Another XS400 Cafe


New Member
Thank's guys. I still need to change seat because this one is really rubbish... and make some minor changes. Will post updates in march probably...

Some people asked me on other forums how i made the tail so bellow is description of whole process. Sorry for my bad English. I hope it is understandable.

Making it took me a a lot of time.. I don't know exactly how many days, but definitely it wasn't easy one weekend job... Hard job...not to mention dust everywhere after grinding.

For first mold (convex one) i used some kind of harder styrofoam i bought in local construction shop. It seems as a good choice because it was relatively hard-structured and easy to shape with knife and sandpaper.

I started with finding perfect tail length by drawing it in Photoshop and then cutting from paper shape that supposed to present tail viewed from the side of bike.


After some measurement i knew what shape i want and glued with wood glue four layers of styrofoam together.


In next step i marked with black pen, shape cut from paper on both sides of styrofoam. (don't have a picture), then i cut with knife rough shape above the lines to save a lot of grinding. Since it is three dimensional object i did one surface at a time. Started with TOP, then left and right side of a tail.



It was definitely the most messy part of a job. Dust from styrofoam after sanding was just EVERYWHERE and cleaning it up was pain it the ass.

The biggest question however, was how to make mold hard, and how to get rid of of small air holes in styrofoam after sanding and make it smooth as much as possible. At first we used car putty (bondo) and it was huge mistake. Car putty during solidification emit heat and simply melted part of mold.... I had to glue some more styrofoam and then cut and sand it again....



My father however, find some kind of acrylic putty that didn't emit heat during solidification and it was finally possible to make form hard as a rock. :) It was another messy part, because sanding putty was very similar to sanding styrofoam (dust! dust everywhere!).




After making final shape i glued convex mold in to flat styrofam piece and sanded it again to gain perfect surface.



My dad took it from there and applied about 15 - 20 layers of black spray paint. Then polish it to make it smooth and shiny :)


The convex mold (form) was ready and we where HALF WAY THERE!!!! I told you that this wasn't one weekend job. ;D ;D

It was time to make concave mold - the second and the final one.


We used acrylic binder (acrylic resin for the casting molds - i hope i translate it right) to make concave mold. Everything went OK but not without problems...

Acrylic binder was simply put over convex mold, which were smeard with fluid, that should help separate one mold from another, and prevent them from "gluing" together after Acrylic resin solidified. but..... it didn't.... After some time acrylic binder reacted with black paint on convex mold and it was impossible to separate one from another... We didn't have a choice and had to destroy convex mold by simply scrape it peace by peace... Having in mind how many hours it took to make it wasn't pleasant job either....

Nevertheless, after scraping convex mold, my dad mad some kind of strengthening skeleton on the back of the final mold just to avoid cracks while the whole thing was hardened under pressure.


When the concave mold was sanded with 2000 sand paper, we were able to finally have some fun with carbon fiber we had (i think mold could be used for fiber glass also) but carbon fiber is waaaaaay coooler:)



After few hours we were ready to suck under pressure resin from carbon fiber - which make it harden, and after a while i was holding this beauty in my hands ;D


Of course it still needed to be sanded and finished before painting. We put new layer of resin to hide imperfections and it started to look like this:


After sanding all imperfections were gone, and tail was ready to paint, but not yet.

It was time to make HUGE hole for new tail light. This part was quite stressful, because we didn't had so huge drill and i had to make it by hand using dremel tool with small grinding tip only... Making perfect circle by hand if very hard so i was feeling almost like a surgeon ;D I think it turned out quite OK.




Also bracket for tail light had to be made but, compared to drilling huge hole by hand, it was peace of cake.


And that's it. I'm quite happy with final result. It turns out really cool. Sometimes i think that it could be a little bit smaller but it's a bit to late for that ;D


Sorry for extremely long post :D


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