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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all - I have been looking for a standard tank for my custom for some time now and it has not worked out so far. In the mean time I started playing around with some rough ideas about what I could do with the custom tank. The images below are a mock up using someone else's bike. Mine is currently a stock cx500c.

The idea is to make a rear cowl out of fiberglass that matches the custom tank as I have seen done before. The extension on the idea is to have a removable section that would reveal more seating area for carrying someone.

I wanted thoughts on the shape and angle of the cowl with the custom tank, and than also thoughts on the morphing cowl/seat idea. I have seen it done in the past but am pondering the feasibility. It may be more trouble than it is worth.

cx500c rear cowl design 1.jpg
cx500c rear cowl design 2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I decided I liked the design with the straight seat and cowl. Here is what it could look like with the cowl removed. Not sure yet what would be best for the attachment mechanism. I would prefer something that doesn't need screws. Some kind of clips or straps would be ideal.

cx500c rear cowl design 4.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's a great idea murrayf! I could make dimples where the cowl and seat meet which would hold the over-all position and then use neodymium rare earth magnets to secure the pieces.

What do you think of the over-all shape of the cowl, seat, and tank? Ignore colors and everything else on the bike as I'm not sure what I'm going to do there... I prefer the standard tank but this design is growing on me, and once I begin I don't think I could convert to a standard tank without modifying the front end of the seat.

This will be my first time using fiber glass but I am pretty crafty and there is a lot of good information on this forum and other places so I feel pretty confident.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Another mock up of the design using a different photo. This shows the angle from the side. I would need to raise the tail a bit to make sure I clear the rear wheel and make the tank, seat, and cowl level with the ground. Also would need to make a hole for the rear shock connection to the frame. Please excuse the poor editing quality, I did not use photoshop, just MS word... But you can see the idea.

cx500c rear cowl design 5.jpg
cx500c rear cowl design 6.jpg
 

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Is the hump for aesthetics or do you plan to use it to stop you sliding on the seat, just a thought as the attachment method might be pretty important if you plan to push up against it. My seat has a hump and I'm thinking of making a totally different seat for two up riding rather than having one that tries to do it all as 99% of the time it'll just be me.

Cheers
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Is the hump for aesthetics or do you plan to use it to stop you sliding on the seat, just a thought as the attachment method might be pretty important if you plan to push up against it. My seat has a hump and I'm thinking of making a totally different seat for two up riding rather than having one that tries to do it all as 99% of the time it'll just be me.

Cheers
Steve
Not just for looks - I would like to put weight against it. The neodymium magnets are very strong but to your point it may need some better fastening system...

This was my initial idea. The blue dots are the magnets, and the bottom image is a top view. The tabs would slide into slots on the main seat section and the magnets would hold in place. Weight would be pushed toward the direction of the slots and I would think would hold but maybe something more permanent is in order.
cx500c rear cowl design 7.jpg

I saw someone create a similar design but the cowl overlapped the main seat portion and had finger screws that stayed in the cowl when removed and there were nuts mounted to the main seat section. See image below. Orange dots are screws. I feel like this design is less aesthetically pleasing but would be more secure.
cx500c rear cowl design 8.jpg

What are your thoughts on the over-all shape with the custom tank?

Btw - awesome bike, I read through your build and the custom fairing is fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Submitted my materials order. Still playing around with how it might attach. Starting to lean toward spring clips, or quick release nuts with the bolt and nut imbedded in the fiber glass.
cx500c rear cowl design 10.jpg

Another mock up...
cx500c rear cowl design 9.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
While waiting for parts to arrive I have been thinking about how to paint the fiberglass to look like metal. Does anyone have experience with aluminum powder mixed with resin as used in cold casting? The link below shows a guy using it to paint on a metal effect.
Brushed Aluminum paint effect?? - THE H.A.M.B.

Was also thinking about using Krylon looking glass mirror spray.
Krylon K09033000 Looking Glass Mirror-Like Aerosol Spray Paint, 6-Ounce - Amazon.com

Both options seems to have decent results if done properly. I want the final texture to look like brushed metal. Nothing perfect. Unfortunately if I want it to match the tank I will have to paint it using the same process.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Still waiting on parts but tear down has started. Drained tank and poured oxalic acid and water in tank to de-oxidize over night. Got a gel battery for mounting sideways. It's nice to have the fiance help out.
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Cut off the rear seat mount and put up some fiberglass for the cowl section. This will be used as the base to create the final fiberglass seat with cowl as one form. Sorry some of the pics are not very good... taken with my phone camera.
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The cowl will be about here but a little further forward. The tank is just resting on the frame; that's why the angle looks a little steepter than normal. I drew on how the cowl will seperate to allow a second rider. The front area will be cut off to make it a little shorter.
cx500c.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I did not take any photos last night but I got a few things done:
Cut off the helmet lock
Trimmed down the cowl
cut cowl into sections to form the template for the final seat pan
finished laying out cardboard for final seat pan

Hopefully tonight I will have time to lay down the next phase of fiberglass. The fiance has been very supportive so far, even helping some nights, but I don't imagine that will last forever...

I need to start considering a sub frame for the seat as a portion of the pan will be floating above the frame where the frame dips down... I can not weld but I may be able to glass in some metal supports and some kind of bracketing...

Note to self: well/blind/jack/T nuts would work for mounting hardware
Attaching Cafe seat pan to tail section | Beemers and Bits
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
After taking some measurments of the original seat I decided to extend the rear a bit further back than I originally wanted to. It changes the look slightly but I want to make sure a second rider has enough room...

Finished prepping for glass. Taped and cut some fiber mat and cloth. Maybe I'll get to lay it down tomorrow. It's amazing how fast a few hours goes.

cx500.jpg
cx500 2.jpg
cx500 3.jpg
cx500 4.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Got the glass up finally. Not perfect but I can smooth out some of the lines with filler. I'll be out of town for a week so the next steps will have to wait.
2013-10-20 17.44.09.jpg
2013-10-20 17.46.12.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Relocated from Ohio to Arizona and got a new job. Finally feeling settled in and hoping to get moving on the bike again. Our condo has a garage but of course only a single outlet and not a lot of space... Hoping to get motivated again. Would like to at least finish the seat, tank, put pods on, and clean up wiring to get it ride-able in the short term.
 

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Your doing a great job. At least the move to Ariz gives you better weather and less humidity to work with fiberglass and paint. Nothing wrong with taking a break now and then.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Got a deluxe/standard tank thanks to GoBears0305. He started to strip and I worked at it this weekend. Tried paint stripper with some mild success. I might have not added enough. It worked okay on some areas. After some time I switched to a paint stripping brush attached to a drill. This works really well and removes surface rust too. Should be done stripping in a day or so. Also created a mount for the tank. I found a solid plastic roller brush at home depot that someone else mentioned would fit. You have to drill out the hole to make it a bit bigger and then shave it down to proper length. I used shorter screws with countersunk heads and drilled out a recess for them to fit in so they wouldn't hit the tank. Still need to modify the back where it bolts to the frame.

I think I'm going to redo my fiberglass seat. Since it was my first time there were some imperfections in some sections that will be hard to fix with bondo.

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Discussion Starter #19
Almost done stripping... The surface looks distorted from the stripping brush but I promise it is an illusion. There is a small dent but it is mostly in perfect shape.

cx500 tank stripping.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
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Finished sanding old paint and getting rid of all rust. Put some filler where there were some dents. Prepped with #400 sand paper and mineral spirits. Did some rattle can painting. Etching primer, then regular primer, then gloss. Got some splatter and runs from the gloss so I'm going to wait a few days before wet sanding and putting another coat. Did not take any photos of the gloss coat because it looks pretty bad.

After I fix the gloss coat I'll put down some clear and then buff.
 
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