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Discussion Starter #1
Fred brought up a good point about the design and engineering behind the stock skid plate versus the more rigid and thicker ricochet.

I was just discussing this with my friend who is (IMHO) a Carol Shelby of motorcycles... after discussing limited skid plate options for the TW, he suggested hot molding a thick layer of delrin to the outside (bottom) of the skid plate for better deflection, reduced friction on contact and aside from dropping your bike off of a ledge directly onto a pointy boulder, provides another layer of impact protection to the skid plate and makes repairing it fairly easy, should the delrin get a bit worn.

Apparently a lot of other bikes use Polymer coated or polymer only skid plates (I didn't know, like Fred said, I just assumed a beefier skid plate was better).

I figured since they run pretty cheap on eBay, pick a used one up and try his idea out. Any thoughts or concerns from any seasoned riding veterans?
 

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For my XT225...I built a skid plate out of ¼" PVC.
I don't know how well it did, because I am not an aggressive rider...all I know is that it would cake up with a lot of mud and debris while I was riding in the rain.
The mounting points were not that beefy...I basically used the single front mounting hole and the "slip through" part on the rear, so I can't say for sure if it would have survived anything major.
It did have "wings" on the sides to protect on rollovers....

If I find an old pic of it, I'll post it later.
 

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Being there is no frame underneath the crankcase, I think the polymer coating seems like a great idea. If you know someone who can weld aluminum... a trick at work we've used on our backhoes and loaders is just adding beads lengthwise and the tend to last longer. This may also help with strength on a skid plate.
 

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I wonder if a heat gun would do the trick?
 

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I like it!

How did you form and shape it?
I copied the shape and design from another member over at XT225.com who made his version out of aluminum.
I start with a length of sewer pipe (unused) and make a single cut lengthwise from end to end. Now, it looks like a "C" that is tightly closed. Then I pop it into the oven 250 - 300° for about 10 minutes till it gets all soft.
Then it is sandwiched between two flat surfaces and held there with weights for about ½ hr.
Now...I have a large sheet of ¼" plastic.
It is cut to shape with a jigsaw or scroll saw and then the base (flat part at the bottom) is clamped and the point where the "wings" bend up, is heated with a heat-gun until it gets soft enough to work.
There is a lot of clamping and jigs involved, because when it is hot and pliable, it's important to let it cool naturally, instead of chilling it quickly with cold water...I guess that will make it brittle.

That's it in a nutshell...it was fun making it, even though it was mostly a cosmetic add-on.

I've made other items this way as well...
When my DR650 lost its factory chain-guard, I fabricated one out of thinwall PVC that lasted for years! https://drriders.com/home-made-farkle-t15058.html
Then there's that rack-deck I made recently...
 

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I copied the shape and design from another member over at XT225.com who made his version out of aluminum.
I start with a length of sewer pipe (unused) and make a single cut lengthwise from end to end. Now, it looks like a "C" that is tightly closed. Then I pop it into the oven 250 - 300° for about 10 minutes till it gets all soft.
Then it is sandwiched between two flat surfaces and held there with weights for about ½ hr.
Now...I have a large sheet of ¼" plastic.
It is cut to shape with a jigsaw or scroll saw and then the base (flat part at the bottom) is clamped and the point where the "wings" bend up, is heated with a heat-gun until it gets soft enough to work.
There is a lot of clamping and jigs involved, because when it is hot and pliable, it's important to let it cool naturally, instead of chilling it quickly with cold water...I guess that will make it brittle.

That's it in a nutshell...it was fun making it, even though it was mostly a cosmetic add-on.

I've made other items this way as well...
When my DR650 lost its factory chain-guard, I fabricated one out of thinwall PVC that lasted for years! https://drriders.com/home-made-farkle-t15058.html
Then there's that rack-deck I made recently...
Nice write-up, thanks for the process details!

Brian
 

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You guys need to learn about both UHMW and, HDPE plastics. I used both while outfitting brand new fire trucks in prep for service. UHMW or, Ultra High Molecular Weight plastic is almost NASA stuff. It's seriously tuff stuff. But, it's also waaaaaaaaaaay costly. HDPE or, High Density Polyethylene is a step down from UHMW but, is still seriously strong stuff. It's what almost 100% of your average cutting boards are made of. And, if you look on the bottom of about 98% pre-packaged liquids, solids and more that are in a plastic, around your home, you'll see two things. One, will the infamous arrowed triangle that indicates something is recyclable, and two, you'll see the letters HDPE for, High Density Polyethylene. You can pick up HDPE on Amazon, Ebay or lots of other plastic outlets and, get it in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

UHMW, cannot be welded like HDPE can. Many of the older model holding tanks and fresh water tanks in RVs were HDPE and were welded together, just like you would an aluminum or steel tank. So, you can heat HDPE and conform it to your will. Another is Kydex. Kydex is what's used for making gun holsters. You can heat it and make your own gun holster or, radio front for your car stereo or many, many other applications.
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Being there is no frame underneath the crankcase, I think the polymer coating seems like a great idea. If you know someone who can weld aluminum... a trick at work we've used on our backhoes and loaders is just adding beads lengthwise and the tend to last longer. This may also help with strength on a skid plate.
So just run a bead from front to back or side to side on the skid plate?

I kind of want to see how thick we could go with the polymer/pvc/delrin so we can coat the original skid plate and steal TW_In_BC's idea and get a sheet wide enough to cut and shape the sides for some ears to bend up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You guys need to learn about both UHMW and, HDPE plastics. I used both while outfitting brand new fire trucks in prep for service. UHMW or, Ultra High Molecular Weight plastic is almost NASA stuff. It's seriously tuff stuff. But, it's also waaaaaaaaaaay costly. HDPE or, High Density Polyethylene is a step down from UHMW but, is still seriously strong stuff. It's what almost 100% of your average cutting boards are made of. And, if you look on the bottom of about 98% pre-packaged liquids, solids and more that are in a plastic, around your home, you'll see two things. One, will the infamous arrowed triangle that indicates something is recyclable, and two, you'll see the letters HDPE for, High Density Polyethylene. You can pick up HDPE on Amazon, Ebay or lots of other plastic outlets and, get it in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

UHMW, cannot be welded like HDPE can. Many of the older model holding tanks and fresh water tanks in RVs were HDPE and were welded together, just like you would an aluminum or steel tank. So, you can heat HDPE and conform it to your will. Another is Kydex. Kydex is what's used for making gun holsters. You can heat it and make your own gun holster or, radio front for your car stereo or many, many other applications.
Scott
I had a buddy who used to make his own UPS battery boards using HDPE, specifically those white cutting boards, he would trim and heat... I might actually go the HDPE route since I know that material is way more forgiving than delrin when heated and don't have to worry about chemical reactions to stuff on the road. Good stuff!
 

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For aggressive riders, the cutting boards just don't work. I have gone through 3 boards on my DT. They are fine until you come down hard on a rock or tree stump. When that happens they shatter. I now have a piece of aluminum on it.
The stock skid plate on the TW is fine. It can take a beating. I did move to the skid plate placerloard sells as I do ride in rock gardens now and then.


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Discussion Starter #15
For aggressive riders, the cutting boards just don't work. I have gone through 3 boards on my DT. They are fine until you come down hard on a rock or tree stump. When that happens they shatter. I now have a piece of aluminum on it.
The stock skid plate on the TW is fine. It can take a beating. I did move to the skid plate placerloard sells as I do ride in rock gardens now and then.


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Thanks Ejfranz, were you running the cutting board material only?

How do you think an aluminum stock skid would hold up with the HDPE thickly coated over the bottom? That's kind of the idea I'm considering trying.
 

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I only had the cutting board. I am not sure why you would want to coat the bottom of the skid plate. I have had no issues sliding over rocks and trees with the after market skid plate.

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I only had the cutting board. I am not sure why you would want to coat the bottom of the skid plate. I have had no issues sliding over rocks and trees with the after market skid plate.

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Because lots of other aftermarket skid plates are made of polymers, and it would be a lower cost option (if it works well and looks decent), and would have a beefier structure being reinforced by the stock skid plate or instead of buying a ricochet... and what's wrong with fabricating?
 

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The more standard HDPE and UHMW see’s ultra violet (sun rays), the more brittle it gets. There is a MARINE grade of both that is way more UV resistant and would last considerably longer for the potential application. I should have mentioned that in the first place. The non UV stuff would show signs of age,i.e. self cracking, chalking etc, in only a year or two if, those were exterior applications like fire truck ladder support pads.
Scott
 

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I am going to put some rubber gaskets between the Ricochet skid plate and the frame, put some blue locktite on the threads when I tighten it down, and see how that goes. I will keep you all posted. I am very interested to see how the coating works as well. If one of you does that I sure would like to hear how you like it. Sounds like a super good idea.
 
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