Article by: Paul Wideman – Bare Knuckle Choppers – bareknucklechoppers.com
Originally Published In The February 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Last month we left off in the middle of our oil tank fabrication. As our X-Wedge FXR build was coming to a close, we were left with a few loose ends, and one very important final piece; the oil tank. FXR oil tanks are a peculiar lot. The unique design of the frame prohibits use of most any aftermarket, “custom” oil tank. We are limited to the space and size allotted under seat and between the rails. This fact, coupled with the fact that our FXR frame is actually a one-off frame from Rolling Thunder, makes an off the shelf oil tank completely out of the question. No big deal, though! We actually prefer it this way. We will be able to incorporate our battery box, put our oil lines exactly where we want them, as well as our oil cap, and make it look a lot sexier than any off the shelf oil bag could have ever done!
Although the bead roller does an incredible job of making our corners round, we will head to the t-dolly many times before and after welding. Here you can see the rough layout, prior to much hammer and dolly work.
It’s always a good idea to check your work as you go, and after tacking one side on, Jay slides the tank in place for a quick inspection.
For the bottom piece another simple pattern is laid out.
Prior to beginning to shape the panel we lay the flat piece on the table to check it against the existing panels. A little trimming is done.
After about three hours of bead rolling, shrinking, dollying, and even a little planishing, we are tacking the bottom panel to the sides.
We chose to weld the existing panels now, and then mount the tank.
Using magnets and straightedges we hang the tank where we intend it to be mounted. This allows us to double and triple check the alignment and layout the mount locations.
With the oil tank hanging in place, Jay can lay out where his mounts will be located.
We make bungs and mounts for just about every purpose a motorbike build could ever call for. A quick trip to a storage bin yields mounts, oil line bungs, as well as filler bung and cap.
After drilling all of the holes for mounts and bungs, Jay carefully and thoroughly cleans and deburrs each hole.
I made the battery box from flat sheet again, braking the bends and welding the seams. The top side has a lip for a much better weld and superior strength.
The third advantage to the lip around the top is that I can cut the hole a bit larger than the actual box, and the lip will cover the difference. This makes alignment easier, and keeps me from having to go back and forth with a grinder or file to fine tune alignment.
Instead of laying out the battery box location on the bench, I opt to find my spot with the oil tank mounted. This will insure the battery is square and centered while in the bike.
The battery box dropped right in and was easily aligned. A few tacks and she is ready for final welding.
Now all we have is an hour or so of welding, and pressure testing. This will wrap up the mock up portion of our J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Giveaway FXR, but there is plenty of work yet to be done. Check us out again next month.
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