After the usual punish of Winter it's finally Springtime! For those of you who have been hibernating (or whose bikes have been) here are a few quick checks before you hit the road:
1. If you haven't started your bike in a few months you should put your battery on a charger before you try to start it.
2. Check your tyre pressures and tyre conditions.
3. Check your brake pads.
4. Check that indicators, brake lights and headlights are all working.
5. Check the engine oil level and colour.
6. Check the chain tension. This is essential for safe riding.
7. If the fuel has been sitting in the bike all winter then it's a good idea to put fresh fuel in as modern fuel doesn't keep very well.
8. Cast your eye over the bike and make sure nothing needs tightening.
9. Check your helmet and riding gear.
After that your all set! If you have any questions regarding your bike or need a service, please get in touch!
In Newcastle, we also offer a mobile mechanic service that will come to you, so let us know if we can assist!
Getting the perfect finish on a custom motorcycle tank can be an illusive art at the best of times. We recently we caught up with the man many turn to when the job needs to be just right. Meet Sam Muldoon, founder of Colourfuel, who takes us on a ride through his love of spray painting and motorcycles, and how he preps and paints to achieve a no compromises finish on custom motorcycle paintwork.
How did you get started in the industry?
I got started in the industry when I was 14, I was introduced to airbrushing which I practiced out the back of my dad's motorcycle shop until I started an automotive refinishing trade in Sydney. Soon after I combined my love for motorcycles and painting.
Do you have any particular industry influences?
Honestly, I have so many people that have influenced me over the years from my mum and dad to my mate Dan that I worked with. I always looked forward to showing him my design work in the morning after a long night of spraying. Then there’s my mates Kris Lemke and Al Samuels who gave me the confidence to start my own business in such a niche market. And Vince, Brian and Kyle who I work with now that make my day that much more interesting.
What is your favourite material to paint on (e.g. bikes, cars etc.?)
I love painting fuel tanks and small stuff that's easy to handle and I get to see the end result sooner. Cars can take too long!
Can you talk us through the process of painting a motorcycle tank from start to finish?
Typically to paint a tank I’ll send them to a local sand blaster to have any old paint and rust completely removed to promote longevity. I’ll then work on any metal and filler repairs and seal these with epoxy primer. Unlike other primers, it completely seals the metal from corrosion and promotes adhesion. I then use a high build primer which is then sanded to help level out any uneven surfaces. Once it is prepped with a finer sand paper I clean it and set it up in the booth for spray.
After this I will apply several coats of base colour before letting it dry. I then use a 2 pack clear coat, applying 2–6 coats depending on the job. Finally I’ll let it bake at 60 degrees to allow the paint to cure properly which ensures maximum gloss hold out.
Has your process evolved since you got started?
Yes, mistakes and hard work are the main driving force behind improvement. As my skillset diversifies I am constantly faced with new challenges as I search for ways to deliver better products.
Do you like simply working with customers designs, or do you prefer being part of the creative process?
I love getting involved with the design process. I believe it is the most dynamically challenging and interesting part of any job. And the most rewarding – especially when you get it right.
What would be your dream project?
My dream would probably be to have Adrian at Sol rebuild my GSX1100 from the ground up.
All photography by Adrian Korner
Last Friday 20 July saw the inaugural Sol Workshop Session Live Build event kick off at our Camperdown store. With the shop packed to capacity we undertook the massive job of completing a custom Mercury 250 build, commissioned by our friends at Jagermeister in just 1 night.
Adrian and Steve from Sol were joined by Brad and Faidon from Rising Sun Workshop to assist with the epic task. Also on hand was Dave from Bad Arse Trim Co. to upholster the seat on-site, Roger from Retro Line with some live pin striping and Sam from Colourfuel who provided the paintwork.
We ended up completing the task in just on 2 hours!
Photography by Alexandra Adoncello.
The complete run down of the Mercury 250 build went something like this:
1. Remove seat, tank, handlebars, mirrors, indicators, grips, side covers, rear mudguard & taillight, front guard and brackets, chain guard, exhaust, emissions unit, rear footpegs.
2. Install clip ons, grips, Bar end indicators
3. Upholster seat
4. Install speedo
5. Headlight bulbs swap
6. Front fairing install
7. Relocate horn
8. Cut subframe
9. Tack on new hoop
10. Wire in taillight and indicators
11. Remove stock muffler
12. Weld on supporting bracket
13. Wrap exhaust
14. Install new muffler and exhaust
15. Remove rear wheel, swap tyre and reinstall
16. Remove front wheel, swap tyre and reinstall
17. Install tank, new seat, rear cowl, side covers
18. Apply tank, fork and headlight decals
19. Apply hager bottle cap on rear engine mount
20. Start her up!
Melbourne business graduates Liam and Ali have three key things in common: a degree in commerce, an unwavering wanderlust for Australia and their beloved Bilby – a 1990 Toyota Coaster (a school bus in a previous life). Their travels take them, Bilby and their custom Mercury 250 up and down the East Coast. And while the South and West Coast are on their radar, the plan for the next journey is to not plan it at all.
How did you end up on this journey? What are your backgrounds and what brought you to this point?
We are Liam and Ali, both 25 year olds from Melbourne, with commerce degrees. We had an epic dream of travelling around Australia in a converted school bus. We both had just finished uni and didn’t want to jump straight into corporate jobs. We also both wanted to travel for a long time without spending huge amounts of money. We knew Europe and America would mean expensive quick holidays so we decided we’d do something different, so we bought a bus, made it into our dream adventure vehicle, whacked a motorbike on the back and took off to explore the great coastlines that Australia has to offer.
Tell us about Billy. What sort of van is it and how did you end up with it?
Bilby is a 1990 Toyota Coaster, ex-school bus that we ripped the seats out of and converted ourselves out of scrap wood and recycled materials. We have a bed, kitchen, couch/spare bed, along with a full solar powered electrical set up that runs our TV, fridge and devices. We bought him from a school in Shepparton, VIC and have had him for nearly 2 years now. We live full time in the bus now and have been on the road for a whole year and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
What are some of the favorite places you’ve visited?
So far we have travelled from Melbourne up the East Coast of Australia twice and we have always struggled to narrow down our favourite spot. We wrote a blog post on our website (bilbythebus.com) about our favourite spots and could only narrow it down to 15 of our favourite locations. These included places like Wilsons Prom, Crescent Head, Noosa North Shore and the Whitsundays. We absolutely love the beach and haven’t ventured too far off the coast just yet. Most of our days are spent parked up at a beach somewhere and enjoying the sunshine.
How do you plan your itinerary?
We have absolutely no plans in advance ever. Everyday is a new day and we take it as it comes. If we are sick of a place then we move on and we find somewhere new to explore. A lot of the coolest places we have found have come from getting lost on the way to somewhere else.
How does your Mercury 250 fit into the adventure?
Liam has always been a massive café racer fan and wanted a motorcycle desperately before we left. We had no idea how it was going to fit into our trip that we were planning when he went to have a look at one on a whim and came home saying he had put a deposit down. It wasn’t until a week before we left that we found someone to build us a rack on the back of the bus to put the motorbike on so we could take it with us. From the very first day we purchased the Mercury we knew what we wanted it to look like. We actually painted the bike before we did the bus and we loved the colour so much we thought why not have them matching. It is incredible how many questions we get every day about the motorcycle and comments about how vintage it looks.
Where’s next for you guys?
At some point soon we’d like to head over to the West Coast of Australia via South Australia and explore the other side of the country, but for now we are happy cruising up and down the East Coast catching up with friends we have made along the way and surfing the winter swells.