Lock the welder

Softail Hardtail

One of my customers came in for some modifications to his twin cam softail. He wanted the bike lowered so he replaced the shocks with rigid struts. I suggested we just hardtail the bike and get rid of all the crap associated with the suspension. As usual it turned out to be more work than I thought it would be.... Here is the bike with the entire ass end removed.

I am going to re-use the stock dropouts, so they are in place.

Here is what I took off. All this stuff is solid plate steel, and even without the shocks it weighs every bit of 70 pounds!

The seat area has D shaped tubing, with the flat sides facing inward. This is done, apparently, to make room for the insane amount of wiring they have loomed through there. I had to make some "adapter" tubing to go from the D shape to the round that my hardtail section will be made of. Of course I also slug every tube connection I do, with both seam welds and plug welds. This meant I had to make a smaller D shaped slug to go inside! Here is one of the pieces slugged and tacked in place, with the wiring in the foreground.

Now that I have something round to work off of, I have 2 offsets to contend with. The area where the tubes intersect the dropout plates is 11" apart center to center. The seat area frame tubes are 9" apart. Unfortunately the dropouts on a softail are not equally spaced either, the drive side is 1/4 further to the left than the right is to the right, for belt clearance. Since I have to slug the tube connections anyway and my bender cannot do 2 bends right next to one another in opposite directions, I combined the slug and bends in one double-headed slug, and bent it. To do this I used the torch and a tube for leverage, a very stone age process. Here you can see the 2 slugs just after they cooled off. One is offset more than the other, as planned.

more to come....