The Thunder Toad Cometh

dcwp

New Member
It has become apparent that my build is on the road to bobbertown rather than cafeville so I'll move it over here. Not to mention that it's time for a re-christening.

Here's my old build thread http://dotheton.com/index.php?topic=10041.0

Henceforth the Parts Dolphin will be known as the Thunder Toad.

Some update/re-introduction pics:

Finished painting/clear coating the tank. The color is a bit brighter than I wanted, but fine. I'm fairly unhappy with the job I did.



Lots of orange peel. I read several places how it is possible to get a near-pro finish with spray bombs as long as you're diligent about sanding etc. Problem was every time I sanded, no matter how light I thought I was being, I would scratch through. Used two cans of primer and three cans of color and was still getting down to gray wet sanding very lightly with 1500. Finally just shot a coat of green, rubbed with dry paper towel and tack cloth without sanding, and moved on to clear.

I started this build to learn more about bikes, especially body work. What I think I learned here is that painting is best left to the pros. For the price of all the primer, paint, clear, tools, and labor I put in, I could have probably gotten most of a pro job. Live and learn.

Still it looks pretty good from a few feet back






You can also see my trimmed up seat pan. Trashed the first one, cut the rear seat mounts off the frame, and formed up a new lower one. I cut the first one in half and used it for the front half of the new form.





Attached the front lip mount from the original seat, used two cabinet latches in the back, and two rubber feet from the original seat in the middle. May still add some foam to the frame rails to distribute pressure as much as possible.




I met with my shoemaker friend this week. She agreed to do the seat for the price of materials as long as I promise to spread the word if it turns out well. Started gluing foam to the pan today. Will hopefully buy some leather Thursday and get the seat to her to start sewing next weekend. I'm totally stoked. The wide flat seat is going to be like a bench seat out of an old sedan. Should add a certain touch.

Now I'm thinking about a tail light. I've been thinking of going with something like this
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180408785572&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
to minimize the clutter. Not sure how I'll affix it now though. I sort of like BaconPocket's side-mounted light, but I'm not positive I can make that work easily either. I'm sure a minimal amount of fabrication will make either of these work.

Attention Humans: Prepare for the coming of the ThunderToad!
 

baconpocket

eating bacon
subscribed

that new seat shape looks great with the tank and bars. i can't wait to see what you have in mind for upholstery.

great name choice too!
 

Curbcast

New Member
I was at my cabin the other day & I swear, the toads have been humping frogs. Weird looking little dudes.
 

supercafe

New Member
hey man,

looking good, i though you had clipons on there???
i like the straight bars better my self.
the seat pan is looking good, like the tank to.
i believe its starting to look more like a bratt style bike, which i wicked awesome.
any way can't wait to see more.
later.
 

dcwp

New Member
Thanks for all the feedback guys! I'm starting to get busy at work, but I feel the momentum on the bike building. Hopefully I can balance time and get it rideable just in time to park it for winter.

I never had clipons, must have been a photo with an odd angle that made it look that way. I decided on the drag bar since I'm too lazy to do yoga while I ride and with the lines of this bike, I figured from the beginning I would move toward a bobber or brat any way.

Glad everyone likes the brat look from the flat seat, drag bars, and wide tank. Those brat bikes have been a huge inspiration for me. When I e-mailed my upholsterer/shoe maker friend about this project I basically just had her check out bratstyle.com to see what I wanted.

I think I'm going for the tuck and roll look (whatever it's called) with horizontal seams across the seat every couple of inches and a rounded profile. I'm a tiny bit concerned because this seat pan is a few inches shorter than stock and I always had to scoot forward on the stock seat to get my wife comfy on back. Still, it should be big enough for zipping around town.

One last thing. I had dreams all night about a hugger fender. I think I may look for a front fender from a Goldwing or something similar and attach it to the swingarm. I was going to leave the fender off altogether, but I think this could look cool and allow me to attach a light easily. Like all ideas though, this is subject to change without notice.

Thunder Toad will hump frogs if they are in the way. Clear the road for Thunder Toad.
 

Ghosttown

New Member
Yes! This bike is really starting to take shape now, can't wait to see that pan covered. Looking great.
 

ejd2

New Member
"thunder toad" sounds like a good thing to blame when you don't smell just right. nice name.
 

dcwp

New Member
Thanks EJ, I was thinking of you when I gave it that name. Next time you're up here you won't have to blame the dogs.

Cafe-XV - I'll let her know. Part of the deal was that I told her I could probably send some people her way if she liked doing it. I know she does killer work on shoes, made some very sweet retro shoes for my wife's birthday a few years ago.

BTW Cafe - I've got an extra set of Focus rotors that have been sitting around for several years but never used. Do you want them? They're yours if you'll take them.
 

Cafe-XV750

Member
Thanks for the consideration, but my Focus is a SVT - different rotors. Check out focaljet.com and their forums for all your Focus needs!
 

tWistedWheelz

BUILT NOT BOUGHT!
Love the new name, now that Thunder Toad has fire in it's belly! Your project is looking good, I think that bike lends itself to a bobber/brat look better anyway. I think the seat style you are planning on will be cool for that pan. I would make each section a little wider than normally done, just to be a little different. Also, what color and what finish material are you using for the seat, I think a brown swade would be killer, and even sweater with some brown smooth finish leather piping or accents. Just my .02, hope you find it helpful! Good luck, cant wait to see more.

By the way, I have done lots of rattle can sprays on many different projects, The key to it is many many layers of heavy sprayings with the color layer, you dont have to sand between coat of the color layer, but to achieve the thickness you need, you should lay three to four coats on in a two to three hour period and then allow it to completely cure (two to three days) then repeat this whole step again, then again! I know it is a pain and it takes time to learn, but you can get a great paint job from a rattle can at a lower price than a body shop. I will be creating a rattle can paint thread in the 1800cafehelp section soon. You can read the whole process there.
 

dcwp

New Member
Thanks tWisted!

Brown is an interesting idea. I originally thought about doing vinyl diner fabric with some wild sparkles, maybe gold on black or even green. Would be a wild retro look, but not quite what I'm into. Plus my friend who is doing the upholstery prefers to work with leather.

Right now I'm leaning toward black leather with gold thread to give a little detail effect. I've also thought about a tan/goldish leather or even some color. I'll be driving out to a leather shop in suburban Detroit Thursday to pick up a hide, so I suppose some of it will come down to what's available and what's affordable.

Thanks for the tips on paint. I think I realized too late that thickness was going to be important. Since I sanded after every few coats, I managed to get three cans of paint down and still scratch through with the sand paper. Reading other guys using a single can and getting done in a weekend was sort of frustrating since this paint job took me the better part of a month. Live and learn.

I'll look forward to your paint thread.
 

my94f2

New Member
tWistedWheelz said:
Love the new name, now that Thunder Toad has fire in it's belly! Your project is looking good, I think
By the way, I have done lots of rattle can sprays on many different projects, The key to it is many many layers of heavy sprayings with the color layer, you dont have to sand between coat of the color layer, but to achieve the thickness you need, you should lay three to four coats on in a two to three hour period and then allow it to completely cure (two to three days) then repeat this whole step again, then again! I know it is a pain and it takes time to learn, but you can get a great paint job from a rattle can at a lower price than a body shop. I will be creating a rattle can paint thread in the 1800cafehelp section soon. You can read the whole process there.
that yuo can. 1st spray a medium mist tack coat then wait 5 minutes or about a cigarette worth of time then 3-4 fairly heavy coats. smooth as glass no drips and nice and shiny. take a look at mine under the bobber/ chopper/ whatever. its all spray paint
 

dcwp

New Member
Now you guys have made me want to do the paint again! Maybe next year...

Didn't get nearly as much done this weekend as I hoped. We're remodeling the kitchen and it seems like it'll never end. Just like with the bike every time I do one thing it makes me want to do three more.

I got a piece of leather to cover the seat. It's a half of a black horse hide:


I also added a piece of galvanized strap to the back of the seat rails for more support. The cabinet latches just seemed too flimsy. There was already a threaded hole there, I'm not sure what it's for since it's open on my daily rider as well.


Set a couple of bolts in the seat pan using epoxy to match with the holes in the strap. These will be secured with wingnuts. The seat will be more difficult to get off this way, but the added stability will be worth it.


I decided I wanted a fender, but not the hassle of a hugger just yet. So I cut a small notch from the back of the seat and started figuring out how to attach it.


I tried a couple of things, but I think I'll use the back of the original fender with a couple of new holes to attach to the side rails, then I'll cut the front of the fender to catch the galvanized strap. I think this is the right length and orientation, but I may take it in an inch or so shorter.



Eventually I'll probably paint it gold, maybe green and put a round light on it.

Last but not least, I got the seat foam shaped, glued, and covered with batting. Looking at this picture, I see a major asymmetry near the front. Maybe it's just the picture, but I'll want to get that fixed before it gets covered.
 

Kev Nemo

Honda Hacker
Hmmm-I think the bratstyle bikes have pretty narrow tanks, actually. Most are based on a combination of track tanks and chopper style 'peanut' tanks. It also seems like you could have bought a stock seat, yanked the cover, cut the foam in half, and recovered, which is what I did on my first seat. Next go round, I made a pan out of an aluminum street sign, old seat foam, and marine vinyl from fabric store. What else do you have planned besides the fender?
 

dcwp

New Member
Yeah, I don't think anybody will mistake this for a proper Bratstyle bike. I saw someone the other day talk about ramen bobs - stripped Asian bikes done on the cheap. I think that sums it up pretty well for the Toad.

As for the seat, my first thought was to just cut down the stock seat, and looking at what I've got now it probably wouldn't have been a huge difference. I am still considering taking this one a bit lower by trimming the foam to half it's height. That wouldn't work with a stock seat since the pan has a big arch over the wheel. This seat achieves two major goals. 1) it covers the rails 2) it gave me an excuse to learn how to fiberglass. This whole build is about learning new skills since I'm otherwise brand new to bikes.

I don't have a ton of other plans. For now getting a dead motor running and doing some basic customization is all I wanted out of the bike and it'll be too cold to ride or work very soon. I'm planning to put a round tail light on the fender, replace the airbox with pods and rejet, wrap the headers, and hide the battery and electronics. I'm thinking of using a bent piece of sheet metal to do that, like the Gravel Crew bikes. Next season I may think about more mods or I may start looking for another project to do a little deeper.

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on other things that would be cool.
 

Kev Nemo

Honda Hacker
Do you have any good, level 'profile' shots of the bike without the tank and seat? When I started on my bike (and car), I made sure I had plenty of these shots so I could plan it out in msPaint. Here's my bike around the point yours is now:



these pics are great for tracking progress as well! ;)
Just looked at your og build thread and now I understand your dilema with the frame dip under the seat. Easiest thing to do is make that work for you as a place to stash your electrics. Where are you planning on hiding the battery?
 

dcwp

New Member
Yep, the obvious solution is to put the electricals under the seat. I've seen some other CM400 builds that put a flat seat between the tank and rear rails then sort of a skirt to cover the gap and the electricals in there. When I yank the airbox, I'll have to see how much room I have there.

I'm planning to mount the battery against the rear frame and inner fender if I can make it fit. I'll probably fab up something simple to hold the battery and the electronics in the same spot back there. Then I'm going to try bend a piece of sheet metal or maybe use glass to hide everything back something like these bikes.







I'll have to see how the size of the battery and frame geometry allows for it, but since it's AGM, I can mount the battery at any angle.
 

Maritime

Well-Known Member
You will find a lot of room there once you ditch the air box, it's huge, I was almost going to put a 1 gallon jerry can in the place of it for when I go on ling rides.. I am hoping to do something this winter to hide the battery and electrics and remove my side covers to show off the pods and get the open frame look.

Cheers,
 
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