Yet Another 950 Adv Skidplate Option-Make It Yourself!

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by AdvRonski, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

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    Finally made it to Fruita!
    It's not that any of the available skidplates aren't great products, but I like having something a little different, hand-crafted and all that. I mean, it's the middle of a cold and snowy Winter, I have a pile of aluminum, a TIG welder, and apparently not enough common sense to know better. Eventually, I learned WHY these things cost as much as they do, but first-On To The Build!
    I started by looking at all the pictures I could find of all the different skidplates currently available.
    Then, it was time to make a scale model-

    [​IMG]

    Eh. Pretty bland.
    I tried adding a second bend at the front edge of the bottom of the skidplate-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Much better. I liked that the leading edge-that was most likely to encounter large, immoveable objects, has a less-severe angle of attack. It seems it would be more likely to lever the considerable heft of the Mighty 950 up-and-over said object, rather than deform the body of the skidplate.
    Or, maybe I just like the way it looks better.
    The next step, make a full-scale pattern, then fit it to the bike-

    [​IMG]

    Normally, I use the nice single-ply cardboard from my many 12-packs of Vault I have laying about, but they just weren't big enough, so i had to go with the corrugated variety-

    [​IMG]

    After a lot of trimming and taping, I began to find a shape that I liked. I found the right side needed a quite different shape-

    [​IMG]

    -than the left, as they have completely different components to cover-


    [​IMG]


    Well, it looks OK so far-

    [​IMG]

    I used the pattern to cut a mock skidplate from more cardboard-

    [​IMG]

    All right, it's go time- let's make some aluminum chips!
    I selected 5052 alloy, in .190 thickness, which is usually called 5mm, but is actually about 4.8mm-

    [​IMG]

    Now, there is a new entry into the 950 skidplate arena that can be found in the Vendor section, made by and inmate known as weld86. He went with a full 1/4" thickness, and god only knows how many tons of force that stuff takes to bend. But it looks awesome! I would probably go with that one if I was even a little smarter. Oh well.
    Next step sounds fairly easy, but it was a huge PITA!
    Step 14aa- Cut it out.
    You see, I have an cheap old drill press, an even cheaper and older bandsaw, and the welder, and that's about it. There's no way I could make all of the cuts on the bandsaw, it just doesn't have the throat clearance to make cuts that deep on such a huge sheet.
    Well, it turns out you can get a Skil saw blade that cuts metal-

    [​IMG]

    GREAT! And we're cutting, and cutting, and cutting. And I learned a couple of things.

    1-Perhaps the reason most guys don't build skidplates with so many angles, is all the extra work those angles bring.

    B-Cutting aluminum with a Skil saw is much like cutting particle board- there are chunks of metal EVERYWHERE when you're done.

    But, I had my skidplate in it's raw form-

    [​IMG]

    Now, all those finicky little angles would REALLY start to piss me off, as i try and figure out how I'm going to bend 5mm-thick aluminum in my garage.
    #1
  2. nevermind

    nevermind Slower, then Molasses

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    I read up to here and I thought, good show! I closed the thread and immediately wondered how much snow was outside keeping you locked up and making you do crazy things. I came back and found out yer from Minnysoda and said uh-huh to myself. Party on, Wayne! :freaky
    #2
  3. Yascher

    Yascher Been here awhile

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    Did you heat up the metal before making bends....it leaves less stress
    #3
  4. cjracer

    cjracer AWD please!!

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    It's funny when you hear that, most riders always complain about how much stuff costs, until they actually try it for themselves.

    Great job Ron.

    Always nice to see riders give it a go and make custom stuff for themselves. Plus you learn something in the process.

    Hope we can meet up this summer so I can check out your handy work.

    In the mean time. BE SAFE and STAY WARM! :freaky
    #4
  5. trc

    trc Tim Robel Concepts

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    Get a 6" cutting wheel for your 4 1/2 angle grinder and make a cut about half way through,then bend it. When its all together weld up the cut seams!:clap What material are you using? 5052, 6061 or 7075.
    #5
  6. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

    Joined:
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    Finally made it to Fruita!
    Thanks, Craig! Of course, I really do enjoy making stuff, but I still can't imagine cutting apart my 950, and stuffing a Christini AWD system into it.
    Man, talk about raising the bar!

    So, I have my skidplate cut out, but I know I can't possibly make all the bends necessary at a full 5mm of thickness, so I set the Skil saw to make a cut of about 2.5mm in depth. Then, I cut along all my bends on the inside.
    So-

    [​IMG]

    And so-[​IMG]

    Now, I can actually bend this beefy material with hand tools-

    [​IMG]

    Even with this technique, I still needed to use a large hydraulic press to make the longest bends, along the bottom and sides.
    Amazingly, though, before long I had the shape I was after.
    Time to tack it together-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The front mounting bar was made from 1/4" stock, and welded in place, then fit was checked, and the rear mounts fabbed from 3/8" stock, thinned to 1/4" at the ends where the bushings fit.
    After triple-checking the location, the rear mounts get tacked in place-

    [​IMG]

    then welded in place-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Progress check. Hmmmmmmmm, not bad-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next part is one of the key reasons I wanted a skidplate upgrade. The 950 clutch cover sticks out way too far compared to, well, almost anything else, and I want some decent protection from flying debris, and the previously mentioned immovable objects.
    First, we use the high-tech flat-stock bending apparatus.
    Like so-

    [​IMG]

    Then, check the fit-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Let's tack it in-

    [​IMG]

    Now, it's weld, baby, weld! All those cuts and bends get welded on the inside, and the main cuts on each side get welded outside, as well.
    Eventually, I staggered away from the garage, pleased with how the project looked-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now, after all the sweat and blood, I have a decent skidplate and a garage that is knee-deep in aluminum chips. That can only mean one thing-
    It's TIME TO DRILL SOME HOLES!

    Even though I live in Minnesota,(for now), I was lucky enough to race in the Baja 500 a few years ago, and I fell in love with the Baja-look in skidplates. Lots of big holes!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, well, it's gets pretty hot here, too. And these beasts need all the help they can get in the cooling department.

    Next Project- Under seat storage tray.
    #6
    DistortedAxis likes this.
  7. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

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    Finally made it to Fruita!
    You know, I tried that, but it's not easy to get such a big chunk of aluminum that hot.

    SHHHHHHHH- The Snow can HEAR you......................................

    Thanks for the suggestion. As you can see, That's basically what I ended up doing. I used 5052, and 6061 on the mounts.
    #7
  8. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    suh-weeet!!! Nice work man.

    I'm thinking about doing one myself too. I'm probably going to do mine with tool boxes. DAKAR style. :evil
    #8
  9. adiablolex

    adiablolex Lost again

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    that looks sweet man,
    good on ya
    #9
  10. lowes48

    lowes48 Been here awhile

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    Cool thread and nice job on the skid plate! Just knowing that it's THE ONLY ONE LIKE IT IN THE WORLD should make you proud! That being stated, why not make it a sibling and we'll see how it fits on my 950!
    #10
  11. outbacktaz

    outbacktaz outbacktaz

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    I'm just saying, but maybe you should post the plans that you made to begin with, so that fellow Inmates that would like something similar could have something to start with!!:evil

    I really like the finished product!:clap
    #11
  12. Sandaddict

    Sandaddict Been here awhile

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    God I wish I had skills!!!!!!!
    #12
  13. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    I'd at least charge for patterns (if not have them made up by a local machine shop to sell). You did all the hard work and deserve to be compensated.
    #13
  14. jm65

    jm65 Been here awhile

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    #14
  15. Tijuana_Taxi

    Tijuana_Taxi Been here awhile

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    #15
  16. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    That looks really sweet man...Good job!!!
    #16
  17. BLUE(UK)

    BLUE(UK) Long timer

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    #17
  18. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

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  19. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

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    Finally made it to Fruita!
    #19
  20. crash n bern

    crash n bern Long timer

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    Very nice, I don't have a Tig and I can't weld alloy and my mate who does and can, said buy a ready made one.

    So I bought a big sheet of 6 mm propylene plastic and a plastic welding gun and made a bash plate for my Husaberg. The next plan is to knock one up for the SE.

    I got the idea from a Safari bike that had one with the tool box and water tank built in and was impressed by it.
    #20