Free Nomad Lowers Patterns

Introduction

Lowers made from these patterns have been used by dozens of Nomad owners and will reduce turbulence / helmet buffeting by 90% or more. I am distributing these pattern files free of charge. All I ask is that you do not distribute these patterns and do not link to this web page from your own web sites.

My original pattern worked for pre-2005 Nomads without a light bar. Thanks to Mike Stranger, you can now download a pattern that works with pre-2005 Nomads with a light bar. Thanks to Mike Morissette, you can now download a pattern that works with 2005 and 2006 Nomads.





If you have modified these patterns for use with lightbars or other models, please share it! The beauty of the Internet is the ability to share knowledge, experiences, and Nomad Lowers Patterns--for free, on a global scale. Truly a wonderful device!

By the way, it is not my intention to discourage you from purchasing lowers from Moxy, Edmunds, or any other company. The Moxy and Edmunds lowers are finished very well and are reasonably priced (approximately $60 to $90). I offer these patterns to those of us who like to take the DYI path whenever possible, or want to "play" with the final dimensions, look, etc.




A Word About Buffeting

I am frequently asked why helmet buffeting occurs. Here are my two-cents...

Have you ever driven your car at 65mph with the windows rolled down? Even with the a full coverage windshield the car provides, rolling down the windows at speed results in hurricane-level wind inside the car.

On a motorcycle, even the largest windshield will not prevent a wind storm. However, carefully-designed aerodynamics can smooth the air so that the driver receives smooth air, rather than an air-blast, thus reducing buffeting. Good examples of good design include the Honda Gold Wing and some BMWs.

On the Nomad, Kawasaki opted to plant a fairly flat piece of plastic in front of the driver, ala Harley Davidson. It actually works very well, and does not need (nor should it) reach past your head. In my book, the windshield should never be so tall that you are looking through it.

However, due to the shape/location of the gas tank in relation to the windshield and everything else, the Nomad directs air up and over the gas tank, underneath or past the windshield. Due to the differences in air pressure, blah blah blah, you end up with considerable buffeting, just like driving your car with the windows rolled down.

So, we need to redirect and smooth the air, which is precisely what the larger lowers do for you.





Instructions

Lowers from these patters mount to the stock Nomad lowers bracket, using the stock screws.

I recommend that you print the pattern and use it to create a pattern from cardboard. Remove your original lowers, and mount the cardboard pattern to the bike using the stock bracket and screws. Trim the cardboard pattern so that it clears your turn signals, crashbar, lightbar, and windshield. Make sure you turn the front wheel left and right (up against the steering stops) to make sure the pattern clears the crashbars.

Once you have trimmed the pattern to fit, affix it to your plexiglass with double-sided carpet tape and cut out the lowers. For best results, cut out both lowers at the same time. Use double-sided tape or hot-melt glue to hold them together during the cutting operation.

I made my lowers from Acrylic sheet (approx .180" thick), available from Home Depot and other home centers. Lexan, Plexiglass, and similar materials work fine. One e-mailer sent me images of lowers he cut from diamond plate aluminum (wish I would have saved his images). John Ford made his from brass (ee his pics on our Nomad page 2). So the material and thickness you choose is pretty much up to you.

I cut my lowers using a Festool Jig Saw; it worked great. You can also use a band saw, coping saw, or virtually any cutting tool. Take care not to overheat the material as you cut as it will tend to gum up and possibly affect your cut line. When you're finished cutting, you will want to deburr and slightly roundover the edges. I used a propane torch (with little success), a file, and sand paper. Becareful with sandpaper, as it is very easy to scratch the front and back surfaces.

I made my lowers for about $10 and 1/2 hour of time.





Reader's Tips

From Terry F:

I worked with acrylic sheeting for years and generally if you mask with masking tape over the line to be cut,(on both sides of the material) you'll prevent it from melting back on itself and it makes the line easier to apply.

Best regards, Terry


From Tommy Connell:

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed making the new lowers for my 2006 Vulcan Nomad. I got a sheet of .220 Plexi from Lowe's this afternoon and a roll of 1" masking tape. I cut two pieces 18x7 and covered both sides with the masking tape. I used a few drops of a thick CA glue (I'm into R/C also) and clamped them together for a minute. Then I cut them out on my 20 inch Craftsman scroll saw and drilled both pieces while they were together. I used my vertical oscillating saw to sand all the edges smooth and then broke them apart and removed the masking tape. I used a small finish sander to soften the edges and installed them. I didn't bend the bracket as of yet as it's different on the 2006 from the images on the site.

I made a trip to the gas station and then to the post office to mail letters for the wife and then made a nice 10 mile ride where I could get it up to 70 and it's just amazing the difference in the new lowers. Just returned from Deal's Gap Sunday and would loved to have had them on for that 1,000 mile trip.

I plan on starting a pair for my son's 2004 Nomad tomorrow morning. Thanks for sharing this on the net with all of us who like to DIY.

Kindest regards,

Tommy Connell



Pre-2005 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad Lowers Pattern - No Light Bar

This pattern is designed for no light bar. If you prefer a pattern that works with a light bar, trim this pattern to work or download Mike Stangers version (below).

Print the patterns across two sheets of 8-1/2 x 11 paper using the "tiles" option of your print program, and align the sheets using the "mounting holes" as alignment guides.

Four image formats are provided. The .tif format is generally considered the best of the formats, it will print exactly to the appropriate size. The PDF version also works well.




Pre-2005 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad Lowers Pattern - With Light Bar

Mike Stanger modified the lowers pattern to work with a light bar. Mike kindly sent me his updated patterns and allowed me to distribute them. THANKS MIKE!! Mike passed on the following instructions:

"Jack, I have a new set of lowers on my Bike now. What I had to do is indicated on my drawing, was to cut a slot in the lower and mount it on the back side of the existing bracket. Mounting on the face of the bracket wouldn't work. Too much stuff in the way. That little difference of 1/4" allowed the plastic lower to align without having to deflect the plastic. What you do to mount is... slid the existing bracket through the plastic slot at a right angle, then turn the lower 90 degrees till its flush with the back of the bracket and attached. I used a small piece of stainless for a backing plate, and reused the original chrome piece to finish off the front face. There is a slight space between the face plate and the plastic, because of the bracket. But it's hardly noticeable."

"I put dimensions on in case the reproduction is not actual size. Slide the slot over the existing bracket and rotate lower 90 degrees."

If your light bar is different than Mike's, I suggest you copy my pattern onto poster board or thin cardboard, cut it out to shape and mount it to your lowers bracket. Then mark and cut the pattern to work with your light bar / accessories arrangement. It really is not hard to do. When your satisfied with the fit, use your modified pattern to cut the plexiglass. Oh, and if you're so inclined, I would love to have a copy of the pattern to share with other readers.




2005-2006 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad Lowers Pattern - Without Light Bar

Mike Morissette modified the lowers pattern to work with a 2006 Nomad. Mike kindly sent me his patterns and allowed me to distribute them. THANKS MIKE!! Mike passed on the following instructions:

Hi Jack,

Attached are a couple pictures of the modifications I made to the lowers brackets and the lowers themselves along with a PDF file of the lower template. Feel free to post them up on your site for others to use. Below are the basic instructions to obtain the results in the pictures.

Thanks a bunch,

Mike Morissette

These lowers fit the 2006 Nomad and are made to mate closely to the bottom edge of the windshield in the lowest position.

Step 1: Bend the existing lowers brackets to 20 degrees so the lower will better follow the contour of the curve in the windshield. I took some 1" oak, ripped one with the blade set on 20 degrees, the other just ripped square. I placed the blocks and the mount in the vise as seen in pictures 1 & 2. I used a plastic mallet and bent the bracket until it contacted the bevel cut in the oak block.

Step 2: Print the PDF file and tape them together at the two lines. Measure the distance between the mounting holes to make sure they are spaced correctly, (3 15/16"). Adjust the two sheets to obtain the correct distance.

Step 3: Bolt both pieces of Plexiglass together and use double sided tape to affix the template. Cut them out on a band saw (or jig saw, or...) and sand the edges to smooth them out. Install them and enjoy your new custom lowers! See picture 3 & 4 to see how good they will look when you are finished. Well worth the couple hours work.

Click to Download Mike Morissette's 2006 Nomad Lowers Pattern


Mike's Image 1



Mike's Image 2



Mike's Image 3



Mike's Image 4




From Peter:

Dear Jack,

Thanks a million for sending the lowers template!

  1. First, I traced and cut it out of heavy card stock (except for the circular hole) and mounted it on the bike. As I hoped, it fit without the holes -- but required it to be bent a little to clear the signal light.
  2. Emboldened, I bought a piece of .25" acrylic from Lowes for $13, cut it in half, laid the cardboard template on top, taped the edges together, and started cutting on the bandsaw. Suggestion: cutting VERY slow gives a smooth edge, saves on sanding time.
  3. When I came to the indents for the engine guard, I used a bit of artistic freedom and ignored the template...
  4. Without the hole cut for the signal, there was a lot of tension against the signal when I mounted it. I then experimented bending some scrap acrylic by using a 1500W heat gun -- it worked!!
  5. After mounting, I heated them from the back side by moving the gun up and down in a straight line until the tension was gone.
  6. Then I heated some more until I got a 1/4" clearance from the back of the light.
The BEST part is, IT IS LIKE GETTING A NEW BIKE!!! The difference is amazing, first noticeable at 35-40 mph -- and REALLY incredible improvement at 70-80!! I don't smoke, but it feels like the air is so still that smoke could hover in front of my face at highway speeds...

Thanks again!

Peter

Peters Lowers Image 1




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