About

This blog is about my garage projects; mostly related to working on my small collection of  motorcycles.  In addition to the motorcycles, I’ve have restored an old lathe and a couple of bicycles. Hopefully, some what I written will be helpful to others working on similar projects.

I have a BSA, several Yamaha street bikes and couple of trials bikes. As a rule they are easy to work on and parts are readily available. The BSA is the aardvark in the group with it’s Whitworth nuts & bolts and engine design that’s at least a generation older.

vintage_garage

16 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi David,

    I also have an interest in Moto bikes (and SRs, SRXs and TY175s oddly enough). I am in the process of resto-modding an “A” (my very own since 1974) and a “B” model. I went to resto-modding because many good original parts are golden hens teeth, weren’t “all-that” to begin with, and it’s a flavor I like to use in all of my bikes.

    My question today is stylistic and I’d appreciate your opinion. My “B” model did not have a top fork plate, so I had my painter fab one out of aluminum plate. It came out fantastic and I am going top have it powder coated black to match the lower clamps and bars. For bar clamps, I am going to use Yamaha OEM ATV clamps, also coated black. They are similar to the originals but use 8mm bolts and are a little wider than the originals. Haven’t decided yet whether or not I will sand the sides flat or not. My main question regards the “A” model. I have the original top plate and clamps, but the plate is old (obviously) and scratched and the clamps have some casting flaws. I see 4 options. 1) Use them as they are. 2) Have the top plate chromed and the clamps powdered aluminum. 3) Have everything powder coated in an aluminum color 4) Have everything powder coated black and done up as a “B” or “C” model. (Options 1-3 would use chrome bars, option 4 would use black.)

    In this resto-mod theme, I will be replacing the cranks with modern 3 pc BMX style cranks and going with black rims and modern KTM style fasteners (hex head with torx centers). The “A” model presents the biggest dilemma having more “shiny bits” than the “B” and just how much to keep has me in a quandary. Cost of chrome (and style) is having me powder black the original solo seat hardware (badly pitted), which is okay because I was going to use a carbon seat post anyway.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your resto efforts and would appreciate any perspectives you could offer.

    Thanks in advance,
    Brian

    • Hi Brian, I’d like to see photos of your projects at some point. On the model “A” that I restored (the orange bike), the top clamp and handlebars were powder coated chrome. It doesn’t look like real chrome, more like shiny aluminum. For what it cost, I think it looks pretty good.

      • Thanks for the advice David. I am going to look into the aluminum powder coat you suggested. I have a build thread started on my facebook page. I sent you a friend request but also set that thread as public, so anyone can see it. Started initial assembly and ran into a problem with my aluminum top plate. Because it was made from .25″ sheet, it is too thick to allow the stem to come through, so I just took it to a machinist to have the bottom of the plate dished so that it will fit down over most of the ring nut. Pictures will follow…

  2. Hi,

    We are from Rust911, and I like your article on using our rust remover. We would like to use a couple of your photos in our website. Can you advise if this is ok?

    • Hi Kristen,
      You are welcome to use photos from my website. If possible, it would great if you could link back to the original article.
      Regards, David

  3. Hello,
    I am looking to measure the shock of your xs400seca car is missing it on my own and I will love Found not equivalent.
    Thanks to you

  4. Hey,

    love the seat for your XS400 project!
    Would you build another one for my XS400 and ship it to Germany =P?

    Best Regards

    Alex

    • Thanks. I hope to get the bike finished for riding season (this year). Fiberglass fabrication of one off items like a seat is surprisingly easy, but time consuming. Check out youtube or dotheton.

      • I’m not that good in this fiberglass things and don’t know someone, who can do this. That’s the problem. And your seat is perfect for this model of the XS400. Do you have a mail adress or anything else, where I could contact you?

        Best Regards

        Alex

  5. It was really weird the lady pulled out in front of me and i was looking at this yellow bar sticking up for a minute and i told my buddy i bet thats a moto-bike …Sure enough it was ..It wasnt in to bad of shape a little rust its missing the chain guard, rear fender . It had the piece that i asked you about but for some reason i cant find it.. I actually powder coated the frame but dont like the way it turned out is why i was asking about the paint..going to sand blast it then have a buddy spray it for me…My little nephew is ten and races motocross for the Kawasaki factory team .i think it would be cool for him to ride around Loretta Lynns on it even though its a yamaha..That might make someone mad ..lol…I really appreciate the info and will probably get that from you when i get to that stage…Thanks Again Rob ……when you have a few minutes google his name its Ryder Difrancesco…

  6. hi, im restoring a moto bike that i saw in the back of a traileron its way to the dump .i followed this lady for 5 miles until she pulled over at a gas station to ask for directions .when i asked about she said take it if you want so i grabbed it up ..its about 90 percent original …any way enough of that .what id like to ask you is where you got the yamaha yellow paint and i need one of the plugs like you made for the triple clamp..any advice you can give me would be appreciated
    thank you , rob

    • Hi Rob,

      Wow, I’m jealous. That was a real stroke of luck.

      If you have a spray gun and can spray automotive paint, I used BASF single stage Limco SY105.50. I like BASF paint because my dealer has color chips like for house paint. I can take a part in and then take two books of yellow chips outside to find the best match. Don’t know of any other automotive paint manufacturer that does this. The others organize their paint colors by car manufacturer and year. Be sure to use white primer, yellow doesn’t cover very well.

      Originally, I used plastic end cap from the hardware store. I think a 3/4″ was the right size. It looked pretty good. If you really want a replica OEM plug, I’d be willing to make one for you for $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping.

  7. David,

    Any tips for restoring a moto-bike seat? Did you make the cover or can you recommend someone that can make the seat covers.

    I am challenged in that my bike is a Japanese MB3 model and has heat stamped pleats and a Yamaha logo silk screened on the back.

    Chuck

    • Hi Chuck,

      My wife made the covers for me. They’re pretty easy to make, just a flat piece of vinyl with a drawstring pleat at the bottom. We got the vinyl at JoAnn Fabrics. An auto or motorcycle upholstery guy should be able to make one for you if you don’t have a family member that sews.

      I’m in the process of restoring a model “A’ moto-bike. It has a single seat with “MOTO-BIKE” silk screened on the back. Again, the cover is pretty easy to make. To get printing on the vinyl, I ordered a paint mask decal and am planning to use it with white spray can vinyl dye. I should know how well this works in a day or so. If successful, I’ll document how to get the mask made when I write it up.

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