Seat & Tank Figuring

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I just spent a decent amount of time hanging out in the shop with my bike trying to figure some of the last stuff out. Part of my revived effort to start doing stuff again and spend time in other rooms than this one.

See, I want to put my bike back together again, basically as soon as is physically possible. But there is also stuff that I want to do thats is going to take some time – primarily to the tank:
- Add tank hand shift (right front)
– Add one of the copper Ural badges (left front)
– Fuel site guage (left middle)
– Second fuel tap (bottom right)
– English tank cap conversion (forward top)

To accomplish this the tank needs 7 threaded bungs welded into it in various positions that have to be pretty accurately placed so that the stuff they’re for actually fits. It also needs the section with the gas hole & cap cut out with a new section welded in that will accept the ring for the british cap (so much better function/design). I’d also like to paint the tank nicely, I mean it’ll still be pretty much flat green & some bare metal (under clear coat), but I want it to be a Good paint job that lasts – like the job Brent did on the sidecar tub. Whats more is that I’m starting to think that I want to make my own tank shifter.

First off, this is what I’m going for:

You can see from the jump that its stone simple. Here’s the thing, since the lever this connects to doesn’t automatically return back to center (like a toe shift) these knotches

are really important. As in they have to be the right distance from each other or else the bike’s not going to go into gear properly. Now over the many decades of people producing the gearbox that this is designed to work with

there are slight variations in just how she shifts and I don’t know how old my gearbox is, I don’t want to order a part from half way around the world and then mount it to my tank (no way to properly set it up if its free floating, so no way to know until after) and discover that those knotches don’t mesh with my gearbox.

Also rather happily I found this picture

Which shows everything I’d need to make from a good angle. But that’s going to take time, I mean there are a dozen slow moving steps before I can even really begin to make it – I figure I make the levers/pivot/backplate first and mount all that to the tank, then with adjustable rods I get it all tied together and then I can make the knotch plate. But thats going to take months, and I want my bike now.

So I was downstairs trying to figure that out. I mean the solution in and of itself is pretty simple, just use a different gas tank in the meantime. But the catch there was to make sure the seat I want to use with the final tank would work with the tank off my first Ural.

It almost does, I mean hell if you painted the tank below the seam black it would actually probably look pretty decent.

But the main trouble is that the seat, and thus my weight, would be resting on the seam of the tank – thats what holds up the front of the seat in this, and while I could make some brackets, to do it right would require solid mods to the seat. That would be fine except that those mods would kill its chances of working afterwards with the tank I really want to use. There is no good way to make this work without killing later use of either the seat or the tank and I want both.

So instead, for the time being I am going to revert to how the Ural looked in 2012 with this tank and the tractor seat combination:

Which will work fine for around town and short trips, which is fine since for at least the next year or two the bike will only make 32hp which isn’t really touring power.

What I have to remember when I’m putting the bike together is that I want to install the back half of the bench seat before I install the tail light & license plate holder because of centering as well as positioning. It’ll look great and work basically anywhere on the fender – and with the tractor seat that’d be fine, but once I convert to the bench I don’t want to have to move the tail light. Its the little things.

2 Responses to “Seat & Tank Figuring”

  1. MikeOkc

    Greetings from Oklahoma City ,
    Came across your blog quite accidently . In reading through some of your entries I noticed that you to deal with chronic pain . I broke my neck two years ago at work and have pretty much been stuck home or near home , never venturing to far from the pill bottle .
    In being home bound I took up bouncing around the ” net ” and came across Codysworld , again accidently . I can say this my life will never be the same . I have read all that is available , including both of Gary’s books and am amazed by what I have learned .
    And that is what lead me here .
    I applaud your desire of motorcycles , I too , in a much younger life forked a many good scooters and have many fine memories of travels I survived . My last British bike was a Royal Enfield , much like the one you pictured with those huge seat springs . Mine was an earlier model , before they went to electronic ignition and other upgrades . It was a 500 cc and was perfect for bouncing around the Ft Worth area that I lived in .
    I hope not to be an annoyance , you mentioned not having many to share with , I am extending an ear .
    Mike Layton
    Oklahoma City

    • Wizid

      Hiya Mike,
      Sorry I didn’t see this sooner, I haven’t logged in here for a while. Yeah, Cody was quite the guy although I admit I had more of an online relationship with Steve. I had very little conversation with Cody before his death, most of what I knew of him I learned the same way as you did although I did have the pleasure of reading his page while he was still the one updating it for a brief time. Steve was very kind to me when I was having some really hard times. I haven’t heard from him in years, last I heard from him was on my birthday in ’06 and he reported that Mark & Wingnut were both doing well as was he. The lot of them had a profound effect on my life as well, and Gary too was around to listen for some years after, we swap emails now and again but nowhere near as often as when I was younger – mostly because I’d worked through what I needed to I think.

      I’m sorry to hear about your neck man.. thats just rough. I get lucky sometimes, my issues fluctuate so I do get on average a couple months a year (if you add up the scattered good days) when I’m feeling almost my age and can really do some work and take a bike trip or two which is just good for the soul. I’ve been down for years at a time without good days before, and while I can’t tell you it gets easier, you do get used to it eventually and the frustration dies down to something more tolerable.

      Ha, yeah those were horrifying seat springs, combined with the shocks hitting potholes would cause me to depart the motorcycle only still attached by my hands for brief terrifying moments – the friends who got to witness that all thought I was going to die each time it happened but somehow I always managed to land right and keep her from going down. I eventually swapped the springs before I’d sold that one. I did have a 90’s model that was pre electric start and still had the points and whatnot. The build quality was.. well it left something to be desired, by comparison it made the Ural and the Dneprs seem like actual BMWs quality wise. But that was just a lemon as I knew a guy with one from the same year as mine who’s still riding it and he never had the issues I did. I loved them though, its why I bought the second despite the troubles of the first, and if I could still ride solo bikes I’d probably end up buying a third haha, I just, they are so brilliantly stable and put like a sewing machine and get godly gas milage. The alloy fenders I’ve put on the sidecar rig are all three rear fenders made for converting an Enfield to a scrambler, the one on the sidecar was actually on my first Enfield for a bit.

      You’re no annoyance Mike, I’m bad at keeping in touch with folks though so please don’t feel slighted if it takes me a while to reply as for example it did here haha. Its the meds, my memory is just… I can retain motorcycle stuff cause I think about them near constant but everything else just slips along and is often forgotten.

      At any rate I’m glad you left a comment.

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