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Newbie
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys...has anyone here have any experience cutting cast aluminum? Ive been hating the rear of my X1 since I brought it home. Ive measured and photo shopped the shit out of every rear end I could find in the hopes that I could do a swap and be satisfied but I just cant find any thing that flows.

I was fuckin around with some tape and realized that I really liked the way the rear end looks if it was just a few pounds thinner and not draggin ass. It has a lot of extra metal every where that doesnt appear to have any structural value...i could be wrong?

The problem im having is that the sub frames cast aluminum and ive never tried cutting that. My buddy back in Detroit said welding it can be done but can get messy if its not good quality?... any one ever messed with this before? Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated. I plan on doing this in the next week so im doing my research now and getting opinions. I tried searching and I just got conflicting opinions so Im hoping someone here has some experience...

I plan on having some spacers machined for the rear bolts on the subrfame to kick the ass end up. I figure after that I can just powder coat the modified subframe red and down the road have the seat wrapped in a two tone fashion with the rear hum red so it kinda looks like a solo cowl but I can still ride my Girl on back if needed...

I posted a few pics to show what im thinking of doing. Please let me know what you think of this idea....ill most likely do it regardless of what anyone thinks but a little constructive criticism never hurts right? Let me know what you think and like I said...any tips would be greatly appreciated
 

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Fucking Newb...Oh wait
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7,631 Posts
It should be no problem to cut, just gonna be a lot of cleanup on the cut surface when you're done for sure. I'd plan on using a sawzall/reciprocating saw with a high quality fine tooth blade. I'd personally suggest you cut a little less then the way you want it to end up, just because the saw is going to walk either direction due to the different curves along your cut line. Use a grinder to clean it up, and a sander for the final finish and you'll be golden...
 

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GURU
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8,827 Posts
Bad idea making a spacer to raise the bottom. Its not a good idea structurally. Your buddy is right about the welding. Casting may have pockets in them and during welding these heat up, the air expands and pops holes in your welds. Also if there are any deposits like silica from sand casting they cause havoc. Its easy to see strength with tubing structures but to have an idea about how structural that piece is would be a lot more complicated. Personally i love the look of them but to each his own.
 

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Newbie
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Discussion Starter #4
I have seen a few companies selling machined spacers for rediculous amounts of loot that do what I am looking for just not quite as radical. Their are tons of machine shops in Vegas hurting for money right now. I figured if I made one from flat stock that got the ass where I wanted it I could than go have them machined from aluminum so they were nice thick solid pieces.

I was planning on using a cut off wheel and just going real slow and taking my time. The material is only about 1/4 thick where it's taped in the picture. I read that cast aluminum tends to get messy and wants to melt rather than get cut? I think your right Stunt... Probably going to be more involved in the finishing and clean up than the actual cutting.

I was looking at this more this morning... There's quite a bit of room under the seat. I could always make a few braces and attach them inside just in case there's an emergancy and I need to drive a fat chick to the hospital of something??:fu:

I found a spare hoop on craigslist for 50.00... Maybe I'll grab it up so if this doesn't work I'll have a back up?? Or maybe I should just scrap the idea and build a chromoly or ss subframe?
 

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Trackday junkie
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139 Posts
I wouldn't be cutting into that subbie like you are planning to.
Not unless the bikes gonna be a single seater
 

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Newbie
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Discussion Starter #6
it is going to be a single seater about 98% of the time...my girl might tag along here and there...The angle i want might not be ideal for a passenger...but if I need to ride one for a few miles it will have to be safe...my girl weighs about 90 pounds after a big meal...I'm about 180 before one...haha....just to give you some idea of what it will have to support.

I just had a buddy of mine over that is a fabricator and has built quite a few actual race bikes. He said that the amount I'm looking to take off shouldn't really compromise the strength since its basically just extra metal for design purposes. He said he has a few ideas how we can stiffin it up just to keep it safe and make me feel confortable riding a passenger. Its pretty thick still...the sections I'm looking to remove are the thinnest parts of the casting.

I think im going to avoid attempting to do any type of welding with it and just smooth the undertail with sheet metal and attach it with really small stainless aircraft screws or possibly smooth rivets?

I appreciate the responses and hope I don't come off as some ass that's not taking advise because im looking for as much as I can get...Maybe I should take some more pictures of it with the seat off and from the underside so you can see how much metal im trying to remove and what will be left? Worse case scenario I lose a hundred bucks makin a mess of my subframe...id rather that than build something that's gonna get some one killed....

Shift...we decided that it might be better to fabricate and weld a new mount to the frame rather than mess with a spacer. Does that sound like a better idea? Like I said...im taking as much in before fuckin somethin up so be prepared for questions.... :)
 

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Buell Fighter
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2,114 Posts
Shift...we decided that it might be better to fabricate and weld a new mount to the frame rather than mess with a spacer. Does that sound like a better idea? Like I said...im taking as much in before fuckin somethin up so be prepared for questions.... :)
If you can weld and bend steel, make your own subframe instead of cutting that one. It may take longer and you may hate yourself whilst doing it, but it'll be worth it, trust me.

And then you can sell the old subby...should be worth some money all things considered.
 

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GURU
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8,827 Posts
Shift...we decided that it might be better to fabricate and weld a new mount to the frame rather than mess with a spacer. Does that sound like a better idea? Like I said...im taking as much in before fuckin somethin up so be prepared for questions.... :)
That sounds a whole lot better. The issue with the spacer is you are taking something thats rigid and now the addition of a "link" will give it some freedom. If your buddy is a fabricator and feels confident in that it sounds like a good route to go.
 

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Newbie
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Discussion Starter #9
Dr.. I was going to do that at first but I kinda want to keep a somewhat stock look to it if possible...just modified. The subframes for x1's are going for 50-100 so it's not a huge money item if it doesn't turn out good. If it does though it will be the exact look I'm going for.

I think I have a game plan down now... I'll post some pics of my progress once I start cutting. Thanks again to everyone for the feed back.
 
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