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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
BMX kingpin Chris "The Mad Dog" Moeller at S&M BMX solicited my help to make some new pipes for this infamous Black Widow. S&M BMX builds their own high-dollar BMX bikes in their own building right here in the US of A, so we had skills (shop manager Jason Balls, himself a chopper freak of some repute) and equipment at our disposal. Chris and I are old BMX grease monkeys, but we put our heads together and dreamed up a pipe set for his new motor in a matter of hours using only a Sharpie, a piece of welding rod and our (half) wits. Here's the blow-by-blow from last night's shop session:

Step 1: Prep your work area

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Step 2: Make your rough drawing

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Step 3: Create your basic shape with a piece of welding rod

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Step 4: Install your header flange and start picking your bends

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Step 5: Tack your little bends and straights into shape

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Step 6: Assess your progress by installing and reinstalling your pipe as it grows

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
PIPE HOW-TO, CON'D:

Step 7: If you like where things are headed and and everything is clearing what it's supposed to, do some 1/2" long root welds to hold your sub-assembly more firmly into place

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Step 8: With front half of pipe in limbo, assess your design and method of mounting in the rear. Mad Dog didn't like the way his cocktail shakers hung on a giant bracket, so he jetisoned this contraption in favor of some tabs. Yes, those are zip ties Jason is staring at.

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Step 9: Clean up your tube surfaces with a flap disk to make room for new tabs and new welds

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Step 10: Using your pipe sub-assembly as a guide and a jig, determine the location of your support tabs and tack them into place

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Step 11: Finish weld your pipe

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Step 12: Admire your handwork. Repeat for the rear cylinder

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Random stuff we learned along the way:

Not even the clean cut of a bandsaw will leave your tube openings in perfect shape for end-to-end welding.

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When this is the case, massage the tube openings with sandpaper. The more horsepower, the better

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The pipe for the front cylinder took us a little over 5 hours to build, and required some mods to the peg location, and the aforementioned mods to the muffler mounting. We measured three times. cut twice and welded once on every joint. It's better to whittle away a little bit of tube at a time to get your joints perfect than it is to whack off too much tube... taking off is always easier than adding on, especially on tight radii.

Beer actually made this project go faster.

If you're a badass TIG welder like Jason is, you can fuse these tubes together without rod. He did this several times and it looked awesome.

As the three of us proved, anyone with average talent, simple tools and some spare time can make pipes for their bike-you don't need a multi-million dollar bicycle factory at your disposal to do it!

Thanks to Chris for inviting me to his party, and to Jason for being such a good workmate.

I can't wait to see the rear pipe. Good luck and have fun, Mad Dog…
 

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pipes are looking fresh.. that kit makes it looks easy.. btw wasn't the black widow a 24" version of the S&M Challenger?
 

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I looked up to Moeller when I was little. Best dude.
 

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When I was a young lad I got thrown out of school cause they thought my S&M t-shirt meant I was a sexual deviant, damned old people.

Nice write up, looks like a sweet bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BLACK WIDOW PIPES UPDATE: Doing it in the rear

Chris and Jason hit this project hard last night and the finished product looks awesome. Here's some more images from the Mad Dog gallery…

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The butt joint between the Biltwell header flange and the old pipe was perfect. Jason chamfered the tube ends to do a pipe weld. When it's finished, you can see the penetration on the inside of a properly executed pipe weld.

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Here's a closer look at the finish welds on the front pipe. They'll look even better after Dave Bush in OC polishes the pipes and dips them in nickel.

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Two tabs like these-one on each rear stay-secure the P-clamps that hold the cocktail shakers and the pipe ends in one unit.

Two views of the assembled pipes on the bike.

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Note how the S-bend dodges the tranny on the front pipe, and now the cocktail shakers run parallel and follow the lines of the frame's rear chainstay (more bicycle talk.)

Thanks for the kind words. We had a blast doing this project. Can't wait to see them blinging at the Bash April 17.
 

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it's a great setup and thread, thanks!



This just may not be the best layout for someone who wears Vans, though.
 

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Knee on the volume pedal for TIG tacking. Awesome.
That is harder than it looks, that dude has been doin this more than a couple days! I have tried with my forearm before, and it was not easy, sometimes I wish I had a thumbtroll! sorry to get off topic, the pipes look great!!
 
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