My Days Are Numbered

I’ve been riding around for a few days now, with those yellow and black WERA numbers on my bike, and I must say I feel pretty stupid playing in traffic with freaking race numbers plastered all over my bike. And what am I going to do when I have to bring the thing in for its now very-overdue 12K service? How am I going to explain that one? Dial *113 and tell me how you like my driving? Umm… no. I was in a creative kind of mood, wanted to know if I could do it; ran out and bought supplies and happily went about my business. Sometimes, I just don’t think stuff through. More often than not, I don’t think stuff through. I just get a wild idea and run with it.

I suppose I could take the offending pieces off and when my (newly recruited) BMW dealer asks where the hell the rest of my bike is, I tell them that I am glad they asked and that “the weirdest thing happened to me on the way up here. That is also why I’m late for my appointment. Anyway, I was hungry and pulled into this truck stop at Exit 114…”

The Pirate's Got A Brand New Tail

Nice Ass!

I need to rework this. With removable and reusable vinyl, so I can just slap them on in the pits the evening before race day. Yeah right! You can’t just “slap” stuff on with them angles on that tail piece. It took me over one whole hour to get the crap to follow the lines the first time around. My lowers are too small for regulation sized number plates… wait a minute… maybe there is a way. I need to go out and measure again.

I just can’t live with those fugly numbers on my bike. First off, yellow is so messing up the theme; secondly, my douche bag factor has increased exponentially (and riding a liter bike certainly doesn’t help there *grins*); and, for some unknown reason (but I could venture a guess), the incidences of cars wanting to race me has tripled in the past week. I’m tired of bruising the egos of those poor Schmucks in their muscle cars (albeit toying with rednecks in pickup trucks gives me a deep sense of pleasure)…

I need race bodywork. Stat!

Bubblicious Way To Spend 3 …(no, make that 6)… Hours

… with some relaxing Arts & Crafts at home.

The Pirate needs a batch of new tattoos and since this sort of thing can be done way cheaper when you do it yourself, I’m about to take my vinyl wrangling skills to the next level: The creation of custom shapes. Today, boys and girls, we’re learning how to make templates. And then we’ll take that template, place it on a piece of 3mil yellow vinyl, draw a nice little line around it to help guide that precision cut. Then we’ll slap that on a piece of transfer tape so we can apply it to the S1000RR’s windscreen. Easy as pie!

Before: The Pirate's Windscreen


NOT! The template making was not really all that difficult. A few well placed creases secured with sticky tape and the thing laid flat and followed the screen’s curves as much as something that won’t stretch can. I marked my edges, cut it out, placed it on the windscreen again, tweaked it. And tweaked it, and tweaked it. I finally had enough of the tweaking.

I laminated the thing and cut it out. I knew this wasn’t going to be as accurate as I had hoped it would be and I’d have to do some more adjusting later, so I went ahead and cut my vinyl sheet. Tweak, slice, tweak, slice, … then I had enough of that, too. It was then decided that I don’t really need all those little flame designs anyway… Let’s make it simpler. Sliced off some more. After a while, I had enough of that, too. Good enough.

Out comes the transfer tape, to get my creation ready for the move over to the windscreen. Squeegee in hand I “burnish”  (rubbing it until the cows moo or something else happens). I was a little afraid of this step. But it went fairly well. Simple. Until I turn it over and see all the creases. What a shit job this is. The last of my perfectionism leaves me as I wave away the thought of starting over with a different angle of attack. Hell no! I am way too tired for that. I deal with it later. Armed with squeegee and ActionTac application fluid I move the operation into the bathroom and get busy. I finally give up on the transfer tape and a little later I also toss the squeegee. It’s just the hairdryer and my fingers. I swear it takes me 45 minutes to work all the damn air bubbles out and stretch the thing just so that it will fit without bunching or bubbling. For heaven’s sake, I had to heat cycle the blasted thing just to get it on there halfway decent. It still looks, well… let’s just say, this is a 6-foot job. Any closer and it ain’t gonna be “all that”.

And only two more to go!!! And those are on the tailsection, which has compound angles of the most heinous variety… What a pile of bubblicious stretchy fun that’s going to be…

And I was going to do multi-colored logo decals. Hell, no! I’m printing that shit and laminating it and using double-sided 3M to stick it to the damn bike! Just as it should be for a 6-foot job.

After: The Pirate's Number Plate Decal



Front Number Plate Decal

The finished product: Yes, this is definitely a 6-foot job, but it should do (I hope)

In the spirit of waiting a day between application of layers, I finished my little project today. Photoshop helped with the dimensions and I had to squeeze the font by 60% to make it all fit. Printed the outline, laminated it, cut the numbers out and applied them. I applied the background wet, I did the numbers dry. I don’t like it, but hopefully it’ll pass Tech, if they aren’t sticklers and gripe about 1/16th of an inch here and there. If they do, I’ll whip out my roll of yellow duct tape, hold it up and say with a winning smile: “Nothing a roll of Duck Tape won’t fix and I have more where that came from in various fashionable colors.” 😉

Updating Update

UPS dropped off the seat cowl I ordered for my baby today (Thursday, 02/03), so I got to have three more hours of vinyl wrangling fun. The decals on the tail section look horrible, but considering what kind of angles the thing sports, I can’t really complain about my 8-foot job. Yes, the sight distance to ugly has increased. The plan was to match the shape of the lines, but when I realized how complicated of an ordeal that was going to be, I took the chicken exit and slapped it on there like a couple of aspect-ratio-deformed bumper stickers. Kiss my tail!!!

The Pirate's New Tail

The Pirate's new tail desecrated by Miss Busa's 8-foot "not art" home-brew vinyl number plate application.

I also tweaked the number on the windscreen. The more I looked at it the less I liked it. So I chopped off the edges, to give it a more symmetrical look. I might have not be able to see through it in a race tuck anyway.

The Pirate's Tweaked Nose Number

Tweak. Tweak. Yes. Much better.