Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Suzuki GSX750ESD Continues — At Last.

As projects go... this one is dragging. 
I've been doing too much other, altogether mundane, stuff rather than concentrating on the cafe. But I have a couple of weeks off now where I should be able to make an impact. I also had some business cards made recently, purely to advertise the blog, but I want to get busier on the bike before I start passing them round. The backs of them are useful as a service log too, so keep them in your wallet and you'll know when the old beaut needs another oil change.

What's been happening?
I bought some stainless steel bends recently so I can build the link pipes between header and mega's. As ever, haven't started them yet, but watch this space.

I also worked out that the spare wheels I had hanging round from an eBay purchase ages ago are wider than the standard ESD wheels and will take a 130/80 18 rear and a 120/80 16 front. Sorted. I'm also going to keep them gold to pay homage to one of my all time favourite bikes — the GSX750SE Katana. (Yes, I'd love to own a pop-up.)

So, I put the back wheel in to check it would fit ok, and it's perfect. Whoop! Tyres this size are also much easier to come by and I now have a new set of Pirelli Sport Demons to go on them.

The wheels look pretty good in the pics, but close up are a bit drab with the paint rubbed through and the alloy corroded. All good, a quick rub down of the bare alloy with wet & dry had them looking better, and then finished with some Autosol to get them shining. 

Buckled wheel?
The front had a flat spot so needed some careful manipulation with a block of wood and a lump hammer. Spinning it up in the paddock stand and putting it up against a piece of steel gave a good indication when it was round again. It's time consuming but worth it for a wheel that runs true. It'll require a fairly hefty tap to actually start moving the dent as the wood will take the brunt of the blow, but better that than damaging the rim by hitting directly with a hammer. A lump hammer hitting the rim will muller it in no time!

Once I was happy that the wheel was round, not square, I cleaned up the shiny bits. The machined surfaces of the spokes have tiny lines which, when corroded, just look shabby. I decided to smooth them out so they looked better when polished with Autosol. Once that was somewhere near I masked them up. 
I'm using normal masking tape but trimming with a new blade. This is important to get a good edge on the tape. Use a blunt one and the tape will rip and you won't get a sharp edge.

I'm using Hammerite Smooth gold, not the perfect colour match but it brightens the rims up a treat and goes on easy. The photo below shows the original colour on the rear wheel. If you're restoring a Katana, I believe there is a Nissan colour that is pretty close and I'll find out more if I ever own one.

With masking tape removed, I was pretty impressed with the finish. New bearings, valve and the Sport Demon tyre will complete the wheel; I just need to spruce up the discs that came with these wheels and we're good to go.

More soon... I have a week off!