Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Long overdue

A long overdue update....

I was in a fairly minor motorcycle accident in February, but the bike and I are now reassembled.....well, mostly.

The damage to my daily rider caused the CJ to take a back burner while I got my primary two-wheeled transportation back in order. The engine case was damaged, along with the usual suspects of handlebars, gas tank, rear cowl, turn signal, etc. It took a while, but it's almost completely done, and looks better than ever. However, this site is about my Honda and I doubt anyone's paying attention anyways. Drop me a comment if you'd like to see some pics of the GS.

I'm looking forward to getting back to work on the 360, and will begin posting updates again within the next couple weeks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I've had an interesting couple of days. I made a new friend who happens to be a fabricator. He has opened up his shop to me in exchange for some technical help for his business. I'm going to make him a basic website and help him get it all up and running and make sure his data is secure. How he's been doing this for so long without keeping up with the times is beyond me, but he must be good at what he does because he's off to Egypt for a job in a couple of weeks.

His shop is roughly 10,000 square feet and it's pretty much all metal working equipment. In some places it's a bit hard to walk. Messy for sure, but I imagine one could make a lot of cool stuff in here.

Back to the bike.

My welder buddy was able to find time to come by this weekend and give me some tips....Well, he makes paper now, but he was a welder up until a couple years ago.

Along with the HF welder I recently picked up, I've trying my best to get all the necessary accoutrements as well. One of those items was a spool of Lincoln wire as opposed to the factory supplied flux core spool. A lot of the online reviews mentioned less spatter with the Lincoln wire. However, Aaron and I agreed early on that since we were just practicing, and I'm just learning, we'd start off with the cheapy factory supplied spool. I also picked up some scrap steel from the local hardware store, as well as a helmet, some gloves, an apron, various types of clamps and magnetic holders, seamers, etc. Aaron is a kickass person and brought two of everything as well.

We first cut some strips from an approximately 2' x 2' sheet of flat steel and cut those into sections about six inches long. Then Aaron dialed in the welder by tack welding the strips into essentially six inch long T-bars. Aaron commented on how easy the machine was to get up and running and dialed in.

As I'm in the process of rebuilding the front forks on my GS, rather than pay $70 for Suzuki's dampening rod tool, I picked up a 1/2" steel rod about 2' long and we figured that would be the first thing we welded. We cut five inches off one end and welded it on as a T-handle. On the other end we welded a nut. Aaron did all the work on it while I watched. He wasn't really going for a nice weld on it, but was more interested in having me understand the sound I was looking for. Bacon-esque. I'm pretty stoked that I can actually make something useful from some scrap metal and the stuff in my garage.

Fork tool.

He then did a couple quick passes on a piece of our T-bar to not only show me what I'm shooting for, but also to see the quality of welds from this fine $99 piece of HF dreaminess.

He wasn't tooting his own horn or anything, in fact he pointed out some mistakes like the porosity on the left side and what not, but overall he was pretty impressed with the quality of weld from such a value priced welder. We only attempted to clean up the slag and "dingleberries" on the right side of the piece, to get an idea of what it could look like, otherwise we just took the wirebrush to the welds to get a look.

I did a short pass or two on some other pieces with him watching and pointing things out to me, but then both of our "dad" responsibilities called us away and I put everything away for the day. I was able to sneak in the garage a bit later and clean up some of the mess Aaron and I made, and made a few more quick welds.

I know they're terrible....trust me.....I know. I'll keep practicing, though, and hopefully sooner or later they won't look half bad. I won't be doing anything on the bike until I'm confident in my skills. I'll get there.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Didn't get any welding done yesterday. A shitstorm of things came up on my end and I just didn't have time. On the bright side, I replaced the coil in my Subaru Forester and she's now back on the road. $120 parts and $0 labor is nice. Fork seals came in for the Suzuki, also. I hope to get that taken care of later this week when the rain comes back 'round.

Just started seeing some ads for a vintage and custom bike show in Portland. I'll definitely be checking that out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


It's hard for me to believe another year has passed. My kids continue to get bigger and I continue to well......Swell.

Tomorrow morning a friend of mine is coming over to give me a crash course in welding. I've been holding off on starting until this, but have been watching some videos and doing some reading. I'm really looking forward to it. Also, since I had never tried my hand at polishing, and plan to do a lot on my CJ, I thought I'd try my start with the engine covers of the Suzuki. I wasn't really sure how well it would work out, and the Suzuki is my rider, so I started simple by wet sanding with 2000 grit and using some Autosol metal polish. It brought it back to what I'd call "close" to factory finish. I'm quite pleased with the results and feel better about doing it on the Pariah. I'm going to work on removing the engine covers tonight and will start polishing this week.

This is the before....

First cover done....can't stop now.....

A vast improvement.

A couple of them really need replacing, but they'll do for now. I'm starting to think that bike needs its own blog. But, hey, it's my blog. I'll do with it what I please.

New grips and mirrors. Engine covers polished.

Fork seals and head cover gasket are in the works for this one. After that, paint for the engine and tins and she's done.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tentative good news

Recently I asked an old friend of mine who used to weld for a living about helping me with my project. He was able to stop by last night to talk about the bike. As it turns, he is not only willing to show me how to weld, but excited to do so, since he's no longer doing it as a profession and misses it (damn economy). It also turns out he's got an old Yamaha 400 sitting in his yard that he's been considering trying to put back on the road.

In return for his help, I've offered up my garage, my tools and my limited knowledge to help him get his Yamaha back on the road. It was a daily rider a couple years ago, and it's complete, so it shouldn't be too bad.

After talking with him, I feel confident I'll be ready to send my frame out for powder in about a month or so.