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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I modified my Floorboards about a month ago or so and I need your opinions.

I was inspired by the boards on the new Victory's baggers. They're so long and wide they almost defeat the need to have highway pegs. Since I had some spare diamond plate aluminum in the garage. I decided to give it a try.

I made a template with a piece of cardboard and traced it on to the aluminum. I cut both pieces out (mirrored of course) and then clamped them back to back and took a grinder to the edges to make sure they were the same size and shape. I'm relatively happy with the shape, but I would have made it a little wider if I could have. I wouldn't add the indent on the outside curve if I could do it over. But it's nice to be able to stretch out a little more. I always felt like there was a lot of wasted space between the boards and the factory highway bars. Now I can stretch flat foot or hook my heel in front of the shifter or brake with ease.

Anyway, once the boards were made I popped off the factory rubber mat, and used the large existing holes in the OEM boards with some fender washers to secure the aluminum to the floorboard. I also counter sunk the screws on the top side.

My real problem is that no matter how much I polish the boards with compound I can't get them looking like chrome. They just don't match. So does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do to finish them off?

I'm debating between, more polishing, having them chromed, or powder coating them black. I have a line on a powder coater that we use all the time at my work. So that would be the easiest solution I think. The other issue is the edges. They're just raw cut edges. I'm stumped with how to finish them. I cut them with a jig saw, grinded them smooth, and then hit them with a sander to make sure the blade marks were gone, but they still look unfinished to me.

Check out the pictures and let me know your thoughts. Sorry the pictures are kinda bad. The lighting isn't the greatest in my garage.
 

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Premium Member
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Cool idea. I'd be concerned that they don't provide enough grip. Do they?

As far as polishing, you may get better results with a power polishing wheel. The problem with aluminum is that it is pretty soft and any high shine you do manage to achieve is going to fade (both from use and oxidation). Are you planning on putting on a protective urethane coat?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The grip isn't bad due to the diamond pattern. I was thinking about just coating them in plasti-dip because of the rubber feel it has. My concern with that is that my boots will rub it off. Of course powder coating probably won't provide much grip at all.

As far as polishing goes, I'm completely new at it. I do have a power wheel, but maybe I'm using too fine of a compound. I do see what you mean though, now that I think about it, about how much untreated aluminum will oxidize.

Any suggestions as to how to add grip and get them to match the bike a little more? I'm thinking the urethane would be pretty slippery too.

Edited for spelling... Again... I should really put my phone down...
 

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It's gonna take a ton of work to get aluminum to really shine, though it can obviously be done;


(The single best looking machine anyone has ever built, conceived, thought of building, etc. etc. period! The North American P-51! Plus later models approached 2,000 horsepower, and were modded to exceed that after the war by racers. And it was turbocharged way back in the 1940's. Hello! It doesn't get any cooler!)

I happened to chat with a guy who is a professional detailer (the kind that would probably faint if he found out people thing pledge and paper towels make a clean bike. He mourns for your paint.) This guy works on high end exotics and after working on a clients Bentley, this client revealed he owned a second world war era airplane with an oxidized aluminum finish. Took him and several others guys several days of polishing but they got it shiny! And he said they'll probably be back in a year to do it again.

Getting it chrome plated you won't have to worry about rust or oxidation, fading, etc. It'll clean up easy. That would be the way to go, if it were me!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ya, that's partially why I would change the shape if I was to do it again...

Less big foot, and more of a rounded wedge
 

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I like the idea of the powder coating, and they would look really good if you could attach some sort of rubber or similar material. We have found that diamond plate does not provide as much traction as flat plate. Had to quit using it in the animal trailers it acted like ball bearings, but it looks good on your fabrication.congratulate you on your inguinity, As you can tell my spell check has died...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thus far the grip has been acceptable. The problem is that the more I polish them, the more of the "edge" comes off the diamond pattern. Making it more of a dome then a hard edge. Those edges seem to hold on to the grip on my shoes just fine.

That said, if I was wearing something with a flatter sole like a cowboy boot, there probably wouldn't be much grip.

Maybe I should try plasti-dip in the mean time. What's the worst that could happen?
 

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BOTM Winner, May 2015
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some like chrome, some like black.. I am for the powdered coated black... the thing is what do you like.. The floorboards came out well.
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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If it were me doing this mod, I would use flat stock instead of the diamond plate. Then I would polish the hell out of it like that P-51 and then figure out some sort of way to seal it at that point to hold the shine longer. Once that was achieved I would find some form of rubber to cut into strips and bond to the boards for additional traction. Just my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #13
some like chrome, some like black.. I am for the powdered coated black... the thing is what do you like.. The floorboards came out well.
I really am leaning toward the black. The problem is I'm very picky when it comes to this sort of thing. And if I'm going to go with black it needs to match the satin black colour of the engine side covers. Same reason as to why they would need to be chrome. If they're going to sit beside another piece of chromed metal it has to match, not be a dull silver
 

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Living The Dream
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As long as you like them, that is what matters. But you asked for opinions, and mine is that I don't think they look like they belong on the bike at all.

Reminds me of my cousin who has a 1600 Classic. His rear passenger floor board inserts were shot. So he used some black conveyor belt material to fix em up for free. Again my opinion is that they just dont look like they belong. He cobbled it for functionality. Did the same by building his own luggage rack, which also looks homemade. Yes it functions, but doesn't fit the rest of the bike. I would have found some oem inserts myself, and a proper luggage rack. I know money is not the object either as he just added rear hard bags and a Memphis shades batwing. He just likes to make and build things, I get that. Just wouldn't do it on mine unless it looked professional. Just my opinions, not trying to bash anything. Hopefully this comes across as constructive criticism and nothing more.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Deputy. I totally understand where you're coming from. That's kind of how I feel as well.

It sounds like I'm kind of a mix between you and your cousin. I very much like to make things myself, but if they don't turn out exactly right then I feel like it was a waste of time and that they just don't belong.

I love the functionality of these boards. I'm 6'1" with fairly long legs, so the factory boards always felt small to me. I like my options now for stretching out. But they're not "finished" by any means. Which is a huge issue with why I feel like they don't belong.

Hence why I turned to you guys... :D

I've always had this thought that I would keep these until I got highway pegs. The pegs I want with the short extensions are some where in the $300 CDT range after taxes. Plasti-dip is about $20. I think I will just dip them black until I get my pegs.
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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Differently post up pics once u plastidip them. I've never used plastidip but I have heard its some pretty cool stuff!
It is some cool stuff for sure. I plan on doing my whole bike after the bagger conversion is done. Check out youtube and search dipyourcar and you'll see how they now have high gloss finishes. Looks damn good and pretty damn close to an actual painted gloss clear. You can't do custom graphics and such with it (yet, at least not that I've seen anyone do) but solid colors and color changing pearls and flakes, the sky is the limit.
 

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Plasti dip the floorboards? Wouldn't that just rip and rub right off the first time you ride it? That stuff is far from permanent. Which is why so many like it. Peel it right off when you're done and try something new.
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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If it's done right it's fairly durable. But as you say, not permanent. The good thing is, if it starts peeling or rubbing off, peel it off and re apply. But cost wise, rattle can paint would be more effective.
 

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BOTM Winner, May 2015
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I believe its good as long as it's not being touched rubbed against, the floor boards are getting a beating, I don't think it would work well in this application. the bike on the other hand would work. I have done my whole truck in it. it's been done for a 1 1/2. and easy to touch up if need be.. but it's not designed to be touched often!
 
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