One Step at a Time

Big update, here!

Everything is at Alan’s. Almost. I have the cylinder head caps, so I can pull the last traces of paint off of them before they get bead blasted. Also I have a box full of plastic bits—turn signal housings and the like—which need to be cleaned up and restored. I also have the instrument cluster, headlamp lens and a few odds and ends which I don’t see any point in adding to the clutter in Alan’s shop when I know where they are here. We’ve got a few working sessions to go before any of it is needed, so no worries.
The engine is finished and we’re ready to make a rolling frame (which has to happen before the engine is mounted into the frame). Our setback there is that Orion’s has, once more, let me down.
I dropped the wheels and the front tyre I had with them asking them to give me tubes, a rear tyre, mount it all and true the wheels. After three weeks of waiting I finally stopped by to see my stuff hadn’t moved from where I’d set it. I canceled the trueing and asked for the tyres and tubes mounted by the weekend. I picked it up and a few days later got it to Alan’s and finally took a closer look to find they mounted a too-narrow front tyre on my rear wheel. So I returned the tyre and ordered one online. No more Orion’s.

Keith, the guy who is doing the painting, called last Friday to say that everything is done and ready for me to pick up. The only catch is that I get paid on the first and won’t have enough money for him until then. He has no problem holding the pieces until then. He had some trouble tracking down the color at first, but managed to get in touch with another local BMW rider who had a factory-original Nüburg Green tank he could hit with a spectrophotometer.
When I removed the knee pads and emblems, I found a dark BMW blue underneath the current layer of brown. I knew the brown was painted after the factory, but had no idea what the original color of the bike was. Keith called after he had the pieces for a few days and told me he found Nüburg Green underneath the blue. Looks like the original color was the same green I picked. What a strange coincidence. The whole thing makes me want to talk to all the previous owners, see who painted it, when, and why.

I sanded the chrome (what was left of it) off all of my exhaust pieces, smoothed it all out, polished the fragments of rust from the divots in the welding and painted them with a rattle-can ceramic coating by VHT. I read a lot of mixed reviews of the stuff online, but wanted to get away from the chrome/silver look. I picked a matte black. I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to last, but worst case scenario I can pull the pieces off and sand the paint off later.

It shouldn’t be too much longer, now. Alan seems to think that things will move quickly once we get the engine mounted. There are still a few more things I need to buy, like a battery, but for the most part it seems like it should only be a month or so before I crank it up again.
The key, here, is to not get behind in what I have to do here at home. I need to restore those plastic bits, order my battery, and keep my weekends open so I can work whenever Alan is okay with me coming over.

More updates coming soon!

It’s Been a While… Part 2

Hello again.

Long time no see.

The bike is sort of in a holding pattern, waiting on the last few things to finish up. Pretty much all of the new parts are in the spare room of Autumn’s and my house. The frame, handlebars, luggage rack, headlight bucket and a few other miscellaneous brackets have all been beautifully powder coated. Some of it has come together, but not much.

The gas tank, fenders and side pieces are in the trunk of my car, waiting for the painter to pick them up from me while I’m at work. I tracked down the Glasurit paint (green) that I wanted and Alan gave me the number of a local guy who will prep and spray it for me. That’s going to be around $800 when it’s done.

Alan still has the motor and is waiting on one more order I have placed for the last few bolts needed to tie everything together there. It looks like I’ll owe Alan about $500 when everything comes together.

Yesterday I dropped the wheels off at Orion’s to get trued and have the tube and tyres put on. The rims I had powder coated black, and bought new stainless steel spokes to replace the crusty, once-chrome spokes that were on the bike. Another $500 on the process of getting the wheels ready to ride.

I don’t have the time at this moment to run through and tally up all of my orders and figure out what I’ve spent so far, but that’s coming soon. I’m really close to the end, here. Just a few more parts to come in from Max BMW, another order from Huckly’s, and then everything can get bolted in place. Last touches will be dropping the painted parts on top and making sure everything works.

There’s a lot of stuff that I decided while I was on hiatus from this blog, and I need to get everything here caught up. For now I want to go over what needs to happen as of right now:

  • Order bits from Huckly’s
  • Get parts to Alan when they arrive
  • Get parts to painter once he’s available
  • Pick up wheels from Orion’s when they’re done
  • Complete parts inventory
  • Cure heat-resistant paint on non-exhaust parts
  • Clean and maybe repaint plastic pieces
  • Create shopping list of peripheries (bar-end mirrors, supplemental tail light, etc.)
  • Tally up order totals and work on my next post
  • Test starter solenoid

Assuming my order from Max BMW ships today or tomorrow and gets here by Saturday, Joel and maybe Nick are going to help me rebuild the front suspension on Sunday.

I keep going back and forth about the rebuilding here, though. The front suspension is really the only thing I can rebuild prior to getting the engine inside the frame, but building that makes it too large to fit into the car to bring to Alan’s. Alan has been open to the idea of the assembly happening at his shop, though I’m feeling like it really is something I’m capable of taking on myself. I just need to stop being afraid of fucking it up and focus on it.

So if the front suspension gets built here at my house, that means the entire thing comes together here. There are benefits to doing it both places and, as far as I know, Alan would be fine with coming here and helping me out if I needed it. The principle benefit to Alan’s shop is that he already has all the tools needed to put it together. I do not. I could buy tools, such, and there are several that I’ll need before any long road trips, but that just means spending even more money before I can ride it.

At any rate, I keep arriving at points where I think all I have to do is wait, and then I find more work that needs to be done. I suppose that’s just how these sorts of things work.

It’s Been A While

It’s been a while since I started this blog.

It’s been a while since I went dark on this blog.

It’s been a while since I started tearing that damn 1976 BMW apart.

It’s been a while since I felt this good about the whole rebuild.

I’m not quite there yet. But the final vision is becoming clearer. Parts are coming in left and right. The last chunk of stuff is at the powder coaters and will be back in my hands next week. I’m a couple weeks away from the body paint being done. I have one last order to place with MAX BMW (the dealership I’ve been ordering all my new parts through).

Autumn and I have moved into a great new house and, like I feared so many months ago, I had to move the motorcycle in pieces. There’s a little corner of the dining room where my new parts boxes are collecting; an ever growing pile of white USPS shipping boxes.

The engine is still with Alan, where it will wait for the rest of the electrics to come in and the body pieces to be painted. I’ll be bringing the entire thing to him, where all of the separate bits will come together to form a whole, [hopefully] working motorcycle.

Today’s is just a short post. Just a little blip on the radar saying, “I’m still here, still working!”

I’ll fill in all the details later. For now it’s just nice to be back on WordPress. I have lots of reading to catch up on.

Time Spent Doing…

Pretty much nothing related to the bike.

I’ve been waiting for my tax return to come in, so I’ve left the BMW bits just sitting around my house collecting dust (and dog hair) since my last post. My return still has not arrived, but I’ve decided to stop waiting and start being proactive about things instead.

Over this past weekend I gathered up all of the bit going to get powder coated and cleaned and loaded them all into the back of my car. This morning I drove everything down to the coater’s to get an estimate.

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A Leap Forward

Okay, so, you know how I’ve been saying that I need to clean everything in order to prepare for the next stages, painting and tuning?

Good news! I don’t have to spend this month scrubbing all the paint from the frame and oil from the engine!

I stopped by Tallahassee Powder Coating and got some general info, including what sort of prep I needed to do to any pieces before bringing them in for coating. The short answer: nothing.

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What Your Employees Want From You

The recent issue of 850 Magazine featured an article by the title of Wilting Engagement, by Todd Patkin, in which he offers twelve simple actions which can help reinvigorate employees’ commitment to their employer and productivity. He addresses none of the requests that large swaths of hourly-wage employees have been making over the past few years (decades, even), such as minimum wage increases, acceptance of collective bargaining rights, or more stable retirement options.


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