Wheels and Suspension
This week I've been working on the wheels and suspension, and like everything else there has been a lot to learn.
WHEELS: I've removed the old tires, stripped the rims, powder coated, mounted new tires, replaced the press-in valves and placed the bearings "tap tap tap it in". It's been the first element that's been assembled and completely finished, put aside and out of my mind! I would have loved to put some big knobby tires on the bike but didn't want to spend my money, I ended up going with some cheaper Shinkos that I think will fit the style of the bike nicely.
FORKS: The front suspension has been a nightmare for me. It's very complex and has required a lot of research and reading for me to understand how they work. I've had to make some modifications which I'm not particularly good at yet and the lack of a seal driver has wasted a bunch of time. The forks have been disassembled, cleaned, stripped and painted. I've replaced the seals and purchased new progressive suspension (which required spacer trimming) as well as created my own custom mixture for the fork oil. Threw these back together, slapped on some new fork boots and assembled them into the frame and triple trees.
Rear Suspension: I replaced the squishy stock suspension with a 07 GSXR 1000 suspension I bought on eBay for $30 bucks. I cleaned it and painted elements of it black to help it blend into the frame. The new spring is bigger and required some extra washers to ensure it wouldn't hit the stock dogbones. I haven't been able to test it out yet but it seems much more customizable (sag, rebound and compression) than the stock variety and I'm looking into how to customize the settings for my height and weight.
Looking ahead I feel like most of the hard parts are over, the difficult pieces have been stripped and painted and some of the more mechanically intensive pieces are done (wiring aside). I haven't had many opportunities to take a step back from my work and appreciate the process or the journey. But now I get to see what used to be piles of metal and rubber slowly transforming into a motorcycle and it's exciting. This is getting fun.