Friday, 14 March 2014

Putting The Ninja Back Together

We had our first above zero day this week and I giddily began rebuilding the Ninja thinking that I'd have a chance to take it out soon.  It's been snowing all day today and all hope it lost, but when the sun was out I could finally get to the paint touch ups needed.  The insulated garage isn't ideal for painting if the outside temperature is under minus ten Celsius which it has been for most of the winter.

On my first day of spring I popped open the garage door and touched up the headlight cover and fuel tank, both of which had imperfections in my initial paint application.  Now that they're clean and perfect, I can rebuild the front end.

With the temperature up the paint cures on the body panels very smoothly.  It needs to be well above 10° Celsius for the paint not to bead and bubble on the surface.  The front fairing and fuel tank lay in the warm March sunlight and cured perfectly - it was about 20°C.  The Rustoleum paint on the right covers fantastically well.   If you're looking for paint that will cover smoothly on plastic and metal, this is the stuff.

I'm going to two tone the air intakes on the fairings following a design that more current Ninjas use.  Unfortunately I didn't heed my own advice and I rushed in there yesterday morning when it was still too cold and the paint beaded.  Today I'm going to be sanding it down so I can get a smooth coat on in the heat.

It was nice to have the garage open and to be finishing up the winter repairs, maintenance and body touch ups.  It's supposed to be a warm (by warm I mean above zero) day again today.  With the insulated shop and the sun shining in I should be able to finish up the paint and begin to rebuilt the frame on the bike.

While casting about for a fairingless streetfighter option for the bike I came across some cheap options for replacing fairings.  I'd still like to try and source some of the bodywork from the fairingless ER6N, but it wasn't available in Canada in 2007 and I'd have to go to Europe to find the pieces.  It looks like the fairingless bike has small plastic covers over the coolant tank and that's about it.