Wednesday, May 22, 2013

El Burro Reborn! Almost ....

This is getting exciting. Yesterday I got a lot of work done. Got the rear brake on and lubed the splines. Then I reassembled the whole back wheel. Wired up the rear fender and then --- holy Moses! It looks like a motorcycle. 

Actually, it looks more done than it is. Needs the gas tank sanded, plumbed and reattached, then I need to put the exhaust system back on and install the front brake ... Wow, it is looking good! 

I had to stop there and clean the garage - tearing down my temporary paint booth and using the plastic to protect the bike from a leaking roof. It has been raining cats and dogs out there and a slow drip had found the bike - luckily I had the cover on. Now the shop is a lot cleaner and the bike is nice and dry.

The front driving lights are all wired up. I've installed new grips with a boss crampbuster on the throttle. This is the third pair of grips I bought on line. The first two didn't fit. 

The wiring is wrapped with braided wire cover and looks tons better. I've also installed the battery with the quick charger wires tucked under the side cover so no more need to disconnect the battery to trickle charge. I just vented my gas cap -- a needed mod after removing my California emissions canister. 

What else have I done? Oh yeah, painted the engine with a high-temp black! Only snag so far is that my red brake light doesn't come on but I don't think that's a short. It might be something that's not connected. I'll have to dig further. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

You Can Do A Lot With the Stock Light Bar

Still need to wire them all up.
On the VSTAR 650 Classic, the stock lightbar is boring, but that boring can be dressed up with a couple of clamps and some aftermarket lights. (see my earlier post.) I bought a lightbar and lights off of ebay from China thinking that would be an improvement. Well, the result was that the bar mounting holes didn't fit - likely it was for a 650 Custom - since I've made that mistake before.

I had thoughts of drilling new holes in the lightbar, but instead decided to see what I could do with the stock bar. The result is kind of funky, but I like it. That describes a lot about this motorcycle. It ain't for everyone, it's for me. That's what customizing a bike is all about, right?

Sort of a Quadrafenia look.
 Essentially, I just clamped my old driving/fog lights below and added the China lights up top. Should give me a lot of visibility going down the road. Stock lollipop turn signals are still there.

Oh, and I shot the bar and light housing of all the lights with Appliance Expoxy. Shiny black is good.

Speaking of shiny black, here's a pic of the final drive and rear wheel. Just have to lube the spines and put the new brake shoes in, then I can put it all back together. Appliance Epoxy on the drive and VHT brake caliper paint on the rear drum. I don't know if the drum gets so hot that it needs the VHT - but it is also next to the pipes. Besides, I have all whole can that I bought just for the front caliper and why take a chance?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Final Countdown? Amost, but not yet.

No pictures, but a bit of an update. I've got the new back tire on and the rim all painted. Looks great, also painted the final drive and the drum. Still need to change out the shoes and lube the splines, but I'll be able to reassemble the whole back end once that is done. Meanwhile, I've got the handlebars off to give them a coat of paint. I've painted the driving lights with appliance black too and that's made them look very cool. Can't wait to put it all together in a week!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Changing Tires, Making Progress While the Sun Mocks Me.

The closer you get, the more there is to do.  From the picture it may not look like I'm making progress, but I'm actually really doing great. Unfortunately it is sunny and 80 degrees this weekend and it would be perfect for a ride. (sigh) Oh well, inspiration to work harder.

As you can see the front fender is on. The wheel has a new tires on it and was masked and painted with Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy. Looks brilliant - almost like an old German bike lacquer finish. I took the brake caliper off and noticed a ton of brake dust coating it. I had already cleaned it once and so I suspect at leak either in the seals or in the brake line. So I'm replacing them both rather than expose the new paint to a potential brake fluid leak -- and my ass to brake failure. The line is brand new and braided, the caliper is off a 2010 VStar which means the seals will be 10 years younger than the mine.

Get the picture?

I also polished the front forks. Considered painting them all black, but they were so scuffed that I had to sand them down to get them smooth anyway, ended up liking the polished aluminum look and I'm going to leave them that way. Can always paint them next winter if I change my mind.
The tank is polishing up nice and there is no trace of the dent even when buffed and polished to a nice shine. Unfortunately, I did manage to put an all new scratch in another section of the tank. (DRAT!) Will repair that and put on more clear before the tank goes on, but it is nice to see how good it is going to look polished up. 

I bought a new lightbar off of eBay. Cheap, but not an exact fit. It will fit with a little drilling and should look good. Anyway, I'm getting excited and will be able to play around with all that stuff while I wait for my wheel paint to cure -- did I mention that this epoxy takes a week to cure? Yeah, that's the downside, but otherwise it looks great and is hella cheaper that powdercoat.

That back wheel if off and going to get the new tire on and balanced tomorrow. I also got new rear drum shoes because -- well, I have the back wheel off and I have no idea how old they are.  Why not start out with new brakes. Will change the fluid in the drive and lube the splines while I'm at it.

Do you see a dent? Nope. Looking good. 

Front wheel looks good. Like this Appliance Epoxy stuff.

One coat appliance epoxy. 

This is the look I'm going for.