GS550 Cafe: Update Time

So it’s been a while since I did an update on the cafe bike. Progress has been sporadic lately while we fight with getting air conditioning blowing cold in the shop truck, but it’s progress nonetheless.

First on the list after getting the forks back together with fresh seals and oil was getting them back on the frame. Stuck with the original ball bearings, nice and clean with fresh grease for a silky smooth feel.

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Next up is the dive into the unknown: bodywork and paint for the gas tank. We’ve completed two ground up car and truck rebuilds, but bodywork has always been left in the capable hands of others.

The process began with aircraft remover to cut through multiple layers of poorly applied spray paint (including those I put on during the rat bike phase).

Once it was cleaned and metal prepped, the bottom side, which had a bit of rust, got a fat coat of POR-15 brushed on. Cue masking and mounting, and the real fun begins.

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Filler applied, ready for sanding

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Post sanding, 3 wet coats of DuPont epoxy primer laid down.

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Annnnd that’s where we stand now. The tank will get some spot glaze in the pinholes, block/prime/block/repeat, then a few coats of cobalt blue and clear.

Scouted out a few pieces on Dime City’s site last week, including clip-ons and headlight mounts, too. Onward we go..

Anderson Grain Elevators and an Old Farm Truck

Now that we are rocking 4 matching wheels, I finally got a chance to shoot the truck back home this past weekend. The light wasn’t the best either time, but pleased overall with the results.

These were shot by two of the more recognizable landmarks in east Sherman, Texas; the old Anderson Grain elevators which dominate the city’s skyline along with Wilson N. Jones hospital, and what remains of a billboard for the long-gone Chase Chevrolet.

Anderson Grain

Chase Chevrolet billboard

Click over to flickr with this link or the one on the side for the rest of the set.

Texas Thaw 2012 Photos 2: Emblems and Letters

I had said in the last post this would be a 3 parter, but the second set, emblems and letters, set didn’t end up being as big as I thought it would. Here’s a few preview shots, check out the whole set on the Shutterspeed photo site:

 Texas Thaw 2012 Photo Gallery 2: Emblems and Letters

Texas Thaw 2012 Photo Gallery: The Cars

How about some new photos of cars on this ‘photography’ site? Here’s the first of three posts from the 2012 Texas Thaw – we’ll call this one ‘The Cars’. Click the link below to check all of them out on the shiny new Shutterspeed photo site.

Texas Thaw 2012 Photo Gallery 1: The Cars

My Ears Are Still Ringing

Today has been marked on my calendar for a while. Each February, North Star hosts the Torques CC Texas Thaw. The original plan was to bring the truck in its new shop truck guise, swap out the slicks and do a little racing. Best laid plans..the truck is rocking mismatched wheels and still has no shop lettering, but I drove it up and had a good time spectating and picture-taking nonetheless.

This is one of the biggest events they have every year at the track, and definitely attracts the widest variety of cars. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, purpose built 5 second drag cars, polished out street rods, patina’d hot rods (don’t call them rat rods) that look like they could be sitting at the wrecking yard next door, several of them housing force-fed LS engines – there’s always something for everyone.

I have around 250 pictures to weed through, but I couldn’t resist cutting up the video from the 4 car Cackle Fest first. The 60D continues to amaze me. I’m still only using the internal mic, and it did a phenomenal job of capturing these brutally loud cars.

So, crank up your speakers (or headphones if you want to respect your neighbors), and enjoy a little nitro:

Pics to come shortly.

GS550 Cafe: Mockup Funtime

Was doing a bit of cleaning in the garage Sunday and couldn’t resist throwing some pieces on.

It all has to come back off, but it’s nice to see it look something like a motorcycle again, even if it’s only temporary.

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This has also brought up a few new issues: what to do with the wheels? In my original render they are bronze, but I’ve seen several done in matte black lately which is tempting me, too.

Also, the raw aluminum and cad plated hardware kind of clash to me; not sure what to do on that front. Then there’s also that big mess of wire back there I keep avoiding..

GS550 Cafe: Laying Down Some Blues

Progress on the bike always seems to come on in the same pattern:

Step 1: idea forms, usually late at night, leading to lost sleep.
Step 2: idea festers in my head for a few days, sometimes weeks.
Step 3: I step down into the garage to look for something, pick up a tool, and 4 hours later I’ve accomplished the thing I’ve been pondering. Today was one of those days.

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I had bought a can of GM Quasar blue DupliColor ColorMatch paint a while back, thinking it would be close to the blue I had in mind. After looking at the tail and tank in rat bike mode for the past several months I’ve already grown completely tired of it, and that blue from my original rendering has just been sitting there calling my name.

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4 hours of work this evening and BAM! It’s blue! Well, the tail is, at least. It’s a little rough around the edges (I am anything but a competent painter), but that’s kind of the idea of the whole build anyway, so I’m pretty happy with it.

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Also got a coat of trim black slapped on the swingarm.

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All of this has just served as a temporary distraction from that giant elephant in the room that I keep avoiding – the wiring..

GS550 Cafe: Back to the Cafe.. Racer

Now that our 63 C10 project has reached a state of (relative) completion, brain power has refocused on the mass of motorcycle parts populating my garage. Let the great reassembly begin!

Got started this past Thursday, when a simple trip downstairs to reorganize some things led to a decent amount of productivity.

GS550 reassembly begins

the reassembly begins

Did a little more scrubbing with brake clean on the engine (I don’t want it too clean, the purpose of this whole project is to have character after all), and with that began the process of re-marrying it with the frame.

Work smarter, not harder

ingenuity..and thumbs..is what separates us from the animals

With the engine blocked up the proper amount, the frame drops right over, thus saving life and limb – and back. When you’re a one-man crew, ingenuity is king.

Reunited

reunited after nearly a year

Success!

successful day

And with that, the great rewiring adventure begins. Simplicity is Priority 1, so much (read: more than half) of this will be going away:

GS550 Wiring

my head hurts already

The fun, as they, is just getting started.