Made Easy

We thought about letting Bruce loose with a spray gun.Then we thought again.Taking the projeot bike to a professional painter seemed a far more sensible thing to do.

Words & photos: Bruce Wilson

I've got an idea. Who wants to go endurance racing with our project bike? True, we'd get obliterated on the straights and corners would probably present something of a challenge, but no one would be able to touch us in the workshop department. To throw in a cliché; this bike's been stripped and rebuilt more times than I've had hot dinners. And the fact my parent's have never owned a cooker is beside the point.

So that's what I've spent my Christmas holiday doing, ripping the old girl apart yet again. But there's been reason behind my madness - Ihis Lime; it's nul jusl a simple case of Z550 OCD. No, it's been for the benefit of the next stage in the project. The stage where we collect all the necessary parts and go in search of a man with a gun. A spray gun. And a spray booth and some paint, to transform the bike we've all worked hard to shape over the past year.

The man with a gun was Clive White from Rapier Paintwork in Hull. Some of you will know Clive from seeing examples of his work in CMM, or chances are you've seen bikes he's restored and O

Clive's going to spray the wheels black before detailing the spokes with a silver finish

Clive's going to spray the wheels black before detailing the spokes with a silver finish engine a bit more attention too. Firstly with a special degreaser to clear all the crud off, then etching that too.

While the engine's set to be black, Clive's keen to make a feature out of the cylinder head fins by giving them a silver brush finish. It's guaranteed to Icok great along with the rest of the bike. I've only got a couple of weeks to wait but I'm already counting down the days for my return trip to Hull to pick everything up. ©

on the minute flakes, the prisms get almost four times bigger. The swingarm and wheels are also going to get sprayed along with the tank, which s going to have a chequered design sprayed on. But it's the AJS 7R nose fairing I'm most excited about. That's the latest addition to the bike, which I bought for a bargain £45 from Bardney Racing, near Lincoln. Just like you, I won't even Know what the front panel's going to look like until after it's sprayed. Clive's taken the reins completely with the design and I can't wait to see what he's going to do with it. But before any painting of anything can take place, Clive's first challenge is to prep the bike properly. And there's a lot left to do. I was convinced I'd taken the bike to him in a ready prepared state, but after a quick look over every single panel, I was informed otherwise. Even the frame, which I'd rubbec down recently with Scotchbrite to remove surface rust, was in need of further attention. Just like the tank and the ether metal bits. Clive uses an etching solution which literally removes the rust on application. It's got a mild acid in it which makes light work of corrosion. He also wanted to give the sprayed at many of the big shows, just like I did at Stafford this year. To cut to the chase, the man's amazing at what he does. You only need to check out his website (www.rapierpaintwork.co.uk) and you'll see what I mean. Last month I said only the best would do for our project and that's a moral Clive v/orks by too.

Descending on his spacious workshops with a car full of, well, bike, he wasted no time in weighing up the challenge and throwing in a few suggestions of what we could do with the bike's paintwork. Naturally, I had a few ideas of my own, but I chose to keep them to myselt after he'd thrown In things I never even knew were possible. I guess some people are simply creative geniuses and some aren't. Judged against Clive, I'm not... but that's beside the point.

Clive liked the idea of spraying the bike with an AJS 7R café racer theme, but he warted to give the bike a modern twist. One idea of Clive's I 'eally liked was his suggestion to add gold flake to the frame's black paint. He said that when light shines

During and after etching - Clive's solution gets rid of all surface rust, leaving the steel ready to be primed and sprayed

The angular panels on the tank lend their hand to a chequered design

loo emm o February 2011

Brake calipers for most makes and models refurbished and restored. Blasting

Zinc plating / Olive plating

Engine Rebuilding

Fork Rebuilding

Replica parts in Stainless Steel

All restoration work undertaken

See our website for full details

Tel: 07800 564 047 www.rd-bitz.com

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