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Old 12-23-2021, 05:52 PM
Garagegnome Garagegnome is offline
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Default My first sheet metal project- motorcycle side covers

Hello there...I wanted to share my very first attempt at shaping a few years ago. I was doing a project for someone that involved changing the lines of the frame and the original covers no longer fit. I told him I'd give it a shot and with a pretty bad failure to start, I ended up figuring it out. I used very basic stuff. A few hammers, a couple dollies and my crap little Ewheel. Folding over the flange and shrinking the corners was really a challenge, especially because I was using some very thin aluminum i had lying around. I was always afraid to try shaping because of the fear of failure. This small project really gave me the bug and some confidence to try something much bigger(my last project that's posted in the motorcycle section.) Here are a few photos. The first couple were my failed attempts.






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Last edited by Garagegnome; 12-23-2021 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 12-24-2021, 09:53 AM
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Pokie Pokie is offline
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Looks good! My first set of side covers or battery covers on a motorcycle was formed over the frame members themselves. Course, the space to be covered wasn't quite as big as the space on your bike. If you did it the way I did, the panels would look too big. What are you going to try next?
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Old 12-24-2021, 11:13 AM
Garagegnome Garagegnome is offline
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Originally Posted by Pokie View Post
Looks good! My first set of side covers or battery covers on a motorcycle was formed over the frame members themselves. Course, the space to be covered wasn't quite as big as the space on your bike. If you did it the way I did, the panels would look too big. What are you going to try next?
Thanks! I see what you mean on that process. I actually ended up doing full on bodywork for a project Yamaha. It's in the motorcycle projects section here.
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Old 12-24-2021, 06:01 PM
skintkarter skintkarter is offline
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That came out well Ron. I have something similar to make for a 1982 Kawasaki KZ440 I was given. I should have left it strapped to the trailer and taken it straight to the metal recyclers, but it belonged to a friend's late father, so I felt morally obligated to get it running again. Plan is to get it back on the road after 32 years of being in a damp basement with no carbs on and then make a set of new aluminum clothes for it. Because the bike is worth nothing (sadly not a 900) I won't be rewiring it and shifting the battery, so will need to make some replacement alloy side covers which will be polished to match the rest.

Plan is to make the shape much as you did, but to ease the shrink in the corners, cut them back so that I'm rolling over just the radius, or even half the radius and then weld in a strip to complete the corner. Somewhat like this that I did on my beadroller build.

20141229_180152.jpg
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Old 12-24-2021, 06:10 PM
Garagegnome Garagegnome is offline
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Originally Posted by skintkarter View Post
That came out well Ron. I have something similar to make for a 1982 Kawasaki KZ440 I was given. I should have left it strapped to the trailer and taken it straight to the metal recyclers, but it belonged to a friend's late father, so I felt morally obligated to get it running again. Plan is to get it back on the road after 32 years of being in a damp basement with no carbs on and then make a set of new aluminum clothes for it. Because the bike is worth nothing (sadly not a 900) I won't be rewiring it and shifting the battery, so will need to make some replacement alloy side covers which will be polished to match the rest.

Plan is to make the shape much as you did, but to ease the shrink in the corners, cut them back so that I'm rolling over just the radius, or even half the radius and then weld in a strip to complete the corner. Somewhat like this that I did on my beadroller build.

Attachment 62188
Thanks! I was pretty happy with them, given my inexperience. I like the method you are going for....I've seen Evan Wilcox do that before and it seemed to work nicely. I actually love Kz440s! I have one, the first bike project I ever did. I still own and ride it frequently. It's a very fun, nimble little machine..and it takes all the abuse I can throw at it.
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Old 12-24-2021, 09:21 PM
skintkarter skintkarter is offline
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Originally Posted by Garagegnome View Post
Thanks! I was pretty happy with them, given my inexperience. I like the method you are going for....I've seen Evan Wilcox do that before and it seemed to work nicely. I actually love Kz440s! I have one, the first bike project I ever did. I still own and ride it frequently. It's a very fun, nimble little machine..and it takes all the abuse I can throw at it.
Do you have any pics of what you did to the 440 Ron?
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Old 12-26-2021, 01:58 PM
Garagegnome Garagegnome is offline
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Do you have any pics of what you did to the 440 Ron?
Here are a couple of it how it sits...I have some of the build but I'd have to dig for them. These are from last year, it's been done since 2013. Gets beat on frequently. Nothing crazy, just a few rear frame mods, paint, etc.
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Old 12-31-2021, 08:22 AM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
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The Honda sidecovers came out well. So I've gotta ask, is the KZ going to get some now......?
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Old 12-31-2021, 06:12 PM
Garagegnome Garagegnome is offline
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The Honda sidecovers came out well. So I've gotta ask, is the KZ going to get some now......?
Thank you! No, I really like the open frame look on that one. They were just really necessary on the Honda because none of the electrics were relocated.
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