View Full Version : So it starts: Mod Season - Nightster Edition

Gas Man
11-05-2010, 07:07 PM
So I winterized the Nightster Tuesday. Put it over in it's corner


Today is Friday, and so it starts, slow n steady.

On the docket:

Springer Seat abt $500 due to needing a ECM relocation kit.
Tank Rise ($15) Already have riser brackets. HD beer bottle openers
Gloss black powder the engine guard & highway peg brackets
Speed holes in the exhaust heat shields
Ceramic the exhaust pipes, heat shields, and mufflers

So today I decided to start the mocking for the speed holes. It's a theme carried on by the speed holes in the front fender struts and rear belt guard.

The chrome stock form

up close

So the rear pipe was easy. I used a 24mm socket and tried to keep the spacing even, while minding the hose clamp locations

I did the front, minding the clamps, that ended up screwing with my spacing. That seemed to be too many holes in comparison to the rear, which I like.

The clamps were really in the way, but I tried again. This was 7 holes in each heat shield.

But the 2 holes right at the muffler didn't match up with the rear, even though both heat shields are equal in length, the rear looks longer. So I re-did the bottom section, last 3 holes.

I think this is the balance I'm looking for. Agree?

My plans for color is/was/is matte black heat shields against the gray of the motor, matte silver pipe underneath, and matte black mufflers. WAS because with the contrast of chrome mufflers against the blue tape. It makes me think I should go heat shields different color than the mufflers.

silver pipe/black shields/black mufflers
silver pipe/black shields/silver mufflers
black pipe/silver shields/black mufflers


Gas Man
11-05-2010, 08:40 PM
here's another example (right in my own garage) a poster of a chrome/black setup on a nightster.

Spoke it over with the wife, who would have tunk; it is her bike after all. She thinks the heat shields HAVE to be black to off set the motor. But then, perhaps carry the silver pipe into a silver muffler. My option #2 above.

11-05-2010, 09:42 PM
I think it'll look good with chrome pipes and black shields. I made black heat shields for the Vulcan and it looked nice because it offset the color of the header wrap.

If you need anything welded up or anything let me know.

What is the purpose of the tank riser?

Gas Man
11-05-2010, 10:47 PM
No chrome. I'm trying to eliminate the chrome. Hence powdering the guard and the highway peg brackets. NO CHROME besides the spokes is ultimate goal.

The purpose of the tank riser is to expose the backbone a bit and give it more of a peanut bobbed tank look. Problem is I have to move all the wiring from below the backbone to above the backbone.

11-06-2010, 12:49 AM
i vote for black shields and mufflers and silver pipe. gunna look sweet!!

11-06-2010, 08:39 AM
Which ever way you go it's gunna look 1 off and thats cool. Like the holes in the shields idea.:weld:

Gas Man
11-06-2010, 05:21 PM
i vote for black shields and mufflers and silver pipe. gunna look sweet!!
That's the original idea. But the more I look at the tape and the poster the more I think the 2 color outers.

Thanks DJ... the nightster is my "custom" bike. My ultra just needs to be comfortable and get "there".

11-06-2010, 07:32 PM
what i thought looked cool that had some speed holes was this bikes down tubes i remembered thinking it was cool because the frame was red flake and inside the holes was just red thats why i think the silver holes with the rest black will look best because it will flow better instead of being so choppy and the holes will stand out better but yet not too much and will accent the engine nice.

Gas Man
11-06-2010, 11:33 PM
Right... definitely black on heat shields so it contrasts the motor. Just not sure about the mufflers...

Gas Man
11-09-2010, 06:37 PM
here's an HD accessory done Sporty. They both have the speed holes in the heat shield.


However, I don't like the smaller holes they used and the fact that they didn't continue on the horizontal section closer to the mufflers. I think larger holes will make it look more custom.

11-11-2010, 08:28 AM
Yup Yup On the holes. The mufflers would look good in Chrome just to tie the package together.

Just sayin'

Gas Man
11-11-2010, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the input DJ. But to tie in what other chrome? I'm blackin out all the chrome.

11-11-2010, 10:13 AM
Crash bars and all will be Blacked out?

11-11-2010, 09:25 PM
So what color will the pipes under the shield be?

Gas Man
11-11-2010, 09:47 PM
Crash bars and all will be Blacked out?

So what color will the pipes under the shield be?

That is under debate.

11-12-2010, 09:12 AM
I'm with ya now. Gunna look very Cool:cool:

Gas Man
01-12-2011, 10:08 PM
Back on course....

Started on the Ultra

Off with the engine guard, highway pegs, mufflers and exhaust

It's parts layed out aren't so bad

But when combined with the Ultra parts... WOW

01-13-2011, 09:20 AM
Where is the muffin pan?

Gas Man
01-13-2011, 10:11 AM
Where is the muffin pan?

I used it on the larger job (Ultra). I don't know if you can see it in the pics though. I always think of you when I use it. Honest, no shit I thought... I should take a picture of it for mud. THen I forgot.

Gas Man
01-14-2011, 09:34 PM
Worked on drilling out the heat shields. Picked up a real nice irwin bi metal hole saw chuck & 1.25" hole saw and busted out the big boy drill.


Drilled out a piece of cardboard to help with using the center punch

The heat shield jig or backing plate

Took a few tries to get the right technique and the drill bits paid the price.

Got the first one done

the 2x4 is working well

Did the 2nd one and cleaned up the metal burrs with a flat & rat tail file. All ready for powder.

I can't wait!!!

01-15-2011, 08:25 AM
Lookin' Good Chris

Gas Man
01-15-2011, 09:17 AM
Thanks Train. It's getting there.

01-27-2011, 10:00 AM
Looks good!!, yes I am not a chrome loving person thats for certain... I love the blacked out look, and it doesnt have to be squeeky clean to look good like a chromed out custom.
I'd rather be riding than cleaning...

Gas Man
01-27-2011, 10:12 AM
Thanks... I've been working on a tank rise as well. Hopefully finish that up tonight.

Than I cam to another great idea... that I will save as a surprise.

I can't wait to see it all done.

Gas Man
01-28-2011, 10:27 PM
Been working on the tank rise. It's suppose to expose the top of the motor more and give it a bit of a chopper look.

Most guys just use flat powdered steel plates. But that seems lame... so I picked up these bottle openers.

This is the stock setup. The plastic under the tank holds all the wiring and just eats up that space.

Ditch the plastic garb & expose the wiring situation

Mock up the "brackets"

After a trip to the hardware store

Wire loom to cover those wires, and zip tie them together a bit.

Finish up holding the wires above the backbone where they now go.

The wanted space

Close up. The bottle openers work well for holding the wiring in place.

Finally done

I picked up some of the powder tonight that I need to find time to mount up.

01-31-2011, 09:33 AM
nice work gasman.. why don't you come over and mod up the r6.. turn it into a 2007-2011 R1..

Gas Man
01-31-2011, 11:37 AM
I don't come... you come over and we make it happen. I have duct tape!

01-31-2011, 03:39 PM
that's what she said (on all accounts)

02-01-2011, 10:01 AM
Now that's one OFF

Gas Man
02-01-2011, 03:30 PM
Glad you like it Train... not too bad for thinking outside the box. If you search tank rise kit images on google... most just use a piece of flat steel as a bracket. I think mine beats it all day long... as long as it holds up.

Gas Man
02-17-2011, 09:50 PM
Same thing here... I just forgot to update this site....

This really should have been posted last week, but was busy with my buds wedding and doing best man stuff for that. But...then I got sick as F...

Got some stuff back from powder.

Detail cleaned that stuff, and light wax job on it.


Only thing I was able to bolt up on the nightster was the engine bar

and it looks so much better black

Gas Man
02-17-2011, 09:51 PM
So to continue the disappearing act of the chrome...

The highway peg brackets gone powder

Then I was looking at the Mustang seat and how it doesn't fit.

So I called on my buddy Seatmaker Scott from www.badassbikeseats.com

The front nose of the seat also needed to be trimmed due to the tank rise. So I figured I'd get a headstart on it.


Have to remove the front & rear brackets, held on by these weird rivits

Then I drilled out all the rivits holding the leather down.

You get this

Nice fiberglass seat pan... sturdy too.

Need this much trimmed off

I sent him the seat and he sent me some swatches... we picked the colors and he did his thing.

Damn it looks good! The colors match perfectly and the silver/black/silver and black/silver/black depending on which way you look at it... works well. Plus it seems cushier (think the leather gives better) and it is definitely softer/gripier material.


It's really coming together and I can't wait to get the exhaust on. Just waiting on the ceramic. Bike is really going to look different when we roll it out.

Gas Man
03-07-2011, 12:47 AM
So I finally got the ceramiced exhaust pipes back. They looked oh so nice.

And color matched to the tins perfectly

Put on the flanges and re-install the O2 sensors

Get the pipes & mufflers mounted

Another shot that shows you the color match

Then the satin high temp powder heat shields installed.

They will flatten out a bit after some miles... but it all looks good. I think the satin is a nice blend between the gloss back frame and other pieces and the matte finish paint

Each of the mufflers interfered with the last hole as you might be able to see. But there's nothing I can do about it now. I'm still happy with the look and the completion of the bike.

03-07-2011, 04:57 AM
Looks nice, I like it without the heat shields

03-07-2011, 11:52 AM
Best lookin' nightster i've seen.

03-07-2011, 03:55 PM
Looks sweet!

03-07-2011, 06:07 PM
I'm diggin it too, quick question, did you have the parts de-chromed first before powder?

Gas Man
03-07-2011, 11:21 PM
Looks nice, I like it without the heat shields

It did look good without them... had a very function over form look.

Best lookin' nightster i've seen.

Thanks DJ!

I'm diggin it too, quick question, did you have the parts de-chromed first before powder?

Yes & No. Jeff sandblasts the chrome and then applies the powder. This is important because without that prep the powder wouldn't stick for shit.

03-08-2011, 01:26 PM
It did look good without them... had a very function over form look.

Thanks DJ!

Yes & No. Jeff sandblasts the chrome and then applies the powder. This is important because without that prep the powder wouldn't stick for shit.

I'm pretty curious about how that is going to hold up... you have an external plating that is much harder than the metal underneath... so sand blasting seems like it could, if not done carefully seperate the chrome from the steel... I guess if you are using very light abrasive media to just take the shine off the chrome I could imagine that would work... I just had not heard of that before, thats pretty interesting.

Gas Man
03-09-2011, 12:38 AM
Yeah Fatman... he's not using a heavy media/sand to blast it... very very fine. He actually blasts off most of the chrome... leaving the nickle exposed. And yes, with some cheap chroming, you can have problems.

Caveman's V&H mufflers the nickle was seperated from the metal, the chrome on the outside was holding it all down... hit it with a sand blast... poof. chrome, nickle, copper all came off. Creating a "pealed" look on that small area when powdered with a satin. So we (being Jeff did all the physical work, while I helped irritate him) stripped the powder, da sanded down the edge to feather it, then sprayed it with a textured flat instead. This happened in the same spot on both mufflers. right near the mount of the muffler. I think maybe a stress point or something. Who knows... they look sweet as hell now!

03-09-2011, 10:04 AM
Yea... chrome is a pain in the ass... the 3 stage process alone is costly and time consuming...
I'm still just not a fan of putting copper against steel justso the nickel can be plated for the chrome to stick to... aweful lot of work....

Besides... chrome is a pain to keep clean... I hve some plastic chrome on the new bike, but its not a lot...

03-09-2011, 01:22 PM
looks good.

Not a fan of raising up the tank, I like em as low as I can get em.

Do like the use of the bottle openers as spacers.

03-09-2011, 04:33 PM
I kinda was favoring the 'blue tape" myself, but the end products does look lots better. And kudos on origionality with the tank lift, my only concern would be the stability of the metal openers? Are they pot metal, did you put any rubber under them? Just curious cause our bikes can get pounded pretty good here in Michigan. And the seat is "kickass"!

Gas Man
03-09-2011, 08:22 PM
Fat... yeah black is the new chrome. LOL

Paul... it's like a pewter or pot metal. But the tank risers they sell are cheap flat metal tabs. So we'll see. I could put a bracket in behind the bottle opener.

Any of you guys have some 1" wide flat decently thick metal to make tabs?

03-10-2011, 08:51 AM
Looks killer Chris!

03-10-2011, 10:02 AM
Fat... yeah black is the new chrome. LOL

Paul... it's like a pewter or pot metal. But the tank risers they sell are cheap flat metal tabs. So we'll see. I could put a bracket in behind the bottle opener.

Any of you guys have some 1" wide flat decently thick metal to make tabs?

What kind of material? Steel? Stainless? Aluminum? how long of pieces do you want 1" wide?

Gas Man
03-10-2011, 05:25 PM
My bud cave is going to get me some 1/8" thick stainless steel pieces once I get him the measurements. Thanks Fat!

EDIT: I drafted up my high tech drawing...


03-10-2011, 09:12 PM
if thats going to be visible, you gonna put some style to that bracket or what? ;P

Gas Man
03-10-2011, 09:59 PM
No I'm going to run it behind the bottle opener... not truly visible.

03-12-2011, 08:21 AM
Now that's custom right there.
http://www.2wheelmichigan.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1065&d=1299794535 (http://www.2wheelmichigan.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1065&d=1299794535)

Gas Man
03-12-2011, 03:35 PM
Thanks Train. I have the pieces in unpolished stainless. I will get some pics and take some pics as I adjust the setup. Going to run the plate behind the bottle opener.

Gas Man
03-15-2011, 11:07 PM
Well after some concern about the bottle openers being either too soft or too hard (brittle) I decided to go with some brackets behind the openers. Just to be safe.

Drafted up this little thing

Ended up going with 1/4" stainless steel due to what we could find at my buds shop.

Grinded one end down to a more of a taper and cleaned up the edges from the band saw. Then took the tarnish off it (shown above and the lower bracket in pic below) because it looked a bit un-even after the bench grinder...

Installed. Put wires & throttle cables between this bracket and the bottle opener. Then used a grade 8 bolt on the bottom due to it's 5" length.

Gas Man
04-02-2011, 02:30 AM
So due to an error I had these raw metal muffler clamps showing thru the last holes...



Well I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so that wasn't going to fly... 2 new muffler clamps coated with the same high temp powder the heat shields & mufflers were done with.



Now I feel a bit better about it. Plus the new pipe/muffler setup draws more attention to that area and the weather/water was bound to start rusting the old raw metal clamp anyway.

04-02-2011, 10:29 AM
Good idea!

Gas Man
04-13-2011, 09:09 PM
Well the old setup just didn't have that "finished look" to it and you should all know me by now...


Remove the old coil setup

Remove the key in its bracket

Setup the new DK custom coil relocation mount

Pull my old backbone wire loom apart to fish the wires backward to where needed.

Get the DK Six Shooter key relocation mounted

The results

Now it looks 100%.

04-16-2011, 01:56 PM
Now it looks 100%.

You SOB I started the wiring tuck before you (without the lift) and I'm still at it. The left side cover is looking like a candidate for the ignition....
Yours looks much better now. The bigger question is: does your wife ever rider her Nightster or is it just you and your BIL taking turns?


Gas Man
04-16-2011, 11:31 PM

It's all three.