Sunday 6 July 2014

Getting there slowly...

With only a week to go to my first race of the year, the Ryedale Rally in North Yorkshire, the bike is almost there.

After getting all the electrics, fairing mounting and fuel tank sorted the next job was to make the cut outs for the headlights and then spray the fairing.

For both these jobs I entrusted the bike to my friend Radu of RCBS 4x4 Specialist a fellow Rally racer (on four wheels).

First up was to cut the holes, this is the result, although the holes are going to be opened up a bit more possibly to allow some rubber edging strip to be fitted around them.

Looking pretty good so far!

This picture does show the extremely rough finish of the fibreglass, more on that later.

You may also notice the new hand guards, I had fitted the black ones off my CCM (which were KTM ones anyway) but these were just plastic. Whilst they do a pretty good job of keeping branches etc. off your hands, they do tend to flex when the bike goes over and therefore don't protect the levers (you may recall I'm rather good at breaking levers)!

I spotted these ones on eBay, only £29.95 and they have the alloy bars running through them, like much more expensive models like Bark Busters that cost about £90. However they were only available for 22.2mm bars not the thicker 28.6mm Fat Bars that I have.

Except that is if you buy them in orange, which for no apparent reason come with two sets of clamps for both size bars at no extra cost?

When they arrived I was very impressed with the quality, whilst they are clearly of cheap Chinese manufacture they are nearly as good as the Bark Busters I used to have but for only a third of the price. As for the orange, they match the colour of the tank fairly well and with a KTM it is pretty difficult to avoid the colour.

A few days later I popped round to Radu's workshop where he was still spraying filler primer on the fairing and bemoaning the poor finish. This kept resulting in small pinholes appearing in the primer so had stripped it back and filled all the holes by hand, then rubbed the fairing down again before applying another filler/primer coat...

You'll also notice the new front mudguard that will give you a clue to the final colour scheme.

On my next visit, the fairing had been painted but Radu was not happy with the finish so had decided to rub it down, fill and primer it again and then spray it again. I always guessed he was a bit of a perfectionist but it was at this point I discovered his secret......

He was using child labour!

The ever enthusiastic Andrew helping out.
I had thought long and hard about the final colour scheme for the fairing, from black to black and orange to just orange. But finally decided on a scheme that did involve having to buy a new set of plastics but worth it in the end I think.
Firstly I removed the black fork guards and re-used the orange ones in my box of bits. These were cleaned up and refreshed using orange reflective vinyl.

As previously noted I swapped the black front mudguard for a new white one

Then on Friday I popped round to Radu's workshop to collect the bike. He was still not happy about the finish as there were still two pinholes evident in the paint.... yes that's right only two! I did say he's a perfectionist didn't I?
Assuring him that A) it's likely to get scratched the first time out and B) I'm going to be covering it with vinyl graphics anyway, he agreed it was OK. We then fitted the fairing using thin self adhesive foam between the fairing and the aluminium struts to minimise wear between the two. We also glued thicker black foam block around the headlights to prevent too much light reflecting back after dark.
I had thought long and hard about what to do about where the edge of the fairing meets the petrol tank and finally settled some "boot edging strip" from Frost Auto Restoration:
I'm not so keen on the final result, the way the edging strip actually looks, whilst it is doing exactly what I intended it doesn't look as neat as I had hoped. I also bought some plain edging strip (without the rubber tube) so may try that as an alternative.

I have removed the road book holder for the time being as it is not required on UK Rallies and it leaves a convenient place to mount my Garmin Montana 600 GPS using a Ram Mount.
There's still a fair amount to do, the rear plastics are going to be changed to white and this means refitting the rear lights and number plate holder. The rear fuel tank needs to be connected up and the black air box will get a white vinyl covering to reinforce the orange/white colour scheme. I also have some ideas for graphics for the fairing as that large expanse of white needs breaking up. But all in all I'm pleased with the result so far....

To be continued....

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