Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting Buff

In preperation for the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (VJMC) show this past weekend, I wanted to finally get my side covers on. Unfortunately, I was missing a few pieces. There are two long posts that screw into the battery box, and help hold the side covers out in the correct position. They also hold the stock air filters on, but I don't have those. I couldn't find any for sale on ebay so I put the word out on the "Do The Ton" motorcycle forum. A very generous guy from Seattle sent me some of his extras from his parts bike. He actually sent me two sets. I ended up sending the second set to a guy in California that needed them as well.

One of my side covers that I got with the bike is chrome, so I just left it like that for now. The other one was an ugly sparkley blue color. I used a wire wheel and stripped all of the paint off of the outside. I then sanded it a couple times with different sand papers, then a scotchbrite pad, and finally some very fine steel wool with some metal polish. I cleaned it with some denatured alcohol and then painted it with some clear high heat engine enamel paint. As I was painting it, I saw that I was getting some major runs. So I quickly cleaned all of the still wet paint off and tried again. This time I did a couple light coats. It turned out really nice as you can see in the bottom picture below. I plan on eventually taking all of the sheet metal down to this brushed steel look, including the tank (which I need to get a new one because the current one is rusted through and leaks a little). I also bought some side cover emblems on ebay for about $10 and got the hardware needed to mount the side covers at Home Depot. The stock bushing that you are supposed to use are available on ebay for about $20. Instead, I got some rubber washers and some vinyl tubing that will do the same thing for a couple bucks.

The actual bike show wasn't exactly what I expected. They were looking for pristine or restored original bikes. Not modded cafe racers. But I had fun, saw some awesome bikes and met some cool people. It was in Marietta so it was a good 40 minute ride over to there. Since Nixon was in the show, I had to stay there the whole time so I got kind of bored (and hot) at the end. I didn't win any awards, but I wasn't really expecting to.

See my pictures from the VJMC Show May 9, 2009


adefee said...

looks great! I was going to do this to my tank, but found a ton of bondo, after seeing this, I think I might still do it to my sidecovers. what paint did you use?

Mike said...

The top pic was before I finished "polishing" it. I've got another close-up pic of it complete, but can't seem to find it at the moment. I got the paint at autozone. I'm not sure of the brand, but it was clear High Heat Engine Paint. I made sure to get the ENAMEL (not laquer) as it is supposed to hold up to spilled gas better.

Anonymous said...

mike, whats up dude its Jon. I met u at wow. Ive got the red cb400. Im tryn 2 get myself setup here n hope 2 post some pics soon. I polished my alt. cover, valve caps on the head, and cluth cable arm cover since the show. Looks sweet. lets ride sometime. u can reach me at