Tuesday, November 20, 2007


While I was at it in the garage and paint booth, I was also working on finishing up another example of one of my hobbies -- model building. I guess I can't help myself, I have to be building or fabricating something all the time. This is a 1:9 model of the Cagiva V594. It was a 2-smoke GP bike from the mid-1990s. Chandler and Koscinski both raced for the team, as well as Juan Garriga, I think. This was the last model year machine that they competed, with previous versions having carbon-fibre frames, wheels, bodywork, and etc. Nearly bankrupted the company, but the team actually won races. Generally known as the pretties of the GP bikes, I as well think it is pretty sexy. I've built 2 Tamiya kits previously -- a Bimota and an 888 Ducati, and this Revell kit was neat in that it is a much larger scale. However, the Tamiya ones are better, IMHO, even with the difficulty of building in a smaller scale. Still this is, from what I know, the one and only kit ever made for the Cagiva 500.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Here are the pictures

Had some time this weeked to put things back together. For some reason the resolution on the camera is still not that great, but you get the idea. Still more details to finish -- need to replace the front turn signals (one is broken), and paint the exhaust hanger I built. New rotors are en route, and proper footpegs and a reverse shift lever is actually coming from South Africa.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Painting Progress

I've completed the finish coat on the panels and will post some pics shortly. A day ago, I saw the "scoop" photos of the new 848, and the white of that bike looks to be almost identical to what I've applied on my machine. That explains the Italian guys hanging around the garage for the last few weeks, and the feta cheese crumbs I saw in the paint booth -- they copied me! The end result was as follows: after prep,
  • 3 light coats of autoair primer/sealer
  • 4 coats of autoair coarse metallic white
  • 3 coats of autoair transparent base
  • 2 coats of clear (wet sand in-between)
  • apply decals
  • 2 more coats of clear (wet sand in-between)

Things have been curing for a few days, and I've started to assemble the tank hardware and will move to the taillights and seat parts soon. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. Considering the shape of the tail when I started, the end result is pretty decent.

Sent a portion of the exhaust pipe off to CycleBoyz in Brandon. Came back in great shape -- the Y-exit was turned into a single exit, with a nice taper to keep the gasses flowing smoothly, and the rivet holes for the last guy's exhaust guard were filled in. Now my aftermarket exhaust is even more custom than before, with a 2-into 1 design, the pipe being mounted on the RHS of the bike. I also need some sort of heat protection for my heel, and I'm flipping between a metal guard connected to the recently returned piece, or wrapping it in heat wrap. Not sure yet what to do. Targa actually makes a decent looking piece in alloy, anodized in a bunch of colors including silver.

My desire for decent brakes continues. I've got the master cylinder sorted, the actual calipers in place, but the rotors I got, it turns out, are cheap pieces of garbage. As you may have seen by the photos, I picked up a set of the "swiss cheese" style ones. No float whatsoever, steel carriers, and a poor alloy for the braking surface. Sold on base model Ducs. There is zero runout from what I can see with the naked eye, but moving the bike around the garage results in such severe binding that the machine is actually quite difficult to push. I did have a set of fully floating rotors from a guy in PQ, but it was nearly at the thickness minimum, and in my opinion, the float had turned to a severe case of slop! They made me quite nervous, as there seemed to be too much movement side-to-side as well as fore and aft. I returned them for a full refund.

Hindsight being 20/20 I should have kept the paired set of EBC Pro-lights I bought from Mark Hatten in 2004. Racing, going to a single caliper, etc. etc. led to the position I'm in now. So: I finally got a set of floating snowflake rotors off of eBay for a great price: $150. I'll keep the others for a potential set of rain wheels and tires in case I do trackdays or race -- It'd suck to drive to Calaboogie, Edmonton, or to the states and have to tiptoe around on the Michelin DOT race tires I have if it starts to rain...

No word on the CF chin fairing, shop has a huge website but is closed this week for renos and X-mas prep, according to the 1-800 number. Also begin to paint a $25.00 Bell open face helmet for around-town jaunts. Flames with a waving Italian flag furling underneath. Copied from a US-themed DVD I bought on ebay. Going to use Auto-air rather than House of Kolor paints. Will post the pics of the progress of that. Currently primered, flames masked, waiting for the airbrush to arrive -- a nice Iwata. Kate told me awhile ago, that even though I was sans racebike, it was "nice" that I found other things to do, like the helmet and the Cagiva GP model I'm playing with.

I'm also going to post some pics of the exhaust hanger I built. Rather than a hunk of alloy, I kept the trellis theme going and used some spare 4130 I had lying around. 3/4" and 5/8" tubing. Test-fitted it last night and it works, need to do some stylistic grinding an cutting for clearance purposes, then the rattlecan primer and hammertone paint finish for completion. After about 2 months without the torch in hand, and not much welding at all over the summer, the beads I made still look OK. I still struggle with sharp angle (less than 45 degree bends) welds -- the the inside of a V-shaped piece. Tough to get even a 00 tip in there, and to keep both tubes cherry to get some pooling. I guess that's where a tig comes in handy.