Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 8

Today I taped off the panels and sprayed the red. The red that Yamaha typically used was a very bright red so spraying it over the white keeps it nice and bright. Lots of taping- it’s very important to get everything completely covered because any slight mist or overspray on the white will show up instantly when the parts are cleared. Next, we will remount the the panels on the bike and layout the stripes for the blue parts. Tail taped off Tank... [Read More...]

24 Hours of LeMans- CBR1000RR on fire

I saw this over at asphaltandrubber.com and just wanted you to see how dangerous quick refueling can be… Apparently, no one was seriously injured in the accident but it is pretty spectacular.  Read More →

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 7

Today I spent a lot of time laying out the blocks in the stripes. Lots of measuring and then trial and error until I got the proportions and angles I wanted. Since the bodywork on this bike is obviously not the same as on the bike in the museum, it is a little tricky getting it to “look” the same. Primarily, the tail is different and so the large strobe stripe had to be at a different angle than the factory bike. All in all, it is coming... [Read More...]

Honda SL 350 restoration update

While I am working on the RZ500, my friend Jerry is up in North Carolina reassembling the SL 350 that we painted the bodywork for a few months ago. It is really coming along nicely and as you can see from this set of pictures, it will be a sweet bike- with everything redone from the frame up. I think the one thing he is still trying to find is a nice set of original pipes. Fenders and side covers mounted Candy red and clearcoat applied... Engine mounted... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 6

Last time we sprayed a white base coat and 1 coat of clear on all the parts in preparation for laying out the graphics. After wet sanding everything with 400 grit so the red and blue base coats will stick, we mounted all the bodywork back on the bike so we can lay out the red stripes. The tail has a lot of compound curves where it bulges out for the expansion chambers so it is really hard to get the stripes to look straight. But we got it as good... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 5

Today I sprayed on the Polar White base coat and then 1 coat of clear so that while we are remounting the bodywork to lay out the graphics we don’t have to worry about getting dirt, fingerprints, etc on the white base. I will sand it all with 400 grit after it dries for a couple of days so that it is ready for the red and blue stripes after I tape it up and cut out the designs. One of the saving graces of this project is that it is a copy of... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 4

Just a quick update- here are the parts all primed, sanded and ready for base coat paint. Since the base coat on this bike is basically just white, the parts will not really look any different in base coat- just a brighter white. Primed and finish sanded...  Read More →

Crazy Pass in AMA 600 Race at Road Atlanta

Watch this pass… crazy.  Read More →

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 3

Well, today we are going to put the epoxy primer on the sanded and prepped parts. The first picture is the hand made aluminum gas tank. The 2 holes are where the relocated oil tank fillers stick through. Most paints don’t stick well to bare aluminum so it is important that you clean and etch it with a mild acid solution. The PPG DPLF epoxy primer is great for painting aluminum like this tank and also for sealing fiberglass parts like the fairings... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 2

After I stripped the bodywork off of the RZ, I went to work getting all the old paint off of the fairings. Lots of sanding! Since the parts were old and used, there were also some spider cracks in the gel coat from bumps, flexing, etc. These require repair by adding a small patch of fiberglass cloth and resin from the back to stiffen up the area and prevent any more flexing. Then you use super fine finishing filler to fill in the spider cracks in... [Read More...]

The Yamaha RZ500 Project

I am starting on a new project this week that will be super-fun! This RZ500 is owned by a client who is trying to create a road legal replica of Kenny Robert’s last GP bike. So we have some pictures from the Yamaha museum in Japan that will serve as guides for the paint. As you can see, the gas tank is not original- it is hand made out of aluminum and has the oil tank mounted under the front instead of in the left upper like the street RZ. The... [Read More...]

Older Riders- Much Greater Risk of Injury

This really makes sense since the average rider age has been going up each year and older people obviously are more easily injured and take longer to recover than younger people. Add in other preexisting medical problems (heart, blood pressure, etc) and you have the perfect storm. One thing everyone can do to minimize risk is to take it easy getting back on the road this spring. Take short rides on lightly traveled roads for your first few times out... [Read More...]