Welcome back, folks. I have been busier the past few weeks plugging away on the bike during weeknights and the odd weekend. The more time I spend on it, the more I release how much of a mammoth task it is…Whilst it could be quite easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work (especially as there are a lot of tasks I have never done before) I keep remembering the end goal, which of is a cool as hell bike which runs 30% of the time, by 2025. Like any mammoth task, I have made a plan on what I need to do and all I can do is chip away at it. This post is how one of my amazing, not at all plagiarised ideas for my bike was quashed in the final hour…

So way back when I started this project *cough* 15 months ago *cough*,  I had the idea to use a colour scheme not too dissimilar to my Harley, but matt grey instead. At the bike show last year I happened to see a few bikes with brushed metal tanks, these looked very slick. The angular lines of my tank, I thought, would lend itself quite well to having a bare metal finish.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sometime last year I started the process of stripping down the paint on the tank. Traditionally, the go-to product for stripping paint was Nitromors. I have, on previous projects (Believe it or not, I had a project car that I managed to get on the road…it just happened to break down every time I took it out for a drive…much to my fathers/midnight tow service joy), used Nitromors to great success. This used to be a fairly aggressive paint stripper, creating a scene of destruction on anything it touched….paint, fingers….eyes…children…this stuff didn’t give a shit, it was going to destroy/melt it. I say used to, because the new version, not so much…I think the pissholes in my leaking garage roof have done a better job of stripping any paint off than this stuff did when I used it, it was genuine horse shit. I believe the god damn hippi….environmentally friendly regulators have removed the only thing that actually caused it to work (Dichloromethane)…not to worry apparently Starchem Synstrip still has the active ingredient for causing a trail of destruction…don’t say I’m not good to you….all 6 of you…and knowing who you are FFS don’t drink it. Apologise for the lack of photos at this point, I can’t find them between changing phones last year…

Anyway, not wanting to rinse £30 on paint stripper and risk being disappointed again, I decided to waste 3 hours and spend £8 to be disappointed instead. I started attacking the tank outside with my angle grinder and sanding disc. A Facemask, eye protection and being outside in a well-ventilated area is definitely a must here.  The sanding disc did a good job at removing what seemed like 27 coats of what I’m 100% sure was carcinogenic lead-based paint (to compliment the asbestos-induced pulmonary fibrosis I caught last week).  Although effective, the amount of paint to remove quickly managed to wear through the disc. Straight onto Amazon, I ended up buying some polycarbide paint removing discs. These were fantastic and did a great job. they made light work of the 400 coats of primer and paint, right until the last bit of the tank. Ahhhhh…..the. last. bit. of tank…One of the corners is filled with paint filler…OBVIOUSLY.  With the paint still on, the tank looked almost perfect, but with this big lump of filler, it ruins any plans for a hand polished tank, as it now looks like a gigantic Humpty dumpty smiddy made turd of metal. Also, if I am being brutally honest, I wasn’t 100% happy with the quality of the metal underneath the paint, whilst it would have looked OK, it would never have been like the pictures you see above. In order to get like that, the time taken would be far better spent learning other skills, as ultimately that’s what this project is about. Back to matt grey it is….also….paint is one of the last things you do before assembling so I stopped dicking around with that and got back to working on the important things…like building a bike that works…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Right now, I am so driven to get this bike done in the first half of the year as I want to spend the summer riding it….I have a North Coast 500 trip planned in May with a group of friends (they’re real, honest), and I am toying seriously with the idea of getting the bike finished for then….not an impossible task but will need more structure than I am currently applying to the bike…

In the next instalment, I shall cover how I burned my motorbike, garage, house and everything I own down to the ground in one manic moment due to a brake calliper…

See you then,

Struan

Advertisements