21 Nov dB25: Aluminium to Carbon
A moment we’ve all been waiting for – no, sorry, its not finished yet! – but fabrication is complete (minus the tank, but we’ll update you on that soon). Months of shaping, welding and refining the design comes to and end, we hang up ours hammers in favour of rolls of carbon fibre. Let the fun begin!
In previous emails you’ve seen us begin the process of reproducing our smaller aluminium parts into carbon fibre. With fabrication complete, we’ve now begun to reproduce our larger panels, piece by piece, firstly into moulds and then reproduced into the final carbon fibre parts.
We started our moulding process with the dash, an understated piece that you’ll notice most when sat in the hot seat. The dash seems like a simple part but it has a big impact on the overall feel, hiding electrical components and bringing your attention to the display, while providing a fixing for the screen and a mounting point for the top of the fairing.
In total we have 20 moulds to produce, we’re now half way through that and the oven has been going non-stop in the workshop for the last few weeks, both with moulds and the first run of carbon parts.
As each part is completed it’s fitted back to the bike to check for fit and alignment. Although we knew that this would be an accurate way of reproducing the parts, it’s been exciting to see how well the pieces come together.
Having gotten to grips with moulding some of the simpler parts our attention turned to the belly and tail. The difference and challenge with the more complex parts is that they cannot be moulded in one piece – we need to create splits in the moulds to enable the part to be removed once cured.
The belly, for instance, is a split mould made of three parts and the tail has four. We had to jump a few hurdles but we’ve now cracked this process meaning its full steam ahead in completing the final moulds.
Generally we are able to cook our parts in the oven overnight. With the belly I found myself rushing to the workshop in the morning eager to see how are parts had turned out and they didn’t disappoint.
I’m not sure whether seeing these parts is as exciting for you as it is us but seeing the belly pan in carbon is a huge, exciting and mind blowing step for us. So much detail, time and attention has been spent creating it in aluminium and to see the process of reproducing the part go smoothly with such accuracy helps us know we’re on the right path.
Along with the belly we also made the radiator cowling. Putting these carbon parts together really starts to give a feel for how the bike is going to look with a complete carbon body.
As I write this the oven is hot cooking up our first tail section – I can’t wait to share the next steps with you.
Thank you for following our journey