The Arlen Ness Footboards got fitted, as did Baron's Billet Starter Motor End Cap. The end cap was fairly easy to fit - just be prepared to strip the complete starter motor down and to machine (file) away a piece of the starter motor body as the brush mounting plate has to rotated round 180 degrees. Looks good though!
The OMP 3D mirrors arrived. Now, you really ought to see what they are like - gorgeous. What do you think? They're even better in the flesh - so to speak.
Here's a couple of pictures of "Midnight Thunder" before she was stripped for chrome and paint on 27th April 2001.
28th May 2001 and the paintwork is finally back - Hooray. This is very nice paintwork from Ty Lawer at Pageant Paintwork. Silver pearl marbelising on black base. Copper pearl Tribal flames with blue and purple pinstripes. COR!!
21st June 2001 and the bike was all together and running!!! Just in time for the Rock & Blues Custom Show. The speedo dial by Superdials is terrific. The white numbers light up in yellow on a copper background, with details picked out in blue and purple. All the chrome and paint has been polished and I'm off for a ride (it's been so long!). Here's a picture of the first version of the completed build, taken in Wales on one of the VSOC rallies.
First version you say? Yep, well on the 31st July 2001 I found myself shouting very largely at a car driver who had just rear ended me - that's the second time now! You would not believe how annoyed I was! At least I had got to a few shows this year, with much approval all round. Midnight Thunder even won Best Dressed Harley Davidson at the 2001 Americana in Newark, Notts. Check out the 2001 Events pages for more information.
7th February 2002. Now this is taking the proverbial piss. I finally got all the insurance guys sorted out and agreed a cash settlement so that I could get the repair work done myself - it's a long story...! That meant that I'd get a new Yamaha mudguard from a mate of mine, get it modified by Competition Fabrications just outside South Norwich and then paint it. All of this went really well and I received a great new mudguard with excellent work and paint. Unfortunately, as with most custom paint, when you have a colour mixed - it's a one off and very hard to match. So guess what happened? Oh yeah - wrong colour copper flames. Now I know it's not easy to match up so Ty Lawer and I decided on a great paint scheme to show off Tribal flames to a new level. Oh, and I ordered some more bits! Now they'll be Baron's Flame Billet Grips, Baron's Power Cone to fit into the BAK, Dynatek's Dyna 3000 Electronic Ignition Module plus High Performance Coils and leads (supplied by Hellriser Customs). A 935lb rear spring (again from Barons) to help with the grounding I'm experiencing on right hand turns. The exhausts got re-chromed by Standard Chrome in Coventry (Custom Chrome in Nuneaton was very poor quality as it kept bubbling up).
10th June 2002. The good news is that Midnight Thunder is back on the road at last. She was actually out riding in mid May. The paintwork is glorious, with candy tangerine ghost flames over pearl layered onto the original paint. Another fantastic job by Ty Lawer at Pageant Paintwork.
The new ignition coils went in easily (read that as, "with a little persuasion"). The Dyna 300 Module is very easy to fit, once you have removed the battery and its housing. I did cut a hole in the battery housing near the modules micro switches. This will give anyone a much easier way to adjust the timing curves to the way they like. However I set mine to a 5000rpm limit and a curve setting of 30B. Here's a picture of the module for your own reference - just in case you lose your own sketches later.
There was a little bit of unfortunateness that came off not so badly after all. The newly chromed exhausts have gone a lovely shade of blue and gold. It's my fault for not checking the tightness of the exhaust headers, but there you are - be warned - tighten everything and trust nothing. Mind you the flames coming out of the carb and exhausts were huge. A great display!
I also chromed up the stator and starter motor clutch cover at the front RHS of the engine, which produced that nice bit of sparkle that was missing. It was really easy to take apart, but do take care to mask up the points where the gear support rods fit otherwise you'll end up reaming out the holes to get them to fit back in again! I would also suggest that you buy new Allen bolts to put the generator back in, and make sure you buy new gaskets including the copper gasket at the bottom of the cover where one of the screws goes. You will need it as oil will just pour out from here otherwise.
A few other pieces were re-chromed as aluminium and chrome aren't the best partners. So you need to be prepared to part with some money as the years go on, just to maintain that gleaming luster.
Also, there's a new Avon 180 section tyre on the rear, which is just that bit narrower than the Metzeler version which means no more rubbing on the edges of the tyre wall and no dusting of rubber on the swing arm and rear wheel. The rear mudguard no longer wobbles either, as the whole unit has been reinforced along the inner edges of the metalwork which has helped a lot. In fact everything is just hunky dory. The next page contains a list of the suppliers and services that were used to bring Midnight Thunder up to the final version that she is now.
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