Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 200 License Plate Mount, all for legallity? 30 June 2009

Here's what we tackled today, a 100% Made in the U.S.A. Custom XS 1100 Bobber license plate bracket. How do I know it? I know because I made it! (with some help) I really wanted to make a vertical style license plate bracket, but Florida just passed a new law that says the plate has to be mounted horizontally with the letters readable left to right. That makes it tough because I really don't want to put a fender on a bobber that just doesn't seem right.

Helper #1 was ready for action!

He really wanted to know how to weld but I think that I'll wait a few more years.

Over the years growing up my mom could make just about anything however most of the time it required some sort of a pattern, I adopted this concept and it works out pretty well. So here is my cardboard pattern made out of a manila folder to the exact scale of what the license plate bracket will be.

The cardboard pattern is all done now we are ready for the steal. The steal is 18 gauge sheet metal that my good friend Roger had laying around so he donated it to the cause. And to that "Shops Chops" says, thank you Roger!

Here's the steal after I traced the pattern onto it.

Next the steady slow hand on the Jig Saw. Slow is the key here if you get in a rush it's going to look like garbage!

Slowly chipping away at it.

There's the main piece all cut out, and it looks pretty close to the pattern! All those years watching Mom sew, bet she never thought I actually was learning something.

As you can see it's all cut out and starting to come together, I won't lie I had a friend bend the tab for the brake light and he did a excellent job.

Once again the pattern met the metal for this, it's the axle mount portion of the bracket, the jig saw had to be put to work again.

My friend bent this one too, now I just need to be weld it.

All welded up, because it was very thin it had a tendency to want to warp, and it did a little, however that just means I had to get out the universal multi-tool (Hammer) and coerce it back into shape.

All in all it think it is going to turn out O.K. I just need to drill some holes round some edges and paint it.

Here it is cut, bent, welded, drilled, rounded and painted, hopefully tomorrow I can put it on and wire the taillight.

Tomorrow is here, the bracket is mounted, and the light is on! I need to paint the rest of the hard tail now, and get the seat upholstered. However maybe I should try making a cardboard pattern and upholster it myself? Maybe another day?


  1. It's shake 'n bake an I helpt!

  2. Jason from AustinJuly 3, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    That's a sweet project! Gives me a real vision for the XS11 that I have. Amazing job!

  3. Jason from Austin,
    Thanks for commenting on Shops Chops! I really appreciate the complement.

  4. Dude>>>>>>>!!!!! I have been following this build from, just about the beginning. Although I'am a Welder by trade and a recent Machinist graduate, I'am impressed at what you have accomplish with a regular dude's garage. I think that this project should inspire many a working man, and thanks for taking us along on your real deal budget build!! UDAMAN!!!!! Aloha from Hawaii!!!!

  5. Anonymous from Hawaii,
    Thank You, that means a lot coming from a Welder and Machinist. The project still has a long way to go but I think that the brunt of it is out of the way. Thanks again for your comment and your loyal following.

  6. I found your blog online when searching for bike ideas. It has been a big inspiration to my kz750 bobber project. I have mine posted at kz750bobber.blogspot.com if you are interested in checking it out. It has just been tore down for paint. No doubt my next one will be an xs 1100. Thanks man!

  7. Anonymous kz750 bobber project,
    I checked it out and I like it a lot, keep plodding away she's going to be a beaut! Please keep me updated on how it goes, and thanks for commenting on Shops Chops.


Random Pictures Of the Build