Friday, 14 August 2015

Handmade tank - VL Hillclimber

Wednesday has been and passed, so to fulfil my promise to myself - time for an update. I've got to admit I realised how much I enjoyed doing the blog - getting the narrative out of my head as I'm going...

Anyway - the hill climber has me hooked - really enjoying not having a deadline to work to, so rattling on with it. I've never had brass bits on a bike before, I can find it quite naff looking myself - but with this bike being from the 30's it seems to want to have a few bits on it.  I've been hanging onto this old machine switch for years, looks perfect as a kill switch for this bike. 

After a bit of head scratching and turning on the lathe I made up a holder and adapter out of 3 pieces of Ali, that will hold the switch. I had to weld them together and make sure it was sealed as there will be fuel around it. My first attempts at Ali welding haven't been great, but I banged the amps right up and it started to make a bit more sense...

I also cut the holes for the switch mount and fuel cap holder and welded them in as well. Plenty of grinding later and they seem to have come out nicely.

Next up will be some mounts for the tank onto the top tube (although with all the heat its quite tight already!) and then fuel line bungs.

I was thinking of doing some of the tank as an oil tank, but I think I'll run an oil bag.... home made of course....

I'm not sure how the shifting mechanism will work yet so I'll see on that...


  1. Looks like you're getting the hang of that ally welding Tom, and the bike sits well too!

    1. cheers sir! getting there!
      I hear its your birthday soon - many happy returns!
      Why dont you and dave come up to the barn for a night one time soon? Wednesday nights are always good...

  2. that switch looks great, you right about not having too much brass - on the bike not in your pocket if you get my drift!

    1. it doesnt owe me all that much money this bike - I kinda wanna keep it that way.... looking at a vintage Harley running on the road for under 6K!