Exploration of side panels

In my previous post I talked about making some risers for my motorcycle. These are still on the table, but over the past few days I’ve gotten more excited about the panels that cover my battery and fuses. They’re bulbous and ugly and are some of the last stock pieces on the bike. I’ve been thinking of some fun/useful ways to cover up that area, make it look clean without sacrificing access to the electronics.

I pulled a coors box from the recycling bin and did some cardboard aided design. I came up with the general concept through sketching, where one piece drapes over the area and under the seat. This secures the product without any frame modification, plug and play. I originally wanted the idea on the left, it would be made from metal and have these vents shaped into it. I wanted to try something else though, I pulled out an idea from a while ago where I sketched a battery cover made of leather fringe. This material would allow super easy access to the electronics, drape well, fit the ‘biker’ aesthetic, and move well in the wind. The cardboard version looks pretty good, so a leather one should be even better.

After mocking up the cardboard, I mentioned the idea of filling the space with some small saddlebags. Most current bags sit over the rear shocks and are bulky, not really fitting the slimmed down aesthetic of 70s style choppers. Luckily my friend had a smaller leather bag with her, and I threw it over the seat to check it out. I’m liking that a lot too, it would be a cool and helpful addition.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Brewster Beck von Peccoz
    March 20, 2023 12:51 am

    Echoing what Rachel commented, I would be careful using leather fringe directly in contact with the engine or exhaust. Taking inspiration from a previous project where they made a bike fender from an aluminum can, do you think you could similarly make your battery cover and add decorative leather on the exterior. The cardboard mockup looks great in both styles and I’m excited to see what you end up creating!

    • George Davis
      March 20, 2023 2:22 pm

      yeah I probably could do something like that, but then again, its not that close, and we’re here to keep choppers sketchy!

  • If you have seen my previous posts I am a big fan of motorcycles so I like the idea of adding to your own bike. Have you thought about the final material for the skirts? This will be important as your fairings will most likely be in direct contact or at least close to the engine so it needs to withstand that heat.

    • George Davis
      March 20, 2023 2:25 pm

      Thanks, yeah I think it should be far enough away, and the wind should blow it away from any heat source.


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