Honda Hawk GT: custom seat

Beginning the custom seat mock-up for the Honda Hawk GT seat pan...

Beginning the custom seat mock-up for the Honda Hawk GT seat pan…

After a ton of scrubbing and degreasing on the Honda Hawk GT, it was time for some well-earned fun.  The next thing on the list was to begin work on a custom seat pan and rear cowl.  The rear section of this motorcycle will be the most modified, and so the process began of taking measurements, walking around the bike just staring, and hoping that some inspiration would come to us – in the form of a wicked tail section design…

The Honda Hawk GT gets customized…

Danny uses a nibbler to cut the seat pan for the Honda Hawk GT.

Danny uses a nibbler to cut the seat pan for the Honda Hawk GT.

Once we had an idea of where to head with the design, we mocked up a seat pan out of cardboard, taped it onto the bike, making sure it was cut to size, to use as a template for cutting the aluminum version.  Measurements done, Danny headed over to the metal working table, using an air-powered nibbler to cut the aluminum to size.

Danny hammers the custom seat pan for the Honda Hawk GT.

Danny hammers the custom seat pan for the Honda Hawk GT.

With a workable sized piece of aluminum, the next step is to start pounding away with a hammer and shot bag to create the final shape.  A couple minutes later we had the rough form of a seat pan.  While Danny was working out his frustrations with the hammer, I cut the subframe down, removing the back part of the tail section.  This will allow the seat and rear cowl to end about half-way over the wheel, giving the motorcycle a tighter, and hopefully cleaner look.  Once the pan was close, we threw it on the bike to see where it was headed.

Rough aluminum version of the custom seat pan...

Rough aluminum version of the custom seat pan…

Using some cardboard again, we mocked up an angle for the cowl to extend back off the end of the seat pan. It was instantly apparent that some more material would need to be sheared from the subframe.  But using some construction paper, were able to get an idea of how the rear cowl could look, if shaped correctly and tucked down toward the rear wheel.

Mock-Up of the rear cowl for the Honda Hawk GT...

Mock-Up of the rear cowl for the Honda Hawk GT…

After we sketched how the rear section would look, we were faced with the problem of designing a “wing” that would extend forward around the tank.  The stock seat wraps forward around the lowest part of the tank, covering some unsightly areas.  You can see how the stock seat looks HERE:  So, out came the construction paper again, and some cuts wee measured out to eventually design a section to extend from the tank to the rear of the seat pan.

"Wing" section of the custom seat in green...

“Wing” section of the custom seat in green…

So far, we are pretty happy with the direction the design is going.  There is some more shaping to do, and some cuts to be made.  The key will be to get the pieces shaped correctly, so that the welding can be done in the simplest manner.  The next challenge will be to find a tail/brake light that will fit nicely under the new cowl, possibly offering integrated turn signals.

Stay tuned as we finalize the final seat and rear cowl…

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