I've been saving this post for a few days because its a big one and I treated it like a bit of a project in of itself. The side covers...
I modelled up a new cover based on the 3D file from the scanning. Then I made a prototype of that to check how everything fit up. There were quite a few small tweaks that needed to be made - mostly with the position of the fastening points but also with the fitment and alignment in the frame. I wanted to get it to fit a little tighter and flusher.
All along I thought that the side covers should just be flat (well, curved, but relatively plain) because that is what I feel Yamaha would have originally done with this entry level bike. Also, the stock ones on the Special models were just plain. But after seeing this prototype I thought I could/should do better.
Then came some sketching and ideation. Whatever talent I have lacked as a designer in the area of sketching I have managed to make up for it elsewhere, but my abilities held me back here for sure
haha. Given, some of the forms are somewhat hard to express in 3D with just a pen and pencil, and screw cracking out the markers! I limited myself to a few simple silhouette style 2D drawings to see if I could pull in some feature/line of the bike into a design feature in the actual cover. I always look for something to connect to somewhere else on the bike/product. So it 'makes sense' a bit. I also looked a lot at existing Yamaha side covers that I like a lot - certain models of RD350, XS650 and others.
The challenge I realised was that I wanted the cover to look pretty stock still, so a lot of the concepts ended up looking too aftermarket or even 'racey' which is not what the SR, or at least this one is about. So speed holes and channels were ruled out after seeing them.
Then I decided I liked the idea of trying to pull in the nice curve at the rear of the tank and try to blend that into a smooth surface. I made a couple of prototypes of this idea with two different depths of the detail. When I modelled it up in 3D I did a sketch of how I would do it, I usually do this when I model things up, especially if there are mating surfaces involved and there needs to be continuity - then I need to plan a bit.
I found the first prototype was too shallow and needed to be exaggerated more for it to look intentional. Then with the second prototype glued and filled together I tested it on the bike. This time with the seat on too. Which I should have done from the beginning because it looked funky right away. Too busy and confused all in one area and not really lining up.
So I decided to try another one of the concepts - one where the line of the tank/seat junction continues into the cover and then flicks back rearward. Thats where I am at now and I like it a lot. I might tweak it slightly to see if the curve should be tightened or loosened and if it could line up any better.