I have a set of discs pickling in an acid etch solution to remove the rust without damage to the discs.
I lost my little friend overnight. She passed away in my arms around 4am. Sad day. At least she is no longer in any pain.
As a result I have not done much today.
I have a set of discs pickling in an acid etch solution to remove the rust without damage to the discs.
I also started working out how to make a new loom from scratch for the 750 project. It looks simple enough so I will press on next week with it. Just waiting on a few electrical boxes coming in the post.
Various small things today.
Finished painting the bottom yoke and fork sliders for the 750, prepared the tank and sidepanels for the painter.
Then I spent the rest of the day manually cleaning a triple engine. Not the easiest way, but this engine is not getting dismantled, so it has to be this way. I go over it with parts washer solution and a toothbrush to remove the dirt and grease and then I scrub in some chemical cleaner. This is just the first pass, there will be a lot of hours in this before it's ready to go back in the chassis.
I would like to get it finished by the end of the weekend as the newly painted frame should be ready next week.
It won't be long before it starts to look like a motorcycle again.
I have 4 projects on the go at the minute. Two of them are at the painter. I popped up to see progress.
The frame has been heavily repaired and straightened. There were many hols drilled in the frame by a previous owner for some reason. Not only were they ugly they had potentially weakened the frame. So they were welded up before the frame was blasted.
Here is the frame before welding.
And here it is after blasting, being prepared for painting.
I also have a set of bodywork for a 1200 being prepared for painting in standard candy red colour.
Tailpiece and sidepanels primed and ready for paint. Tank just back from the blaster. No rust or perforations, excellent. The tank will be sealed inside with an ethanol resistant resin before painting. I do this with all my tanks, it is good insurance, plus it's best to be done before painting as acid is used to etch the inside of the tank.
Here's one I prepared earlier, as they say.
Lots of different things happening today.
I finished rebuilding the Ceriani shocks and fitted them to the bike.
Then I finished rebuilding the top yoke and fitted the handlebars and switchgear. I need to wait now for the stanchions to return after straightening and rechroming before I can refit the original front end to the bike.
I couldn't resist seeing what the new sidepanel badges looked like. The sidepanels are nickel plated at the moment. They were chromed when I bought them but I had the chrome removed to reveal the nickel. I have several colour options in my head, but will have to decide pretty soon which to go for.
I then started restoring the lower yoke. I removed the bearing and then started removing the paint. Tomorrow I will finish preparing the yoke and then paint it.
Today I cleaned the Ceriani shock bodies, then used paint stripper to remove several coats of old paint and primer.
They were pretty rusty underneath so I gave them a thorough sanding as well.
I cleaned them up and then used wash coat primer before a couple of coats of standard primer, followed by a couple of coats of black. I get my painter to make up spray cans for me when there are a lot of small fiddly parts to spray.
He can do it in any colour or type (gloss, satin, matt, primer etc) and the spray nozzle gives a similar spray pattern to a professional spray gun.
I will let the final coat harden overnight, then rebuild the shocks tomorrow. I have all the required parts freshly prepared (paint, chrome, seals) and will get some Ceriani stickers made tomorrow too.
The top yoke was cleaned, stripped and sanded then painted as per the shock bodies.
I still need to remove the bearing from the lower yoke before stripping and painting that too.
I also stripped, cleaned and sanded the fork sliders but will probably paint them in satin black.
Quick update on my cat Ruby. She is still desperately ill but is showing signs of responding to medication. I had the thought of putting her to sleep yesterday but I am so glad I didn't. I want to give her this last chance. I owe her that. She has been my best friend for the last 6 years.
Anyway, back to bikes. My Corsa is due it's annual inspection and I had known for some time one of the fork legs was leaking. So, today I decided to replace the full fork assembly with another freshly rechromed pair I built up last week. Forward planning. This will give me time to investigate the issue and send the fork back to Maxton, as it had been leaking since I received it from them.
To do anything much on an RGS you need to remove the fairing, which is a pain at the best of times.
I took this opportunity to remove all the touring gear I had fitted to it last year ahead of it's pilgrimage back to Breganze in Italy, where it was born. That was a hoot. 1850km (1150 miles) from Madrid to the town square in Breganze in a non-stop overnight blast which took 18 hours. I left the house at 8:30pm on the Thursday and arrived in time for an ice cream in the piazza at 2:30pm the next day. Other than the weeping fork seal the bike ran without missing a beat. Me, on the other hand, I was walking like John Wayne for the whole weekend, with the lovely thought that I was going to have to do it all over again on the Monday morning.
So, fairing off, tank off, sidepanels off, seat off. I removed the GPS mount and USB power point first, including the wiring which lived under the tank. Next was the pannier frames, indicators and rack. I then refitted the original indicators before starting work on the forks.
Mudguard off, calipers off, wheel off, forks out. Then new forks in, wheel on, mudguard on and calipers bolted back in place. Sorted.
I gave it a once over and found an intermittent fault with the tail light bulb so that got replaced as well.
I'll take it next week for it's inspection.
The bike as it returned from Italy
Freshly rebuilt forks waiting to be fitted Leaking fork on left
And all back together. Beer o'clock now.
Not much done this morning. One of my cats is seriously ill and I had to take her to the vet. It was to be a one way trip but it was decided to give her a few more days to see if she responds to treatment.
So, once she was taken care of and resting nicely I started on the bike stuff again.
I found the small screen on the Atlas to be only cosmetic and did nothing for wind protection. I had a larger screen going spare so I cut, heated and bent it until it fitted the space available. I think it looks quite cool.
I then started on the Ceriani shock restoration but I had other things on my mind so I just recorded the work in progress.
Newly rebuilt damper rod and seal kit vs old ones. Shocks awaiting rebuild once I repaint the shock lowers.
I decided to spend some time this past week or so working on my 750 project.
This was bought some time ago as a bare frame/swing arm, yokes and front wheel, nothing else.
I sourced an engine in the UK, tank in France, seat in Malta and so on.
Originally I had plans to turn it into a sort of dual purpose machine, but decided it would look too Hipster-ish.
By now I had 2 tank styles for it (SF and GT) but each requires a different seat layout as the GT tank is much shorter. As I needed a seat I left it to fate, with the first seat style I found setting which tank style I went with.
Today an SF seat arrived in the post so that was decided.
By now it is wearing a pair of 38mm Cerianis and yokes as the original 35mm stanchions have been sent off for hard chroming. I also dismantled the Ceriani shocks so they could be rechromed, repainted and new seals fitted. I took the chrome to my chromer today and managed to dismantle the shock bodies this afternoon, so tomorrow I will sand and repaint the shock lowers and fit new seals. I was lucky enough to have a spare pair of damper rods in perfect condition to replace the very sad looking originals.
So it is now wearing the correct tank, seat and metal sidepanels, and is temporarily wearing the larger forks and GSXR front wheel. I also sent off the instruments to be restored.
I reckon in a couple of months or so it will be finished and ready to start. To have taken this from a pile of bones that would never have run again and make it into a fully functioning Laverda 750 is what drives me on. I am into negative entropy.
Here is what I started with. Even then I have used a different frame as the original had been hacked about and many lugs were missing.
These last 2 days I have been forking about in the cave.
I stripped down a pair of 38mm Marzocchi 3CL forks as the stanchions were rusted and slightly bent. I also stripped down a pair of Ceriani 35mm forks from my 750 project as they were also rusted and slightly bent.
In order to keep the 750 mobile I built up a pair of 38mm Ceriani forks I had lying around and fitted 38mm yokes to the bike in order for the forks to fit.
This allows me the opportunity to clean, polish and repaint the 35mm yokes and fork sliders. I also have a growing bag of parts for rechroming and replating to refit to the 2 pairs of forks when the stanchions return.
I also built up a pair of 38mm Marzocchis as the forks on my Corsa are weeping, and the roadworthiness test is due this month. It will be easier to replace the forks that to remove, strip, repair, rebuild and refit the current pair on the bike. It's good to have a lot of spare parts!
Today I started stripping down a pair of Ceriani shock absorbers to restore the external parts and fit new seals internally. This hit an obstacle today when I couldn't unscrew the damper rods from the shock bodies. So I have left the shock bodies to soak overnight and I will work on them again tomorrow.
I think the 750 looks quite purposeful with the 38mm forks on it. :-)
Marzocchi fork springs have seen better days. These will be replaced.
All stripped down and packed up to go, plus the replacement forks for the Corsa are ready to fit.
I think the 750 suits the 38mm forks, but I want to retain the 35mm forks as it is a drum brake bike.
Summer has ended and the weekend was very wet.
I started working on my project 750 (Fatlas). I had bought a wiring harness for it but it turned out to be the wrong one. Looks like I will have to make one from scratch.
Anyway, I worked out what goes where and how it needs to be connected together.
I also packed the instruments up as they need to go for a full restoration.
A little bit of patina.
I am waiting on a replacement seat and headlamp coming for it so once they arrive I will spend more time on it.
This morning I took the frame, swing arm, centrestand and other parts to the painter. He will blast them and then paint them in the correct silver colour.
I also took a tank, sidepanels and tailpiece for a 1200. This will be finished in red. I have reproduced the stripe kit that goes with this bike so that will be fitted after painting.
I have these stripe kits available at 30 euros a set, plus P&P.
Later today I will strip down a set of forks and send the stanchions for hard chroming. With a bit of luck they will be ready by the time the frame comes back from painting.
I also have the horrible task of degreasing and chemically cleaning an engine. It will have to look fresh when it goes back into the newly painted frame.