Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lights, Filters, Decals

Okay, so I got the first layers of paint on and things looked good. This week I installed a new UNI air filter and worked on the electrical system. There were more wires than I knew what to do with, but after trial and error and pouring over the wiring diagrams, I figured it out. And Lo! There was light ... including the park light.

The downside is that all those connectors don't fit inside the headlight bucket. Problem, having all those electrical connections exposed to the elements is asking for trouble. Moreover, it looks like a hillbilly's front yard.

I found the solution in my shop manual. The Rebel 450s addressed this problem with a junction box behind the headlight because the Rebels cruiser-style headlight was too small. I found a couple of junction boxes on ebay pretty cheap and so I've got one on the way. We'll see how it works.

Another eBay find were these cool vintage Honda stickers made by a seller in the UK. Very cool, they were the hold double transfer type so I only had one shot to get them in the right place, but they ended up looking VERY slick. I was thinking they would get lost in that dark blue but the contrast actually makes them stand out more. Clear coat layers are being applied as I write this. I can't wait to get things all put together and get riding.

Meanwhile the rain continues.

Hey Look, It's lights up! It's alive!

Here's the rough assembly a few days ago during a "sun break"
The front fairing looks good, wind screen my need some adjustment
 - the holes don't match up.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paint On

Once I got the paint off, it was time to bondo the tank and the side case. I'm not sure what happened to this bike before I bought it, but evidence is pointing to a rough life. There are signs that it went down at least once on the right side. That would explain the dent, and the missing stock exhaust and damaged side cover. Anyway, it was my first experience with bondo and it came out pretty good. Won't win any awards or fool anyone, but that's not why I'm doing this anyway.

Then it was time to prime -- prime time! I used a filler-etcher from Dulpi-color that worked really well. I was surprised how great both side covers looked under the prime. It failed to fill in all the little nicks, but I want to have a little evidence that this is a used work-horse motorcycle. Overall it looks really slick.

Once the it was primed, it was time to paint. I jumped right in and spent most of a week off laying on coats of  "Dark Ford Blue" Duplicolor Ceramic Engine Enamel. It is very blue ... but a kind of blue that's different from most bikes out there. I like it. It does look similar to Yamaha blue, but oh well.
I used Engine Enamel so it would be tough and resist the oil and grease and such. It gives it kind of a tractor like finish. I'm going to hold off on the clear coat until I get everything dialed in just the way I want it.

Meanwhile, I'm still struggling with the electrics. Bought some super cheap turn signals from Asia on ebay that work great. They were an ugly carbon-fiber faux finish which I quickly painted over. Guess what, they accidentally sent me two pairs! Also bought a new battery -- sealed cell. It's working great and is about half the size and weight as the old one.

I did a final outdoor assembly just to see if I liked where this was going. It looked pretty darn good. I realized however, that the windscreen I bought doesn't exactly match up with the fairing ... which means I'm going to have to drill some holes. I also found that the school bus yellow trim paint I bought is better in small doses. I had the headlight bucket yellow and side covers, but reverted both to blue. Looks much better now.

Here's some additional progress photos:

Drag bars went on. The drag bars improve the bike's profile, making it look a little less dorky. We'll see how they feel on the road.