Archive for October, 2016


Later Just Happened: The Bike Is Painted

Last time ’round I said that I would stick to tradition and ride bike Number 5 for a while and paint it later.  Well, after a good solid shakedown period riding my latest creation to work, a couple of things happened.   First, it didn’t kill me, which is always Job #1.   Second, in addition to not killing me, it also didn’t fall apart, act weird, explode, catch fire, or bother the wildlife.

What it did do was start to rust which, being steel, you could expect.  You’d think that this would be a bad thing, but I’m quickly finding out that not all rust is equal, and that one person’s “rust ” can be another person’s “patina” in the right setting.

“Patina” is sort of the latest deal among hot rodders and car guys.  You can’t open an issue of Hot Rod Deluxe (cool magazine) or whatever without seeing some  vintage Ford roadster or ’60s Chevy Gasser with what looks like very old paint or, a lot of times, no paint at all.  And it goes beyond merely preserving an old, distressed paint job; there are folks who actually work to make a new paint job look like it has been baking in the sun for 60 years.  Not surprisingly, given this trend, there are products out there that you can use to, in essence, preserve a shitty old paint job and, yes, I had more than one person tell me that the “patina” that had popped up on my bike was really cool looking and I should find a way to keep it.

However, to conclude this part of the discussion in hot-roddding terms, I’m not into the “rat rod” look.  I like my rides “sanitary.”  As in sharp looking.  Think early ’60s custom or Indy racer.

Capturing that vibe, of course, required another visit to my friends at Roth Metalflake, purveyors of the bitchen-est custom paint on the planet. What makes Roth perfect for my home-brewed bikes is that (1) it is very high quality automotive paint, (2) the colors are killer, and (3) you can get it in a rattle can.  Yes, rattle cans.  I’ve got the compressor and spray guns and all the impedimenta necessary for painting cars, but the older that I get the more that I hate cleaning up.  With rattle cans you can just spray and toss.  Perfect.

Anyway, the colors that I picked were from a cool  (but sadly tragic) Indy-car from 1964: Eddie Sachs’ “American Red Ball Special” Halibrand Shrike.  Metalflake gold, white panels, red trim.  My bike has more gold than Eddie’s car, but the colors are pretty much off of the same palette.

Eddie and Dave MacDonald Died In A Lap 2 Crash

Eddie Sachs, Indy 1964

The color selection from Roth was “Custard Pie” flake over a white base.  I made up a set of decals – including the young lady – and then clear coated the whole shootin’ match with a two-part catalyzed clear.  I also picked out the “windows” on the lugs (fork legs, head lugs, etc.) with Roth pin-striping paint.

Take a look:

She is a


Mr. Bad Example

High -Flange Goodness

Overall, I am happy with the way that it turned out.   The paint really “pops” in the sun.  There are one or two spots where the clear got a little hazy, but I was able to buff most of that out.  It’s almost a shame to ride it to work and place it at the mercy of the Bike Rack Neanderthals who are a little hard on the paintwork when parking or retrieving their rides.


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