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Geekin on the Race Bike

July 24, 2011

If you were a fly on the wall at Motorrad lately (haven’t we all been?) you would have witnessed me whittling away on Ivan’s vintage race bike in preparation for Mid Ohio.

The newly fabricated exhaust needed to be repacked and painted.  I rebuilt the Mikuni carbs, and swapped out the rear wheel bearings.  Why?  I-man noticed a bad wobble during his last trackday session but (endurance racer that he is) he kept going.  How bad was it?  Oh I dunno….the wheel only moved like 1/2″ side to side.  Had I been riding, the crash cart drive would have found me crying in a fetal position somewhere in the woods…deep in the woods.

New Breather Can Mount

With all that changed out, it was down to Greenville to ride the Dyno and get the jetting right for the new exhaust.  Ivan and Brad got numbers.  Leave it at that.  No racer is ever happy with the numbers, but some money has to be spent on groceries and rent, so having said that, we’re ecstatic with the Dyno Numbers!!…until the next cash infusion.

Go-fast parts out of the way, it was on to the fun stuff.  Motorrad picked up a new sponsor; the fiberglass specialists, Boxer Cafe.  That means that last years fairings left and the opportunity to change the livery arrived.

Ivan settled on a metallic silver which really looks good against the black frame and the bead blasted engine cases (pay no attention to that red battery!).  Tank was relined and painted, as were all the new glass parts from Boxer Cafe: fairing, seat tail, front fender.

Installation was easy, the hard part was making white backgrounds to mount the numbers against.  Up front, I traced out an oval Ivan found lying amidst the shop detritus.

What bugs?! Diggin the shade tree paint booth.

Within the new silver/black scheme,  we didn’t like the look of the plastic side panels from years past, we preferred the vintage look of painted on oval roundels.  But how to do it….

Freehand taping is No Bueno

The free hand striping method didn’t get it done, so I lofted another smaller oval in cardboard, then transferred it to the tail fairing.

Schoolboy drafting to the rescue: cardboard mockup in place.

Blue tape is next (too much espresso today, Art?) Ivan gives me the OK to proceed.

But does it look OK from above?

Symmetry lesson: had to cheat the left side to get it to come out well.

The hard part is over, the rest is just the good housekeeping of masking, sanding and painting.

Masked and shot in our state of the art open air spray booth.

The icing is sweet: I get to place the graphics

Dang! Just like downtown!

Symmetry is god. Paint and logo look great..

Now comes the sponsor decals.  I was sweating the location, error led to more trial, then Bob’s yer Uncle!

Will this placement work?


 “Not so fast, silly boy,” quips Ivan.   “Let us not forget our daily bread (sponsor)!”

Of course, Hidenau, makers of awesome vintage bike race tires.

“Bless me Ivan for I have sinned.” (me)

“But….but….but the green in their logo will totally ruin the silver/black scheme!” (my inner interior decorator having a hissy fit)

“No Bucks?  No Bikes!” (that would be my inner accountant speaking).

The green on the logo isn't my favorite, but a racer has to get paid.

So, in the final hours, the windshield was drilled for fasteners and installed, a new battery mount was created, the optical beam was positioned out the fairing for Mid Ohio’s course and the transponder was charged up.  All that was left to do was for someone to jump aboard and make racing noises…which is the closest I’ll ever get to piloting this machine in anger.

Vroom-vroom. Grown men at 'work'.

 Ivan says that the grid will be tough at Mid Ohio due to the Manx Nortons and British twins who have notoriously high horse power to weight ratios.  I am confident that he and Brad will show em a rear tire or two.  I think it’ll be a throw down Bro-down.  A full scale Brodeo  A  Stay tuned…..


One Comment leave one →
  1. Arthur Treff permalink*
    August 7, 2011 7:16 AM

    Update: How did our lads do? Quite well, actually. Ivan secured two Second Place and one Third Place win in the GP750 and Vintage Challenge classes respectively. But (drum roll here) his sidecar (Team Kane) won Grand Champion! Brad achieved a Fifth Place in the Vintage Challenge and one Third Place in the Sidecar Class. Well done, boyz!

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