welding on motorcycle frame


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Joe in SD
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welding on motorcycle frame

Post by Joe in SD »



I'm doing maintenance on the back end of a GL1500 and have the trunk and saddle bags off. One of the brackets that the trunk fastens to is broken. Do I need to disconnect anything before welding on the frame? I would hate to roach anything. Anyone have any experiences with welding on the frame? Any info would be appreciated. Ride safe, Joe


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salty1
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by salty1 »

I'm no expert, but for sure I would disconnect the battery leads to isolate electronic circuitry. :roll: :?
Joe in SD
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by Joe in SD »

Thanks for the info. Ride safe, Joe
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insanemoondoggie
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by insanemoondoggie »

Disconnect the battery and watch your fuel vent for sparks.
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Mh434
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by Mh434 »

Normally, I'd recommend disconnecting just the ground lead at the battery (so there are no complete circuits anywhere), but it can't hurt to disconnect the positive too, on the off chance that a ground accidentally occurs during welding. Other than heat sink, there are no issues.

I'm assuming you're using MIG? If the frame material is anything like other bikes I've welded on, it should weld beautifully - it's usually pretty nice steel.
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MikeB
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by MikeB »

You could always braze it too. And if need be, get some steel tube of the same diameter or a little larger, split it and sandwich it over the bag support at the cracks. We had to do a friends 1500 trunk sub frame a few months ago. He completely removed the sub frame before brazing it though. No worries about melting ABS or any wire insulation that way. Good luck.
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Joe in SD
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by Joe in SD »

After thinking about this last night and reading these comments, I think removing the sub frame is the safest way to go. I don't have a Mig welder but with the sub frame off I think I can get it done with my old welder. Thanks to everyone for their input. Ride safe, Joe
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MikeB
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by MikeB »

Joe, that sub frame is pretty thin, maybe 14 gauge at best. I understand that you do not have a MIG welder. Stick welding would be iffy. TIG would work but I think brazing would be the easiest. Just a suggestion of course, you will have to decide.
Last edited by MikeB on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/195,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/32,000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
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keithg64
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by keithg64 »

I have done some welding on my 1500 frame. Disconnect the battery for sure. Put some wet rags around any concerned area. I used a mig welder with my bike.
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bntyhntr6975
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by bntyhntr6975 »

As was said, unhook the battery. And make sure to CLEAN the areas to be welded, paint and dirt and rust do not weld. If you can remove the part, great. Thatll give better access to it for cleaning and welding.
I prefer TIG welding anything that I can but your old stick will work. Remember to match your rod for the material and amps needed. And be carefull of stray arc marks. Each one is a new weak spot.
Keep in mind that after your welding is done, you have now altered the material's properties. Usually, a weak area around the welds. Depending on the part, you could rig up an oil soak to let it cool down in. This helps harden the steel back up. But too much can make it brittle.
Joe in SD
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Re: welding on motorcycle frame

Post by Joe in SD »

The bracket was the left front one for mounting the trunk. I put a round rod inside the small angeled piece to beef that up a bit and everything went smooth except for having the whole back of my bike apart! I found a bad bearing on the rear axle, rotor side. 6204. On this site it was listed as 6304. I got called off this progect so I haven't got the other side pulled out yet. That side is suppose to be the 6304. Maybe the wrong bearing? Ride safe, Joe


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