Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tanks for everything

I’ve been very busy living life as a normal dude lately I havent been updating the blog. So sorry for ignoring all the updates.

But while living life as a normal guy is goin on, it doesn’t mean I havent been doing any research on bikes or anything. The days the shop is open on Sundays, I try to make it (to my friends shop) working there doing whatever I can from dismantling bikes to grinding stuff. I havent had much time at all to weld the scrap metal I steal from my friends. In fact, its been at least  3 weeks since I touched the welder. Oh how I miss it…

Recently bought a book called “Art  Of The Chopper”. I call it the bible. Has a lot of interesting things and views from famous bike builders in US. I try to read as much as I can every day. Stole some designs of rockers and also views on what the biking scene is really about. I would say, a lot of them have many opposing ideas of how bike builders are like.  What I did realize about them is that NONE of them call themselves “one percenters” and things like that.  And that humble way is what I really respect.

Anyway, recently, I was sketching frames that I wanted to build for my next bike. I fell in love with a stretched high frame with a curved backbone. So I had decided to stick to that. Also, I had been in contact with several people about rim sizes and many other interesting things.

Just last week as I was having issues sleeping, I got around watching the biker buildoff which I had downloaded. Randomly clicking it, I didn’t realize that that single random episode I clicked on had changed the choice if tanks that I wanted. It was a battle between Kevin Alsop from BigBear and Ivy Trosclair of Metry Custom Cycles. Before I had watched that, I had chosen a stretched teardrop tank for my bike. But that soon changed. I was watching Kevin build a tank out of medium steel. Apparently, thicker than normal sheet metal and he had refused to hammer it or use an english wheel as he said it would thin out the sheet metal thus causing integrity issues. “the man had a point” I thought to myself. Seeing how (once again) I will be using a rigid frame (if it aint rigid, it aint a chopper), all the rattling from the engine and the road will kill some parts (look at my battery terminal… snapped off).  Kevin then continued to make a kite tank (slightly similar to a coffin tank, but with more curves to it.). Now, it is famously known as the “Athena tank”. Instantly falling in love with it, I did more research on it but couldn’t find much info. Thus I downloaded as many pictures as I could find and stared at them for at least an hour. Once the way it look got burnt into my mind, I drew out templates on anything I could find… in this case, name cards I didn’t want. I kept it till I went home from work (because the damn company doesn’t provide us with scissors) and started snipping.

Today, I had recreated one (because I get attached to my prototypes), filled the gap in the front of the tank (I was having an issue where by the time I matched it all together, I needed to make a plate to patch up the hole), cut it all down to design it again so the front plate can be made as one properly made piece. After 3 hours, I had done it! But, on the way back, I thought of improvements that could be done.

I will be making a life sized replica soon and will upload a picture of it soon.

p.s. sorry if there are even less pictures now, one of those days I threw a fit and my phone broke into 4 pieces.

By Vy

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