Back in early September 2023, the guys at Grind Hard Plumbing Company introduced the world to what might be their most ambitious project yet. Just about every project evolves as it goes from an idea to a tangible thing, in ways both big and small. If this one turns out to be even a reasonable facsimile of the original idea, it will essentially be a KTM 1190-powered off road chopper, riding on a pair of 46-inch Mickey Thompson mud tires.
It’s one thing to talk about building an outrageous project like this, and completely another to make it a reality. If you were wondering if the project had even gotten off the ground yet, no worries there, because this video shows the build process finally getting underway.
To start, they've decided to work on the single sided swingarm and rear hub setup. The base for the hub comes from a Toyota Tacoma. Because GHPC has been building for several years, it means they have a scrapyard full of items to harvest for new purposes. From parts vehicles that they purchased to disassemble and use in new projects, to previous projects that didn’t quite work out and are now ready to be recycled, they don’t necessarily have to go far when searching for materials that fit their needs at the moment.
In this episode, the GHPC plasma cutter gets quite a workout. First, it’s cutting out a rear sprocket to fit this application. When it’s not quite correct the first time, the design gets adjusted and no worries—just cut out another one. Using a variety of planning methods including both cardboard-aided design and computer-aided design, the process of trial and error eventually resolves into a rather elegant-looking single sided swingarm.
Sure, that tire is massively oversized—but in the end, it’s just a whole lot of math and measurement, on top of various shop skills. When the first tubing that’s cut, bent, and held in place isn’t quite long enough, it’s OK because there’s more tubing in a longer length to redo it. It’s a good reminder that making mistakes is part of the process—and if you can identify what you did wrong and you’re able to go back and fix it, it’s a valuable learning experience.
All in all, it’s good insight into planning, fabrication, and troubleshooting on the fly. A custom project is always going to involve being able to think fast, building on whatever skills you’ve already got in your arsenal, and then adapting and growing as necessary. Some things are going to be frustrating along the way, but if you can approach things analytically and change your approach if it’s needed, chances are good that you can find your way to a solid solution in the end.