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 Post subject: the build(s?) (mysta2)
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:19 pm 
Legendary 300
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Location: Little Elm, TX.
I've decided to start this to try and document for myself and anyone who’s interested; my first steps into this obsession that is motorcycles. I'll be the first to admit that I'm jumping in a little late so here’s the back story:

When I was 18 I bought my first and one of my current cars:
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...and I was hooked. The following years have been spent obsessing about all that is cars, trucks, bikes... anything that had an engine and wheels. It wasn't till college that I learned about old bikes though, the shop foremen at my school had what must've been a new (vintage looking) Triumph or Royal Enfield, at the time I didn't know anything about them so I can't place it now. Anyway I started to pick up classic bike rags and spent hours pouring over the ads in the back trying to figure out what I liked so much about those classics and picking out my favorites. At the time I was dreaming about a Buell Blast (and trying to ignore the fact that being a full time student, living in down town Seattle, on my parents bill wasn't going to afford me anything but the bus)

Fast forward a couple of years (to last year) and I'm living in Texas working full time and one of my friends who's been riding a Honda cruiser for a year or so (I still have yet to swing a leg over a running motorcycle) decides he's going to Daytona. Well, I'm always up for a little impromptu road trip so we pile into his truck and set off for Florida. (I wish I could post all the pictures I took out there but it would take forever to upload them all) Anyway, Daytona changed me a bit; before the trip I just wanted a stock bike to ride... now, it was going to have to be custom :twisted: (so much for a bike being a money saving idea)

Upon returning from Florida; down the street from where I work I keep passing by this kind of ratty looking standard with a for sale sign on it.
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It sticks in the back of my mind and I bring it up to my friend, he asks me what I would do if I went over there and he was asking just $500 for it... I can't decide what I would do, so I go over and he wants $300 (or two I-pods as my friend puts it)... it's not running. The next day it's in the shop at work and we're trying to get it to run, so he can teach me how to ride it :) The next weekend (still not running) I spend in my MSF class and I start to tear into the bike. Oil change (sure wish I could lay my car on it's side when I've got a stuck bolt) new plugs, battery, points, condenser, wires, strip seal and clear the tank, crop 12 inches out of the frame, mold a new carbon seat, fit new clubman bars. The main switch turns out to be pitted out and non functional, I replace it and the bike would now run if it wasn't torn apart all over my garage floor.

I finally get her all back together and manage a few short rides often walking back (one bad coil, one plugged cap vent) until she's riding relatively dependably:
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the seat's not finished at this point.

I pick up a copy of Hells' Angels for inspiration/heritage, and start riding more often (I also get myself a helmet, and jacket to compliment the boots and gloves required by the MSF) I spend a lot of time at various Starbucks since there's always a couple within my dependability ring that I'm willing to ride a bike that may not be coming home under its own power. The pipes go black and the seat gets finished:
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Last edited by mysta2 on Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:19 pm 
Legendary 300
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Location: Little Elm, TX.
how not to paint your' helmet or how to make your' brand new expensive helmet look old

well this was something I knew I wanted to do but couldn't decide how to go about it so eventually I just broke into it and kept moving forward-backward-upsidedown-sideways... till it was done... and I documented it all:

Step 1: get rid of all those annoying useless stickers
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(I used heptaine, denatured alcohol, and a blade for the more stubborn parts)

Step 2: formulate a plan that will be completely abandoned before the first layer of primer
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at this point I was still thinking I would do seams and rivets to look like a WWII Japanese zero.

Step 3: sand everything
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I wet sanded everything down with 600. The vents are just taped on with molding tape, dragging the edge of the sand paper back and forth under them will essentially cut (or dislodge) the tape

Looking better already
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Step 4: mask everything else
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If I would have discovered that I could take the side caps off before I put it all back together I would have removed them before this point and shot them separately. (There's a little red tab at the bottom of each one that releases it)

The better the paint system you have the better your' results will be...
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...theoretically

Step 5: paint it some ungodly color that will completely discourage you
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Well, my excuse was that this was just the basecoat to back the airbrush work.

Step 6: deny deny deny
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Still trying to push forward with the panel seam idea

Step 7: give up and shoot it satin gray
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this shot obviously taken after shooting the gray and masking for flat black.

Step 8: matte black make everything better
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...and a little Rudolf nose

Step 9: take some white trash Ebay style photos on your' cheesy $10 coffee table
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back

not shown is the mask for the red spot on the back or me applying the sticker and heating it with a heat gun to conform it to the curve


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:21 pm 
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Location: Little Elm, TX.
One night I get ambitious/bored and decide to tear my front end apart and see how much better I can re-assemble it.

first things first disassembly:
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This is what progress looks like in my world

After cleaning up anything that was now exposed I decided the front fender that had developed a fast growing crack had to go and the bars would look better under the top clamp:
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Only problem... they don't fit. I need to slot the back of the bar to clear the neck, Vise + Bridgeport = solution:
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(earlier I had to cut the other holes into it to accommodate the stock controls and run the wires)

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no need to clean up the hole since no wires will be running through it. (although I did still sand it out a little after this shot was taken... it just looks better)

the reason those holes were cut into the bar ends:
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Lock to lock it clears just fine:
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This was just blind luck

I also switched all the phillips and standard hardware with allens (not pictured) and lowered the front a half inch or so... the top caps just looked better sitting even with the top of the clamp.
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If I don't end up fabricating all new triple clamps I'm going to have to knock those brace extensions off that thing.

Close-up of the inverted risers:
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I also had to ditch one of the bushing out of each mount to get the bars to pivot forward enough to clear the neck (I wanted to notch the bar as little as possible)

All together:
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Those cables are getting longer and longer each time I drop the bars. That's on the list, but I keep forgetting about it.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:22 pm 
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Wheels… well this all started when I decided to replace the old decrepit dual sport tire that was on the bike when I bought it. This thing will (at least while I own it) never see dirt again so I wanted to go with a more street appropriate tire. I stopped in at my local Cycle Gear to get their recommendations and I walked out with a Dunlop 120 GT501 (which turned out to be too big for my rim, but more on that later) I pulled the rear wheel off and of course my mind got to working and I decided that with the wheel off I might as well clean everything up and send my spokes, rim and hub off for powder coat… and while I’m at it, why not do the front too. When the rims came off was when it became pretty obvious that my new tire wasn’t going to fit the skinny 185 rim but I had by that time fallen in love with the idea of that big fat 120 (trust me, it’s fat compared to the old one) sitting on the back of my bike, so I called Buchanan Spoke back up and added a new aluminum Excel rim to my spoke order. This is when I decide that I finally need to let go of the glamorous idea that this is going to be a cheap project.

Almost ready to send to the powder coater:
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I went down to Ace the last Friday to pick up my parts and brought them back to the shop for a little assembly fun:
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You can just barely see the rims in that shot, I got all the internal hardware in a satin black (hubs, plates, spokes, and stay) and the rims in a high gloss to set them off against everything else.

Gotta love freshly greased and assembled parts :) Also I took some time to polish and brush the hell out of everything that wasn't going black.
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Sure is nice to have a solid catalog of process photos to remind you how everything went together.

Make sure before you coat parts that you have a good idea what's exposed and what's not, there are a few surfaces that I missed on the rear hub that I would have coated if I hadn't mistaken them to be mating surfaces. Oh well, next time. Also if you’re going with powder get all the grease, oil, and bearings out of the parts… they will not stand up to the baking process, and will have to be removed later anyway and will have bled all over your’ not so perfect anymore fresh finish.

Later I took all my parts out to High5 cycles for them to be laced, trued, mounted, and balanced, and learned that I wont be seeing them again for another week… it’s alright though, if I can manage to gather up the motivation, that should give me the time to fix my leaking gas tank and rebuild my forks. Maybe even shorten my cables… I’m still afraid of that though.


Last edited by mysta2 on Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:22 pm 
Legendary 300
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Currently it’s set up in m garage on my floor jack in somewhat of a psudo-mockup
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which has gotten me thinking of how low I can really get it when I put it all back together again.

This is the bucket of parts that it’s so far dropped (less a couple that went straight to the dumpster, and the seat)
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If I had to hazard a guess I would say it probably weighs in at about 30 pounds.


Last edited by mysta2 on Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:26 am 
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Holy cow! You are truly fearless. Anyway - great pix and a good story to boot. keep it up.

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1985 Honda Magna VF700c


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:34 pm 
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My Motorcycle: 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900
cb360 wrote:
Holy cow! You are truly fearless. Anyway - great pix and a good story to boot. keep it up.


and obviously talented. :)

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1st motorcycle 2004 Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:08 am 
Legendary 300
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Location: Little Elm, TX.
Made myself some headlight brackets last night (also finally took my parts down to the powder coater, I should have them back next week)

Always a good first step: measure everything you can reach:
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btw: the tubes are 204.74mm outside to outside, 33mm dia, and the headlight’s 183.87mm hole to hole.

Always work your design out on paper first
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this gives you something to go back to when you forgot a defining dimention… and it’s faster then doing it later.

Next is modeling it up in ProE, I’m still learning this step
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On to Surfcam for tool path programming
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First side running
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finished, ready for flip
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second side run
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tapping the threads (1/4-20 in retrospect I probably should have used something metric since even the allen key is standard)
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finished (still a little dirty though)
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I might polish them up later or paint them, machine finish is cool for now.

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Definitely needs to go lower, I’ll figure all that out later when the thing goes back together with wheels and all. They certainly aren't the prettiest things I've ever made, but they do what they were made to do and that's all I ask.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:53 pm 
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Here’s a simple little entry on refreshing a very worn out tail light:

In need of a new tail light to replace that monster that Honda decided the bike needed I headed down to Bates’ Cycle Salvage here in Garland to cruise his yard. I found a trick little light mounted to a very muddy Kawa dirt bike. So we tore it of (literally, took most of the fender with it) and I took it home and mounted it up, placing it’s refurbish on the low priority list:
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I don’t think you can tell in that shot just how lousy it looked in person, you can see the crud around the script and what looks like a scrape across the boss on the left side… but it still looks kinda shiny… it’s not.

Anyway, I pulled it the other night and started blocking it out with some 600 grit to get rid of all that DOT carp (wet sanding is always better than dry, the only time I will ever dry sand is if there is a concern about water damaging the part):
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Following a quick buff with 1000grit, 1500, 2000 move onto the polishing compounds (Miguiars makes a plastic polish, that works by chemically melting the plastic rather than using good old friction. I know a number of people that swear by it… call me old fashioned but I don’t trust it)
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Everyone’s always afraid of polishing because they think it takes forever like when I list off all these different grits. The only one that will take you more than 10 minutes is the 600… that’s the only one that’s trying to bite into the material significantly and remove it. The following ones are simply to even out the scratches you just made, and they’ll actually save you time because if you go straight from 600 to the buffer you’ll be there forever and you’ll stand a better chance of melting down your’ part (radiusing all the edges that are supposed to be sharp) When I take it down to a hand buff before the wheel I’m only at the wheel for a couple minutes and I have much more control of the final outcome.

This is after machine buffing it. I’ve decided that the best way to clean all the cemented on dirt in all the inside grooves is to media blast it out. Might help to diffuse the light a little better to boot. The outside is masked with standard painters tape and it’s ready to be shot:
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You can use regular tape to mask out sandblasting very effectively, a lot of people don’t seem to believe this and I’ve never been able to figure out why. My best guess is that they can’t help but hammer every inch of the part which will eventually break down the tape but shouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

A follow up hand buff and machine buff to fix any damage the sand blast may have done followed by a couple coats of Turtle and it’s looking better than new:
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Last edited by mysta2 on Wed Nov 02, 2005 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:31 pm 
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I just can’t seem to keep this thing together…

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I’ve stated before in another post that I have a habit of wasting my own time and money, what follows is one of those famous exercises in futility.

So while I’m simultaneously Working on building an all new one in ProE, I can’t leave well enough alone and decide to clean up the old tree… the old broken tree. I’ve mentioned earlier that I wanted to get rid of those old clock mounts…
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…one down, one to go.
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I hadn’t even realized that the thing was broken until I took it into B&A looking for new hardware and the guy behind the counter asked me how I broke it. The previous owner had drilled out the clamp and put ¼-20s in to hold new straps he made from strips of steel, and I was none the wiser.

Moving onto the bottom clamp… what the hell’s that mount for anyway:
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hope it’s not important, because it’s gone:
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That should also give me a touch more clearance to drop the front a bit.

I took the top clamp to the buffer simply as a surface check before sandblasting it again and shooting it:
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all parts sandblasted and ready for primer:
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I used a metal etching primer that we get from PPG called SX1031, it bonds well to aluminum, this is the first time I’ve used it on steel but it’s made to eat into galvanized steel so it should work fine:
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Followed by an epoxy paint by Sherwin Williams (Polane) I think I used the wrong catalyst though, one type makes it glossy and another makes it set up matte. I wanted it to be matte but it came out more of a semi gloss… I may have simply shot it too heavy though:
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23 parts become one:
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Although it’s hard to see in those shots, I replaced the through bolts for the headlight, headlight mount, and risers with black socket heads.


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