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Featured Sweets' Desert Sled Project

Discussion in 'Builds & Projects' started by Sweets, May 17, 2019.

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  1. Sweets

    Sweets Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2019
    34
    63
    Bristol
    HI there. my name is Dave and this project is the reason I have joined this forum, to share and hopefully learn along the course of turning an unprepossessing Cat N Bonnie into my dream Desert Sled lookee-likey (because, let's face it, a 230kg Bonnie is not really a true off-road beast).
    So my project started yesterday with a 12 hr Bristol (home) - Newport (to hire a bike trailer) - Sandwich (Copart site) - Bristol (drop bike at workshop) - Newport (return trailer) - Bristol (home - phew) round trip.

    This is what I came back with, loaded onto the trailer in Kent, with the seat in the boot of the car.

    [​IMG]

    And this is the direction in which I intend to head

    [​IMG]

    So far I have not even run all the checks to start it, but as a 2013 model with a well-established mileage under 7k, and with a few known issues like awful tank paint job, rear fender/lights removal, front fender removal, ignition switch removal and worn tyres, I thught this a good place to start, as most of those bits are on my list to re-do.

    I hope to keep regularly updating, wish me luck.

    Dave
     
    • Like Like x 15
  2. freck

    freck Well-Known Member
    Subscriber

    May 4, 2017
    250
    63
    Preston, Lancs, UK
    Look forward to seeing your progress Dave, looks like a nice project :grinning:
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. dilligaf

    dilligaf GRRRRRR
    Subscriber

    Mar 30, 2017
    6,306
    1,000
    Washington Tyne & Wear
    Just keep the pictures coming and you’ll have everyone’s attention :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Sprinter

    Sprinter Kinigit
    Subscriber

    Aug 17, 2014
    4,450
    800
    Grampian.
    I want to see this develop.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. mpllineman

    mpllineman Senior Member
    Subscriber

    Feb 12, 2018
    563
    193
    Pearl,Ms.
    And I like your sense of direction. Great looking bike!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Dozers Dad

    Dozers Dad Bushmills Chief Quality Controller
    Subscriber

    Good luck Dave & keep the photos coming.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Sweets

    Sweets Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2019
    34
    63
    Bristol
    Today's simple news is that the gamble has paid off a little, and that it runs very cleanly.

    I am delighted that the simple replacement of a few fuses, after a checkover and a battery charge have got her back to life.

    Dave
     
    • Like Like x 8
  8. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
    2,162
    1,000
    Southcoast of the UK Earth
    Good luck with your project :) i'm hoping to get my 66 done one day. It will look good if you can get some Ekins pipes made like the green bike.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Sweets

    Sweets Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2019
    34
    63
    Bristol
    That feature is one of the main parts of the build with this one, I am a big fan of the high "one each side" pipes, which no-one seems to offer, they've all gone one-sided for high pipes, with the left crossing over to join the right.

    I think I can make it work with a mate who is a very good welder and standard 304 stainless tube fittings, and I will dress the weld back and then blast the tube to get a matte (deset-blasted) finish. The standard pipes are 42mm OD so 1 1/2" 1.5mm wall thickness tube should do me fine.

    I will add a larger section via an eccentric reducer, into which I can fit a bought in baffle into, when needs must.

    The only thing I hadn't bargained on was the existence of the Oxygen sensors in the downtube..........

    Dave
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Dozers Dad

    Dozers Dad Bushmills Chief Quality Controller
    Subscriber

    They can be removed Dave.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. half ton

    half ton Elite Member

    Oct 18, 2013
    2,912
    800
    uk
    I think Shark used to do a high level twin pipe system for the Thruxton racing in the USA
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
    2,162
    1,000
    Southcoast of the UK Earth
    If you lookup JRC Engineering Inc on facebook they are making reproduction Bates seats.
     
  13. Martin Joseph Lowe

    Martin Joseph Lowe Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2018
    177
    93
    Merseyside
    Great project which I will follow with a keen eye...my mood board images for a future project are one and the same!!
     
  14. Sweets

    Sweets Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2019
    34
    63
    Bristol
    So, precious little to report so far, other than an unhealthy amount of measuring, standing chin-scratching, and web-searching.

    I have relocated the voltage regulator using the Squaredeals relocation plate.

    I have repaired one of the side panels, which had snapped off the outer half of the bottom mounting hole, and I've stripped both panels of badges and sanded them back for paint.

    Everyone needs pictures....so here is the simple panel repair

    As it arrived, a bit knackered and with the break at the base

    [​IMG]

    So I made a little 4mm ply casting mould, and filled it with resin and several scraps of glass left over from another job (I had sanded the rest of the panel in the mean time)

    [​IMG]

    Here is it solidified and removed from the mould

    [​IMG]

    And then drilled and dremelled to shape, the gromit fits fine.

    [​IMG]

    I have also stripped out the front and rear indicators, and removed the headlight to see what size restrictions I have to work with for my new headlights, which will be LED units mounted between the forks, shining through holes in a vintage style oval competition number board. The holes will be the centres of numbers, I am going for 68, giving me 3 locations to work with. The number board is on its way to me.
    It is already clear that a lot of that volume will be occupied by loom, which means LEDs will be important in that confined space to avoid melting of wiring. If anyone has any experience of using mini-LED spots for headilghts, I am keen to hear from them.

    I think I have selected a direct set of replacement 1" bars, the Biltwell Moto. Not too high, good quality, slightly wider than the original and with the all-important brace. Any other suggestions for a similar style?
    I also think I will mount them an inch higher using a set of 1" Motone riser
    inserts.
    I hope this extra room will give me the opportunity to locate a mini speedo on the tank side of the bar clamps using a plate held by the rear pair of riser bolts. I will cut and fold the plate myself.

    But here is my first big surprise, showing my criminal lack of research.
    Being a 2013 Bonnie using Can-bus to the instruments, the only option, as far as I can tell, for a small speedo to minimise the front end volume, is to use the Motogadget range, with the plug-in M.tri unit.
    Not cheap, but I guess it has the massive advantage that it really is plug n play, and that I was intending to buy their keyless ignition system anyway, as the bike came to me with no ignition switch whatsoever, and the MG keyless system is the same price as a Triumph lock barrel and keys..

    Exhaust-wise I have a quote from a local pipe stockholder for all the relevant 304 stainless pipe, bends and reducers to make the Ekins style pipes, and it comes in at a relatively sensible £70 for materials (1 1/2" NB - 3m of that to be safe, 1m of 2" NB to be able to insert of a bought-in baffle at the end, reducers and 6 off 90 degree bends should get me all the cornering I need).
    The pipe will be 1.5mm wall thickness, which is adequate for stainless. The only bit I have not yet found is the flare (for the gasket mounting surface) and clamp for bolting onto the block. Are these available in stainless as a weld-on fitting??
    I will add fins as well to complete the look.

    Seat - I cannot find what I want so I am going to chop down an exisiting seat tray, build up the foam myself and then get someone a lot more competent to cover it for me. Suggestions welcome

    Finally, suspension.
    I have not yet examined the current contents of the forks to check for previous owner upgrades, but I have been doing a little searching on the possibility of extending them, and it seems that I have 2 choices. One more budget and one less.
    Firstly, I'll check whether the springs have been upgraded to progressive units, I would intend to fit those if they are not there already. I guess I would go for the TEC parts ones.
    Budget extending option - fit pre-loading caps and screw them down a reasonable distance to preload and get a little extension. Not much, but then again I won't have spent much and I get some adjustability.
    More expensive option - buy a set of scrambler fork stanchions, which I read are about 36mm longer than the T100 units, and fit them, with new scrambler springs, into the existing fork sliders.
    I prefer the standard fork sliders (to the Scrambler ones) as they have mountings for the chrome fender stays, which I like and are a feature on the McQueen/Ekins bike above.
    I will extend the rear suspension as well, probably with a set of shocks intended for the Scrambler. Again, probably TEC parts. Even with minimal extension on the front I don't think the extra on the rear will unbalance it too much, as the rear is a 17" wheel and the front 19" anyway.

    Dave
     
    • Like Like x 4
  15. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
    2,162
    1,000
    Southcoast of the UK Earth
  16. Martin Joseph Lowe

    Martin Joseph Lowe Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2018
    177
    93
    Merseyside
    Hi,

    I’m following with great interest, The only problem is...if you mentioned a fluffer valve .. I would believe it was a real thing.

    However, I have an aspirational folder full of images and all the technical information I’ve collected in the hope that one day I’ll instruct someone to sort it all out for me.

    You will see a custom, flat screen headlight that gives the effect of a number plate..and an old poster image of a Steve McQueen and Bud Edkins collaboration/amendments for a bike.

    Hopefully the following might help, let me know if it does.

    In the meantime I shall carry on the journey to find myself a fluffed valve engineer !!

    Regardo,
    M

    upload_2019-5-22_21-17-27.jpeg

    8E484563-D346-4253-83E1-C94B224D830F.jpeg

    6E5BF03D-B5F3-4A33-99C2-B342A3B33076.jpeg

    CF01DE88-08F2-44D6-B25F-CFC5A195FD45.jpeg
     
  17. Hamburg

    Hamburg Senior Member
    Subscriber

    Dec 12, 2018
    944
    193
    Oxford, UK
    I’m following this one, right up my street.
     
  18. Baskey13

    Baskey13 New Member

    Sunday
    9
    3
    United Kingdom
    Dave,

    This is the headlight I did on my last build with my brother. It was extremely close to the yokes and I went with a speedo in the top clamp and fitted the headlight between the forks. Gave the bike a cool muscley look... Ones I found on ebay, bike sites etc were 350 and upwards so we made this one. Think all in it was about £45... Something consider.

    IMG_20181010_215027.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Sweets

    Sweets Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2019
    34
    63
    Bristol
    Sounds (and looks) great, that is pretty much what I am hoping to do, and I certainly hear you when it comes to the cost of commercially available ones. The only thing is that I am really wedded to the idea of small diameter round lights.

    The Alloy Number Board I have to shine them through is quite generously sized, 320mm wide from memory, and some initial sketching proves that with a 68 number I can easily have 3 x 50mm diameter holes for the lights, which is plenty.

    I have been seat sculpting today, having cut down the original seat base and foam (for width), then glued on some layers on top to sculpt back into a Bates-like shape. I found a bunch in Bristol that can (hopefully) cover my shaping efforts in a decent vinyl for a very reasonable sum, South West Upholstery.

    Dave
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Baskey13

    Baskey13 New Member

    Sunday
    9
    3
    United Kingdom
    Sounds cool to me. Keep the pics coming.
     
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