So I picked up the tank from Ron at North Hill Cycles today. It is quite amazing; the red we picked is perfect for Natasha. It has that classic deep red hue to it. I love that it has the classic knee scallops that are so part of the cafe racer look, but it's slightly angular lines make it a little modern. And then Ron took my original design and made it better: he enlarged the squares and did a nice edit around the tank opening. Plus he drew a thin grey pinstripe around the whole design which just sets it off nicely.
Putting it on Natasha completely changed my opinion of the bike. I have to be honest and say that I think something is off with the way things are looking right now. I can't pinpoint what is wrong, but something is amiss. Maybe I've just been used to the bike a certain way for so long, and now with this huge splash of red in front of me my perspective is skewed slightly. It's a little hard to get a proper read on the bike in such a confined space and raised off the ground. I have to put these negative thoughts aside until everything is finished and I'll look at the bike as a whole. What can I say? I know I fight being a perfectionist, but I have to trust my instincts; they are what make my work exceptional. It's just a question of not letting them rule me in a negatively obsessive and overtly critical way.
It was really nice to be able to fit the loom finally. I bought some tie-wraps that lie flat, instead of the more usual ones that have a protruding square head, to replace the OEM wire straps that held everything together previously. The tank covers much more of the frame than I remembered so I didn't have to worry about being super tidy, but everything is in it's place now and out of the way.
With the wiring in place I could install the new Mukini carbs and air-pods, first of course replacing the cam chain tensioner that I took off to respray black some time ago. I also switched out the pink 1/4" gas tubing that comes as standard with the carbs with some longer colorless/transparent tubing and routed them so that any gas excess from the carbs runs past the engine and away from anything nice.
Even though I have kept track of the hours on Natasha, there are probably at least the same again that goes into thinking, researching, and exploring her design and construction. Late the previous night I started thinking about the RFID ignition switch I have built, and it occurred to me I didn't really know what the little tags look like. So I broke into a one of the keys today and found surprisingly a thin circle of PCB type plastic with a circular wrap of flat wire imbedded inside. What I am thinking of doing is taking this piece and stitching it into a little pocket on the back of my motorcycle gloves. Wouldn't that be cool to be totally keyless?
I picked up some Valspar Paint for Plastic spray paint to give the kill switch a fresh coat of red. It went on a little thicker than I would have wanted, so we'll see how it sets when dry. Technically the OEM color of the kill switch was orange, but red fits with the whole scheme of the bike.
(Note: the post processing I use on the blog photos has a little desaturation in it, so the red you see isn't quite the red you would see.)
Current hours on build: 147.0