With the DR-Z front-end in the bike, Paul realised that with a few modifications the forks would probably be up to the job on the front of the big bike. A new set of yokes were designed to hold the Showa legs, and these were machined by a local firm (who subsequently needed to be reminded that the drawing he’d supplied featured holes for the bar mounts!) before Paul added some final detailing, a set of risers, and an ally bracket purely to hold the fuel cap breather hose!
His attention then switched to the other end of the bike, to the rear fender. With such a huge build ahead of him, it was clear that things were going to have to be done in a certain order, and to fabricate a new rear subframe the bodywork needed to be mocked-up beforehand. A KTM single-piece fender/sidepanels was used, with the left-hand-side heated and pulled out in order to incorporate one of the twin silencers Paul’d envisaged using.
Getting a seat to fit caused Paul much head-scratching. Clearly a dirtbike style part was required for ‘the look’, but getting something which’d be roughly the right size and shape wasn’t going to be easy. So, tape measure in hand, he took a trip up to the bike show at the NEC. And there, amongst the lycra-clad lovelies, shiny new bikes and pamphlet-pickers sat just the perch for Paul. Unfortunately, it was atop KTM’s 690 and at the time the bike had only just been released - they (along with their spares) weren’t due in the showrooms for some time.
It turned out to be four months before Paul could obtain the seat, and in the meantime he tinkered with some of the more bolt-on parts - the big Motomaster front brakes and the chunky Fastway pegs (designed to fit an XR400) etc. Trying to save some time, Paul also fabricated a new airbox out of alloy, only to find once the seat arrived that it didn’t even come close to fitting!
With the new sub-frame sitting at a far sharper angle than the long, laid-down original, an undertray was designed and a new battery box fitted. With the seat to hand, Paul could finally work on producing another airbox (which now contains a Pipercross filter intended for a Triumph) and then sorting out a fuel tank.
‘One two, three, four… 19, 20, 21,’ counted Paul, before finally exclaiming, ‘there’s at least 22 separate pieces of ally in that’, having mentally worked his way around the tank. ‘I had real issues fitting the fuel pump and getting the clearance around the shock,’ he continued as we stood looking at an alloy sculpture which crams itself into every available space within the DL’s frame spars. Having produced the tank Paul was more than a little concerned at its capacity. ‘It looked tiny’, he commented. ‘But we kept pouring in water from milk bottles and in they went.’ Eleven litres isn’t much for a thirsty 1000cc motor, but it’s not bad considering the space there was to work with. And it gives a tank range which just about borders on acceptable.