AUTO & MOTO ARTISANS - AUSTRALIA

Two steps forward


27 Jan 2019

There haven’t been any XR600R tracker updates recently because it’s fallen foul of Virgo’s disease (toxic perfectionism)…but that’s a good thing.

The hold-up is all down to symmetry. Back in the last blog post I noted that the ‘original’ metal seat/tail unit wasn’t quite symmetrical and that the fibreglass version (out of a plaster of paris mould) would need some work to finalise the design.

‘Some work’ turned out to be hours of shaping and sanding before a second mould could be produced and a ‘finished’ version popped out to continue mocking-up the planned one-piece seat/tank unit together with a pair of fuel tank ‘halves’ laid up from moulds off the steel tank.

But before that could happen the frame’s centreline was established, a ‘bed’ with a grid of squares made up to give a baseline where the tank and seat would sit, and a tank tunnel roughed out around the frame hard points for an idea of clearances.

And then it was time for the fun stuff. Using the bed as a reference point, the tank halves were cut and shut to narrow the overall design, the seat assembly trimmed to length, the whole lot juggled around to give the right ergonomics and clearances and, with the wonder of fibreglass, it was all stitched back together to give the result you see in the main photo.

It’s looking good. It’s close to the original photoshop mock-up, the proportions are pretty well balanced, and it’s both visually pleasing and functional. But…

While the repro Norton ES2 tank was a marvel of hand skills in steel it was, err, somewhat less than symmetrical – a fact that really only became apparent when the two fibreglass halves were narrowed down and angled inwards for clearance and aesthetics.

It’s really only a few mill here and there, most people wouldn’t notice until it was pointed out, but it’s not something I can live with. So, at this stage the plan is to ‘mirror’ one of the tank halves, make a few design changes, and pretty much start again.

Two steps forward, one step back.



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