Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

motorcycle setup/flat plate

Recommended Posts

Anyone on here know where I can find a company who manufactures and sells these?

Also, if anyone has any input on how to build one myself that would also be helpful. I was told by someone once that building a frame and then using a solidifying liquid can have decent results if done properly.

Suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
im not sure what a flat plate is. maybe if you described it you would get better responses?

Fair enough question. I assumed when posting most people wouldn't know what it is, but i figured people who did would be the only ones to reply.

A flat plate, also called a setup plate, is large plate that is as close to perfectly flat as possible. They are used in a variety of different manufacturing facility's in different capacities. Most notably they are used in the professional racing industries to properly setup race cars and race bikes. All nascar, indycar, F1, and other teams use them for car measurement and car setup.

The following would be a good example. If you want to setup your race bike and you want to know the front to rear weight distribution, you would put your front wheel on a scale and your year wheel on a scale and use those numbers. But if the ground is not perfectly flat, your weight readings are going to be off slightly, which in turn is going to effect everything you have setup that is based on front to rear weight distribution. Also, your rake angle. If you measure it off from true vertical and your bike is not perfectly flat, your rake angle will be off slightly, effecting bike geometry design.

Depends on how 'flat' you need it to be. These days, a laser is used instead of the granite plates of which you speak.

Looking to have one setup in my garage, i dont have the cash flow to start using lasers, or a granite for that matter, simply because its too costly. But i agree that those are definitely precision ways of doing it.

you could buy plate steel flat enough for jigging a bike frame

I'm not giong to be using it to build a bike frame, just bike measurements. I'm not sure if I could purchase a piece of steel that has precision grade flatness anyway.

I looked into this company..

http://www.precisionepoxy.com/TestBed.htm

and began thinking that if they an use epoxy to create a flat surface, then why cant I? Any type of liquid that turns into a solid would work. So that is something i might look into. I still cant find a company who manufactures flat plates, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the garage floor not flat and smooth enough? What bikes are you setting up and to what level of competition?

That epoxy floor while being super high quality it also comes at a price.

Seems like a good contractor could install concrete and have it be smooth and flat enough for most purposes.

Good luck on your project!!! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lasers are cheap. Very few shops use a flat plate (granite) as a laser and a computer is more accurate and repeatable. Granite does swell with temp and humidity variations. It was the way to go thirty years ago but not any more.

All that matters is having a single reference point and building it from there. I do think you are way over analyzing this as a bike frame is two feet wide by five feet long at most. Not like a car chassis that can be 6 feet wide and 12 feet long.

But here is one compnay I found in 3 seconds of Googling:http://www.standridgegranite.com/surface.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it were me, I would use what I used to use at the shop where I did most of my frame building: A cut scrap of 3/4 or thicker steel plate. It's heavy enough to hold its shape, you can weld stuff all over it and grind it back off to jig frames, and it's not that hard to find one straight enough to do good work on without having it ground. If you wanted, you could drill and tap holes in it to put in adjustable reference points that could be dialed in with a laser, but that shouldn't really be needed for most work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think an epoxy floor would be expensive to build and but most importantly hard to actually get flat/level. if i were looking into buying one i would try to get a precision rolled steel plate and add threaded legs to it so that once it is in place it could easily be adjusted to level. also probably use 2 nuts to lock it in place after getting it as level as you want. you can probably find a plate with specs on the thickness variation that would be close enough to your needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is the garage floor not flat and smooth enough? What bikes are you setting up and to what level of competition?

That epoxy floor while being super high quality it also comes at a price.

Seems like a good contractor could install concrete and have it be smooth and flat enough for most purposes.

Good luck on your project!!! :lol:

my garage floor isn't flat enough for what i want to do. I think the epoxy that is custom installed would be expensive, but i dont see why you couldn't use another type of epoxy from lowes and come up with another, cheaper, solution. Not really sure yet, i havent looked into it that far.

:)

Lasers are cheap. Very few shops use a flat plate (granite) as a laser and a computer is more accurate and repeatable. Granite does swell with temp and humidity variations. It was the way to go thirty years ago but not any more.

All that matters is having a single reference point and building it from there. I do think you are way over analyzing this as a bike frame is two feet wide by five feet long at most. Not like a car chassis that can be 6 feet wide and 12 feet long.

But here is one compnay I found in 3 seconds of Googling:http://www.standridgegranite.com/surface.htm

over analyzing, maybe, but it doesnt hurt to ask around which is what im doing here.

I dont need a surface plate the size of a racecar, i only need one long enough to fit both wheels of a bike on, and wide enough to a scale on. I never planned on putting a fully sized racecar surface plate in my two stall garage.

I didnt come up with the website you posted when i was searching. Probably due to searching for motorsports related setup pads that are not made of granite. Granite surface plates are pretty common, harborfreight probably even sells them, but finding one that is 24"x60" is going to be expensive. (im guessing?)

If it were me, I would use what I used to use at the shop where I did most of my frame building: A cut scrap of 3/4 or thicker steel plate. It's heavy enough to hold its shape, you can weld stuff all over it and grind it back off to jig frames, and it's not that hard to find one straight enough to do good work on without having it ground. If you wanted, you could drill and tap holes in it to put in adjustable reference points that could be dialed in with a laser, but that shouldn't really be needed for most work.

i was waiting for you to chime in on this one, you seem to usually have pretty solid advice.

I actually like this idea. Simple, effective, and the fact you can weld to it is a huge plus. I thought about going this route, but assumed I wouldnt be able to find plate of steel that large that would be precision, I should have looked into it more, which is what im going to do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depending on what you want to do a section of thick wall C channel big enough to roll the bike onto could work and would be easier to store than heavy plate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
my garage floor isn't flat enough for what i want to do. , you seem to usually have pretty solid advice.

I actually like this idea. Simple, effective, and the fact you can weld to it is a huge plus. I thought about going this route, but assumed I wouldnt be able to find plate of steel that large that would be precision, I should have looked into it more, which is what im going to do now.

dont necessarily believe that your floor has to be flat but your jigging has to be accurate.

A heavy support plate with drilled and tapped holes that you can use to clamp down to I would think would be sufficient. all you have to do is shim and jig up to what you need. that eliminates the floor from being an issue but would place the importance on your level and tape measure which you where going to need to be accurate anyway.

frames are usually not concentric anyway steering stem, engine and swingarm pivot point is what matters and then the lugs for tank seat and body work would be relatively easy to adjust(if you went this far) to get it to look and feel good

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about a piece of Railroad Track (basically a I-Beam) it should be flat enough , its definitely small enough and it would be easy to add level adjusters to it (weld a nut to the outside of each corner and put a bolt thru it to adjust each corner accordingly), and put a tire guide to hold the bike level (similar to how a sidewalk bicycle rack holds a tire) that way there is no other pressure on the suspension aside from the bike itself , as the tire is just wedged in between the bars

I know you can get them easily at scrap yards or Railroad yards for a fair price , it would need little modification , and can easily be moved around or out of the way to suit your needs , and can be cut to the length you need , you could move it around easily with a hand dolly (like what is used to move appliances or boxes) , and all you would have to do is mark the floor where it goes so you would not have to re-adjust it every time you moved it around to clear the floor , just put it back on the marks and your ready to go

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can get self-levelling compound from builders merchants, its basically a very "runny" cement, they have different mixes in the instructions, if you choose the thinnest mix I think it would be flat enough to build a frame on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a piece of 16"x6"x60" C-channel to build my frames on. For what your doing, I would think that leveling out a 2x6 board would have the nessasary acuracy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what you are talking about is wanting a piece of steel blanchard ground flat. if you want to see what a pro fabricator would use, check out the blueco website, it's what i built chassis for concept cars and bikes on. it'll be too expensive for you, but it will give you an idea of what to look for, they do come up for sale at auctions from time to time. lots of fab shops closing their doors. Find yourself a auction house selling machinery. I bought a 6' x 6' x 3" thick weld table that was blanchard ground, it came from North american rockwell. on wheels too. drilled to boot. don't be in a rush, look around , plan it out....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned earlier, if your just looking for a true level and flat area to work on or support a work piece you could frame up the area you want to work in with some 2x2's and pour in liquid state non-shrinking machine grout. You could then cover it with a thin piece of steel to protect the grout and have a level and flat surface to work from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as we're assuming materials that you just go out and buy or find in a scrap pile are actually flat, why not just get some countertop material? If you want it strong, you could get two pieces and stack them up.

Whatever you do, I would try to figure out a way to check the flatness of the thing you end up with. That's where the cheap laser comes in. And don't forget that you have to set this thing on your garage floor, which is not flat. Also, I assume that you want it level. If your material is flexible at all (and steel will have to be really thick to not flex when your contact points are 6 feet apart and your motorcycle is 250lbs), you'll want to shim your material between the material and the garage floor to get it level. Put the shims as close to the wheel and bike stand contact points as is practical to minimize bending moments caused by the bike "load".

If you actually attach a not-quite-flat "flat plate" to your garage floor, and if the material is sufficiently flexible, you could correct some lack of flatness by shimming and bolting to the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×