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Putting Lipstick on the Pig

September 9, 2011

In the continuing saga of the motorcycle mistress…

When we last left the grottiest bike ever, the wasps were evicted from residence…well most, anyway.  Two more nests have been found lurking in corners, one vacant, one suspect.

The bike had not only the crustiest handlebars known to man, they had the added benefit of being the most uncomfortable.

If you must know, it’s incredibly annoying to ride a bike whereby one looks past crud to read the instruments. Less than a week later – this has been remedied to great satisfaction.

Stock buckhorns (horrible, HORRIBLE bars, by the way; make low speed handling virtually impossible) have been replaced by a set of 3″ rise Renthal alloy motocross bars with the crossbar removed.  Yes – if sexy can be applied to a bike – this is.

0000 steel wool, a variety of cleaners and discreet use of touch-up paint have turned this:

into this.

The shock eye tells the story.  It has a silver color once again.  I have to get into the springs with a wire brush to get rid of the rusticles on the shock – a task for this weekend.

Another area which cleaned up were the controls.

I’ve developed a three-part process which brings back the part about 80% at minimal time and expense – and it worked here just ducky.

There’s a difference between perfect and good – I’m aiming for good.  Good is 5X better than grotty.

Along those lines the paint revived better than I thought it would.

Turns out the finish is a deep metallic black – too nice to shoot over.

My favorite before and after?  Easy – the front end.  here’s what it looked like after scraping the crusty crap off:

It was shot with black hammer tone metallic, with some detailing of other bits…

I think I’ll sand it flat and buff it out – it’s too nice to leave lumpy.

The wheels get center sections (to the rim center) painted gloss black, the engine and cases get a black/silver treatment, and the tires get replaced with 70’s era raised white letter bits.  A few red accents, and the lipstick all be properly applied.

It’s beginning to look like a real bike.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack Riepe permalink
    September 9, 2011 9:21 am

    Chuck:

    I cannot believe the difference the handlebars made! The entire profile of the motorcycle is different.. It dropped 20 years in design. I love it. The paint came back nicely too… I still do not understand what you did there. A friend of mine had a Honda Rebel 450, that had similar bars. They were sort of cool-looking, but didn’t do much for the riding position either.

    This bike is turning out so well, I could see you really customizing it.

    Jack/reep
    Twisted roads

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 9, 2011 11:03 am

      Jack!

      thanks for the comments.

      Front end’s been dropped bout two inches, I’m gonna take it down another inch to get it ‘right’.

      As for the bars – I’m running something similar on my Ironhead, comfortable and essentially timeless. The combo of low bars and a dropped front end eliminates a lot of the bizarro Japanese “I am American Chopper bike” weirdness these early V-twins had going on.

      As a kid, we had to make do with what we had, and we often had a lot of older iron. Over time, one builds a repertoire of techniques for bringing stuff back – this being clear coat never cared for, the bringing back part was fairly easy.

      Since the post, I’ve removed the ‘Purple Rain’ exhaust cans and replaced them with 7″ rolled chrome tips. Dropped ten pounds in the process, and the bike no longer sounds like a Jetsons air car. Interesting to see how culture impacts design – no American designer would bake in a whistling putt sound on a v-twin cruiser.

  2. September 9, 2011 11:06 am

    You do nice restoration work! She is looking like a new woman. Dangerboy aka
    Doctor of lonely motorcycles.

    Pheebs aka the other woman

  3. dangerboyandpixie permalink*
    September 9, 2011 5:12 pm

    Thanks!

    I’m off to Mike and Sharon’s house for a full day of bike freshening. I’m hoping to get quite a bit done in the next 6-8 hours, although I’m certain to be pestered by two cute little girls.

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