Bride of Frankenstein - a cure for leftover parts cluttering the workshop.


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The brake adapter arms on both sides of the front wheel are fundamentally complete.
On the caliper side, I made a spacer out of 1/4″ alloy to fit between the torque arm and the fender-mount bracket.


I had originally tapped the inner bracket for an M6 screw, but my precisely-sized 6mm holes were drilled just off, so that I couldn’t get both screws to go through all three pieces and thread properly. My solution was to run a 6.8mm drill bit through all three layers, then use a pair of slightly longer socket-head bolts and nyloc nuts on the inside. This actually is a better solution, because the tiny bit of play ensures positive contact between the lip on the torque arm and the fork slider. Otherwise, the braking force would be transmitted to the screws and bracket.


From an aesthetic standpoint, I should probably have skipped that top speed hole. Meh.


On the opposite side, I made a locating pin for the plastic wheel cover by chucking up an M8 socket screw in the lathe. I drilled and tapped the smaller arm on that side for the pin and for the bracket bolt.


The pin screw head is a really close fit, but that’s good; once mounted, it’s not going anywhere.


A little cleanup of the top edge on the belt sander and zip-zap-zoom, another job crossed off the list.


The bare steel will need painting. I’m undecided whether to drill some holes in it and paint it gold metallic, to match the other side.


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After thinking through a couple of more elegant options for steering stops, I decided to stick with the somewhat kludgy brackets I had already made up. I did, however, round them slightly to (approximately) match the curve of the spacer block.


The single screw mount seemed only slightly sketchy, since contact with the frame stop would tend to self-center them. However, the bracket could theoretically rotate and jam against something should the screw loosen. Luckily, I have a super simple enhancement that’ll make this a perfectly cromulent solution. There are already two extra M6 tapped holes in the spacer, directly underneath the brackets (the result of me miscalculating the steering lock required on the other bike this steering stem was originally modified for). I can easily friction-lock the brackets in place by adding a couple of cone-tipped M6 setscrews from underneath. I didn’t have them on-hand this morning, but I can add them before final assembly, once the bike comes apart for final paint and welding.


Speaking of grub screws, you can also see an M8 setscrew at the rear of the spacer block. This piece is a loose slip fit around an inner steel collar, which is what the bottom steering bearing actually rests on. The grub screw isn’t really necessary, but I wanted to remove that slight amount of play to keep the assembled part from rattling.


Like everything else on this bike, if it fits, it ships.
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I've begun fabricating a combination fork brace & fender mount.

A set of forks I’d purchased some time ago came with some of the pieces of an aftermarket fork brace. I discovered that the difficult-to-fit parts that clamp to the forks fit The Bride’s forks perfectly. From there, it’s not a complicated task to tie them together with a piece of 1/4″ thick aluminum plate.


Unfortunately, I thought the added brace would look very odd mounted below the $20 plastic dirt fender I purchased for this bike:


In designing the missing midsection of the brace, I realized that I’d also be creating an attachment point for a low-mount front fender. I dug a steel Yamaha Maxim 700 fender out of my parts cache and sized it up. I think it will work better mounted down low than the origami-styled plastic fender, and I’d be appropriately using a cast-off part from one of my other projects. I think the styling will be more suitable, too.


I am not fully committed to this fender configuration. I will probably make up mounts for both versions in the coming days. I’ll decide which one I like best after I see them both properly installed.


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I finished drilling the fork brace plate, both the mounting holes and some conservative speed holes for lightness and appearance. When I bolted the Yamaha Maxim 700 fender in place, it just looked…off. I tried adding spacers to change its orientation, but the fender’s curve didn’t visually align with the wheel no matter how I positioned it. A dime-sized ding in the fender right on the leading edge of the fender didn’t help.

As I alluded to in my most recent post, I changed tack and briefly experimented with the white plastic fender I’d bought, mounted both up high and down low. It didn’t look right up on the steering clamp, and mounting it to the brace plate in place of the Yamaha fender was definitely unworkable.

In desperation, I tried the only other option I could come up with. I reinstalled the Yamaha fender, but reversed it. To my surprise, it works better. Enough better that I’m okay with this being the solution going forward. As added pluses, the ding is now less noticeable at the bottom rear, and the fender now comes down further in the back. This should help keep road grime off the starter and solenoid, which sit in a somewhat vulnerable spot at the front of the engine.

It still looks a bit odd, but it’s odd on the same wavelength as the goofiness of the overall bike. It no longer screams, “This fender wasn’t designed to go here.”


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I figured out how to mount the ATC90 footpegs, and got two of the four mounting bolts installed. I still need to drill and tap two holes in the bottom engine plate for the other two. The ATC pegs are quite wide and don’t fold, but they’re high enough that they shouldn’t cause an issue with cornering clearance. Given the total lack of engineering that has gone into this configuration, I doubt I will be trying to drag my knee on this bike. On the plus side, they are wide enough to clear the CVT housing on the left and the recoil housing on the right. They might look odd, but they seem ergonomically right; I sat on the bike and my feet were right where they should be for my height. In fact, the bike feels as though it will be really comfortable overall.

The weather this morning was nice enough to roll the whole thing outside to record my progress over the winter.



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Several people told me that my current front fender arrangement is pretty awkward-looking. Frankly, I can’t disagree. And that’s really saying something because this whole thing is pretty damn awkward all over. The curve of the fender was designed to fit a 19″ tire, and it simply isn’t going to match a 16-inch’er.

I considered mounting that Yamaha Maxim fender directly to the lower triple clamp (turned the right way around), dirt bike style. However,
a fender that size would be fairly ineffective when mounted up that high. Additionally,having the fork brace down low without a fender there still looked really odd. I'd like to keep the fork brace because I have no idea how this thing is going to handle and I want to take advantage of any theoretical improvement I can. (It won't go to waste in any case, since it can also fit another project bike in my shop.)

So, I looked for a fender designed:
  • to fit a 16″ wheel
  • to mount from the top, rather than the sides, and
  • without sculpted “wings” that wrap around the fork legs.
After a bit of research, the fender from a Honda VF500F Interceptor seemed to fit the bill. So, I spent $54 on Ebay for another fender. I should point out that this totally opposed my original objectives of using up my spare parts, building things cheaply, and not caring about the resulting aesthetics.

Once it arrived, I bolted up both the dirt fender I had purchased initially and the Interceptor street fender. Decisions, decisions… Unfortunately, in this case, I’m not sure I like either option all that much.


That transformer-styled dirt fender is just atrocious. I honestly have no idea what possessed me to buy it. I can only say in my defense that it looked better in the Ebay ad. A plain, traditional, Preston-Petty-style knockoff would have been a much better choice. Okay, lesson learned—but I’m NOT buying any more fenders for this monstrosity.

The Interceptor 500 fender fit the tire diameter (as expected), but due to my trailing axle setup, the metal mounting bracket was positioned all wrong for this bike. I drilled out the rivets and moved the metal bracket forward, bolting the rear holes on the bracket through the original front holes in the fender. It “kinda-sorta” works this way, but:
  • the bracket would sit significantly lower than the fork brace (which can only be mounted in one spot, higher up, where the black fork scrapers are in this photo). As a result, I would have to fabricate some sort of gantry-like intermediate bracket or long spacer dowels between the fender and fork brace. Either would be hard to keep from looking awkward.
  • The original location for the mounting bracket will be distractingly obvious. I likely have some plastic plugs that would fit the unused bolt holes, but I wouldn’t be able to hide that square-shouldered area.
I might revisit my original idea of mounting the 700 Maxim fender under the steering clamp, to see if that looks any better. In any case, I just need to pick something, finalize it, and move on. I want to focus on mounting the rear fender and seat next.
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So, yeah... This works surprisingly well. I didn't think the Maxim 700 fender was long enough to look right mounted high, but it really does. The result is simple and not odd enough to be distracting. I'll forego the fork brace; it's probably not needed on a 50 MPH motorcycle.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised; throughout this project, the obvious, straightforward answer has been the right one. As I've said before, this bike keeps telling me what it wants to be.

The fender is only mounted with one bolt in these photos. It'll take some slightly involved bracketry at the rear to attach securely, but fortunately I have the tools and raw stock needed on-hand.

Sorry it's so hard to get decent shots in my tiny, jam-packed workshop.



joshua. c.

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This bike looks good so far but is it just me or dose this bike look a bit too tall? I personally think lowering the center frame a bit and shortening the front forks a little would really add to the look.


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This bike looks good so far but is it just me or dose this bike look a bit too tall? I personally think lowering the center frame a bit and shortening the front forks a little would really add to the look.
Shortening the front forks would be no problem, but it only has have a couple of inches of rear suspension travel as it is. Lowering the rear would mean altering either the frame or swingarm, and that's way more involved than this project warrants. I'm 5'11", and I can flat-foot it. I don't really have a problem with the height.


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In order to mount the fender, the whole front end had to come apart for the umteenth time.
Put the pieces together. Take the pieces apart.
Put the pieces together. Take the pieces apart.

This is my life now.


The photo below shows the steering stem flipped over in a vice.


Since the lower triple clamp is from a street bike, there are no fender mounting bosses on the underside. My solution is a 1/4″ alloy adapter plate between the fender and the steering stem. There’s a single M6 threaded hole at the front of the triple clamp (originally for the front brake hose junction on dual-disc models) — you can see a button-head socket bolt towards the back of the photo.
Unfortunately, the steering stem offers no other attachment points. So, I’m making these spacers that will bolt the rear of the fender adapter plate not to the triple clamp, but to the alloy steering bearing adapter that sits above the triple clamp. I’ll drill and heli-coil the thicker plate and insert long M6 bolts from underneath. It’s a awkward and laborious solution, but it’s not technically challenging, just time consuming and a bit on the heavy side.

I really have no idea what this will weight when it’s complete, but little stuff like this all adds up. It’s bound to be a little porker.


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I'm figuring out how to mount the fuel tank. The plastic Can-Am Qualifier fuel tank has two rubber-cushioned, M6-thread mounts on the bottom. I needed to extend the reach of the bolt, so I ordered some stainless sleeve bolts from Amazon, and picked up some 3/4" weldable steel channel at my local Ace hardware.


I mounted the two stubby sections of channel that just cleared the main frame tube, then offered the tank up to the bike. I was pleased to see that the bottom of the crossbar could sit directly on the lower of two headstock tubes, right in front of where it joined the main frame backbone.


Due to the way the tubes come together, the rear of the channel must have a deeper cutout than the front. I made up another single crossbar piece and began whittling it away with a grinder while periodically testing the fit.


You can see that my experimental cuts don't conform to the backbone tube, but the bar contacts the top tube at the front and rear simultaneously, so I know the critical relationships. I will use some cardboard templates to ensure I have the proper radius cutouts for next attempt. Once I have a snug fit-up all around I can tack-weld it into place.

One of the fiddly parts of this was that I mounted the carb so that the throttle cable would extend up into this cavity on the right side of the bike for clearance. Fortunately, my eeyball calculations worked out. As you can see, there isn't much wiggle room there, and the crossbar fortunately sits just where it needs to for the carb and cable to fit. I actually angled the carb flange inward a degree or two from vertical when I made up the manifold, and now I'm glad I did.


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I haven't been able to spend much time in the workshop the last month and a half, but I'm now back at it and hopefully start making progress again.

After my sad freehand attempt to create a cutout in the center of the tank mount for the Bride’s main frame tube, I devised several other ways of mapping a more accurate template. But then I decided to flex my math skills and actually calculate the shape of the opening. A few quick measurements gave me the vital specs: the OD of the frame tube, the outside dimensions of the crossbar, the angle of the frame tube, and the point at where they intersect. A couple of back-of-the-envelope calculations gave me the specs needed to draw the shape in Adobe Illustrator.


With the diagram printed off full scale, I could cut the paper and wrap it around the square tube. You can see how far off I was when I tried to do it by eye.


Slipped into position, the shape looked pretty much spot-on, front and back. GEOMETRY!


I’ve ordered a 1-5/8″ bi-metal hole saw with a -0.64mm smaller radius than the frame tube. That should be just about perfect.


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I used my new hole saw to cut another length of 3/4″ square steel tube for The Bride’s tank mount cross-tube. My drill press fixture was a bit kludgy, but it worked. Cutting only on one side of the hole saw, I had to go very slow to keep the teeth from chattering and binding. I just took my time, and the result fits up accurately enough that it should weld in place nicely.