Are you sitting comfortably?

I ordered a new seat cover off of eBay a couple of weeks ago, but I wasn’t really sure about the stitching when it arrived. After contacting the seller, he sent me another cover that was much better. The vinyl was also a better quality which was a bonus.

Being the first seat I’ve ever recovered, it came out looking quite good!

RD350 N1 seat

RD350 N1 seat

RD350 N1 old seat cover

RD350 N1 old seat cover

More cleaning

OK, so my last post may have had an effect on the weather! It’s got cooler, so not a good day today to spray paint, so, I switched to soda blasting instead.

I’ve blasted most of the parts already, but I still have a few things like the carbs, power valves, a barrel etc. left to clean up prior to fitting or painting.

A dirty RD350 Power Valve

Before

The power valves were in a bit of a state, gummed up with oil and carbon. I cleaned most of the oily crud off with carb cleaner, which just left me with the carbon, an easy job for the Soda blaster, they came up like new!

After

After

Next up for a bit of the same treatment were the carbs. As they are in quite a mess, I thought it wise to clean the outside prior to dismantling them (obvious really). A squirt of carb cleaner and a stiff brush got most of the loose crud off, but again, the Soda blaster did a better job of cleaning the engrained crap off. Next step for the carbs will

Before

Before

be to strip them down, clean them out and probably fit a new kit of parts depending on what they are like when I open them up.

After

After

A job for next week, will probably be to recover the seat. I ordered a new red seat cover off of eBay which should arrive next week hopefully. The old seat cover is split and dried out so there is not a lot I can do other than recover it. I’ve never recovered a seat before but I watched a video by one of my favorite video bloggers “moonfleet41″ or Delboy’s Garage as he calls his channel on YouTube and he made it look quite easy, we’ll see! If you haven’t watched any of this guys videos, I urge you to take a look at his YouTube channel, the chap is a very knowledgeable bike mechanic and explains stuff very well.

The warmer weather is on the way :-)

Although I think I may have taken on a bit too much for my first ever restoration, I’m still chipping away at it. Now the warmer weather is on the way, I’ve started again on the rebuild.

I bailed out of sanding all of the parts and spent some money on getting them media blasted by a local firm. I got prices for powder coating the various frame parts, but this worked out way too expensive, so I’m painting everything with PJ1 rattle cans.

RD350 Parts Tree

RD350 Parts Tree

Prior to applying the black, I’ve made sure that the parts have been given a couple of coats of primer to hopefully offer more protection from the elements. I want to make sure the paint looks good, but I also don’t want to have to paint everything again in a couple of years.

The “new” PJ1 paint (the old formula was banned I believe) gives a very nice finish but it’s quite easy to chip, I just hope it is resistant to petrochemicals once I’ve cooked it at 150oC for 30 minutes.

Can’t wait to start bolting bits back onto the frame…

Work is still progressing

I have actually been working on the RD just haven’t found the time to post anything up. I’ve just found an app for my phone that will let me post on the go, so I’m giving it a try.

I’ve sent my frame and swingarm off to be powdercoated and I’ve been reconditioning various bits and pieces.

I’ve been working on the fork lowers today. They are currently silver but should be satin black.

image

I also ran into a bit of a problem with my lefthand handlebar, it’s too rotten to use. It’s cracked. If anyone has one for sale, please give me a shout. I think the F1 and F2 are the same.

image

image

Get my arse into gear

It’s been difficult to get myself motivated on the bike front, crap weather, damp shed, cashflow problem… but I kicked myself in the arse this weekend and carried on stripping stuff down.

I got a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that’s required so I printed off the exploded view of the bike and broke it down into thirds, just to give myself some realistic targets.

Rusty RD350 fork stanchions

Rusty RD350 fork stanchions

I spent the weekend on the front third, stripping the forks and seeing what I had. The original fork stanchions were knackered so I managed to buy a decent secondhand pair of forks off of eBay. The replacement forks are off an F2 but they will fit the N1, I’ll get the fork lowers powder coated black (when I get the frame done) because they are silver at the moment.

RD350 F2 Forks

RD350 F2 Forks

They need new bushes and seals but it should work out cheaper than new stanchions for my original forks.

The brake calipers are in really bad shape, they need new seals and a paint job. I had a look around for repair kits and they run at about £20 a side. Whilst pricing these up, I did come across a company on eBay that sell refurbished calipers for £119. I must admit, it looks quite a good deal when I think how much work I’d have to put into them, especially if the pistons (£23 a side) are shot as well.

RD350 Wheels

RD350 Wheels

The original wheels and tyres are knackered, but I did get my hands on a good pair of wheels with tyres a few months back. The brake discs are also good on the wheels and the rear wheel has new cush drive rubbers so I think I saved myself a few quid there.

Cush drive

Cush drive

Once the bike is finished, I’ll reburb the original wheels and either swap them over or sell them on.

Moving further up the forks, I get to the headlight. Now, the bike had a F2 headlight fitted, so I had to track down a N1 bracket which I got off eBay for a decent price, I just need to find a N1 headlight assembly now, I think these are available new, but I’d settle for a decent used item.

Next on the refurb list is the yoke, front brake master cylinder, the clipons, controls and brake line splitter. Time to get out the soda blaster and paint cans!