Bikernet West – The Blue Bomb Explodes

In a mad rush to build and break-in a monster Simms built S&S motor rigid before the long haul to Sturgis, Bandit makes an abrupt move. At the final hour he decided to take the frame to a local powder coater in Orange County who is capable of layering on a two or three stage powder coating process.

After much deliberation with the entire staff, the decision to attempt a match between the frame and sheet metal was made. Nuutboy pointed out that the powder coated frame would be more resilient to wear and tear.  Snake, in a rare lucid moment, noted that we wouldn’t be able to cover Bandit’s crappy welds with bondo, because powder coating is baked at such a high temperature that it melts the bondo. Overnight shipping would have been less than $100 to truck the delicate metal parts to Sacramento for Harold Pontarelli to paint.  In contrast if we had the frame powder coated locally, we could have it back in three days and be working on the bike. On top of the concern for the various components being shipped, damaged, lost or dented- which would really set things back- there was the overall concern of time.  We needed to be building a bike.

Some of the Bikernet gang like Renegade, who was pissed that we weren’t working on his bike (he won’t ever let any of our mitts near it), Snake, Nuutboy, and my most informed self, huddled around a large bottle of Jack and a small bonfire in the junkyard rubble behind the Bikernet World Headquarters in San Pedro, California to take a vote. Bandit was somewhere inside the luxurious offices chasing a new female recruit, an oriental girl, whom he had failed to introduce to the rest of us.  He was building a deep-seated resentment amongst the staff.

“I say, fuck that bastard, let’s burn his frame,” Renegade said taking a hit on the freshly opened bottle of Tennessee champaign.

“You say that every day,” Snake mumbled filling his large rusting flask with the bottle while guzzling the last remaining can of Bud from his 12 pack. No one else drinks beer.

“We’re supposed to be deciding whether to ship or powder coat,” Nuutboy said standing on the edge of the fire holding a wad of tools in each hand. He doesn’t drink, but smokes joints incessantly and fidgets constantly. “We’re running out of time.”

The evening went south from there. More riders showed up, Japanese Jay from the antique bike shop, 34th Station, came by. Chris from Hill Products wandered in and filled his boot flask, put in his two-cents worth and moved on. Nuutboy and I pondered the question until we heard the giggling stop from inside the Headquarters and the large thump of boots against rickety floors. Bandit appeared bleary eyed but content and placed his vote. If we could get a sample of the paint color on a separate rod we could ship it to Harold for a paint match. We went to work.

We delivered the frame to Primo Powder Coating in Huntington Beach, California (714) 596-4242. They had a sample of the metallic blue we were after, waiting for us. We immediately took that sample to a mail box joint and shipped it overnight. The tank and fenders were carefully boxed up and shipped to Harold via UPS second day air. Then we delivered the chrome to Orange County Plating (714) 532-4610 where they immediately photograph the items and enter them into a computer.

In four days we had the frame and chrome back and were in the process of building the bike. Harold moved on the paint quickly, but even with a simple flame job on the table, a couple of days was spent at the body shop, then paint prep and primer, then undercoats of silver base were followed by a matching blue candy with a hint of pearl, then drying time before the graphics could be laid out.

Two weeks have slipped past, but the progress with the frame in hand is considerable. The engine and tranny are bolted in. The Weerd brothers front end is in place. The wheels and P.M. brakes are in place along with the Samson exhaust system. Wiring will begin this weekend. Then with the BDL 3-inch primary belt in place we will haul the bike to Mikuni for a Carb and go for a ride.

Here’s a sample of the paint from Vacaville, California near Sacramento. 

This shows the cream flames and silver dimensional elements. No pinstriping has been applied or clear. We’re still arm wrestling over the color of stripes. Just 25 days left before departure to the Badlands.



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