Sherpa and Metralla progress

We’ve been plugging away at both the Sherpa and the Metralla with good results. The Sherpa engine is in the frame and we are looking for a new rear brake hub since the original has some cracks around the pivot posts for the brake shoes. The Sherpa should be on it’s wheels very soon! The Metralla muffler was quite rusty and pitted so the owner decide to do a high heat wrinkle black coating which we applied today. The wrinkle paint is great... [Read More...]

Bultaco Metralla Restorations

We’ve been working on a couple Metrallas for the past few months and there is good progress to report! The frames are stripped, epoxy primed and painted the original gloss black. There are many other parts that have been either bead blasted and refinished or polished. We will soon be reassembling both the Sherpa and the Metralla!  Read More →

2016 Barber Vintage Festival

What an awesome weekend for motorcycle fans! with over 73,000 people in attendance, it was the most successful event yet. Perfect weather helped, but the event it always well run and managed. Here are a few shots from the weekend- enjoy! WWII BMW with Sidecar and Machine Gun Yamaha DT250 Yamaha RD350 Suzuki GS 1100E An entire row of vintage Hondas More vintage Hondas Suzuki GT750 “water buffalo” Kawasaki KH500 Kawasaki 750 triple CB750F... [Read More...]

2016 Barber Vintage Festival

Getting all the bikes ready for the Barber Vintage Festival is always hectic. This year we are taking the 77 CB750F and the 73 Kawasaki S1. The 750 needed some carb work like most old bikes and I took the chance to rejet it at the same time. Runs fantastic and pulls hard all the way to redline. The S1 is almost broke in with about 80 miles on it now. It also runs great. Should be a great weekend!  Read More →

2016 Barber Vintage Festival

Mark your calendars folks, the Vintage Festival is fast approaching. Easily the most popular event that Barber holds each year, it continues to grow. Such a fantastic weekend! More bikes than you can possibly look at, swap meet for parts and bikes and vintage racing. I’ll be bringing the Kawasaki S1 and the Honda CB750F Super Sport for display.  Read More →

Bultaco Sherpa restoration

The bodywork and frame for the Sherpa have been done for quite a while waiting on the engine to come back from the rebuilder and the wheels to have new rims laced on. Those are now back so we will start putting it back together soon. Here are a few pictures of the parts waiting for reassembly-  Read More →

1973 Kawasaki S1 Update 2

With the frame stripped, blasted and epoxy primed, it is time to get busy on some of the other components. Notice how nasty the welds are on this bike- really just typical for a 70 vintage machine. Next, I need to rebuild the front forks, order the electronic ignition, bead blast the gas tank and tail and decide if I want to use the old wheels or find something newer to put on. But, progress is being made, even if slowly!  Read More →

1973 Kawasaki S1 Triple Update 1

Well, I’ve actually been pretty busy on other bikes but a few things have been accomplished on the S1. The motor is reassembled, the carbs are done and look great and a few small items have been bead blasted and painted. The cylinders are bored 1mm over and new pistons, rings, wrist pins and outer crank seals were replaced along with all the normal seals and gaskets. It is a nice tight motor and should run great with the overbore and modern... [Read More...]

2015 Barber Vintage Festival

Another great year at Barber for the Vintage Festival! Total attendance this year was up about 5000 to over 69,000 people. The bikes, displays and swap meet were all great and you always meet some interesting folks. The Vintage races were really fun to watch and it’s not just the bikes that are vintage, a lot of the racers are obviously in their 60’s and up! Here are a few pictures from the weekend. We took several bikes including the... [Read More...]

2015 Barber Vintage Festival Oct 9-11

If you are on this site, you probably have already heard of the awesome Barber Vintage Festival and this year’s is fast approaching! Scheduled for Oct 9-11th, it is sure to be bigger and better just like every year so far. With rows and rows of swap meet parts and bikes as well as thousands of bikes to look at, it is like drinking from a fire hose if you are a vintage bike fan. Plus vintage racing! Don’t miss it! Tickets are available... [Read More...]

Bultaco Metralla GTS Paint

Well, the paint is finished on the GTS’s and looks great. As with all old bikes that came in lacquer, picking a shade of the original color is tough since it yellows and fades pretty bad. We had one pretty good side cover that had a bottom section that was never in the sun and I matched the color off of that. The decals are the old water transfer type and they are not easy to use when they are this large because they tear quite easily. But,... [Read More...]

250cc Bultaco Metralla’s in for paint!

A client has several ultra rare Bultaco Metralla’s that he is restoring and we are doing the paint and bodywork for him. 2 of them are the fiberglass GTS models and 1 is the steel tank street version which we will do later. Very cool bikes. The fiberglass tanks were in pretty rough shape and one of them was leaking. The ethanol in pump gas is deadly to fiberglass and plastic tanks, so we coated the insides with the epoxy sealer from Caswell... [Read More...]

72 Honda CT70… aka: Trail 70 restoration

When I was growing up in the 70’s, every kid wanted a Trail 70. Now, they are quite collectible and thus restorable- so a friend is restoring his candy ruby red 72. It started in pretty rough but complete condition and is moving along nicely. I took a break from the 77 CB750F I’m restoring to do the paint on the CT70. Here are a few pictures showing the progress. Everything was bead blasted to remove all the old paint and rust. The candy... [Read More...]

New Rim Stripe Tool – Very Cool

My friend Rob at Tapeworks has been working on this project for several months now and it is in the final stages before production. Make sure you head over to the Kickstarter page and get in on the action. He needs to raise funds to have all the molds made (which are VERY expensive) and when you donate, you get some level of gift it it actually all happens. I’ve used the prototype tool, and honestly- if you are ever going to install rim stripes... [Read More...]

1977 CB750F update

Well, I think I’ve decided to go in the direction of the Street Tracker that Airtech has on their site. The tail plastic on this bike is cracked and pretty beat up and the Street Tracker tail looks great so we will probably use it. But, I’m going to stick with the original gas tank and oil tank. Colors are still up in the air… I like the red/white/blue scheme (especially the red frame) but I may do something a little darker- perhaps... [Read More...]

Yamaha DT360 update

Here are the finished tank and rear fender. We cut off about 3 inches and relocated where the new taillight will mount. Great colors- antique gold and dark teal. The gas cap was is terrible condition so I stripped all the corroded chrome off of it and painted it in wrinkle flat black to hide the pitting. Tank and fender finished rear fender with custom taillight after clear coating  Read More →

Yamaha DT 360 pictures

After getting all the bodywork finished, the next step is to put the base coats on. In this case, we are using an antique gold and dark teal. We put the gold on first so that it can be masked off easily to put the teal on. Taping off the tear-drop panel is not a job for beginners. The lines have to match the contour of the tank and if they don’t, it will look very awkward and amateurish. Here are a few process shots- gold base coat gold on... [Read More...]

1973 Yamaha DT 360

This was a fun small job that I did for the guy who bought my Triumph Street Triple R (which I now regret selling!). He is doing a cafe style semi-restoration on the 360 and so we needed to paint the bodywork. We picked a good classic/retro color scheme of dark teal and gold for the bike and started in on the tank which you can see from the pictures was in pretty rough shape. After media blasting, it was epoxy primed and the bodywork was done. There... [Read More...]

Hejira Update- 7

Well, the paint is all finished on the cafe style bodywork. It really looks great. I’m looking forward to seeing them on the bike. We still have a set of full race fairings to paint that will be used with the same tank and tail. So, they will also be red with some white and black logos. Pictures of those fairing- in progress- tomorrow.  Read More →

Hejira Update- 6

Here are a few pictures of the progress- the red is on and the graphics are on. The Hejira decals that Tapeworks.com made for me are far better than the original that we had to scan and work off of. It is going to look great. The red/white/gold is a great color scheme and with the frame and engine being  black and the wheels gold, it all ties together nicely. Hejira tank w/graphics Tail Side panel w/graphics Upper w/painted number plate  Read More →

Hejira Update- 5

A few pictures as I get ready to put the red on… here are the parts with the panels taped up- so, what is under the tape is the polar white we sprayed on a few days ago. Laying out and striping panels is pretty time consuming. Lots of hours tied up in these but they are going to look awesome. front number plate All taped up… side panels masked tail number plates masked    Read More →

Hejira Update- 4

We’ve made some good progress- after some final sanding and finishing, the epoxy primer was applied and then we went back and touched up some areas with spot filler and block sanded everything. One of the biggest decisions to make on a 50 year old bike that has a hand made aluminum tank and fiberglass fairings is just how “perfect” to get it. The bike was not production quality even when it was new, so do you try to reproduce the... [Read More...]

Hejira Update- 2

The upper and all the fiberglass is media blasted and as you can see in pretty tough shape. The upper has been patched together in a previous life and all the edges, corners and gel coat are very nicked, chipped, etc. I’ve laid new glass in certain areas to reinforce weak and damaged spots and I’ll be putting a skim layer of finishing filler over everything before sanding and priming. upper nose cone   upper sides  Read More →

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Don’t forget to “Like Us” on facebook if you haven’t already! Yamaha RZ500 top view  Read More →

A few more Barber Vintage motorcycle photos

Here are a few more photos from the Barber Vintage Festival… There were some  awesome bikes there- This SL350 is just like the bike that my friend Jerry and I restored a few years back. You are either tough or crazy to race old Indians like this… One of my all time favorite bikes- Yamaha RD400 Honda SL350- just like the one Jerry and I restored  Read More →

Barber Vintage Festival pictures

The 8th annual vintage festival concluded today and by all appearances, it was a great success. The weather was great all weekend and the crowds were huge. My only big complaint was that after paying for admission, you had to pay again to get into the Ace area- so we skipped it and they missed getting some free publicity. Oh well. It also appeared that the number of racing participants was way down from last year. Not sure if it is a recession related... [Read More...]

8th Annual Barber Vintage Festival coming up Oct 12-14th

Don’t’ miss this years Vintage Festival at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL if you are anywhere close enough to come. This is an awesome yearly event with shows, exhibits, racing and  great cool fall weather. The swap meet alone is worth the trip and can suck up hours of time unless you are careful! If you love the old stuff and want to relive some of the past, this is a must-do event! Here a few pictures from last year- Vintage... [Read More...]

Motorcycle vs. deer

This happened during a closed course rally in W. Virginia. The dude was pretty tough to get right back on the bike and continue the race. Deer are a huge problem for motorcyclists who ride on rural roads. I’ve almost hit a couple here in Georgia and I’ll admit, the “check underwear light” was definitely on!  Read More →

Like Us on Facebook!

I’ve never promoted it but we do have a FB page, so if you have a second, head over and “LIKE” us!      Read More →

Motorcycle deaths stay high in US

Don't be stupid This article over at MSNBC   spotlights a big problem for US motorcyclists. With recreational and commuter use on the rise, motorcycle deaths and injuries are a big problem for everyone involved- the gov’t, manufacturers and of course the families of those killed. I fix a lot of wrecked bikes here at National Superbike so I see the problem first hand – fortunately, I don’t know of any fatalities from bikes I’ve... [Read More...]

BMW motorcycle sales press release

BMW has been on a roll recently- lots of new models and their sales show it.   0.04.2012 11:36 Best first quarter of all time for BMW Motorrad. Husqvarna Motorcycles 36.2 percent up compared to last year. During the first three months of 2012, BMW Motorrad had its best 1st quarter to date, recording the company’s highest sales ever achieved at the start of a year. As of March, sales increased to 24,373 motorcycles (23,109 last year), this being... [Read More...]

A Quick Look Inside the Dunlop Proving Grounds

I was over in the Huntsville, Alabama area last week and decided to stop in and see my good friend Danny Roberts who heads up the Dunlop Proving Grounds. We raced together back in the 80’s and have been friends for almost 30 years. This is the facility where they test all of the dirt bike, street bike and race tires for motorcycles. Very cool place for a motorcycle guy (or girl)! I’ll post a few pictures that I took with my phone over... [Read More...]

Crazy Motocross Front Flip

It is hard to comprehend the physics of this but that makes it that much more amazing… Mark Monea, the Australian motocross/X games rider lands a 360 front flip.  Read More →

New BMW R 1200 GS Triple Black

From BMW’s press release… I guess everyone is getting in on the Harley 48 look. Honestly, I don’t think the 1200 GS lends itself to this scheme all that well. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Coming Soon… 2011 BMW R 1200 GS Triple Black Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 18, 2010…The BMW R 1200 GS goes to “the dark side” in 2011 with a special edition model – the R 1200 GS Triple Black. ... [Read More...]

Can Am Project- Part 7

With the clear coat on, we let everything sit and cure for a couple of days before wet sanding and buffing. Some of the parts like the front fender were fine as is but the tank and tail needed to be buffed for that ultra smooth dipped in glass look. Here is a picture after wet sanding (it looks like flat paint at this point) and then after buffing with several grades of compound. The decals look especially good under the clear… almost like they... [Read More...]

Can Am Project- Part 6

Today we install the graphics and clear coat everything. These are big decals and hard to get on straight but if you take your time and use the wet application method, you can get them on straight with no bubbles. It is always fun to see what the parts look like after clear coating. This is going to be a very cool old cafe bike… Applying the decals Tank clear coated  Read More →

Can Am Project- Part 5

The next step in the Can Am project was spraying on the white base coat. We spent a fair amount of time getting the shade of white exactly how we wanted it. The white on these old bikes is really more of a cream. You really can’t tell unless you put it right up against a bright white shade (like what we used on the RZ500) but it makes a difference. So here it is with the base coat on. Next, we install the tank graphics… Base coat applied  Read More →

Can Am Project- Part 4

After lots of hand sanding and cleaning, we are ready to prime the parts. I always use an epoxy primer to seal the surface. This works equally well on metal (like the aluminum tank) and fiberglass/plastic. If needed, you can do some light sanding or scuffing with a scotch-brite pad after it has dried.  Read More →

Can Am Project- Part 3

Front Fairing Front Fairing Filler Front fender repair Next we need to do a little body work and filling. The front nose cone fairing used to have a removable number plate panel that could come off to uncover the headlight if it was installed. Since the bike will never be on the street, we decided to use a fiberglass plate to fill the hole. After it was bonded in, I had a fair amount of filling to do to get the contours right. Several light coats... [Read More...]

Can Am Project- Part 2

This bike was never used as a dirt bike- it was converted into a cafe racer from day one. So the bodywork reflects that. It is also old and had what seemed like dozens of layers of paint on it that had to be sanded off. Sanding stuff like this is time consuming and tedious but necessary if you want the final result to be show quality. So I sanded all of the fiberglass down to the original gel coat and prepped it for primer- Can Am tail Sanding the... [Read More...]

1975 Can Am 250 Project

Custom made aluminum tank Just a quick post so you can see the custom made aluminum gas tank. A few days ago, I posted the picture of the old fiberglass tank that was really beyond repair. This new tank is a beautiful reproduction and matches the shape of the old tank nicely. We found the decals at reproduction decals so they should fit perfectly. There is lots of sanding and detail filling to do on the ancient fiberglass bodywork- more on that tomorrow.  Read More →

Vintage Can Am Project

Old Fiberglass Tank Well, the guy I painted the Yamaha RZ500 for was happy enough that he brought me his Vintage 70’s Can Am 250 to work on. He has owned it since new and it has seen many race tracks in its day. Now, we are going to restore it so he can take it to vintage races and shows. Once again, the gas tank was beyond repair and so a new hand made aluminum tank was fabricated. Stay tuned for updates as we progress…  Read More →

Ducati at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Ducati at Pikes Peak From Ducati- Follow the action on their blog page. Ducati returns to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for an encore performance on June 27. The weapons of choice – a pair of all-new 2010 Multistrada 1200s! Partnering with Spider Grips, Ducati is fielding a two bike team, piloted by Greg Tracy and Alexander Smith. Both Tracy and Smith are no strangers to the race, having both competed in 2008 with Tracy taking... [Read More...]

Harley XR1200X is coming (staying) in America!

Harley XR1200X Harley-Davidson announced that the XR1200X Sportster, introduced in 2010 for export markets only, will be available through Harley-Davidson dealers in the United States as a 2011 model. The XR1200X is equipped with fully-adjustable Showa front and rear suspension components and can be dialed in to match rider weight, riding style and road conditions. The XR1200X combines this premium suspension with enhanced front brakes and a high-compression,... [Read More...]

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...]

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...]

SL 350 Restoration part 3- painting

In today’s installment, we are spraying on the silver base coat that gives the metallic look to the translucent candy red top coat. When you are using a tri coat system like this, the base coats need to have hardener added so that when you spray the red top coat it doesn’t crinkle and spider web the silver. I like to let every coat dry a couple of days before putting on the next coat to avoid any crinkling. Since this was never intended... [Read More...]

SL 350 Restoration- Primer

The SL has a mix of materials used for it’s bodywork- steel for the tank, aluminum for the fenders and plastic for the side covers. In a case like this, the best primer to use is an epoxy primer like PPG’s DPLF. It sticks to anything and anything sticks to it, pretty much. A little light sanding after it dries overnight and we will be ready for the first base coat. SL 350 bodywork in primer  Read More →

Restoring a 1971 Honda SL 350

SL 350 bodywork waiting for primer My friend Jerry is currently in the midst of restoring his 71 SL 350 and since I did the paint work for him, I thought it would be cool to post the progress for everyone to see. The bike was not a total wreck, it was just showing its age so he disassembled it down to the frame and we went to work. Here is the bare frame and the bodywork after sanding. Overall, there was very little filler needed except for a few... [Read More...]

BMW adds dealers when most are closing down…

This is a glimmer of hope in an otherwise very bleak powersports industry. The fact that BMW is adding dealers may just be wishful thinking, but I suspect that they are planning on converting some owners of other brands. BMW has a great lineup now with the addition of the 1000 RR in their sportbike stable. In reality, I suspect that if BMW prices their bikes aggressively, and the exchange rate cooperates, they will be able to poach a few customers... [Read More...]

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