Talking Titanium with Master Builder and TV Personality Bryan Fuller
TMS Titanium caught up with Atlanta based Master Builder and TV Personality Bryan Fuller to talk about one of his current projects and also his love of Titanium. Bryan is host of the NEW season of “Car Fix” on the MotorTrend network, the ultimate “how-to” series. He also hosts the TV series “Caffeine and Octane”, which highlights the culture and community of the largest monthly gathering of auto enthusiasts in the USA. Bryan is the co-author of a series of how-to-build books, “Full-Bore Welding” and “Full-Bore Sheet Metal” published by his own publishing company, Full-Bore Publishing. Bryan and the Fuller Moto team specialize in unique custom car and motorcycle builds. The shop motto – “Dream Big, Build Strong, Ride Hard!”
TMS – What got you started on this project and how long have you been working on it?
Bryan Fuller – “I have been riding the 690 KTM Duke street bike and it’s basically the same bike as the 701 Husqvarna with just different styling. The thing only weighs like 330 lb. stock with 75 horsepower, which is crazy. I wanted to see how creative I could get with a bike like that. I have been building this bike slowly as my own little side project and it has been going on about a year.”
“We got the Krämer sport bike kit. They are a German company with a US branch in West Fargo, North Dakota. They take the 690 big single platform and they will build you like a spec race bike. The power to weigh ratio is bad ass. They set you up with this really sick platform with the gas tank under the seat and they have different swing arms and more race geometry. It is pretty cool little ride.”
TMS – What are your goals with this build?
BF – “This bike is like an art and engineering exercise. I just wanted to see how light and powerful based on this Krämer platform could I go. I wanted to see how much Titanium I could use. I have Ti rotors and Ti sprockets, a Ti frame and we are looking at printing the triple trees in Ti. We are trying to develop a brake caliper that we are going to print to Ti. We are trying to use as much Titanium as we can and see if we can get it down to like 240 lb. and maybe 95 horsepower.”
TMS – How much Titanium are you using?
BF – “If you exclude the engine we want to use Ti on any part that is made out of metal. Any part we can make out of titanium we are going to try and do that.”
TMS – Can you talk about how TMS is helping?
BF – “We have been using TMS Titanium for a few years. We met at the PRI show. When I started getting into Titanium and finally realizing it wasn’t Voodoo magic. It is time consuming and a little expensive but any reputable fabricator who understands process and understands material science should be able to use Titanium. There is no real reason to not use Titanium. Some of the high end steels that you buy are not cheap so at the end of the day it might be more and it is not for every application but when you are in the business of making the highest level products you can why not use that extra little bit of lightness to improve your product.”
TMS – Did it take some time to get used to Titanium or overcome of the myths?
BF – “The first time I welded it I had trouble seeing it and I thought it was the material. It was kind of a random sequence of events. To be frank I realized I might need reading glasses at that point in my life. I had the shade wrong on my helmet. I was in teaching setting just figuring this stuff out. I thought it was really hard because you couldn’t see it but we got it figured out. There were a lot of myths about Titanium. Once you got into it and reading about it you realize it takes more prep and you have to be clean. There are some steps you have to pay attention to nothing that you can’t overcome. For the right project it is perfect, but again it is not for every project depending on your budget.”
TMS – If you could make anything out of Titanium what would it be?
BF – “In a perfect world you would make everything out of Titanium. You might need a big wallet. Titanium is one of those dream products and materials. I think over time as manufacturing becomes easier and the price comes down like stainless and aluminum. It will become more common all the time.”