Saturday, August 02, 2014

Where have I been?

Restoring Old Dirt Bikes and Assisting My Son With His Nova

One Of my brothers and I are restoring/renewing old Dirt Motorcycles. This one looked like this when we got it. Previous owner got in over his head so we picked it up.


This poor YZ had seen it's better days for sure. We decided to take it in and give it life again.

She feels much better now and really halls some ass. Nothing like the scream of a two stroke to disturb the neighbors with. Babies scream, animals run for cover and the silence is shattered and the adrenaline is pumping.

The sad tired engine has a new lease on life while many others are rotting away somewhere. We took this YZ completely apart and rebuilt, re-greased, repainted, reupholstered over a two month period. Really pleased with the frame paint. You can read and see more about the process at www.motorcyclerenew.blogspot.com

All the while my son was working on this and we helped out when we could. A lower fender patch on the right side fender while a multitude of little dings along both sides of the body had to be attended to.

Most of the old paint was completely sanded down to bare metal. The old girl needed a new front fender on the drivers side

The rear tail light panel had some rust so it was repaired. The deck lid, hood and top where in great shape, only a little spot on the top about the size of a quarter had to be fixed. All the door jambs, inside of doors, inside the trunk and under the lid where prepped for new paint. All the door handles, trim, moldings, grill and door locks where removed for painting.

He chose GM's new color 'Blue Granite Metallic' because it's so new nobody has done it yet. The paint had to come from the factory through a dealership. Depending on the light and time of day it goes from a Grey look to a Blue to a Black at night. It also draws from other car colors around it so for example it may have a chrome purplish look around a red vehicle is bright sunlight.    

The paint is so deep a Nat can see a pimple on it's ass in full detail in the reflection.

Some minor little things need to be finished in these pictures. The car is even dirty here from shop dust and it still shines.


My camera had a tough time of it in direct sunlight for some of the pictures. More pictures to follow.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Antique Ironhead Sportster Restoration

Antique Ironhead Sportster Restoration


Over the years I've done a lot to this old bike. When I got this old Ironhead it was in need of plenty of work to get it running. Being in mothballs way up In Virginia for who knows how long, it was mostly complete and came with bonus of extra parts. I didn't want to chop it, everyone was and is chopping these old Ironheads, I wanted to put it back as stock as possible but with some minor changes. Changes such as Harley might have done with off the shelf parts had they had the vision to do so. Riding range with the stock tank was under par for me, though I changed my mind about welding brackets to the frame to fit fatbobs on. The Super Glide tank of the same era is a bolt on although it does not have the Bob look I was after. Now the 1983 FXR tank was the ticket for me, slight mods to this particular tank had already been done to mount onto the stock original mounts. Preference would be to have a different dash but the filler neck rises above the tank so unless the neck is cut off, shortened, and welded flush with the top of the tank itself, I'm stuck with the dash it has. Several times people have seen me pass, at first glance thought it was an old Shovelhead, then caught up to me at a stopping point and gave a walk around. So far I have had only good comments about the look, even from the head of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America Bluegrass chapter pres. Things I'm still needing are XLCR pipes, these were an option even for this year, a center stand, a factory windshield, factory turn signals and a stock Ham Can Aircleaner backing plate. I might be able to repair the stock air cleaner backing plate but it is rough. Could also use some new Gauge lenses if I can't get these to clean up more. 
Old Rat Bastard isn't so ratty anymore and is in need of a new name. I'm not really into cleaning it because it's just going to get dirty and I don't like being afraid to ride it because it will get dirty. I prefer mechanically sound over clean and shiny. That's why I have not minded riding in the rain, knew it would be getting road grime on it. That said, look at the pictures below. Someone I know has asked me to help them with a used bike and restoration business and a possible future new bike dealership so I decided to try different products and ways to refurbish old parts. 



Went to work on the chrome and aluminum. I have not done this in awhile to this extreme. Was a time I took bikes apart, rebuilt them and put them back together, was easier because new parts to replace bent rusted or otherwise neglected pieces were easier to find. These same bikes today - Metric or American - are tougher to find bits and pieces for so you have to be more creative.


 Take a look at this front wheel and fork. I've spent a good four hours on just this side of things to get it looking better. Cleaning the spokes takes one solution while cleaning the rim itself takes another. The spokes are steel while the rim is aluminum. The pictures don't really do it justice taken with a flash at night in the garage. The outer ring of the rim is nice and shiny, so are the spokes and fender brace. The inside of the rim where the spoke nipples are has not been done yet because I still have to do the other side of the wheel. In the above picture the fork tube below the reflector is finished, above the reflector is not - well it is but not in the picture so you can see the difference. 
This side of the forks and rim are not done yet, it's all pretty dull. Look at the two wheel pictures and compare the differences. I could not get the polish I want to try locally and have to order it. I decided to try a different product so at least I can compare the working differences. It's like a mirror on the first side.  
On this side of things I'm pretty much done with the first two stages of cleaning and polishing the engine and bits, one more to go. Look back at the first picture in this article and back to this one. Look at those exhaust pipes shine too. Those things were grungy with all sorts of grease, grime and who knows what baked on. My wife had showed me a trick before for getting chrome to shine so I thought I'd try it on the bike. Must say I am pleased with the outcome. She showed me by doing one of my mirrors and it never looked so good in thirty plus years. I neglected to get pictures of the mirrors but will get more shots of the bike in daylight.  

 Just getting started on the polish side of things on this side. It's pretty clean just not finished with stage two of the process yet. The camera flash gets soaked up by the floor and walls and does not show the brightness of the bike as it looks in person.
And here is my new vintage OEM saddlebag bracket. My original was lost on rough roads in Greensboro and though we spent a long time searching for it never did find it. The section of road is not walker friendly and very dangerous so we called it quits after two different days of looking. I was so pissed off about losing that part, afraid I'd not find another for a long time or even at all. I tried my luck on calling Clete in Georgia and lo and behold he had the OEM new old parts in his old inventory. That brighten my day to no end and the part is installed back on the bike.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Know thy Tire

Riding season is approaching. Don't wait until spring to decide to take your bike to the local shop in preparation for riding. The longer you wait the longer your wait will be. Shops are at a particular slow period in winter, and though many have riding far back in their minds, this is the best time to get new tires and service work done if you don't do your own wrenching. Shops just aren't backlogged in the winter months which means faster turn-a-round for customers. Wait until spring and more often than not you will have weeks instead of days for a shop to get to your motorcycle.
Tires should be at the top of the list, your actually riding on air and the tires ability to hold it. Over time the elements take a toll on a tires structure even though it might not be readily apparent. Age will harden a tire and it's flexibility, reduction in cornering, gripping, and shock absorption. All of this leads to handling problems along with braking, it's even worse in rain or debris that collects in corners, not to forget those painted lines on roads service. Cornering ability on a hardened tire can be as bad as trying to ride on ice, the hard rubber along with road slickened pavement from cars, and more with a spring shower and your headed to certain disaster.
Try to match the tread design of both front and rear tires for optimum performance, new tubeless tires should always be accompanied with new valve stems (always remove and keep the old valve stem caps before leaving the bike at the shop for tire replacement for a spare.) Tubed tires should always include a new tube, always. A new tube is not that much and can mean the difference in a good ride or a shortened one. Remember that the tube also goes through the same heat cycle as the tire but a tube can break down faster if reused. A patched tube on a street bike could fail with the patch coming lose at the worst possible time. A plugged tubeless tire, especially the front, should not be a substitute for a new tire, a plugged tire could possibly fail faster than a tubed tire.
If you've never done it before with a tubed or tubeless tire, and I suspect very very few have, deflate the old rear tire to only a few pounds and try to ride it twenty feet. Inflate rear and then do the same with the front. The sensation should stick in your mind and give you a good idea how the motorcycle will react when a tire goes flat. Only do this when you are getting ready to have new tires installed. Riding on completely flat tires will ruin the integrity of a tire and even if you plug a tire on the road or patch a tube to get home, it should be at the fore front of your mind to replace those tires asap.

For more in depth information I'm including a link here from the Motorcycle safety Foundation.
 http://msf-usa.org/downloads/MIC_Tire_Guide_2012V1.pdf   

Fuel Mileage

Wondering what type of fuel mileage your bike or one your interested in will get you?

I was checking out the Honda CB500X as found over at Trobairitz blog  http://trobairitztablet.blogspot.com/2014/01/will-travel-for-motorcycles.html#comment-form
and one of the commenters mentioned 65 mpg for this bike. I thought that that was a wonderfully welcome breath of fresh air with fuel prices these days. As usual as I searched the bike out at the Honda sight, almost never do you find the MPG ratings of any make.
So I gave a check at this sight   http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/ where you can find many fuel specs on several different brands of bikes. Didn't find any on my old Ironhead antique to compare although I know by todays standards my bike is a pig when it comes to fuel mileage. I can squeeze about forty miles out of a gallon of fuel with normal riding, slightly less when all loaded down with travel gear. But still, I luv my old Pig.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

7min Trailer in A Bag Assembed Loading@HIWAY Speeds behind a Corvette




Summer riding is coming soon. This could just be the ticket for many who need to haul an antique motorcycle to a riding destination. Also good in case of needing to haul your bike if broken down. Just think, if you have a tow hitch on your larger bike you could even haul a smaller off road bike with this. I see a lot of potential and ease of storage with this unit.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Crook Book, Crime Book, Criminal Book

Thinking on making my own web site to post wanted criminals, a place for all law enforcement to post up in one place to alert and be on the look out for perpetrators of any felonious crime. Should incorporate electronic on demand bill boards for instantaneous response.
Crook Book, Crime Book, Criminal Book or any and all forms of the idea are  © by PLR.