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        Enclosed motorcycle aluminum chassis from FNFAB

 


Frame to firewall angle                                                                      

History of the chassis for our enclosed motorcycle

We tried 3 chassis styles. The first was common steel tubing and steel plates intended to hold a fiberglass body. Like a dune buggy.  Months later (and hundreds of dollars) sadly, it turned out to be too heavy. Way too heavy. Don't try it. The second style was less, thinner steel tubing and fewer, thinner steel plates...... and aluminum plate instead of steel ... anywhere we could.

The second style chassis still proved to be too heavy and frankly a mix of too many 'arts' for the average kit car builder to master in their  garage (i.e TIG welding, tube notching, tube bending, MIG welding, metal forming). You can't weld aluminum to steel, so now much of the construction was hardware and brackets and tabs and braces and crazy gussets. Too heavy, too complicated.

Although I describe 3 basic styles of chassis, through prototyping and experimenting we probably scrapped enough metal to build 10 cabin bikes in a myriad of configurations.

Forget TIG welding. If you don't know how to expertly TIG weld already...and have all the equipment.... Don't try it. The last thing you want to do is to 'practice' TIG welding a whole vehicle together for the next six months.  I did the math and HAVE all the equipment and expertise and professional fabricators. Trust me. For you, it's too difficult and too expensive. And too slow. Way too slow. 

Forget tube bending too. My bending and notching equipment cost thousands of dollars and I have decades of experience. Don't try it. It is an entire art all itself. Unless you are already an expert and have time and money to burn. Get over it.

Here is what i came up with. Chassis prototype #3 which is officially a CabinBike™ TYPE 1 chassis now. All aluminum plates. Plasma cut from pre-programmed CNC cutting patterns. MIG welded with aluminum wire using a spool gun. Light, relatively fast to fabricate, and easily reproducible. Reproducible for me or for someone off in a far away place with the right CNC files. 

 

All I had to do was learn to MIG weld aluminum. It was easy. Very easy. The equipment was only a couple hundred dollars (I already had a MIG welder).  I found MIG welding aluminum is FAST. Very fast. I should have tried it years ago! Not sure why I never did??? Probably because it's ugly compared to TIG. but, since most of it will never be seen and.... as long as I have a good weld (and I do).... I suddenly don't care too much about the 'butter' weld that you get with a spool gun.  Now, the spool gun is one of my favorite tools. Here's how it works. Pull the trigger and point it at aluminum.  You are welding.

Early mock-up and testing TYPE 1 and TYPE 2 chassis:

 

   prototype lean test s click here

 


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CabinBike.com and CabinBike™  are trademarks of Fred Nelson Fabrication. 2012-present.

All rights reserved