10-20-2015: Bon Jovi Fringe, Gloss Black-Burnt Orange, & Blowing Seals

Hi Jamie,

I hope you’re hangin’ in there like a hair in a biscuit!

I got a stock seat and handlebars put on it as you requested. They look good together. I also picked up a set of fringed fringeleather handlebar covers. I put those on so you could see them in the picture. If you don’t like em’ they are as easy to remove as untying a shoe! I have them on two of my bikes. It gives them an old school appeal. I also like glancing at that fringe flying in the wind when your running down the road. It’s like looking at true freedom in motion. Nothing holding it down or constraining it, just the fluid motion of leather strips riding on the wind. Corny I know but that’s why I love riding a motorcycle. Just me, the bike and the wind…well unless Rhonda is riding back saddle.

Hey I also realized I actually have an old 70’s style round tube back rest/sissy bar that will fit your bike. It is actually in excellent condition and even has all the brackets to mount it to the bike. The back pad is nice too. I put it up in the garage to keep it from getting dusty or messed up and almost seatforgot I had it! If you want to go for an old 70’s stock look that would be the icing on the cake. Not to mention…trying to be considerate of Tammy…you won’t have to buy that T-shirt which has written on the back “If You Can Read This the Bitch Fell Off”! For some reason I can picture Kathy laughing and calling me an asshole. 🙂 She was quite the character. We had a love-hate relationship. We both loved liquor and we both hated being without it! So, I’ll put that back rest on the bike before I tear it down so you can see how it looks and if you like it we’ll add it when we build it back up. I can’t think of anything I would be putting it on so there ya have it. They are also great for tying your travel bag to if you are gonna take a road trip.

I am almost finished with the “Miami” bike. I put the decals on it and put a clear coat the tank tonight. Once it cures I need to reassemble the fill cap and petcock to it. Then I’ll bolt it back on and fill it with fuel and it’s ready for the road. I have license and insurance on it already. Being it’s 35 years old, it doesn’t require state inspection! Even if it did, it would pass. I’ve put my booger hooks on every single nut and bolt that holds the old sucker together. It had a small coolant leak that was driving me crazy but I finally found it. The leak was at the base of the water pump, which is located underneath the carburetors. Every time I tried to seal it and failed, I had to remove the battery, unbolt the air box and remove the carbs and throttle cables. Lots of fun there…if you like juggling porcupines… but it appears I have it sealed now. I had it running for about a half hour last night and saw no evidence of any coolant seeping. Sometimes it’s those simple things that make me feel as though I occasionally suffer a severe case of cranial rectal inversion. Is that why they say it’s the simple things that make life worth living? I hope so because those particular situations sure as hell rarely leave one with a sense of accomplishment. It’s more along the lines of “finally, you sorry rat bastard!”  But perhaps I go too far.

As soon as I get the tank back on it and move it out of the “work area” I will begin tearing down your bike. I am looking forward to doing that. I plan to do the engine work before I drop it down out of the frame. I enjoy the wrench work a helluva lot more than paint and body work. I know it needs the valves adjusted and I plan to pull the large engine covers off both the front and the rear of the engine. I will of course send pictures. These things were engineered by masters of design. It will be so much easier to do while it’s hanging from the main frame as opposed to sitting on blocks. I want to see what the valve train chains look like as well as the clutch packs. I think that would be a good idea considering it has 39,000 miles on it, which for a Honda is nothing, but it’s always a good idea to see what needs to be tightened or replaced, if you want it to go to 139,000 miles 🙂 I found a complete gasket set for it at a super price so I am also considering pulling the cylinder heads but before I go to that extent, I’m going to run my bore scope into the cylinder heads to look at the pistons. The valves can actually be easily seen by removing the carburetors and I can run the scope through the same ports. If it looks good and only needs the valves shimmed…well, you know the old saying…”if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Most of these old Hondas and especially these sideways V twins only need adjustments to keep them purring. The reason I’m doing the mechanicals first is so we don’t have to do it after the paint work and mess all that up.

I’ve decided to work both your bike and my Nighthawk at the same time. I will be doing just the mechanical work on paintthem. I have decided to “farm out” the paint work. If black is agreeable to you for the frame and rear swing arm, I am going to have them powder coated. There is a local shop that will media blast and powder coat for a very good price. Powder coating is awesome. Hard as diamond and very shiny. Let me know what you think about that. I was also going to ask how you felt about having the engine gloss black with burnt orange valve covers and one of two other accents on the engine, like the water pipe that runs along the side. I am including a picture of two paint caps for color reference.

So I thought I’d tell an old gear head joke.

There was this penguin who had a nice old Cadillac. He loved the car. One day he headed toward town and the old Caddy was makin a weird noise. The penguin decided to go directly to his mechanic and get it looked at. He gets to the garage and the mechanic says he’ll take a look but it’ll be about an hour. The penguin says, “No problem I’ll just stroll around town for a little while”. As he’s waddling down the sidewalk he sees an ice cream parlor. He says to himself, ” Man, I haven’t had ice cream in years!” He goes inside and looks at all the flavors and realized how much he loves vanilla ice cream. He gets a huge bowl of it, sticks his little beak in it and wolfs it all down. He returns to the garage an hour later to see his mechanic. The penguin says “So, what’s goin on?” His mechanic says “Well, it looks like you blew a seal!” The penguin replies “Nope, just had a bowl of ice cream.”

Lame I know 🙂

Talk to you soon, bro!

All my best

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