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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have made up some side plates to mount the XSR900 headlight shell. My prototyping was simple, using flat 1/4 hardboard, a band saw, belt sander, a drill press, and a graphics program (although I would have preferred a cad program, but had Corel).

Doing the prototyping is easy. I printed the images at 100%, cut them out, glued them to the hardboard with some spray glue (have also used rubber cement when I first started making cam chain tensioners). Then I cut/sanded the shape, center punched and drilled the holes.

Now you may wonder why? Why do the work twice? It took me three test plate sets to get the results.
  • Set 1 pulled the headlight holes straight back about 50 mm if I remember right. (In spite of being in the U.S., I frequently do my work in metric, because manufacturers almost always use full mm dimensions for most general purposes from my experience and it's easier than fractional using decimals.) Too low, the headlight mount holes missed by about 10 mm.
  • Set 2 kept the 50 mm pull back, but raised the headlight holes up 10 mm. But with the hole I drilled for the bottom pin grommet was back too far, by about 12 mm making the shell aim slightly high.
  • Set 3 moved the holes 10 mm further forward, but the resulting gap at the back looked bad and I could see the ugly work I did in trying to heat and form the back to clear the stuff behind the headlight.
So I bit the bullet and bought another headlight shell, $33 usd, to do a different job on the backside, and went back to Set 2 of plates. A good choice in the long run.

Originally, for some reason, I was trying to get wiring inside the shell for weather protection, which isn't easy, when trying to heat the back of the shell and push it in. There was was no space for wiring and the headlight shell at the back without chopping out the back. That and I realized that neither of my dual sports had the wiring behind the number plate headlight nacelle in some closure and they used similar connectors. Thus the brain storm - just cut out the back of the shell, if it's good enough for the KLXs in the mung and drool it should work fine for the XSR.

The rubber grommet for the base support pin is also able to be used because of the raised position of my side plates. A pilot hole was drilled about 3/4" or 20mm back from the edge of the headlight opening, then I carefully used a 5/8" spade drill to cut the bottom hole to fit the grommet (inch because that's the spade drill I had), the grommet OD is 15mm. So the headlight is essentially mounted as Yamaha did with the "cannon". This is the result. Here is how big the cut need be in general for the back side.

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The top shots are the new shell as cut. The bottom is showing the old shell installed, the new looks about the same, but the bottom grommet hole was too far back, the headlight tilted back too far. Now it is plumb.

Today I plan to have the sideplates cut from some .375" black acrylic plexiglass. They carry no load, the shell sits on the lower pin from the stock set up, so only support is side to side. I am seeing what the cost to make the parts would be. So far the quotes have been higher than hoped for, if I can get the right pricing I can offer them to those who want to do the same change. I am taking the file in to have the parts machined from the stock I have. Looking at $50 for the set plus material costs so far.

If you have one of those thin LED lights you may want to do the same prototyping I did with the hardboard to avoid expensive making of bad parts. The stuff I used was scrap I had in my lab class room at school, so no cost.

Here are the key numbers to make the plates.
  • 53mm center to center between the fork leg mounts
  • 70mm center to center between the top leg mount to the headlight mount
  • 75mm center to center between the bottom leg mount to the headlight mount
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That is the basic triangle to start with, the image is rotated to match the fork mount angle, so I could visualize the rise I put in it. I cut out the center in my design since I have the mini signals mounted at the top fork leg mount hole. A solid plate or a plate with a cross bar can be done to mount signals.

I will report back with a price if people want to pick up a set or to have a set cut for themselves. Right now it's looking like prices will be $75 usd, unless I can get a bigger break once done. I buy about a thousand stickers a year from my sign guy and maybe can get a better price. We shall see.

But there is enough there for you do-it-yourself people. That triangle and those cuts will mount up a 900 headlight shell and look good, no big gaps. The hardboard prototyping and the triangle can be modified to get the best fit if you have one of the thin custom LED headlights. Once you know what you have, cut them from aluminum or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Passing on some tips like the hardboard thing and the print-paste pattern thing may help others. My two errors cost me maybe 15 minutes to print, paste, cut, drill, and test on the bike. Didn't feel bad about trashing the two junk ones.

The pattern glued on just made sense to me. In spite of having an engineering background, I have to believe my idea for it comes from my wife. She did a lot of pattern cutting as a costumer for some community and professional theater work. Stick 'em on the material (pins), then cut it out. No muss no fuss, no Dykem.

The use of hardboard was an automatic. I teach industrial tech and had the pieces laying around in the woods lab. Great sanding boards using adhesive backet sand paper. Cheap and easy to cut/drill/sand for the test parts.

I probably could have done 3D at the school, but the time and material, just not worth it. I'd say about a 3 hour print per part on the machine. Much faster with the hardboard. For me the prototyping is about the fastest and easiest I can do. Nice part was I could ride the bike with the hardboard plates until I get the acrylic ones cut.
 

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I'm always impressed with your thought and execution, this really is an excellent share, nice work. I'm not necessarily looking for a way to scrap grandma's wash bucket, but I am exploring where I can (partially) hide a tire rope patch kit & 6 CO2 inflators. You could almost make a version with small tool carriers on each side of your mounts. Hmmm...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Two possibilities register with me immediately,
  • use the stock brackets with the 900 bucket or similar one, then put the container behind the bucket between the ignition switch and the headlight bucket.
  • Use the bracket measurements from the stock plates, but make the new plates conform to the shape and size to suit your containers.

Holsters can be made from ABS using 3/8" for the plates and either 1/4, 3/16, or 1/8 to glue up pockets to hold what you want, using plumber's black ABS cement. That was what was used to fill in the hole on the rear fender after grinding off the lollipop lump. A bit messy if not careful, but easily worked, since the cement is partially ABS in the solvent, can be built up some, and easily shaped with a dremel, files, and sandpaper. There could be small tabs to use O-ring rubber bands to hold the bag or roll with the patch kit and all.

I can visualize a few ways to make the parts, just figuring out if it's reasonably priced and easy to have done. I think the ABS is the ticket. Be a fun project for you.
 

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I thnk the ABS is the ticket. Be a fun project for you.
Right on great fun, I'm going to play with your ideas for a bit, thx amigo!

Right now I'm planing to do a detailed tutorial, how to adjust shim under bucket valves, thinking lots of our friends on the forum could learn one of the more interesting and money saving procedures. I've had plenty of practice, bet you have too, we used to adjust our GPZ inline 4's and synch the carbs 3 times a summer, running extra tight tolerances just to squeeze that extra go juice out of the motor.

I have an intake vacuum hose relocation mod I'll do at same time, sou you can synch carb throttle bodies by just removing the seat. Still have my circa 1982 CarbTune II, working perfectly. Mercury reservoir never evaporates. And my special tools that cost less than $10 bucks, suction cups that you pull the buckets out of the head without any damage to those tolerances or scratching the outside surfaces.

Anybody who learns this saves $500 maintenance at the dealership, and they get a much better job on shim tolerances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have fun with the ideas.

I've done a Zephyr 550 checking the valves, done the shim over bucket with the KLX650 and shim under bucket with the KLX250. Otherwise my bikes have been Hondas and a Guzzi with screw type adjusters... nice and easy with them.

I don't know if I'd say a much better job. Some people really shouldn't pick up tools. Usually shows in questions they ask.

I figure I have a bit of time before I need valve adjustment making them a winter project when it does need done. I think the cam drive to the side instead of in the middle of the cylinders will make things nice for sure. Single sure was simple.
 

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I'm going to write it up, hopefully with enough description and pics, that any new biker can learn right.

And I've got a trick, hard learned, how to get those measures right the first time. Ever measure, pull shims, trade for what you measured you need, then bolt the cams down with new shims and it's not what you calculated? I have, plenty. There's a way to do it, you get the right shims first time, I'll show how.

Expecting this all to be great fun, and one valuable thing for shim under bucket owners to know.
 
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