Introduction: Saving a Motorcycle Seat Pan at the TechShop, Menlo Park

So you like to work with original stuff, you've got some time and really enjoy the creations of others when it comes to building or rebuilding classic or vintage motorcycles.

How about using what you have and know, compounded with the knowledge of a few others and friends at the Tech Shop.  What seemed like a somewhat roached seat pan would be transformed into a usable and road worthy Iron-butt special.

Hello, name is Dan. My wife and I moved to San Mateo, CA and brought all kinds of unfinished projects with us.

My son and family keep me busy, which means the precious time that one may have left needs to be used wisely. That is where the tools and environment around the Tech Shop comes in handy. I have a 1971 BMW 'airhead' R60/5 and the original seat pan needed replace. I got one and thought that when I got around to it, I could rethink the use of this standard seat, replace foam and clean up handrails, tighten the mounts, etc.

All the standard restoration of a potentially unique; or, horrible mistake, I'm not sure. Often, these ventures into the unknown take a life of their own. So, I began late one night to replace or get a look at what was truly in store for this build. I broke it down and looked at what really needed to be addressed. The pan was rusted and would need a thorough sand-blasting, primered, and painted. I would end up replacing the rubber grommets used for buffering the seat to the frame. After stripping the seat pan down, now we are getting to the fun part; I used an environmentally-safe, rust retarder and set that over night to work some magic. After looking it over it helped take some muck away, so off to the Tech Shop at Menlo Park I go. I worked on blasting it for about an hour and a half. Robert, one of the many great people there helped by doing some regular maintenance to the blaster, in order that one might better make use of the equipment. Thanks for that, who knows how long I would be blasting. I don't let it sit too long after being blasted, to put a quality primer down to seal it temporarily until I decide what the plan for paint would be. I used a grey primer, knowing I was looking to go black.  I'm not into the original gloss black that it should be, and Ill take some slack for that.  But, first things first on this, functionability. What I may not have mentioned to this point is that my plan was to slowly create a 'scrambler' of an airhead as well as I could given that generally one uses a solo seat to make this.  My idea was to use the remaining seat pan as a storage rack for further trips with other mechanical projects. So, one might be able to understand this from the pictures. There's really not much to it and I'm having fun with it to this point, which is my suggestion. Enjoy what you are doing and make it well. This rack will go through more changes until it feels and looks ready. Until then, it is what it is and it works well.

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