Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not Much of an Update

Other that deciding on the basic rebuild on the last post, and discovering that the paint job on the plastic side panels is exceedingly tough, not much has been done.

Yes, the plastic parts. I purchased a 320 grit wet/dry sanding sponge to experiment with the panel paint. The thought was to remove the paint, repair the plastic and start the carbon fiber wrapping process.

Not that easy. After 30 minutes of scrubbing, the sanding sponge did almost nothing to the paint. So, a fellow at work suggested I simply repair the plastic, scrub the paint with a coarse sanding medium, not removing it, just roughing it up, and then start laying down my black, clear, carbon fiber, clear, clear, etc...

The only concern I have with that, is that the plastic panels will end up being slightly larger than stock and may not fit. Well, considering the condition of Vixen right now, that may be the least of my concerns.

I did manage to get some tar off the radiator and rear fender. At the recommendation of a fellow I know at AutoZone, I tried Rust-Oleum Wax & Tar Remover. While it doesn't just turn the tar to jelly, the chemicals do loosen the tar enough to scrub it off with a brush.

Also, I will soon have a parts inventory and refurbish list completed. It is a form of spreadsheet; one for each parts fiche page. It will help me keep track of what state all the parts are in. When it is done, it will be available here for your downloading pleasure.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Reconstruction Begins...

Unfortunately, even after searching, not only could I not find a decent picture of a VX's plastic panels on-line, but I could not locate my camera! The lack of photos on the 'net does not surprise me. Considering the fact that I just finished a move, it is no wonder I can't find my camera.

But, it is time. The plans are roughly set and I am going to get started. Here are the plans:
  1. Color Scheme: Frame, radiator guard and swing arm will be fire engine red. Engine will remain aluminum. Exhaust will be matte black, eventually being ceramic coated. Most chrome will be black unless appropriate. Plastic parts will be cleaned, stripped, painted black and coated with carbon fiber composite; finished off with plenty of clear coat. Tank will be the same as plastic pieces; black, wrapped in carbon fiber and clear coated. Honestly, I have not decided if the wheels should be painted or not.
  2. Basic Concept: Most of the mechanics will remain the same as necessary. The goal bike will be a sport tourer style where comfort and functionality will be paramount. This bike should ride well on asphalt and gravel.
  3. Lighting: Incandescent turning signals will be replaced with high intensity LED. The typical single VX800 headlight will be replaced with two HID lights.
  4. Fairing & Additional Plastics: The dual headlight mount will likely be custom. The headlight cowl and small sport-like fairing will be make similarly to the method, builders of the KR2 use. A positive mold will be made of foam and fitted to the bike. Then it will be built up with carbon fiber and epoxy. The black color scheme will remain.
  5. Engine: If possible another VX engine can be merged with mine. If that is not possible, an Intruder 800cc engine will be used.
  6. Saddle: Unless a saddle in great condition can be located, a Corbin will fit the bill nicely. Corbin's black saddle suits the basic color scheme. Not sure about the purple piping though...
So, first things first. Now that my move is complete, I will start cleaning and cataloging the parts I have, and cleaning and working on the plastics.

Oh, what a wonderfully strange path this is going to be!