Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tech DIY Shave Them Legs

Here is a novel Idea, working on motorcycles. So I sold off the front end that was on the sportster so I had to build up another. 6 over this time and I needed to shave the lowers. There of course is many different ways to do this operation but this is how I do them. I do not have a lathe that will fit a lower in and most of you out there don't either. Granted I have done quite a few of these this way so don't be scared. But now you will know why I would charge like 400 hundred dollars to do a customers bike.

Step 1. Cut all your tabs off. I picked up this porta band and it does a killer job. You want to make sure you stay above the cast marks. Cut all brake tabs and fender tabs at the same time.

Step 2. Flap disc on a hand grinder. I like flap disc because they react to pressure and when you need a lot of material gone you push hard and then just by pressure you can feather out the edges and go on to the next step. DO NOT GO TO DEEP. You are trying to get the highs of the cut off tabs to blend with the leg at this point.

Step 3. Flat file till dawn is how it goes. This is the longest and most tedious part of the whole deal. I have a medium flat file with a fine on the other side I like to use. I put the leg in a good vise and start the up and down on the leg to find all my high and low spots.  The leg should be poking your tummy and the file is in both hands.Just like doing block sanding on a car. As you find the highs you want to go at them with the file to knock them down. After a lot of this and going over the whole leg you are ready for the next step. You may have to clean out your file many times as it will get clogged with aluminum, I keep a clean wire brush handy. The clogged file will leave deep gouges so clean the file often.

Step 4. DA sander comes out. I have two, a 6 inch orbital and a 3 inch finisher. I start with 80 grit and hold the DA flat on the leg. Just hold tight and let the DA do the work. At this point the big scratches will pop out and you may have to flat file some more. These are the steps with the DA and grit paper I use.
80 grit first
150 next
then with a block I go over them with 1000.
Each one of those means you do the whole lower and get the finish uniform. Once the leg looks uniform you go to the next level up. By the time you get to the thousand grit they are starting to shine.

Step 5. The Polisher. I wipe everything off first because if there is any fork oil or other goop the legs will not turn out worth a flip. There are a thousand products out there to polish and I have kinda been stuck on the jewelers rouge and the Crafstman green polish. The white rouge cuts real good and you will go over the whole leg with that first then go to the green high polish. The trick is to get the leg kinda hot as you polish it but not real hot just so the polish blends in and rubs out as you go. I'm sure you could spend days going at this point but I will spend about a hour for each leg till I'm happy. After I use a hand polish and rub them out. The mothers aluminum polish helps seal up the fresh polish job and will help keep it from oxidizing. 

One of the Chopper rules: Thy Shall Shave Thy Legs Or Be Made To Ride In Back.


  1. Mate, thanks a bunch, as a first time chopper upper this is a timely and utterly useful post, they look brilliant too. Cheers Anchordude.

  2. Oh my lord that's a lot of work ! Punishment. Abuse. Detention in a world of solitary confinement to your craft. I bless thee with complete admiration. Well done my friend - with basically common tools and determination may your trusty steed beneath you wreak a joyful summer of complete satisfaction that you've done it yourself.