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Old 02-13-2019, 02:18 PM   #1
redruM
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Fabbing custom metal parts for belly pan

Well, it's high time I put my barely mechanically-inclined brain to work and build something with my non-callused hands.

I want to mount a belly pan to my bike. If I go with all of the necessary OEM hardware, I'm looking at over $600 (thanks, Aprilia). I found the actual plastic fairing for cheap - but it's the special mounting bracket, nuts/bolts/spacers and special downpipe that I refuse to spring for. I may need to bite the bullet on the downpipe; won't go into all of it now.

Bottom line is, I want to make some custom aluminum parts that will enable me to bolt the fairing/pan directly to the engine case using whatever pre-existing screws I can. These can be crude parts, I don't care. They'll be hidden behind the fairing anyway. My question is, how do I go about it? Where do I get the materials? Make believe I'm an 8 year old.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:43 PM   #2
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What sort of tools do you have? Drill? Vise? Hacksaw?

You can buy metals online at places like mcmaster.com and 6061 aluminum is a decent option

if you need to attach threads to your object, I'd recommend a rivet nut kit (metric): https://www.ebay.com/itm/86pcs-Heavy...8L9u:rk:3:pf:0

for spacers, either use washers from your local hardware store or pick up some aluminum tubing of a reasonable ID/OD and cut it to length (for longer things)
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:57 PM   #3
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Go to home depot, buy some aluminum strip. Bend it over the edge of a table in to the shape you want. Drill some holes, bolt it on!
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
Go to home depot, buy some aluminum strip. Bend it over the edge of a table in to the shape you want. Drill some holes, bolt it on!
You'll end up with something like this:

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Old 02-14-2019, 10:10 AM   #5
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I have most of the tools - seems like it's gonna be a lot of trial and error, but we'll see.

That McMaster site is awesome! Hell, maybe all I need is an old Erector set.

Thanks gents.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:36 AM   #6
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You can use cardboard to get the general shape and dimension for the brackets. I usually pick up a 12 pack of beer and use the box from that. It's thin enough to approximate sheet metal.
Stainless steel brackets will generally be better than AL, depending on how thick the material and how heavy the belly pan is.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
Go to home depot, buy some aluminum strip. Bend it over the edge of a table in to the shape you want. Drill some holes, bolt it on!
If you bend aluminum strip or sheet at a sharp angle, I can just about guarantee that at some point it will break at the bend. Use SS for anything that's going to be bent at a sharp angle.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by born2lse View Post
You can use cardboard to get the general shape and dimension for the brackets. I usually pick up a 12 pack of beer and use the box from that. It's thin enough to approximate sheet metal.
Stainless steel brackets will generally be better than AL, depending on how thick the material and how heavy the belly pan is.
This. Both for the cardboard trick and for the material.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:25 AM   #9
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If you bend aluminum strip or sheet at a sharp angle, I can just about guarantee that at some point it will break at the bend. Use SS for anything that's going to be bent at a sharp angle.
I disagree. My license plate mount (home made) is going strong after 5+y and it was just bent over the edge of a workbench.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:29 PM   #10
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Bending aluminum can be complicated. The bend radius is dependent on the thickness and type of material.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:47 PM   #11
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I disagree. My license plate mount (home made) is going strong after 5+y and it was just bent over the edge of a workbench.
Depends upon the radius of the bend. Too small and the metal can be seriously compromised. Also depends upon the load the brackets will be carrying.

I learned the hard way and bent up some brackets for my horns on another bike and in short order, they broke resulting in one horn hanging down by it's wire and resting on the headers which then melted the horn body.

For what the OP is doing, the weight difference between SS and aluminum won't be much so I recommend SS. Much less chance of remaking parts.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:21 PM   #12
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I like the cardboard idea. I also like beer. Both should serve me well for this project.

The belly fairing weighs only a smidge over 1 lb.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:08 PM   #13
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this thing?


youtu.be/qJ4CzgwdNPM

ya, I think u could make that huge bracket with a few pieces of flat stock from HomeDepot and some riv-nuts. u could prob get away with grommet nuts like for windscreens instead of riv-nuts.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:46 PM   #14
kuksul08
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If you just bend it once it will be fine. Besides it's just holding some fairings on, no biggie.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
If you just bend it once it will be fine. Besides it's just holding some fairings on, no biggie.
Once with aluminum, depending how it's bent, can be too much.

And if a fairing or belly pan comes off, it can be a hazard to the bikes rider and other riders, possibly causing some serious accident.
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