So this took all day. I had to choose between painting the front black, and re-painting the rear black (because it looked faded) or stripping the rear to bare metal and match the front. The latter sounded easier…Maybe not the case! But there were several reasons for this. The bike doesn’t have much black on it, which is not something I do often, and I love that about it. I don’t want to go blackening up! The only black on this bike will be the frame. All else is raw metal except for the blue tank. Also, bare metal is more durable than paint! And easy to clean. So here we go.
I was just starting to clean it here. Once I cleaned it I painted it with some HARD FU**ING CORE paint stripper. And then scrubbed with a firm tooth brush. Then power washed it. Rinse repeat about 5 times and vuala!
There is a little shield for the final drive gear (you can see in the un-stripped picture) that I still have to paint and re-install. So it will look better when that’s done, and it is mounted so you won’t see that center part.
But it came out looking like new! Here they are together.
If you look close you can tell they aren’t matching spoke patterns. The one flat on the ground is the stock rear. The one leaning up with the front disk is from a Yamaha 600 Radian. It was the only front wheel I could find that had similar spoke pattern AND was the same dimensions as the rear wheel. Since I want matching tires. Now I just have to fab spacers and a caliper bracket and I’ll have a rolling and stopping machine!
Today I got the seat frame fabricated.
It is a pretty high stance, I’m 5’10” and can’t really flat foot, but that’s on the center stand, it will probably come down to a nice height when it is rolling (or maybe I’ll just have to sell it to a tall dude/ dudette!). I like the look of the re-bar. I think I may keep it raw, and keep the tank the stock blue. It already says Yamaha on it so I’m all set! Now I need to get my 18G sheet metal out and fab up the tail piece/ make a new bottom side for the gas tank. Then I’ll get the seat pan ready for foam and upholstery.
Hopefully the steering and wheel bearings will be here early next week… I really want to see it with the new front end.
I have officially adopted my newest build into the family. Her name is Mayonaka (“Midnight” in Japanese), or Maya for short. Here are my two beautiful kids playing in the yard together.
Hack weld hack weld hack weld. Repeat.
I’m getting sick of waiting for all the new bearings to come in for the front end swap on this dude so I got a tank out and started to whack it down to fit. Here is a rough up.
Next of course is to come up with a tail piece so the tank doesn’t look like it is floating there. And to have a place to sit…I suppose. Hack weld hack weld hack weld. I went and got some re-bar to make the tail piece from. I think it will create a unique, rough-cut look while being very sturdy and functional. So far I’ve only got a piece of it chopped up…
I know, it doesn’t look like much at all. But I have something cooking in the ole noggin and I hope it will materialize half as well as it looks in my head! Gotta start thinking colors…Or leave it raw? hmmmmm I think this bike may be a “rat V”
I’ve been wanting to do another virago build ever since I finished my 750. But these days I’m really getting away from the large displacement machines so you can imagine my excitement when a 500 version popped up on CL in my favorite shape (non-running piece of yard art) and price. This little guy is VERY similar to the 750 and 920 big brothers, except sized down in every aspect. What more could I ask for? Here are a few day one pictures.
mmmmmm…fuzzy seats are classy!
This thing hurts to look at…such an ugly machine. But don’t worry! With a new front end, new wheels and tires, new sub frame and seat, and a thoroughly detailed motor and single carb conversion…this thing may not look too shabby!
These carbs are WEIRD! Down draft, cool stuff.
I was pleasantly surprised to turn the key and see lights! Then I pressed the starter button and she cranked! So I cleaned these old dusty carbs out and put them on…Lets see what happens next.
I finally got around to upholstering the solo seat for the Ninja. I had procrastinated on it as long as possible because I knew it would be hard! Since the tank is coming back from paint tomorrow I was forced to get everything else in line so I spent a few hours and it wasn’t as painfully difficult as I had expected. Here is the final product. Painted/ finished pics to come!
I know I’ve been slow here the past few weeks. Mostly waiting on parts. I got the new 17″ rim, sent off for the custom spokes and they just arrived yesterday. I immediately assembled the front end. First I loosely lace the wheel, then put it on the truing stand to square it up.
Big difference from the 12″ rim!
With the front end all assembled we have this!
Super excited to be running inverted forks on this bike. Also to have the disk front brake and soon-to-be clipons. Next step is to get really creative to make the steering stem on the new triple fit the original neck and bearings…I will post what I do, it may get a little hairy!
So for the gas tank, I wanted to do something creative and fun. So I went for the admittedly not original Japanese rising sun design. I’ve never had a bike with it before so it’s new to me! Took some work, sanded to bare metal, bondo on some inperfections, primer/ sand then white base coat, wait a week, sand and one more white coat, wait a week, sand and tape off and red sun coat, wait a week, sand and clear coat. Tada!
To anyone wanting to do good paint jobs. There is no shame in using rattle can if you get quality gas/ oil resistant engine enamel. MOST important is respect the dry times and prep prep prep! The finished product will be smooth and clear and very durable!