Article and Photos By: Paul Wideman- bareknucklechoppers.com
Originally Published In The January 2015 Issue of Cycle Source Magazine.
As our X-Wedge FXR build comes to a close, we are 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!
Here is the hole we need to fill. It actually looks like a lot more room than it really is. We are hoping for four full quarts, even after the battery is dropped down in the oil tank.
We know that space is at a premium here, so instead of using a flat back for the oil tank, we opt to utilize as much room as possible by hugging the fender with the back of the oil tank. We head over to the fender scrap pile, and find a fender with a slightly larger radius than the one used on the bike.
To hold us off the fender at the perfect margin, we grab a couple small magnets to space the rear evenly.
This makes for the perfect margin all the way across.
With the back side hanging in place, we are ready to move to the next phase.
To make the template for the top side, Jay lays out a piece of construction paper and tapes it in place.
Using his filthy hands, he lays out the pattern, following the top side of the frame rails.
You can see a very distinct guide that Jay then uses to layout his pattern.
After the front portion of the pattern fits the space, Jay uses the actual fender section to make a guide to cut the rear section out.
Although the front half still needs to be trimmed, the rear is fitting nicely.
Using our high tech circle gauge, Jay lays out the front edge of the tank.
A little trimming will occur along the sides, but we now have a great starting point to transfer the pattern to steel.
After cutting the top piece from 16 gauge steel, Jay heads to the radius brake and bends the piece to perfectly match the same bends the frame has.
Our radius brake from Mittler Brothers is one of the most unsung heroes in the shop. Every radius is perfect, every time.
Like I said; perfect.
A template for the sides is made in much the same manner as the top.
Jay is leaving himself a little extra material to account for rolling the edges after cutting.
Our huge Beverly Shear (also from Mittler Brothers) makes quick, accurate work of the side panels. Tune in next issue for for the second half of this incredible tech article from Bareknuckle Choppers.
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