Saturday, 6 January 2018

Drillium

This is what 25 grams looks like...
This is what -25 grams looks like...


Generally when I'm building motorcycles I try to make them as light as possible. On a regular bike there is usually low hanging fruit like steel mudguards, heavy clocks and headlights, indicators, passenger pegs and suchlike that can be easily removed or replaced with lighter parts to reduce weight.

The Fantic is already pretty spartan and there isn't really anything that can be removed without affecting the functionality of the machine. So in order to reduce weight I'm planning on replacing some of the steel parts with fabricated aluminium parts and then drilling holes in everything.

So I picked up a pair of cheap Ebay shorty brake and clutch levers to replace the mangled stock ones and I was curious to see how much weight could be removed by drilling them.

The stock levers weighed about 300 grams per pair. The new Ebay levers were shorter and generally less robust and weighed about 250 grams per pair. Drilling the levers and replacing the plated steel cable adjusters with alloy ones reduced the weight to about 200 grams.

So 25 grams per lever isn't very much. But by replacing the stock levers with lighter ones and then taking a little care to lighten those parts further, I was able to achieve an overall weight reduction of about 100 grams.

I'm very happy with this. Am I going to notice 100 grams off an 87 kilogram bike? Probably not. But it's a subtle thing. That 100 grams is high up and far from the centre of gravity so maybe, just maybe it will have an affect on the moment of inertia.

And if I can remove 100 grams here and a 100 grams there, well those 100 grams might just add up to a noticeable difference. And if not, well it's still all good.

Dunno. I started off this drilling thing just out of curiosity but I'm quite pleased with the result.

The 'Before' shot.
The 'Before' shot.

Cheap shorty clutch and brake levers purchased on Ebay.
Cheap shorty clutch and brake levers purchased on Ebay.


#Drillium #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage