27 Sep dB25: Fairing
Shrink, stretch, smooth, fit and weld – shaping from aluminium has almost no boundaries, but coming up with a good design can be a challenge. At the beginning of any build we start with simple sketches, this gives us our base and from there we allow the design to evolve through the metal shaping process.
Completing the fairing feels like a milestone within this project, with a lot of design features and engineering decisions to be made, the process is challenging but very rewarding at the same time.
The completed nose fairing is made up of 8 pieces in total. This includes 3 pieces for the initial shape and 5 others bringing detail to the final design.
The pictures above show how we approach the process of bringing those first 3 pieces together. Our first job after cutting the templated shape and annealing the aluminium is to shrink the edges, this is similar to wrapping a piece of paper around a football, which would require cuts around the edge. Instead of cutting the aluminium we create tucks then beat the metal into itself.
The panel is then beaten and wheeled on the English wheel to stretch and further raise it to the desired shape. It’s constantly offered onto the bike, being manipulated and trimmed until the perfect fit is achieved. Only once this stage is reached can we prepare the panel for welding. The welding process shrinks, distorts and anneals the panel so after the welding is complete the weld area must be planished back to the shape required.
We have also been steaming ahead with the final components to complete the subframe, this includes the electrics mounting plate which fits neatly between the subframe arms and incorporates our seat release system. Further at the back of the subframe is a small glove compartment, which will be hidden within the tail.
The tail section is now complete and we love the results. The next stage for this part is paint primer and moulding before reproducing the tail in carbon fibre!
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