First attempt at welding
My first bit of welding, other than practicing on some scrap, was to add some angle strips to the rear frame to support the battery – I wasn’t confident that a fibreglass tray on its own would be strong enough. The orange bit of fibreglass is where the top of the mudguard had to be cut away so the battery could sit lower down.
The seat catch for the dual seat was originally fitted under the rear cross-member, with a metal loop from the seat going through the slot to engage the catch. Re-using the catch seemed like a good idea, so another bit of steel was welded on in front of the battery tray to attach it to. Luckily these welds will all be hidden from public view. The catch used to be operated by a cable connected to a lock, but as the only thing under the seat now will be the fuel tank, a simple wire pull will do.
Brackets – alloy and steel
The left-hand footrest bracket also supports the starter relay and reg-rec. I would have liked to move these components as they stick out a bit and may spoil the lines of the side panel, but there was no-where obvious to put them that would provide a decent heat-sink for the reg-rec. Pan European reg-recs are generally immune from the failures common to other Hondas of the 1990s, probably because they are bolted to a big chunk of alloy and don’t overheat – that’s the upright bit with the projecting bolts in the pic below. The battery used to sit on the plastic tray to the right of it, which was part of the mudguard moulding.
Having decided to let the relay and reg-rec remain where they are, I cut off the rear part of the bracket, as part of the plan to visually shorten and lighten the bike. A bit of rounding off might improve the cut edge.
The plastic moulding that the starter relay was attached to was part of the battery tray moulding, so I had to make up a new bracket that could be fixed to the footrest bracket. A trial-and-error card template formed the design, and a bit of the cut-off fuel tank hump supplied the material.
It was while re-attaching the brackets to the bike that I noticed a little bit of water seeping from a bubble in the swing-arm. Prodding with a screwdriver found some serious rot, necessitating a new swing-arm – very disheartening and the main reason that I didn’t touch this project for another 12 months and got on with the PC800 instead.
With a new-ish and very expensive swing-arm eventually installed I did a bit more cutting down of the footrest bracket on the other side. Still not quite right somehow, but getting the bike on the road is now more important than perfection.