I'm due to go home to the island in a couple of days, so there won't be any progress on Natasha for the next week or so. But here is quick run down of the last week's activities:
I visited with Glen at Prism Powder Coating Services in Crescent, PA. He looked at Natasha's frame and recommended I go back and do some more finish work to it. Funny really, as I was driving up there I was thinking the same thing: it was just not quite good enough. We looked at what sort of finish I can expect and picked out a flat/satin powder coat that will match the paint work I have already done on the wheels. The turn around time for the frame and swing arm will be about two weeks. So with probably a few more days work on the frame when I get back, it's going to be mid to late August before final assembly of Natasha takes place.
I resprayed the front wheel using Professional Grade Rustoleum (Flat Black) Enamel, instead of the semi-gloss that I used previously on the rear wheel, and I have to say I prefer it better. (There is another eight hours of cleaning and polishing to get the front wheel to the painting stage. It's a significant amount of time but spread over five nights work.) I also sprayed the rear brake housing; even after investing a few hours of cleaning and polishing, I just could not get the score marks out of the deepest crevasses. I reached a point when I could have worked at it for another ten hours and still not be satisfied; so I sprayed it instead. And am happy I did. With the rear wheel resprayed flat black as well now, the two will look really good together.
Dime City Cycles and Partzilla have delivered a few more parts for the final build. Mostly small bolts and odds/ends that are specific to the motorbike and could not be replaced with stainless steel equivalents. Most significant are the exhaust header bolts and exhaust gaskets. I also bought some beautiful bar end mirrors that are CNC machined in aluminum; expensive but ultimately worth it.
Looking to the future I have been designing a four camera rig for the back of the truck so I can film Natasha being ridden through Pittsburgh and into the surrounding countryside. I have decided to shoot exclusively with GoPro Hero 3's, since I can rent them cheaply from Borrowlenses.com, are easy to mount, and shoot amazingly good HD video. Basically we'll run two exact paths, hopefully without two much light difference between the two, one with the GoPro's mounted on the truck and having Natasha follow, pass, run ahead; and then on Natasha herself, with one looking back to the rider from in front, one down on the front forks (left hand side) looking back, one on the rear suspension (right hand side) looking forward, and finally one mounted directly behind the rider for what will be essentially a bum shot. :) We'll also do some shots where I am stationary; panning shots through sweeping curves, overhead shots, etc., and the introduction/ending will be shot using a Steadicam rig for the GoPro. Between all that I should have enough for a couple of minutes. Storyboard is developing in my head... more on that later.
I've found a model based out of Philadelphia who rides a SV650 and is keen to help me with the video. Potentially we can get it done in one day, and without any extra help. I will most likely shoot the studio work with a local model, and as yet I have yet to find a studio I can rent for half a day or so. But early days on that search yet. Something will turn up.
Current hours on build: 64.0