with your views. I do claim to be a retired aerospace engineer & program manages spen=ding the last 21 years in the composites industry building struture for rockets, F35s, commercial aircraft n the like.. Sadly, only small segments of that world translate well to our world. The aerospace materials, processes & equipment are not available to us. Luckily, we don't really need them. Disclaimer 2 - I am a vendor. I make these parts & sell them via Globetrottin.com. If that offends you, don't read this. The project I will walk you through how I build many composite motorcycle parts using one of the latest - a bash (skid) plate for a new KTM 500 EXC. 1. How do I start? I start with a problem. The problem in this case is... How do I provide protection for the engine case on the bike? 2. Requirements This leads me to what are the requirements. Many bash plates are made for bike but most only cover the bottom of the engine. I live in Utah where we have many rocks that like to reach out & bash a hole in your rotor or clutch cover. So I like to make the bash plate cover this area as well as the bottom. We also have many sticks & brush out here so i like to keep the holes in the bash plate to a minimum. I don't believe I need a oil plug access hole so that's out. I will attempt to put a shrouded hole in any large panel area to facilitate air flow. 3. Vision So what is the part going to look like? Hard to say at this point. Lets go to the bike. I am a hands on guy. I like to use the CAD system in conjunction with the bike to develop a product. They go together as far as I am concerned. 4. The process Since I plan to make more than 1 part & I want a commercial quality part, I will build a mold. This will be a female mold so that I get a smooth (tooled) surface on the outside mold line (OML). To build the female mold I will build a male part (plug) that exactly looks like the part I want in the end. I will finish the plug smooth with the proper surface, wax it & layup the mold. The plug with then be removed, the mold cleaned & waxed & prototype part made. This part will be fit checked on the bike, measured & inspected to verify if this part will meet the requirements. If all is good, it's off to production we go. If not, changes are made. 5. Plug fab Many materials can be used to fab the plug. For this type of part (& many other MC parts) I like to used .25 in thick ply wood. Why plywood? Because it can be easily cut, shaped and bonded together. Let's get started. Here is the starting of the plug on the bike as seen from the LH side... How did I get here? I started with the bottom surface. I cut a piece of plywood approx the size of the bottom I pushed it up against the frame with a small floor jack. I then added the front lower panel. I like to use Bondo to glue the pieces together. I keep a piece of glass on the table for mixing. I scrape off the semi cured Bondo with a scraper blade ... Let's take a break for a minute.