24 Sep Hell On (Two) Wheels 11 – Boxing Day
Another week, another installation of our adventures in working to create one of the most unique Kawasaki Vulcan 2000s on the planet.
Last time we checked in on Hell On (Two) Wheels, we had just finished up putting together the reinforcement bracing between the widened rear fender and the two-up seat. With that completed, it’s time to address the issue beneath the seat — all the wiring and behind-the-scenes components of the bike. Just as they are hidden from view during normal operation by the side panels and the seat, we plan on keeping that level of immediate accessibility, just in case anything needs to be accessed without already being in a shop. For that reason, everything needs to have its own individual spot, so that the owner won’t have to wade through piles of cables and ECUs in order to access a battery terminal. We had a general idea of how we wanted everything to fit, and after taking all the parts into account, we set off constructing the bottommost part of this “box” that will hold all the components in place. The main frame of this box would be held in place at two OEM bolts by the motor, and two custom mounts we made off the rear fender’s bracing.
We prepared the walls of the box to match up to the contours of the frame and everything else that makes up the perimeter of the box itself. It allows everything to still fit in place while looking much cleaner and closer to factory-spec than just some random piece of aluminum with four walls and a floor. Along with the bolts holding down the box and the front and rear, in order to ensure there’s no rattling or other unforeseen noises coming from the box itself, we are mounting it to the body below by way of additional screws.
That main floor of the box is what we plan on mounting the battery to. However, it’s much larger than the battery itself, which could contribute to all sorts of movement and noise. For that reason, we made brackets to give the Vulcan’s battery a place where it will fit perfectly snug. Two little corner brackets hold the forward end of the battery in place, while the back of the box itself will hold the battery from the back end.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a fabrication post without a quick glance at the aluminum’s welding beads. Seeing as how this is just a quick aside of weld porn, we’ll just call it ‘softcore’ this time around.
And here’s how the battery sits within those brackets. The rear end, connected to the bracing, is cut to fit the battery inbetween the welded-on brackets that hold the box in place.
As always, just putting the battery snug against some brackets isn’t going to be enough to keep us happy. As there are a rather large number of bumps on Chicagoland roads, the bike may experience some momentum shifts along the Y axis, which could potentially unseat the battery from its resting spot with a harsh enough bump. For that reason, and again to prevent any unwanted rattling noises, we prepared a tie-down for the top of the battery to keep it snug in place. The top bracket will bolt to the bottom of the box on the front side, and at the rear it will connect to those two mounting points we welded onto the fender’s bracing. We also placed a piece of adhesive-backed cushioning along the top of the tie-down, allowing us to tighten the battery down to a snug fit without causing undue pressure between the battery and the tie-down itself.
The box is about a third of the way done at this point. There are still plenty of things left to account for — two larger modules including the ECU, the OEM tool kit, the fuse boxes, things like that. In the next installment of Hell On (Two) Wheels, we’ll finish up the rest of the underseat containment unit, as well as some other custom goodies.
Stay tuned and have a great week!