What would you stick in here?


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Sadanorakman
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What would you stick in here?

Post by Sadanorakman » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:33 pm



The shelter cover on my 1991 SE was damaged, and also completely the wrong shade of brown; I guess it came from a donor bike.

I was lucky enough to pick up an after-market cover on eBay last week, which can hold a couple of 2" gauges. It's nigh-on a perfect colour match to my bike, and even though years-old, has never been used. It has come from the states, and I'd guess not too many of these have made it over here to the UK.

I've seen a video of one fitted with two vacuum gauges, to keep an eye on the carb balance; this looked cool. I'm thinking a volt-meter and ammeter might be a better choice though. Even thinking of doing something with a couple of round TFT panels and an Arduino; that would be fun.

What would you fit into it if it were on your 1500?
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Charlie1Horse » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:58 pm

I think I might put a volt meter on one side and a weather proof power outlet on the other side to charge cell phone. The power outlet would be more convenient than in the fairing pocket.
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Rodzim » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:11 pm

Its your call in the end but to me the tft screens and fancy electronic gauges look out of place on the gl1500. Even the digital voltmeters.
I would put an analog voltmeter and an oil pressure gauge.
Nice find!!!!!!

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by MikeB » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:14 pm

Voltmeter and ambient air temperature gauge.
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by bluthundr31 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:54 am

Definitely a GREAT eBay find!!!

A voltmeter is a MUST for our older 1500's to off-set the lack of common sense from Mother Honda when they were manufactured!!! Your choice of Analog, or Digital, or even combination Analog/Digital.

It might be a good idea to use the second gauge position for an Oil pressure gauge. Again, Analog, or digital, or combo would be good. The "idiot light" on the dash works fine, but a gauge might be more "information" in case of a problem, or show "tendencies" of the oil pump before a problem arises.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by joeincalif » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:41 am

I don't remember the name of the company that made those but you could get it that way and install your own gauges or buy it with a volt meter and temp meter installed
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by bluthundr31 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:47 pm

That panel looks like the one from Firecreek Accessories in Olympia Wa. They also made 2" gauges (Oil, temp,volt) to mount, ,I am not sure if they still make the gauges though. THEY DON'T MAKE THE PANELS ANYMORE, and the molds are "in-the-wind" to parts unknown.

You were lucky to find one in good condition, , , some of us call them "UNOBTAINIUM" because they're a GREAT panel that can't be found!!!

Anybody looking for a panel like this will have some good news in the near future, probably near Christmas time though, , , a limited supply to determine if there is much interest should be available. PM me if interested.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Sadanorakman » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:15 pm

joeincalif wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:41 am
I don't remember the name of the company that made those but you could get it that way and install your own gauges or buy it with a volt meter and temp meter installed
This one is made by 'Firecreek'.

I've been looking into some dual guages (as in two functions on each guage). I'm currently thinking of a voltmeter and ammeter on one side, and an oil pressure and water temperature on the other.

There will still be room between the two gauges for two or three panel-leds, e.g might fit one to tell me when the fans are running.

Thanks to all for your suggestions; some excellent ideas. The one gauge that I don't think would help me is air temperature, as I will only be riding the old girl in fair weather.
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Rodzim » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:36 pm

Just a though, could you use that panel to make a mold?
I have no idea how its done but it just crossed my mind.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Sadanorakman » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:54 pm

bluthundr31 wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:47 pm

some of us call them "UNOBTAINIUM" because they're a GREAT panel that can't be found!!!
I was lucky several times over then (and not least because I'm in the UK):

1. The original owner purchased this when in Texas restoring a GL1500 (1988). He then decided to use his original panel instead which was a flatter Type 1; this one was just packed up and returned to UK with him, and he just found it while clearing out the garage.

2. I stumbled across it purely by chance whilst actually looking for a left-hand-side deflector!

3. It happens to be an almost identical colour match to my existing plastics.

...I didn't realise these were discontinued, so will now count myself quadruply lucky!!! I guess I'd better be REALLY careful now when cutting it out for the gauges!!!!!!!!

It's really nicely made; a real quality product.
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Sadanorakman » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:01 pm

Rodzim wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:36 pm
Just a though, could you use that panel to make a mold?
I have no idea how its done but it just crossed my mind.
Whilst it probably could be used to help create a new mold, it wouldn't of course be to the same quality or as dimensionally accurate as the original mold, and I think mold-making is a very expensive process.
Please jump in if you have some recent experience in injection-mold tooling on a small scale, and can expand or correct me on my musings.
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by bluthundr31 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:11 pm

Yes, a mold can be made, , BUT the "investment" is border-line outrageous and depends on how much "demand" is out there.

An Injection-Mold is about $15K (average) but will make over 100,000 pieces of product. This would also require an ".STP" or ".STL" file from a laser scan of a pristine "original" with an additional $1.2K-1.7K for the scan.

A resin mold is $2K-4K but will produce only about 500-1000 pieces of product. A good "quality" mold made by an expert mold-maker is the TRUE key for this process.

A vacuum mold process would not likely produce some of the difficult geometries on the bottom of the panel, and would be too difficult.

A 3D printer will require the ".STL" file from a laser scan of a pristine original $1.2K-1.7K but because of some of the "difficult" geometries of the panel, the end product might not meet the standards of what we would call "Quality craftsmanship". The 3D printer would have to have a "heated bed" and an "enclosure" if ABS were to be used.

ALL OF THESE METHODS HAVE A "PRICE PER PART" IN ADDITION TO THE INITIAL COST OF THE PROCESS.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Mh434 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:26 pm

I can't help but wonder about the possibility of vacuum molding a part like this. It's very easy & cheap to do.

If I understand the process (this, from watching a bunch of videos on the method), it would require making a plug (basically mold-release coat the inside of an existing unit, sealing it the holes, filling it with resin, and removing the plug once cured), then placing the plug on a vacuum table, heating black pebble-grained ABS until it's soft, then slapping the ABS on the table & turning on the vacuum.

Vacuum-formed parts form in just seconds and, once cool, are nice & tough. It would even be easy to make several plugs & make, say, 4 shelters at a time.

I would be very surprised if the Firecreek piece wasn't done in this fashion - it certainly looks like it was. As I understand it, unlike injection molding, a plug for doing vacuum-forming would last virtually forever. Judging by the cost of suitable ABS locally, it would probably cost about $2 - $3 each to make them once the plug & vacuum box were fabricated. The latter can be as simple as a piece of pegboard over a box, with a Shop Vac hooked up to it.

Here's an example of how it's done (in this case, making a replacement, obsolete Datsun part):


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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by bluthundr31 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:00 pm

I know for a fact that the panels made by Firecreek were "Injection molded". If you look at the underside of a pristine/unused panel you will see an "ejection pin mark" in the center of where you would mount each gauge. Since you would drill a 2" hole out for each gauge, the "pin" marks (1/4" dia. each) are on the round plug that is useless, and usually thrown away, , , this was also confirmed with the owner of Firecreek (Dayle).

VACUUM MOLDING?? : My thoughts, , ,
Look at the two "bosses", or studs, that are pressed into the two grommets at the front of the centershelter, , ,also look at the front of the panel and see the tabs/latches to mate to the "Dashboard panel". These geometries CANNOT be performed with vacuum molding and a sheet of ABS. The video shows that vacuum molding will work great if you want ONE side molded, with no geometries "underneath".
I also question whether vacuum molding could create that "cowhide texture"/leather texture to match our centershelters.

I strongly encourage anyone/everyone who has an idea of how to reproduce this type of plastic panel to speak up. I'd like to get it done so that EVERY rider who wants one, can get one, , , , but nobody should "mortgage the Ponderosa" over it.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Mh434 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:37 am

I suspect that work-arounds for the studs wouldn't be hard and as for the gauge holes, that's why the plug would be made without any (just depressions, to show where to trim out for the gauges).

As for the textured surface, I've seen several vac-formed pieces that have the pebble-grained surface on the one side - clearly, the material had that surface texture before vacuforming. My local plastic shop carries material that would be well-suited to the task.

Here's another video, where a guy made a vac-formed gauge pod (he used Kydex, but the principle's the same...)

In fact, Kydex might be the superior material. It's great for vac-forming items with surprising detail, it has a nice, leather-like textured surface (or carbon fiber, or whatever else you might like), is available in many different colors, and is tough as nails. Virtually all modern police holsters are now made of it because it's very light & pretty much indestructible. 1/16" or 3/32" material would be plenty strong enough for a 'Wing gauge pod.


Last edited by Mh434 on Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by bluthundr31 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:54 am

Yep, fine for one-sided pieces, , , but I don't see how to get a "work-around" for those bosses/studs. They need to be sturdy and straight, ,and the front tabs connecting to the dashboard panel would be completely missing.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Rodzim » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:05 am

Im sure the vacuum process is a winner mainly because of cost.
Im by no means an expert in mold making, but this is why i would do.
I would make a mold with expanding foam. You can get different foam weights from light and fluffy to hard as a rock and everything in between. The thing with the foam is it is really easy to refine details with a simple file or dremel tool. Coat the dash piece in wax and it would release cleanly. Every other detail can be sorted out by hand.
Once you have a good mold it would be easy to mass produce and im sure we would pay up to $100 for one. Even a slightly imperfect one.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Sadanorakman » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:25 am

WOW What a Hornet's nest I've poked with this one!

I didn't realise quite how rare these things were. Now I feel bad to cut two circular holes in it!!!

Seriously, does anyone know anything about the history of the manufacture of this Firecreek aftermarket accessory, how long they were available for, and when they ceased to be available?

This unit is indeed injection molded. There are two marks where the spruces seem to have been cut off, but these are not in the center of the gauge positions like suggested above. In the center of each gauge position, is an indentation placed very purposely to guide the center-drill of your hole cutter when cutting the panel out for your gauges.

It really is a great quality panel!

Being from an engineering background, I can certainly visualise how this part could be recreated through vacuum-forming, and this would make for a strong yet flexible item. The challenge though as others have stated, is how to recreate the mounting pegs and front-clips. These would then need attaching to the vacuum-formed part, and their adhesion would probably then be the weak point unless they were made from a similar material and fused in place (like ABS welding using MEK), or fastened through the surface of the panel (less than ideal).

In it's current injection-molded form, this panel is truly ideal... If only someone could do the research, and get in touch with whoever who ran Firecreek, and see if that original tooling could be obtained. I mean why re-invent the wheel when there is one already, but it just happens to need finding? Someone obviously put a lot of time and effort in creating the original tooling for this part, and might even support someone else using the mold for the further benefit of GL1500 riders.

I am happy to upload more detailed photos of the part tomorrow if people want to see it in closer detail?
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by joeincalif » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:02 am

I know there are still several good running 1500 wings out there but UI don't think there would be Gabi demand for that panel. Just think about how many you would have to sell to make your original investment back for producing them.
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by joeincalif » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:05 am

Here is one but they put a shade over it to help them see it in the sun.
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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:58 pm

bluthundr31 wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:00 pm
I know for a fact that the panels made by Firecreek were "Injection molded". If you look at the underside of a pristine/unused panel you will see an "ejection pin mark" in the center of where you would mount each gauge. Since you would drill a 2" hole out for each gauge, the "pin" marks (1/4" dia. each) are on the round plug that is useless, and usually thrown away, , , this was also confirmed with the owner of Firecreek (Dayle).

VACUUM MOLDING?? : My thoughts, , ,
Look at the two "bosses", or studs, that are pressed into the two grommets at the front of the centershelter, , ,also look at the front of the panel and see the tabs/latches to mate to the "Dashboard panel". These geometries CANNOT be performed with vacuum molding and a sheet of ABS. The video shows that vacuum molding will work great if you want ONE side molded, with no geometries "underneath".
I also question whether vacuum molding could create that "cowhide texture"/leather texture to match our centershelters.

I strongly encourage anyone/everyone who has an idea of how to reproduce this type of plastic panel to speak up. I'd like to get it done so that EVERY rider who wants one, can get one, , , , but nobody should "mortgage the Ponderosa" over it.
Ah, you're right, I completely forgot about the bosses. No way you can do that with a vacuum mold, they would have to be added after the fact, and they would not have the molded-in support structure that would make them stiff enough. You'd also have too much stress on the underside of the vacuum molded part where the bosses would bond, and they would end up cracking.

Vacuum molding depends on the texture being part of the original ABS sheet before it is molded.

So yes, injection molding is the only way to produce this part, and injection molds are expensive. At least quality ones are. You can get them made in China much cheaper than in the US, but the tolerances are crap, and the molds won't last anywhere near as long.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Mh434 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:49 pm

It's too bad no one knows who has the original molds. Someone must have them!

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Rodzim » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:16 pm

I know for a fact vacuum forming is less than ideal, but when all you have is a hammer everything starts looking like nails. Yes you would have to glue the pegs and clips and yes its far less than ideal, but ideal is a suggestive word. I wouldnt mind a less than ideal piece.
I would buy one in a heartbeat with missing clips and cracked pegs, considering how rare these things are.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by bluthundr31 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:28 pm

I AM IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING THIS PANEL (SLIGHT MODIFICATION) REPRODUCED AND A SMALL NUMBER OF THEM MIGHT BE HERE BY XMAS!!!!

I agree with the "why re-invent the wheel" comment, so I contacted Firecreek in September to buy the original mold. The owner said that a few years ago, he traded the molds to a friend who did some "work" for him in exchange. Since then, the friend got rid of the mold to a "truck driver passing through town". There is no information on the truck driver, so I felt it was a dead-end. And quite frankly, I don't know if the truck driver has a clue as to what those molds are worth, , , or if I could even afford them if I found him and he put a price on em. Feel free to contact Dayle at Firecreek (Olylmpia, WA) to confirm our September conversations.

I'm trying to do the "Resin Mold" method to reproduce this panel, and from what I've learned, , it seems to be the most reasonable method to use, , HOWEVER, I do not know what the craftsmanship, or quality will be compared to the Injection Molding.

If anyone has any ideas on how to do this better, , , speak up or "give 'er a go", , , I'll help all I can.

***NOTE: If anyone is interested in this panel, a quick PM to me will put you on the "LIST" to be contacted when I get them. The more folks that are interested, and on the list, will help me determine how many to order for the NEXT batch of panels.

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Re: What would you stick in here?

Post by Sadanorakman » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm

bluthundr31 wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:28 pm
I contacted Firecreek in September to buy the original mold. The owner said that a few years ago, he traded the molds to a friend who did some "work" for him in exchange. Since then, the friend got rid of the mold to a "truck driver passing through town". There is no information on the truck driver, so I felt it was a dead-end. And quite frankly, I don't know if the truck driver has a clue as to what those molds are worth, , , or if I could even afford them if I found him and he put a price on em. Feel free to contact Dayle at Firecreek (Olylmpia, WA) to confirm our September conversations.
Not trying to create an argument here, but:

I thought I'd take the initiative after my last post, so I found Firecreek's website, and emailed Dayle; he replied at 19:19 GMT (Less than two hours ago). Here is his email in quotation marks:

"I get an occasional request for one of those Wing Panels, but the demand was never enough to make another batch, so I traded the molds to a friend of mine who has a molding shop. He recently had a semi drive through his shop and the resulting fire took out everything, including those molds."

So there you go, straight from the horse's mouth so to speak.

I replied to Dayle's email asking the following:

"Thank you for your response Dayle, and for the explanation.

A real shame that the molds were destroyed. Would you mind if I paste your explanation into the forum thread?

Also, would you mind if someone wanted to use one of your panels as a basis from which to try to make a copy? As you said, doubt there would be a huge demand, but maybe there would be a handful of interested rider's.

Regards"


And Dayle's response half an hour ago:

"Yes, I’m okay with all of that. I was trying to get a sale price for that set of molds when I found out about the fire.

If you want a good price for reproducing those pieces, post a request at Alibaba.com. You’ll likely be on your own for painting them."




Over to you folks. Suggestions?

Craig


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