Suzuki SV 1000 Stainless Steel Chain Guard.
Plastic chain guards have always seemed a bit of an after thought to me on many bikes. Generally made to perform a very basic function (mot requirement as well) most manufacturers seem to spend all of at least 5 minutes making them as ugly as possible. Not on this bike anymore!
My customer has a wickedly clean SV1000, I mean you could eat your dinner off the underside of the tail end. ¬†Awesome bike for a 2003 model its immaculate.
Anyway, the project was to design and make a bespoke 1 off polished stainless steel chain guard. I was left with a pretty open brief other than the fact it wanted to be different. The motorcycle had already had some subtle modifications and I hence I wanted to create something subtle to complement the bike, yet on closer inspection more detail being obvious.
I took measurements and details required to start a drawing, the design was to be made from 6mm diameter round bar with laser cut and etched insert panel.
Above image shows the start of the fabrication process. You can see to the top left additional round bar frame components, hand formed around a former and shaped with a planishing hammer. The main guard part being tacked up with the tig welder is sitting on the vice in the forefront of the picture.
Above – Top main panel and mounting brackets ¬†tacked up and laid generally together ready for tig welding and then offering up to the bike.
Above shows the bike with the silencer can and passenger footrest removed to give access and also to be ableto visually align the components to the bike. The 3 parts were welded up as individual components, I used a short piece of 1/2″ wooden baton taped to the chain and set the top guard panel and taped it to it. This gave me a nicely aligned main panel. Setting / bending and aligning the front and rear mounting brackets was an art and a pain to get to look right sitting on the bike as I used the original chain guard mounting lugs on the swing arm.
Above shows both front and rear mountings sat at the correct angle (but left long) and the black mark shows where I will bend the mountings towards the main guard panel, its important to remember that the bend angles for both mountings are different as the is a shorter distance from mounting point to lain panel on the front and rear mountings.
Above shows that alignment of the top main guard panel and the way the 2 mountings sweep up to connect to it needs very careful setting up otherwise we will end up with a twisted assembly that will not sit square and even when on the bike. In this instance bend, check / offer up, bend and check again. As always it is far easier with the bike at hand to offer parts up to get exactly “right” and be able to eye up alignment. If I didn’t have the bike on hand it would have been very difficult to set this new chain guard up accurately when using the old plastic guard as a template.
Above images shows (from left to right) parts ready for polishing prior to tack up, smallest tacks locating the mounting panels to the main panel, and view from the rear at tack up. The idea being that by using the smallest of tacks I can bend and manipulate the parts slightly to align the assembly, or even remove and blend in the tack if I need to move anything.
Above 2 images showing final adjustments and set up before final welding. Once I was happy with the alignment, the chain guard was removed from the bike for final welding. After cooling I acid cleaned the welds to remove the heat marks. Final stage polishing with soft mop and soaps to complete the mirror finishing prior to fitting back onto bike and re-assembly of exhaust can and hangar (shown below).
After final fit up, a good hand polish with a proprietary metal polish to remove soap and mucky finger marks, leaving a finished product
Its worth noting the the pictures don`t do this chain guard justice – (crap camera on my phone).
Was the end result worth all the work? Leave me a comment, what do you think?
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