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Posts Tagged ‘ruckus’

Project Ruckus – Part 5 Weight Savings (and then adding some back.)

In fabricating, project truck, ruckus on March 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm

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In an attempt to shed some weight and to make the Ruckus look a little more industrial I removed the floor boards and (once I get the next package from Battlescooter.com) will remove the stock airbox.  The stock muffler and it’s plastic muffler shield will be dumped as well.  Ultimately I would like to remove all the plastic.  Some of it fulfills an actual need and will need to be replaced with some other material.  To that end I decided I needed to add some sort of over the motor to replace the original floor board that runs the entire length of the scoot.   Last night I played around with design that would run the entire length of the upper frame.  Unfortunately you can’t bolt a flat sheet across the top of the frame due the way the wiring harness is run and the associate mounts and supports.  I wasn’t happy with the way my solutions to this problem looked so I decided to sleep on it and try again this morning.

I decided that I would make two panels.  One panel would fill the section of frame over the rear fender and the second would actually mount to the side panels of my cargo box under the seat.  The first panel was easy.  I just chopped off the rear section of the piece I had fabricated last night.  I used a couple sections of hose to act as spacers between the frame mounts and the panel.  Then I sprayed the new panel with black plastic dip and a plastic clear coat on top and primer and black spray paint on the bottom.

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Painting the panel.

The finished panel mounted on the frame.

The finished panel mounted on the frame.

The spacer was made using sections of rubber hose.

The spacer was made using sections of rubber hose.

The second panel was a little harder although not much.  The seat frame gets a little wider (about an inch) from front to rear to I couldn’t get a way just with chopping a square chunk of sheet.  But with some basic measurements I was able to  cut and bend a piece to fit.  The front of the panel flares up so that there won’t be a slot between it and the front panel for things to slide through.  The sides fold down to form mounting tabs to the side panels.  This lets me adjust the height of the panel so that it does not interfere with any of the wiring harness or associated hardware and lets me hide the mechanical connectors under the floor so that they don’t catch on whatever cargo I through in there.  I thought about spot welding the panel in so that there wouldn’t be any visible connectors that would need to go through the side panels.  I decided that I liked the more industrial look that would give me though and went with pop rivets.  I was originally going to use standard rivets but since the back side of the rivet will not be seen I figured I could get away with taking the easy route this time.  I really like the look of rivets.  I think I want to do the entire bike in naked aluminum sheet and rivets for a WW2 fighter look when I have more time and experience fabricating.  I decided I would spay the inside of all of the seat panels with the rubber dip to cut down on sound and vibration although I left the outsides green and the underside of the floor I just painted black.  Once I got everything painted I assembled everything and put the frame back on the Ruckus.

Painting the panels with plastic dip.

Painting the panels with plastic dip.

Getting it all put together.

Getting it all put together.

Rivets are cool.

Rivets are cool.

Inside the under-seat cargo space.

Inside the under-seat cargo space.

A look through the back.

A look through the back.

I did weigh the replacement panels and associated connectors but I should have come out ahead of the stock plastic floor pan and I prefer the plastic-less look of the Ruckus regardless.  Sometimes fashion comes first.  The Ruckus is much quieter now as well.  I don’t know if it was just adding the panels back in above the motor or if the plastic dip paint is the cause of this, but I like it.  I don’t mind some noise but just hearing everything vibrate doesn’t add anything to the experience.  Speaking of unwanted vibrations…   I also added that little clip that connects the two battery box halves together and slid into the top of the front floor boards.  I had pulled it out to facilitate removing the floor boards and thought that it might rattle against the front frame if it wasn’t clipped into the floor board so I had left it of.  The vibration noise from the battery box was really annoying though so I reinstalled it to see it would make a difference.  It really does.  I might spray it with plastic dip as well to cut down on any noise it make rubbing against the front frame but I’m not sure it is needed.  That’s it for today.

Project Ruckus – Part 3, I’m too tired for a catchy chapter title

In project truck, ruckus, scooter on March 13, 2015 at 5:34 am

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Some things have changed since last we spoke.  First of all the color.  I thought it was little more olive green than what it turned out to be.  I’m not sure what I would call this color exactly.  I thought about ditching it and getting a true olive drab but this color kind of grew on me and I’ve decided to keep it.  It does all need to be taken apart again, touched up, and then clear coated.  I thought I had a can of flat clear coat when I started painting everything but that doesn’t actually appear to be the case.  Hopefully this weekend I will pick up some clear coat.  At which point I will disassemble everything again and touch up the green as well as paint some accents that will be done in white and then clear coat it all and reassemble it.

The second big change is the seat frame.  I’ve enclosed it so that I can actually use the under-seat storage and not have everything fall out.  I’ve left the back open so that I can just drop stuff in there without having to open the seat.  (it hinges open.)  I may enclose the back at some point but for now I will live with it as-is and see how I like it.  Besides enclosing the back will be much harder than the sides and front were.  The shape is a bit more complex and includes a couple of curves that would need to be rolled exactly the same.  I managed the curve on the front plate but I think the back plate will be harder.  Also there are some rear LED light kits that mount under the seat and replace the big light cluster thing that is mounted on the back of the frame right now.

Anyway, I started this project by sketching out some mounts on 14 gauge steel and then cutting them out with the plasma cutter.  I removed the seat frame from the Ruckus and ground off the rubberized coating so that I would have some bare steel to weld too.  (I need to pick up some rubber dip spray paint this weekend as well so I can reapply the rubberized finish.)  Then I welded the tabs to frame and drilled some mounting holes in them.  Then I used some cardboard to trim out templates for each panel.  I transfered the pattern to 22 gauge sheet metal and cut them out using the shear and some hand snips and sanded the edges.  I painted everything up (just using gloss black on the frame for the moment) and then bolted the panels to the tabs.  They just connect to the seat frame so that I can still remove it as one assembly without adding a bunch of bolts to the process.  I could add some tabs to the rear frame and bolt them to that as well.  It would add some stiffness to the frame but I don’t think it is needed or is worth the extra work when removal of the seat frame is required..

I’ve got a package waiting for me at the post office that includes a new K&N intake as well as high performance oil, and new spark plugs and wires.  Essentially it is just upgraded maintenance stuff.  The air filter on there now is really dirty and the stock air box is pretty bad (and ugly, really the ugly is the important part).  I’m guessing the oil was never changed (it only has 2600 miles on it) but it is probably time to do that as well.  The plug and wire change is just for some (hopefully) improved performance and fuel economy.  I can hit a top speed of 37 mph right now.  We will see if I get any more speed out of this general maintenance.   I probably won’t be able to tell if I am getting any better gas mileage though.  I did fill up yesterday but I doubt I will have used enough gas to figure out how much mileage I am getting before doing the work this weekend.  I am still trying to decide if I will fabricate the frame extensions I need make the cockpit a happier place for tall people to live in.  I have found some nice billet ones that are about $100.  I can make them for free, but I’m not sure how I will do it yet as I don’t have chunks of aluminum billet laying around or the machining skills necessary for that sort of fabrication.  If I make them, they will be created using square tube.  I will have to get a new throttle cable, brake cable, extend the fuel line, and possible extend the electrical harness as well when I do the extension.  If I get lowered handle bars I might free up enough slack to get away with the current cables and wires.  Essentially I need to the handle bars first I guess and see what that gets me.  Anyway, that is all for the future, have a good weekend everyone.