Sunday, April 24, 2011

The coolest moped part I've ever made.

Well, DEATHped is finally coming near to completion. The final missing pieces are in the mail, and I am just putting the finishing touches on the bike.

About three months ago, I started visualizing what seat would look best on the bike. I wanted it to be like a cafe seat but minimal, totally unique and sturdy. I started by making a small paper mockup about an inch long. I just sort of figured out what sort of folds I would need to do to make it work. Once I had a mockup, I disassembled the little paper seat and scanned it into my computer. I traced the template in Illustrator and extrapolated it to full scale. Then I printed out the template onto a cereal box, assembled the full size mockup, and tweaked and refined ad naseum.


It's really nice to be able to set a cardboard facsimile of a seat on your bike and scope out the lines and work it out. Eventually, I came up with a design I was happy with.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to get some time with Michael Mike down at the wizard lair. That guy is super generous with his time and skills and most every amazing moped project coming out of Seattle has his fingerprints on it. I filled him in on my plan and we quickly set to work.
First I transferred my template to the stainless steel.

Then I started hacking away with an angle grinder.

The Wizard himself began fusing the metal. If you look closely you'll see that he is actually absorbing the energy of the welder into his hand and welding with his magical fingertip.

After the welding was done I spent a significant amount of time shaping the tail section and this is what I came up with.

I'm pretty proud of it.

So this leaves me with only a couple more steps before I can declare DEATHped complete and ready to ravage. I'll be tuning the carb and clutch over the next couple of days and my final little bits should arrive today (monday). All that is left is to black out any chrome, (DEATH TO CHROME!) and take pretty photos for posterity. I'm very excited.

I just have to mention one more time that I couldn't have done any of this without the generous help of Michael Mike, Phil, Haulin' Colin, my supportive wife, and probably other people that are escaping my memory.


  1. looks great, joel. nice work.

  2. I'm actually building a seat myself, right now. Yours looks really great!

  3. I like that you took the time to mock it up and really think about how you wanted it to look. Seats can ruin an awesome build if done wrong. My first impression was that it looked a little long in the front, but the more I looked at it, the more it seemed to just fit into place. The angles you chose compliment the gas tank and it really finishes nicely as your eye scans from the front to the back of the bike. My favorite thing about this seat is the subtle continuous flowing curve at the bottom of the pan. Hope to see that bike sometime this summer!