A lot has happened in the last month: I changed jobs; moving from a field position to an office position, and consequently I moved into a house, which meant moving Misha to a new location also. Fortunately the house I found came with two private parking spots at the back, so now I can look out my window every morning and see Misha resting there peacefully. My new job comes with a fixed schedule, so I know exactly when I am working now, which means it is a lot easier to get small increments of work done on Natasha everyday. Slow and steady wins the race right?
Because of all these changes I have not working on Natasha much since my last update in December. But some progress has been made. I figured out the mounting for the new seat, plus mounting for the rear light/turn signals. The seat mounting was relatively easy as I reused the original brackets, moving the forward one back slightly to accommodate the new seat's bracket. And to give better support under the main part of the seat I modified the original seat bracket and used that forward of it's old position and chopped about an inch off of it's height.
The rear brake light and turn signals were a little tricker to figure out. I chopped the rear frame quite aggressively, and was left with two stubby ends just past the rear shock mounts. I thought about having a piece of tubing bent into a double S shape to join these two together and sweep upwards under the seat, but that seemed overtly complicated. So after much head scratching I welded up a simple bracket to tuck the brake light up under the seat. It looks a bit blunt, but the turn signals will be mounted in there also, so the overall shape should be aesthetically pleasing. Because there isn't too much room there now I will be mounting the license plate on the right or left shock.
(I know my welds vary in quality, sometimes I get the beading perfect and I don't want to do anything but clean it up a bit with a wire brush. Other times I struggle to make it pretty and just want to grind it down afterwards and erase those botched beads. Practice makes perfect, I guess.)
As construction progressed I realized that I really had mounted the bracket too deep under the seat and wasn't happy with mounting the turn signals on the outside of the frame above the shocks, so another bracket was made to bring the brake light out 1 1/2", and give a place to mount the turn signals. In order to soften the lines of these brackets I welded the second bracket ends at a 45 degree angle, so that means the turn signals will be mounted pointing down and out at an angle. I think this look will work. And if it doesn't I can always chop it off and start again.
Current hours on build: 9.5