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Tig welding a aluminum motorcycle frame?

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  • #16
    I won't chime in on the wisdom of these sorts of repairs, but if bikes are like other wheeled vehicles (I'm more familiar with cars), it is very rare that you get a "deal" buying damaged goods. The buyer almost always underestimates the complexity and cost of the repair. Even worse, the seller usually discounts the price only for the estimated repair cost, with little or nothing thrown in for the "pain in the @ss" factor. Why buy busted goods when a little more looking will likely get you a primo version of what you want at a price difference that'll closely match what you'd spend fixing it? This bike has to be an outright steal to be worth it.


    • #17
      Maybe I'll chime in ... DONT BUY IT! It's a Gixxer thou with a broken neck! The neck integrity and geometry is *crucial* (see here) to handling and braking so it should be written off and scrapped with a (permanent) non-repairable title. Can you imagine what might happen if you're floating along at a buck fifty and need to grab a mitfull of brake and the triple goes forward and the forks snap into the radiator? The neck on your Gixxer (and every other legal street bike) has a serial number on it ... for a reason. The only way to 'fix' the bike is to have the neck cut, buy a new neck ($$) and pay someone who has a frame table to weld the new neck ($$$$) ... then, at best you have a bike you can't legally use on the street (at least where I live) and it's not something the guy who TIG welds bikes for Vicious Cycle here in Edmonton will do (he doesn't have a frame table), even if he could. Way too dangerous. The frame is done. The bike I race, for e.g. has a repairable title (because the subframe was twisted) ... it's off but just outside of factory spec. The neck is fine, but to make it street legal, I'd need to replace the subframe.
      A soccer mom in an SUV is deadlier that a crack head with a handgun when you’re on a bike.


      • #18
        Aluminium FRAME WELDER

        Hi guys!
        I'm looking to buy a bike with a welded aluminium frame, it has a MSVA Test by VOSA and is ready to road...the bike is a heavy Honda ST1300...
        I would like to know how can I entrust that is well welded and it's completatly safe to ride... or maybe an welded aluminium frame will never be completatly safe to ride? specially on a 350kg bike plus 300kg of passengers and luggage....
        Here a picture of the welded frame...
        Click image for larger version

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        Thank you very much!



        • #19
          I have done this before exept i had a customer bring me a bike very similar to what your describing and i believe it was a suzuki that had been crashed and the frame was in about three pieces. The frame was originaly cast into halfs and weld down the center so i knew it was a weldable cast alum. I first beveled all the areas removed and stressed or bent areas with the plasma cutter, then cleaned all areas with a stainless wire brush and furthers wiped down with asetone. I then pre heated the joints ,used my syncrowave 250 using 1/8 pure tungsten at 150 to 200 amps (some parts of the weld where thicker and required more heat) then tacked every thing on a nice flat surface while constantly checking my square, and i welded all with 3/32 4043 rods,and had great results. So i would think a small crack just V it out clean it good, preheat, and weld. I hope this was helpful.


          • #20

            A quick look here and after seeing Alex's results you will realise anything is possible with machine tools and skill.


            • #21
              Not a good idea to weld an aluminum motorcycle frame unless you have the facility to heat treat the entire frame AND assure alignment. The frame was made of aluminum for weight reasons. The strength to weight ratio is only superior in the treated state, as-welded cuts that ratio by at least 3, more likely 4 or more. So if it were 6061 in the T6 state, the yield strength (stress at which permanent deformation happens) is in the 36,000 PSI range, about the same of A36 structural steel. As-welded, the yield strength is in the 8000 PSI range.

              Contact the manufacturer for proper weld repair.


              • #22
                bike frame repair (from a rider standpoint )

                It also depends on what you are buying the bike for if you are getting it to use strictly as a stunt bike then by all means get it but if you are looking for a track and road bike then leave it alone. If you are going to stunt the bike you might not ride it faster than 20 m.p.h. I ride and own a gixxer my self, the bike has been abused hard especially if the frame cracked near the neck. So again if you are looking for a bike to ride around the city then DO NOT mess with it but if you are looking for a STUNT bike go for it because you will do alot worse to it like punch holes in the frame.