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The Weekend Mistress.

September 17, 2011

I look forward to the weekends.  Why?

It’s not like you think, though.  I’m okay with the beach as long as I have a Pheebs to share it with.  No Pheebs?  Not much interest.

I head to the far end of the parking lot for one simple reason…

Prevailing winds make it a great place to work on The Pig.  Yes, I’ve named it.  Not that it’s a bad bike, mind you, rather it’s that it is quite grubby – even by island standards.  So – to put lipstick on The Pig is the mechanical equivalent of a glamour shot prep.

Today was planned as a ‘get-the-wheels painted’ day. No sooner had I started that it was discovered that I didn’t have the appropriate tools to remove the rear end.  I got as far as the photo above before realizing this and had to go to Home Depot to buy more tools.


I needed a 21mm 6 point socket.  Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING Home Depot had was small stuff which went up to 19mm.


Fortunately, when I was a kid, Pop wouldn’t let me use his tools.  Something about leaving them in the yard, which turned out to be NOT ME. Anyway, when I first started working on metric stuff I couldn’t afford SAE (American) and metric tools.  I whipped out a piece of paper and figured out 80% of the tools would swap no prob, with the major exceptions being 10, 12, 15 mm.  All the other sizes were close enough.

So – I bought an SAE socket set with big sockets and a breaker bar.  $52 to remove a frickin’ rear wheel.  It’d better look damned good when I’m done…

Less than five minutes after getting the right tool, the wheel was out of the hole.  Prep and paint commenced immediately.

Unfortunately, Home Depot was out of the really cool sandcast paint, and I had to revert to plain ol’ silver.  Exposed alloy HAS to be painted here, otherwise it looks like poo in about a month.  Salt’s rough stuff.

The big task and the real reason for ripping into the bike this weekend was the rims.  Very cool rims – but very grotty after 25 years.  I thought them too busy with all their machined surfaces, and sought a simpler design.  Aiming for a period correct look, I sought to replicate a BBS modular wheel – black center, anodized rim.

Masking tape is one’s friend.

More of the rim was painted than the OEM job – to simplify the look and draw attention to the bike, not the rims.  They were too busy IMHO.  No need to mask the snot out of the rubber, as it gets replaced in a few days.

The finished product? Very nice, including a painted final drive.

The important part was to tart it up a bit – some lipstick for The Pig.  This was performed on the other side.

Compare that to shot #2 in this post!  Sorry – a little blurry.  Must have been shaking with excitement.

On to the front end…

The process replicated with the front wheel.  I’m here to tell you it’s a sonofabitch to remember to stop and take pictures once you’re on a roll.

The lipstick up front?  Brake caliper, baby!

The only aerosol red available on island was used.  I have no idea how it’s going to hold up – we will see.  Disc was shot silver with the idea the wear sufaces will burn off rather quickly.  No high speed stops on an island with 35 MPH speed limits, so heat’s not an issue.

4 hours of work (not including the HD trip) later, the bike looked pretty sparky.

Don’t know why this is, but the difference between scuzzy and crisp vehicles has always been the wheels for me.  Get ’em clean and all is well in the world.  Get them right and the vehicle pops.

Between the Ducati exhaust note and the BBS-esque wheels, this one’s starting to pop.  A poor man’s Monster, perhaps.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2011 7:06 am

    OMG The Mistress looks nice.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 17, 2011 7:10 am

      And much cheaper, in the long run, than a drinkie girl.

  2. Jack Riepe permalink
    September 17, 2011 9:16 am

    Dear Chuck:

    I was mesmerized by the final pictures of the “pig.” In truth, I would never refer to a short-wheel-based bike (like this one) as a “pig,” though the lipstick reference is clearly understood and appreciated. There is no comparison in the original shots of this rig and the finished project. And while I appreciate the close-ups, my questions are:
    1) Wow well will the painted wheels hold up?
    2) Won’t the disks look like shit when the silver paint starts to wear off, as it must, even at slow 35mph stops?
    3) Is the final project a “10-foot” bike, meaning that it is best viewed from 10-feet away, or does the work bear tight inspection as well?

    I like the effect of the painted wheels so well, that I would really consider it for the K75 next year. The fact that the rims are clean with only the hubs painted certainly eliminates the problem of scratching the paint when changing tires.

    Make no bones about it, you took a badly neglected bike and breathed new, exciting life into it. I am genuinely impressed with the outcome.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 17, 2011 3:15 pm


      The disc’s swept area will wipe clean – it already has. The paint was thinly applied to hide some of the rusticles in the mounting area. The heat would normally cook the paint on the rest if the disc, but the slow-speed stops should prevent this.

      These aren’t the first rims I’ve painted.

      As long as the substrate is clean and prepped – yes. It sticks. Note there was paint on these wheels for 25 years prior. Makes keeping them clean easier, as the alloy is sealed.

      I’m aming for good, making this a two foot bike. The challenge of the refresh is doing it at a place with limited resources. Better than a ten-footer, but not a show bike.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. September 17, 2011 10:17 am

    Where ya’ gunna get a side hack for this thing? EH? Can’t carry groceries, Home Depot swag or attractive young wives on this thing the way it is. Heck, you’ve only got room for your best buddy, the battery charger.

    Looking very good though, and keep the reports coming.

    Yer Pal,

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 17, 2011 3:21 pm


      Love to hang a hack on this, but there are limited resources on-island, so I’m stuck with running what I can bungee cord to the bike. The rear seatrest affords a convienent lash point for all manner of things – something I learned about when working with my Harley in Key West.

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