We got the tank back….. So I bought some 3M weatherstripping adhesive to glue the knee pads back on. Other than getting the glue all over my pants, it went pretty smooth…. Then I went to reinstall the BMW badges. These are the original badges, but I ordered brand new screws. The news screws were longer than the old ones, which seemed odd. I confirmed with Hucky that the new screws are the right size and have always been used. Well, they would not go all the way in… After closer inspection of the old screws, it appears a previous owner cut down the old screws to fit. I am not sure why this is the case, but I thought perhaps the female threads had a build up that I just needed to forcefully cut through with the longer screws. Well, all that force on a slotted screw, is a disaster waiting to happen… Yep, the screw driver slipped out and made a beeline for the brand new paint job. GOUGE!!!! That really put me in a bad mood that day…. At first I thought I would just live with it as a battle scar, but I have reconsidered. I talked to the painter and it can likely be touched up, but I have yet to take it by the shop. The other thing is, the painter actually forgot to make the paint a satin finish, but when we got it back it looked so good, we didn’t want to change it….
This boot leather wax worked perfectly… Gave it nice rich tone.
The leather is very gentlemanly… I think I may have to start smoking a pipe or cigars to ride on this bike…
Mr. Craig Breeden offered up his services to “fab up” something for the bike… Since Craig is in Detroit now, it seems only appropriate that he creates something related to the auto industry… One thing about this bike that I don’t really care for is the way the battery is mounted. It’s kind of tucked in under the seat right next to the fender, but not totally hidden. They do make covers for the triangle in the frame, but they really only cover about half of the battery. So instead our thought was to draw attention away from the battery with an interesting side cover. The plan is to use a perforated aluminum, with a solid aluminum perimeter (frame). I asked Craig to just cut the parts out of the CNC and I would take care of finishing. I had originally thought to just paint it flat black… But right now I am leaning towards doing a Black Oxide (gun metal) chemical finish. I kind of want it to look like the background image used on this blog. A motteled silver & black… I still have time to figure it out, but that’s where I am leaning…. Andy may talk me out of it though… We’ll see….
I am conflicted on using muffler tape… On one hand, our pipes are quite discolored (blued) and we are not going to replace them. So adding the tape does help aesthetically… I have read that it will deteriorate the pipes much quicker. I have also read a lot of hater’s comments on motorcycle blogs about the tape… I actually like it. It is true that it has become more popular in recent years , but I still like it. I was at a British Bike event this weekend and out of about 50 bikes, I saw maybe 3 with tape, so it’s certainly not a majority of bikes… And besides, if we really like it, we shouldn’t let some zit faced dweeb in mom’s basement dictate our vision…. So tape it is. Just talked myself into it…. now I just need to read up on the proper technique….
As far as the muffler goes, I think we’ll just stick with stock for the time being. Although if we could get it to sound like this, we would be very happy:
The mirrors on the BMW were a bit tired. These are original Napoleon bar-end mirrors. I was really hoping that these would clean up nicely, so that would be one less thing to buy… On the first one I got out the Dremel tool and a polishing kit and polished it up nicely. Took a little while, left a few light swirl marks, but generally pretty good. Then on the second one I borrowed a tube of SemiChrome Polish from my wife… Wow, this stuff is amazing. It polished right up in 1/10th of the time it took to use the Dremel and no swirl marks… I am planning to get my own tub of this stuff and polishing up a few more bike parts, like the brake levers, wheels, and whatever else I can find that resembles chrome…. Of course it’s made in Germany. Perhaps there is a synergy with the German-made bike that cannot be duplicated on a Brit or ‘merican bike???
The seat was looking pretty bad. Besides the vinyl cover looking pretty shabby, the foam was a a pile of rot and the cover had been stretched and held in place with visible screws.
We were fortunate enough to get a nice piece of waxed leather (free), but we knew we would have to reconstruct the seat. One of my neighbors has an upholstery shop and said he would do this for me. He is the one that gave us the leather… Generally he would rather not deal with automotive stuff, but he said he would make an exception for me since we were buddies…. Two doors down from him is an automotive upholstery shop that does a lot of hot rods and vintage cars & motorcycle work. He could have easily done this seat, but I really wanted to use Chris because he really takes pride in his work and I knew he would do it right, even if it takes twice as long as a sofa, and pays half as much… I have used him for sofas, chairs, pillows and window seat cushions in the past all look great. He used to be in LA and did furniture for Shaq & Jon Voight. So, yeah, he’s good…
Anyway, first he stripped off the old cover and foam. I took the seat pan home and repainted it black and took it back to his shop.. Then he carved out a new seat cushion (foam)… He called me up to his shop to check out the newly carved foam. I took the seat with me, put it on the bike to make sure it was right, and it was…. I took it back again and he created a new custom pattern using some scrap vinyl. He sent me some pics to look at and it looked great. Then he started on the actual leather. He added tuck rolls (channels) that I think really help the lines of the seat… This leather it’s so thick, it made sewing very difficult and he has broken quite a few needles… He said he is going to pick up a new guide which will help to create the stitching that will follow the seams… All is going well and I hope to pick up the seat soon.