Side covers made of Un-obtanium? Build your own!

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by dorkpunch, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,506
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    It helps if you have a pattern to work off of... But lets just say that the side covers for your bike happen to be slightly harder to find than an exhaust pipe for a sideport XL350 that doesnt have rust holes in it! :deal

    I've been tinkering with a '76 XL250. The side covers for the centerports are a fairly rare find, ESPECIALLY in the blue color for the 250. I happen to have a somewhat useable set for a 350 but I'm hoping to someday use them to build actual molds to make re-pros that are much nicer than these. So. Your side covers, if you have them, probably look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Not useable... First order of buisness is to find a suitable material. I am lucky enough to have a couple of sheets of carbon-fibre honeycomb. :evil

    [​IMG]

    Trace the outline on to your material if you have it, otherwise I hope your talented with a pencil! Cut it out with whatever works best. A hacksaw blade works great for the carbon fibre stuff.

    [​IMG]

    I got a little ahead of myself so you can see the beginings of the mounting system.

    Spend some time at the hardware store, but heres what worked for me:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Copius amounts of gorilla glue and water on all the contact points will hopefully keep the tabs rigid. All the hardware was less than $10 and seems to hold the covers pretty tight.

    If you're lucky enough to have a complete sticker and a scanner, and a wife that is a photoshop wiz, you can save yourself $50 and make your own side cover stickers:

    [​IMG]

    Cheap, will probably fade, but hey. It works!

    Again, I was a little ahead of myself, but this cover will get painted again to hide the screws and washers, but it fits pretty good. Sticker is cut out, but not stuck on yet, cause it still needs to be painted!

    [​IMG]

    Fitted up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The edges are pretty raw, still going to have to figure something out for that, but until I find a set of real covers or get around to making my re-pros, this should do the job! I'll post pics when I get both panels completely finished.
    #1
  2. DoubleBit

    DoubleBit Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    305
    Location:
    Applegate, Nor Cal
    I too have one of those blue xl250s, with no side covers to be found..
    Anyway, thanks for the ideas ..
    #2
  3. bikecat

    bikecat Long timer

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    Jan 20, 2006
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    Tropical Far East
    I'm thinking whether it is possible to putty the honeycomb edges and then smooth them sharp edges out.
    #3
  4. LasseNC

    LasseNC XSessive!

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    Jan 27, 2008
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    Denmark, Danimarka, Danmark, Dänemark
    Edges needs to be smoothen.

    To be honest as it is now, I wouldn't buy a repro.
    #4
  5. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

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    Apr 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    North Slope of the Flint Hills
    The make duck tape in colors now.
    #5
  6. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,506
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    Yes, what I meant was these are "temporary". I *hope* to someday use the good sidecovers I have to build molds and actually make exact replicas of the correct sidecovers. I didnt want to paint them blue and risk breaking them in the meantime, so the carbon fibre ones I built are just to hide the battery / wiring for now.
    #6