Archive for August, 2010

23
Aug
10

A prime clamshell

Well, the clamshell is officially in primer. I’ll wetsand this next then will hit it with mold release to make a mold from it. So instead of taking weeks to have a finished outer clamshell, it’ll now only take a few days! Lots of hours making the design changes/updates to the clamshell, but I think the results are worth it. I’ve gained a small amount of storage space, taken away the ‘boxy’ look of the original design and by adding the ‘gunfighter’ area have created a mini-backrest. Fear not, if someone would want the ‘first design’ clamshell, I’ve got a mold for that, so I’ll be able to accommodate those requests as well.

I’ve got a StreetGlide in the shop that’s getting an FBI long fender installed out back, and I’m installing ‘smooth mount’ LED’s that’ll tie into the existing graphics on the bike, so the Pro-Tour ‘S’ project will sit idle for the remainder of this week while I knock out the StreetGlide project. Plus I’ve got a couple of my ‘RAPPER’ embellishments to paint for some clients, so my week is pretty well filled up. It sure feels good to see this in primer because that’s a sign of getting close to the end of the mock-up and I can’t wait to tear this apart for paint and final assembly!

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18
Aug
10

Actual storage space numbers

Before I get caught in a big fat lie I have some new information to share. In the Nov. 3, 2008 posting I have a comparison chart. In that chart it says that there is MORE storage in 4 separate compartments than there is in a pair of H-D hardbags. Well – I finished off one side of the rear storage compartments today so I thought to myself “I better verify that information to be sure I’m being accurate in my description”. What I found out was that each rear storage compartment will hold 1077 cubic inches of ‘stuff’ and the mid-frame storage compartments hold 346 cubic inches of additional ‘stuff’, totaling 1423 cubic inches of storage per side of the bike. The H-D hardbags hold 1617 cubic inches of ‘stuff’ so in all actuality the H-D bags hold slightly MORE than the Pro-Tour ‘S’ storage compartments. The H-D hardbags hold the equivalent of a 6 inch cube more per side. Not a whole bunch – but to be up front and honest, it is more.  
Now with that being cleared up let me make a couple of points about the difference between the two storage ‘systems’.  First one is – do you ever notice when you’re looking for something in your saddlebags its usually at the bottom of the bag, and its usually something small you’re looking for? Wouldn’t it be handy to have a separate compartment to put some of these smaller items so you don’t have to lay half your crap out on the street while diggin’ for that small item? Thats where the mid-frame storage compartments will shine. Put your smaller items in them and put your leathers, rain gear, purse, y’know that kinda junk in the larger rear storage compartments. The second thing I want to touch on is – this particular Pro-Tour is 4 1/2 inches NARROWER than a StreetGlide, and if having that little bit more storage thats available in the H-D bags is that important, I guess we could always make the clamshell wider – so much wider in fact that you could have a whole bunch MORE storage than the H-D bags. My guess is, once you’ve experienced having 4 compartments instead of 2 you’d find the Pro-Tour storage to be more than sufficient.
While I’m on the subject of storage, I’d like to add that I plan on creating a luggage rack that can be mounted in the same mounting holes used to mount the passenger seat on the ‘gunfighter’ area of the clamshell. That will allow you to securely hold any T-Bag or Saddlemen luggage you have for when you’re out on a long trip.

14
Aug
10

Surfin’ on the clamshell

Go ahead, toss 230 pounds of Polish fat ass on the clamshell and bounce on it as much as you want. This is hand-laid glass with 8 solid layers of 1.5 oz. chopped strand mat across the entire passenger seat area and another 4 layers extending an additional 8 inches left-right and behind the passenger seating area. You’re NOT going to have any problems with the glass cracking or weakening down the road. If I wasn’t confident my glass work would hold up, you can bet you wouldn’t see me surfin’ like this. These parts are made to last for years of trouble-free enjoyment.  Think of how tough a fiberglass boat hull needs to be to endure the punishment they take every time they’re on the water – one constant belly flop after another. This is every bit as durable.

Oh yeah one more thing. I’ve finished the access opening on the left side mid-frame storage area. This side has even more cubic inches of storage space than the right side does, because it doesn’t have the provision for the V-Rod drive belt. I won’t count that extra space when mentioning storage capacity – just to assure everyone that I’m not exaggerating how much storage we’ve got here.

13
Aug
10

Latching mechanism is completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the last posting I mentioned the latching mechanism for the clamshell. Well, I worked late last night and  finished that part. Here are a couple of angles of the gear driven actuator I’m using. Its an actuator used in Street rods to pop open the doors with a remote control. I’ll be using a marine grade ignition switch that, when twisted fully clockwise, will send power to the actuator – causing it to pull back and ‘unlock’ the clamshell. This means, if you don’t have a key to the bike, there’s no possible way to get to the items you’ll have stored in the mid-frame storage compartments or the large rear storage compartments. So all your stuff will be safe and secure.

12
Aug
10

Just to show I AM working on it!

The latest ‘unglorious’ thing I’ve been working on is the inner fender that’ll serve as a support for the rider’s seat pan and a place to locate the latching mechanism for the clamshell. The side profile shot gives a better idea of just how much lower back support this design will have. No problems with slidin’ off the seat on a good hard launch at the dragstrip!