Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back in Black...

This will be a brief post, not much new to report as I have spent the long weekend relaxing.  Most of it anyway, I plan on spending tomorrow in the garage! 

I have to give the powder coating shop I use credit.  When I dropped my parts off the other day, I was concerned about the fact that I couldn't completely strip them down.  I attacked the frame, swing arm and center stand with sandblasting, stripper, scraper, wire brush, wire brush attachment and still wasn't 100% clean.   Somehow,  we still ended up with this!

This is hands down the best work these guys have done for me in the last 2 years.   The next lot will be sent in early this week, a list consisting of the headlight, fork ears and taillight.  The next steps involve doing some home zinc plating (more on that later) and reassembling the frame and ancillaries.  Then we are looking at a fork rebuild and cleaning up the hubs and wheels.  I also plan on tackling the engine this week.

I am hoping that some of my parts suppliers get back to me with some quotes, so I can order what I need.  

Changing (ahem) Gears for a moment, I recently heard from a fellow who purchased an earlier member of my stable.  I have bought and sold many bikes over the years, some to fix up and others well, just because. 

I will confess I feel sadness when I see an old bike in a field or in a shed abandoned.  I want to find the inner jewel, give it purpose again, re-purpose it....anything but leave it to rust and neglect.  One day I will rundown the list of beasts I have dragged home, I have started a mental compilation and the list is rather long to say the least!

This '74Kawasaki KE175 was one of the 'rescue' bikes.  It was passed around a good friend's neighborhood, seemingly stopping for a while in each backyard.  Usually someone's wife would make a fuss, then off it would get pushed to a new home a couple doors away.   When my friend got it, he took it with him to the country, didn't want it and of course, sold it to me.  I thought it had great potential as a street tracker, more than anything I really just didn't want it to go to waste.

The bike sat in my garage for a while and I had no direct plans to sell it.  While surfing the classifieds I found someone looking for one to restore as it was his first foray into cycling.  We emailed back and forth for a while and eventually he came to collect her.  Above you see a rather sad state of affairs.  

Below, as she is today;

With Sam's permission, I share these shots with you.  I want to commend him for doing such a fantastic job at giving this old girl the chance she deserved!  I especially love the tank, great colour and wonderful period decals.  It is always delightful to see restorations come to fruition and enjoyed as originally intended.  

Sam, I wish you and the Kawi many happy years together!  You deserve it....

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