Winter has arrived and due to my lack of space I resorted to having the frame sandblasted and powder coated. I also took the rims and rear swing arm to get the same treatment and had the whole lot powder coated. I had planned to rattle can it myself but when I arrived at the sandblaster they informed it would only cost $60 more on top of the sandblasting to have the whole lot painted! So for a grand total of $150 I have my whole frame and wheels looking brand new. My only gripe about the job are that I was a bit slack and didn't get round to cleaning up all the welds. But hey, I'm not building a show bike here.
In what now feels like a spur of the moment decision but I had all the parts painted in a light grey similar to that used on Navy ships. This decision was prompted by a bike I saw online some time ago which looked outstanding. My XS650 Cafe Racer will now be grey (frame, wheels), satin and low sheen black (engine, shocks, disk brakes) and polished steel (tank, brakes, engine casings). I will also be adding a highlight colour which will appear in minimal usage on the bike but should give it some character (I'm tossing up between orange or a deep red at the moment.
So with the frame ready to go first step will be getting the engine back in. I've masked and padded all the areas on the frame which could sustain damage from the engine refit and this weekend with the help of a mate the engine will leave it's stand (and my living room) and be remounted in the frame.
I am now also ordering a bunch of new components to ensure the bike will be functioning perfectly. I will be purchasing new bearings for each wheel along with a roller bearing set up for the swing arm and a new bearing set for the steering all from Mikes XS (what would I have done with out you Mike!?). Other parts that still require purchasing after these will be indicators, grips, levers and a couple of smaller mainly aesthetic parts. I have mounted a set of Clubman bars I had sitting around on the triple clamp, whether these remain on the bike or not will be a judgement I will be making at a later date.
I'm also starting my tyre selection process. I have a set of ribbed vintage look Firestones which would look great but I'm not quite sure if I want to put them on this bike or fit them on my W650 Cafe Racer. Either way I'm going to be looking at rubber with vintage styling.
I've updated my budget list so you can see where my total stands...my $5k total budget is slowly creeping closer!
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