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!