Sportster Project - Day 4

Let’s get on with it shall we? This is where we last left off:
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Click the read more for the full progress report


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Made a bunch of templates for the seat pan at work. Didn’t have the pan with me, so I just made a bunch of sizes to take to the shop - one of them should work.

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Back at the shop… taped the template to the pan, then hit it with some spray paint to mark the cut line… shit. Word to the dumb (myself included) - no matter how sure you are that your leaving enough meat on the pan to do what you want with it - NEVER cut it without the template. Lesson learned. Thankfully I have a big enough left over piece to make some repairs and fix it.
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Might as well move on - made the cuts and smoothed out the edges.
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Onto finishing the fender chop. Flying spark photos are fun!
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Fender chop done. Quite happy with that.
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Hey! Lets round out those cuts to the fender support rails! OK! Should we remove the wheel? Naw, it will be fine… I’ve got hands like a surgeon…

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A surgeon with turrets. This is almost the exact moment the flap disk hit the rubber leaving a nice gouge. Dummy. Again… lesson learned.

That was it for the exciting stuff. I spent the rest of the day at the garage ripping more shit off the bike, cleaning up other bits and staring at gas tanks. After a long struggle, I got the sprocket cover off and disassembled so that it can head to the chopping block soon (template first!) - the cam cover will also be joining it. I’m still undecided on if I’m going to smoother the rockers out. I’ve got a ton of parts (hopefully) coming in this week, which should start to make a big change. Here she is, as she stands - still undecided about the gas tank - but it’s down to these two…
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Teach’s Alien Tank
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2.2 Gal Sporty

I like them both - the alien tank looks better in person than it does in photos - the sporty tank is a tried and true classic. Getting the bars on will help make the decision. The Biltwell bars (bent from my crash last summer) are there for position only - I’ve got a set of Jay Roche specials coming my way soon.

Now it’s time to get some glass and fix that seat pan… (!!&?!!$#!!! such a dummy)

7 Responses to “Sportster Project - Day 4”

  1. Joe says:

    Another lesson you will come to learn: always cover holes (carb) to the motor when you are grinding metal

  2. dog says:

    The sporty tank gives it a real aggressive look that suits the bike. The other tank is cool but the sporty tank is like a grey flannel suit — a classic that always looks good.

  3. soulfur says:

    I like the sporty too - that could be camera angle though…

  4. BRent says:

    I like the alien tank - looks good!

  5. hacksaw says:

    glad to see you moving on this project grail. as you may, or may not know, i have been interested in sporters for some time. hope to see you out and about on this one this year!

    as to the tanks, well, thats of course is subjective and i really cant see enuff of what you are aiming for in a look to say much on the tanks.

    at this point, i think the shape of your seat pan favors the sporty tank. if you were using a more rounded type of bates seat, the alien would rock. it appears to me that you are retaining much of the original sportster profile. the seat pan is folowing the frame, the fender is a chopped stocker, so i would want to keep that line with a stockish long tank, rather than rounded. that goes for the bars as well. if you were to use a zbar or something straight and rectangular, that favors a stock tank. if you are going to run U bars or some curvy ones, maybe a round tank works better.
    but its your eye that counts.

    i agree with the grinding and the open carb cover it!

    thanks for the interaction!!!!!!

  6. grail21 says:

    Hack - this bike will be finished and I’ll be riding it by the beginning of next month. Waiting for the seat and powdercoating are the only 2 things that are going to hold me up for that long.

    As for the tanks - I’m still torn, and it’s going to take getting the real bars on the bike to make the final decision. I dig both of them, but you make some good points about the seat/fender/bar combo. Hopefully I’ll get the last piece of that puzzle soon and can make the call quickly.

  7. eric says:

    alien makes it look like a “bratsyle” bike, sporty looks classic,i guess it depends on the look you are going for,.

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