After starting on my tank it quickly occurred to me I could just spray the tank but I’m balls deep at this point. If it goes right, I want to do everything all at once, not the tank, then the side covers, cowl etc…. painting is messy and it’ seems far easier to do as many coats at the same time.

So I went on our favourite auction site and picked up a few extras, namely 2 side covers and  front fender (the latter will be covered in another post). I also took the original cowl back to plastic.

So for the side covers I got a decent set for £50 not much to say, they were almost perfect. Now I could have stripped these back to plastic but there was no point. the paint was almost flawless and the only imperfections (once stickers removed) were a few minor chips on the sides.

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I wanted to do something slightly different with my side covers. I’m sure many of you will have seen various people drill or cut the cover, or the new bonnies with holes. I wanted to do the same but make it slightly different.

So once the side arrived I cleaned them up and removed the stickers. I then gave them a coat of primer (along with a  few other parts).

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I had a design in mind but really had no idea how to apply it. I tried a few things – drawing it on, measuring it, taping it but nothing worked – the sides are not identical so it was more guess work to replicate the design on both sides as to a science. However I figured a clean white surface would be easiest to work with.

After a number of failed attempts I went on to taping my design on – then tempting the design using grey primer – I could have tried to cut out the tape, however it would come off before I could cut it.

To get the templates on I started with the parts off the bike, then moved them onto the bike and adjusted.

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As you will see the outlines of my design are clear and I have something I could work with.

The next part was really hard. I had to cut the holes out using a Dremel – this was surprisingly  noisy, very time consuming and I screwed it up a few times. Even the slightest mistake meant filling and re-sanding….

After the outlines were done, the next step was to file some round edges. Then use 120grit paper, then onto 240 etc. All in it took me hours to get a decent smooth surface on the inside that I was happy with. Even then it’s not perfect but it’s as good as I could do without a CNC router or something similar…

I went on to prime these parts, sanding between finishes.

IMG_5597 (1).jpgNot bad… Whilst the holes might not all look like they are in the correct places its worth mentioning the side covers are not diametrical or even the same size.

Now for a quick shot with some 30 stainless steel mesh behind (cut with a dremel – this mesh burned through carbon dremel cutting disks, I should have used the angle grinder…) When fitted I will be doubling up the mesh.

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