New Ironhead project!
My 72 GMC project truck has been sitting in the driveway with enough insurance to keep it registered for a year and a half. It ran, but I didn't have the time or money to do what I wanted to it. I started looking for a new bike project, tired of having my RoadKing out of commission for days or weeks at a time when I wanted to work on something. The plan was to have two bikes, one running, one being worked on (I can't leave well enough alone).
So after a few failed deals, I mentioned a trade to a friend of a friend who had just picked up a bike. He got excited (Friday) and wanted to come look at the truck on Sunday afternoon. I woke up Saturday at 9am to texts and voicemails from him wanting to look at it NOW
Test drive and a handshake later and he has a truck and I have a bike.
Not my style, but it had a sound chassis, solid motor, and a lot of potential.
Plans are for a new tank and fenders, front end, reworking the seat, and swapping out some accessories.
I was going to adapt parts from my '59
But the front end is damaged, the rear fender is glass and would need a ton of re-work to fit (and I want to put it back on the '59) so I started looking. I found a deal on a 22" over front end, the one above on the blue bike is 14 over for reference. I decided to make a new rear fender out of a 55 gallon drum, then decided to add a front, and figured since the rib from the drum would be a prominent feature, I'd add a strip to the tank too.
Well, the tank is large, so I traded for an older, smaller style. What I really wanted though was a scratch built tank from the drum, so that's in the works now too.
OK, so on to the projects...
55 gallon drums from Craigslist. Single use, sealed head, food grade, 16ga steel
Cut and marked
Now for some shrinking
So that's about an hour with the wrong hammer. I picked up a better mallet and the shaping advanced. At this point though, as heavy as the steel is and the critical fit, I decided to redo it. I'm going to do it in 5 parts. I'll cut a two strips, form each outer curve, weld sides on, then bolt them up and lay a center piece with the rib. Cut, flange, weld, and be good to go. The back of the fender will mimic this style
With the rib built in to the top.
The front fender will be a single piece, small curve to it.
The tank will likely be about 5 pieces, top and sides from the drum, bottom a virgin piece of steel.
I have the seat pan ready to cover, here's a photoshop mockup of the design
I've re-drawn it, cleaned it up and have the pattern ready to tool up on some leather when it arrives (going with 8/9oz so I can cut it deep and have it hold up) I have a design for toolbag drawn up, working on saddlebag designs too.
Leather will be tan/natural, the bike is going to be two-tone hammerite, black with copper scallops and white pinstripe outlines.
Other than raking the neck, all work will be done by me.
Former USN HT
Everlast 200DX New Model
Hobart Handler 125 MIG
Van Norman #12
Atlas 12" engine lathe
'98 RoadKing - 84 Ironhead - 59 Ironhead