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 Post subject: Lightning XB fender chop
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:44 am 
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Ok so this has probably been done to death, but there are always a few twists. ;)

It’s probably ok to cut a part if you wouldn’t sell your bike before hell freezes over, or if you have a spare part you can modify at no loss. There are probably enough broken XB9s for the latter. I just like to have a choice.
As it happens the spare 9SX tail l have is from an early model. Later XBs like mine have 2 extra ribs moulded under the seat compartment, but l can’t see why unless ‘Shallow Hall’ tried to spread his partner over the rear of the seat, or in some markets they tried to ferry small children on the cheese grater and one broke! lOl The smooth undertray is also helpful in other ways as will become clear.

The earlier XB tails also have a different number plate lamp with captive leads. This can be an issue as the later light does not fit easily unless you ream out the hole in the casting for the later push in bulb holder. The early lamp also has a metal reflector inside which will fit inside the later unit. ;)

I also think that black is the best colour for a cut down fender. Or if yours is silver l would paint the areas of casting under the seat rail matt black to make them less visible. I have masked off the gloss black upper seat rail to do this and to protect the existing enamel while working.

The main feature l want to include is the re-use of the end casting number plate mounting. At the rear end of the casting behind the cheese grater is a flat area of around 6 sq inches. If this flat is retained with the plate and lamp holder it can be used as the mounting point to the seat under tray. The difference in angle of the under tray automatically gives the increased rake needed for the number plate. I will use two bolts for this with 3/4 tap washers between the bolted sections to provide some flex and isolation. ;)

It was when l came to fitting a number plate lamp that the early and later units became an issue. The later curved lamp housing is better suited to fitting in the space under the seat tray, but it won’t quite fit into the earlier casting. :ill: l made my own mini lens unit out of a Muck Off visor clean bottle top and part of an old clear cassette case, but this was only 1/8 the volume of the original and gets too hot from the bulb. Shame as it looks neat. This would have been glued to the back plate of my 06 lamp housing just covering the bulb with a few mm to spare. I could just use the standard lamp, but l want a smaller discreet bulb cover. Working on lens Mk II now. 8-)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:29 am 
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I decided last night that l may go for a 3 bolt triangular fixing (brass M6 and washers) of the number plate holder if there’s space from the internal clutter to access the nuts or bolt heads under the seat. ;)

There are 2 options for the indicator location. One; on plates bolted behind the upper number plate holder. This is already quite a solid mounting point. Or Two; into the sides of the tail housing. This looks better in my view, but requires tapered rubber spacers to angle the indicators correctly as the casting is angled and slightly dished at this point. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:26 pm 
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I hit on a solution to the number plate light. I am trying to avoid buying a unit while Buell have essentially provided all you need to adapt for use. ;)

If l use the 06 tail light unit, the increase in rake of the plate mount under the brake light casting will throw some white light backwards, which is not strictly legal. I thought that l could solve this and the problem of location of a reflector in one. ;)

I don’t want to alter the standard reflector mount as l only have one and want to retain all the components to return the bike to factory finish if desired. For this reason my favourite glue of choice is Evostik’s Contact Adhesive. This is strong and flexible, but can be removed again without too much trouble. Contact adhesive has held on my Yam SRX bar end weight for 18 years. I plan to mount the standard reflector (one of HD’s cheapest items at only £1.50 ;) ) onto the back of the number plate light binnacle with scratch built plastic side plates to hold it vertically, which combined with the reflector will form a shield for the number plate lamp. The reflector can still be mounted highish under the brake light unit and the lower curved edge of the casting will shield part of it so that it looks less obvious. This also means that the reflector can be eliminated from the lower edge of the plate. 8-)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:12 pm 
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edd wrote:
I hit on a solution to the number plate light. I am trying to avoid buying a unit while Buell have essentially provided all you need to adapt for use. ;)

If l use the 06 tail light unit, the increase in rake of the plate mount under the brake light casting will throw some white light backwards, which is not strictly legal. I thought that l could solve this and the problem of location of a reflector in one. ;)

I don’t want to alter the standard reflector mount as l only have one and want to retain all the components to return the bike to factory finish if desired. For this reason my favourite glue of choice is Evostik’s Contact Adhesive. This is strong and flexible, but can be removed again without too much trouble. Contact adhesive has held on my Yam SRX bar end weight for 18 years. I plan to mount the standard reflector (one of HD’s cheapest items at only £1.50 ;) ) onto the back of the number plate light binnacle with scratch built plastic side plates to hold it vertically, which combined with the reflector will form a shield for the number plate lamp. The reflector can still be mounted highish under the brake light unit and the lower curved edge of the casting will shield part of it so that it looks less obvious. This also means that the reflector can be eliminated from the lower edge of the plate. 8-)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:14 pm 
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Nutah wrote:
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Yes it still looks a bit like that on my living room floor! lOl


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:45 pm 
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:mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:53 pm 
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I did the final shaping of the alloy tail pieces today.

It’s a weird alloy (or is that just cheap?); heavier than you’d think, harder to cut with a saw and grind with stone grinding wheels, but strangely compliant when fine sanding with a modest sponge sanding block! :?

You need to do it carefully with a steady hand and regular checks for line and shape. I got mine pretty close to the one done on Yutube by Superbikejay and his cutting wheel, but using a basic hacksaw and bench grinder! :ill: lOl

Just some fine sanding to complete before drilling holes for fitting and priming for paint! ;)


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:04 pm 
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Well they say that the devil is in the detail!

I can’t position the indicators quite where l wanted them in the sides of the tail casting. The stalk will clash with the tail wiring loom on the left side and l don’t want to move cables from where they’ve sat since Dec 2005....and they would be too close to the seat. :roll: I’m thinking of placing them just below the tail casting on L shaped hangers spliced into the same bolts that hold the number plate holder casting on. ..........And therein lies the next snag. There’s hardly enough room for 3 bolts and one will get too close to the seat latch cable release. :headbang: One bolt will have to be positioned asymmetrically.

The flat end of the number plate casting will line up exactly where the radius bulge in the tail unit base. While positioned this far forward l also need to drill another hole to feed cabling through. I’ll make it all fit somehow! ;)


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:57 pm 
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edd wrote:
Well they say that the devil is in the detail!

..........And therein lies the next snag. There’s hardly enough room for 3 bolts and one will get too close to the seat latch cable release. :headbang: One bolt will have to be positioned asymmetrically.


I had the same problem with the one I did on mine Edd, I used a round head allen bolts with dome nuts on the underside. :yup: JB

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:23 am 
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Cheers, l was thinking of just grinding the bolt heads down to make them shallow. The plate holder can be fixed on before the whole unit slots in! ;)


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 10:07 am 
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Has anyone had experience of JDM legal minimum plates ordering service? ;)


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:23 pm 
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Jazzbutcher wrote:
edd wrote:
Well they say that the devil is in the detail!

..........And therein lies the next snag. There’s hardly enough room for 3 bolts and one will get too close to the seat latch cable release. :headbang: One bolt will have to be positioned asymmetrically.


I had the same problem with the one I did on mine Edd, I used a round head allen bolts with dome nuts on the underside. :yup: JB


All good today. 2 inverted and asymmetric positioned brass M6 bolts fix the number plate casting. An 8mm hole for the indicator wires and a 6mm for the plate light. Tap washers in between the casting and inside the tail piece onto which the nuts press down on 20mm washers to give a slight amount of flex. Looks like Buell built it like that! ;)

Having second thoughts about the tail lamp/reflector now. Mk lll lens on the way. lOl


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 11:53 pm 
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Lower cast bits below seat rim primed and will be ‘satin’ black not matt paint. Satin is more subdued than matt, but mainly because l have a tin of satin handy and this is supposed to be a budget to zero cost DIY / self isolating only job! lOl


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 9:23 pm 
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After a morning assembling shelves for her ladyship, it was a pleasure to get back to the tail piece papers! lOl

Number plate lens Mk III. Looking for a source of both black and clear plastic. I remembered that l have hundreds of old VHS cassettes. People just give them to me for some reason. lOl I check every tape for rare recordings before l bin or break them (Chinese theatre productions anyone?), but they are ideal for scratch building a small light unit.

I made a trapezoidal shaped box with clear underside. This glues onto my 06 number plate light backplate. The existing ridges of the back plate provide anchor points for the sides of my DIY unit, which is more compact than the factory item and angled downwards to counter the increased rake of the plate holder. Use of the existing back plate ensures easy bolt on and removal while retaining the push in bulb fitting.

The metal internal bulb reflector from my early XB tail unit is included and l bend the end tabs inwards to wedge it at the top inside my lens housing. The rear plate of the housing just meets the downward curve of this reflector so that dictates the length of the unit.

The existing red reflector will glue onto the back of this. After scraping off the rubberised backing, I ground a radius into the top of the red reflector to mirror the tail castings underside bulge so that this reflector can tuck in tighter under the brake light. After grinding l discover that the red reflector lens (as well as being made in Finland lOl ) is actually hollow so clear silicon sealer is needed to close off the resulting holes. My completed light box was a bit rough and ‘gluey’ once assembled so a quick sand and more satin black just finished it off nicely. I will glue the reflector in its final position after the unit is completed. ;)

Hopefully a photo will materialise here sometime. ;)


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