Arai highest ranked motorcycle helmets for 12th straight year

Arai Vector Just some light weekend reading for you… Here is a press release from JD Powers on motorcycle helmet owner satisfaction. I personally have both an Arai and a Shoei and while they are both great helmets, I prefer the Shoei for fit and comfort. But I have friends that swear by Arai. So the point is- make sure you try on a bunch of helmets and buy the one that fits your head best. Spending money on a good helmet is one of the best investments... [Read More...]

Harley Davidson Commercial

OK, this is a bit harsh since Harley really has updated their bikes with things like Showa suspension and Nippon Denso electronics (both Japanese, BTW) but, still funny.  Read More →

Honda SL 350 restoration completed

2 Nice Honda 350's Almost that is… As you can see from the picture, he is still waiting on some parts for the seat. But everything else is done and the bike runs great. I included a before/after picture of the front fender so you can get an idea of where we started. The bike in the background is another 350 that he owns and both are super nice examples of a classic Honda motorcycle. Front fender- start Front fender- finished  Read More →

Yamaha RZ500- Finished!

Here are a few pictures of the finished bike- I’ve included a picture of the bike in the Yamaha Museum for reference. As I mentioned in other posts, almost every one of the factory bikes was different. Some had different bodywork, some had slightly different paint schemes and the wheels varied depending on who rode the bike. This bike is using Air Tech bodywork which is obviously different than the factory bike so we had to do our best to match... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 14

Today, I did the final buffing and polishing on the paint. Really, the quality of the finished product will depend on how much time and effort you put into the detail stuff like wet sanding and buffing. When you have different colors painted under the clear, wet sanding the edges where the colors were taped off is critical for that “dipped in glass” look. Sanding out any orange peel also makes a huge difference. Final buffing Finished... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 13

Well, today we are finishing some of the detail stuff- we wanted street legal turn signals that didn’t stick out obtrusively so I went with some small button style flush mount clear lens units. They actually look really good mounted next to the taillight and they are not noticeable except when they are blinking. Exactly what we wanted… The fronts will be similar. The exhaust tips are now painted high heat flat black like the factory bike.... [Read More...]

Honda SL 350 restoration update

The SL 350 is progressing along nicely and the wheels and tank are on the bike now. Next up is firing it up. Jerry is sending me updates from NC so I’ll keep this refreshed as soon as he makes any more progress. He told me yesterday that getting it running should not be a big problem since it was running before he started the restoration- so the motor is good and with the tank cleaned out and sealed and the carbs rebuilt, it should fire right... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 12

The clear coat is on and drying. 3 coats of high solids clear will give it a depth after it is wet sanded and buffed out. I’ll let it dry a couple more days before reassembling it. There are some other detail things that I need to do anyways- the aluminum cans on the exhaust need to be cleaned and polished and I need to readjust the way they come out of the tail section. Tank cleared Tail cleared  Read More →

Yamaha RZ500 Project-Part 11

All of the graphics are on and all of the touch-ups are done on the color base coats. The blue turned out to be just about perfect- we were trying to pick a shade from a bunch of internet photos and every one of them looked different but this shade looks really good. Tomorrow is clear coat day and then a couple of days to let everything harden before we remount the bodywork. The whole process has taken almost tiwice as long as I plannned, but weather... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 10

After lots of taping and masking, I sprayed the blue base coat on for the stripes. One thing I found is that while there are all sorts of 1/4 and 1/2 in masking tapes available, there is no 3/8 in… at least not that I could find. So I had to “make” it by using the 1/4 and 1/8 3M Fine Line vinyl tape since all of the stripes are 3/8. Next, I need to touch up a few spots on the red and blue base and then it will get 3 coats of high... [Read More...]

Special RSV4 Training for Aprilia Dealers- and Customers

From Aprilia’s press release- NEW YORK – May 4, 2010 – Aprilia USA, the North American importer and distributor of award-winning motorcycles, announces the Ride Like a Champion tour, an education and training program for Aprilia dealers, just in time for the 2010 riding season.  Aprilia dealers, who received product training at the annual dealer meeting and service training at the tech center, now get the opportunity to experience... [Read More...]

Yamaha RZ500 Project- Part 9

Well, the bike is taped off to paint the blue stripes and you can start to see the final design coming together. We still haven’t decided if we want to paint the large red number plates on the lowers like the factory bike. It might be a bit much. I’ll leave that decision to the owner. But for now, we are just about ready to get the last of the colors on before adding the “Yamaha” logos and then clearing everything. Left side... [Read More...]

When was the last time you rode a Kawasaki KH500 triple?

Actually, just this past weekend, thank-you. I went up to visit my friend Jerry in NC and one of the things we wanted to do was take all of the bikes in his collection that run on a short ride. We got through about half of them. They were all fun but my favorite I think, was the Kawasaki KH500 triple. It has been a long time since I rode any 2 stroke and I have never ridden an old Kaw triple, so it was lots of fun- the sound, feel and smell of 2-strokes... [Read More...]