Friday, December 17, 2010


Sixtynine's creeping along,
I'm currently working on completing its' front end. I stripped the forks down a while back.

But the latest, which I just completed several minutes ago, is the front drum

I've been working on the outside for a while, I milled the hell out of it and sanded it nice and smooth followed by some etch primer and fill primer. Here's a shot of the etch primer on the inside.

I want all the aluminum to look raw... but perfect. So I'll be shooting it all silver, I'd like to leave it matte, but that's a nightmare to keep clean so I've decided to clearcoat everything.

Primed, sanded, ready for paint


Finished with clearcoat

My favorite color!

It all took a lot longer than it was supposed to, but happy day indeed. I got my wheels back from powdercoat.

I started the stripping process with aerosol aircraft stripper. I didn't have high hopes for it because by their nature aerosols are usually just really diluted and ineffective versions of the real thing. But it worked fantastically for the first bit. I also tried a couple of different paste strippers and eventually decided it was all just too much work and took them to my powder guy and asked him to use his secret (biodegradable) formula which worked brilliantly, but then it was an issue with the pots that he had. His shop is set up to do small panels and electronics boxes so he didn't have anything that he could just soak them in completely. Several days of this went by (he's doing this job for me as a favor so it was back-burner-ed and I wasn't really in a position to push the issue) and eventually I took them back to finish them out in my sandblaster.

I also had to get them back from him because I wanted to sand them down a bit, I removed several casting IDs from the face of the spokes and, as you may be able to see here I smoothed out some casting seams.

I returned them to him last night, masked them up and picked them up this morning.

So exciting!

Took them up to Cycle Gear and had them swap the still brand new tire off the old bent wheel

Sadly though they accidently ordered me another rear tire instead of a front so I've got to wait for the new front to arrive before I can get her rolling again. If I just wanted something simple like a Pilot Power I could have just grabbed one and been out the door... I've always got to have the stuff that no one has ever heard of and doesn't stock.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Clocks (Part 1)

The VFR750F is a touring bike and it's got the design to prove it. The dash is built like a brick. The RC30 on the other hand had a very different layout looking more like a cluster of individual gauges. Even though the dash had been removed from the bike when I bought it, after rummaging through some boxes in the garage the previous owner pulled it out and asked me if it was part of the bike. So I've got it, the casing was a little smashed up but the internals all seem to be intact. I have no idea how long the thing's been off so the 33k miles that it shows doesn't amount to much, but it will be nice to be able to keep track from here on out.

This is the beast... exploded form

Is omittion of the truth really a lie?

It's a little daunting at first glance, but each of these copper lines will just have to be replaced with a wire
I need to buy myself a new wiring harness to harvest the printed wires so that everything can match in the end.

I snipped the wires off and kept them in place so that I can trace colors later when I have to rebuild the thing.

This is what I'm going for

And this is where I'm at right now

The PCB for that stupid clock is ridiculously huge, I'd love to just leave it out, but I've ridden bikes without them, and they are super nice to have. It will stay... where exactly it will go I can't be sure yet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Ducati blew up!

Not like BANG, more like a balloon.

I painted my old Monster when I sold it to a girl in Dallas:

She was thrilled with it when I delivered it to her, but a couple of months later I got a call from her that there was a problem with the paint. So I headed back down there to see what I could do for her.

What a nightmare. I've never had anything like this happen, but I suspect I was trying to push the process too much. There're three coats in this job, a base, a candy, and a clear. I think I didn't give enough cure time to the candy.

The tank was the only place that it happened, so I took the bike back, stripped it back down to the plastic, and started over.

This time I gave the candy a week total to dry before laying down the clear.

So far so good

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SixtyNines' seat

I've been working with a friend to get the fairing for SixtyNine worked out...

...and I managed to come up with a seat that I like

This last few days I've been working on the mold for it
With this MDF base I will hopefully be able to make a nice clean mold.
But it will take a lot of primer to get it all nice and smooth.
more primer
Filling in the holes to help with the molding process. I could've machined a new one without the underside detail, but that would've been a waste of materials.

New breather gasket

When I pulled the old breather off the top of the rear valve cover of the VFR I tore the gasket up, I cant get a new one because they're back ordered through Honda. I'm sure I could buy one if I really put some effort into tracking one down, but instead I'll just make one.

These are the tools that I'll need. What's left of the old gasket, some new gasket material, razor blade, and some cheap guide coat I had in the cabinet... also some hole punches and a hammer.

I had some trouble getting the gasket material to lay flat so I put some double stick tape down and stuck it to it.

Additional tools used

I just had to make the rest of it up as I went using the original part and a little logic. This thing's far from critical one way or another so I wasn't too worried about it.


At the risk of losing my one follower I'm going to change the format of this blog. I'd like this to be a place that I can keep tabs on what I'm working on and where I am on my projects, and since I'm always working on something, but tend to jump from one project to another I'm going to broaden the focus here. So instead of just posting about Cinder every couple of weeks I can hopefully post about all my motorcycle projects a couple of times a week.

Over the last few weeks I've painted my van, stripped my VFRs wheels, made a mold base and sealed the buck for SixtyNines' seat, primed my scale fairing mockup... and almost traded my truck for a DOHC CB750.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Making a mess

I managed to track down a new rear wheel for the bike. Not the coveted eight spoke, but actually just a direct replacement for the original, just a lot less bent.

By the end, they'll be white, so I've got to get all the black powder off first. I pulled the front wheel last night:

By the end of this they'll all be white so I've got to get all the black off before getting started, aircraft stripper works its magic

Next, I'll be cleaning the garage, I've been working on the van a lot and everything's gone to chaos in my haste.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Parts bike

I've been pouring over ebay and the like for a new wheel for this thing and have been able to find nothing that fits into my budget. Truth be told, I'm being unreasonable, the bike only cost me $600 to buy and as a result I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of spending half that or more on just a wheel for it and at the end of it not even having the eight spoke that I really want. Anyway with all this Ebay lurking I've managed to convince myself that my life will be enriched farther by owning this:

Okay so it's not a VFR and I can't use the wheel, but it does have a nice and straight oil cooler and a pair of headlights that will be perfect for the RC30. All the rest of it will be sold off to fund Cinder. It's a Yamaha FZ600 that has been half streetfigher-ed. Now I'm on the hunt for a beat up VFR parts bike to strip and part out.

 Maybe from now on I should just be buying parts bikes rather than just parts :) I like tearing them down.
I love it's stance and the pointy tank. I might have to restore one of these for the next project... but I'm getting ahead of myself.