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The background:

So I pulled the trigger on a bike. My very first bike, to be exact.

A few weeks ago, my man told me he had scoped a 1992 Suzuki Bandit on Craigslist and had contacted the owner about possibly taking a gander. The bike was local, so a 10 minute ride to see if it would fit me wasn't going to hurt even if it was a total pile.

The asking price was $800, and she was pretty tired looking. I sat on it, fondled the controls a little, did a walk around, and heard it run. She fired right up but still needed more than I wanted to deal with for $800. It was dirty, the tank was rusted to hell and full of pinholes, the tires were corded, whatever little plastic that was on the bike was cracked, and the carbs were in need of something or other. We went on our merry way and though at the time I didn't think it was the right bike for me, I was very excited to know that I now oficially had another option to consider beyond a Buell Blast and a Blast only.

A week or so went by, and we stumbled upon the listing again- now for $500. The wheels started spinning and I started warming up to the idea. $800 was too much, $500 I could live with. Heck I could part the bike out at that point and get my money back if I wanted. I emailed the owner and offered him $400 cash to get it out of his shed. He had made the mistake of saying when we met that he needed firewood and needed it gone. I knew any offer was reasonable at this point. He emailed me back and said he would think about it.

A couple days go by, then a couple more. I started getting antsy but I knew he was waiting for me to crack and offer more out of fear for another offer. I didn't budge. A week after I made the offer, the day I was ready to email him and ask if he had given it some thought, I checked my email and there it was. "If you still want the Bandit, it's yours." [thumbsup]

So another week goes by because I work full time plus take classes two nights a week. I really wanted my bike home so I could oogle it and get my hands all greasy and play with paint and tools. I'm not a very patient person, if you hadn't gathered that already.

This past Friday (10/5) was the day. I goofed off all day at work because I just couldn't stay focused on anything but getting it in my garage. My beau and I were supposed to meet the guy around 6:30, but he got stuck in traffic on the way home and he ended up meeting around 7:00, which is a time of darkness in the lovely Northeast this time of year. So, alas, no pictures of us loading it up like I had hoped. Not to mention we were parked on a curb on a very blind road and were rushing like crazy to get it on the trailer and get the heck out of there before getting rear ended.

We got it to my house, and after some assistance from a friend who came across town, got it off the trailer (no front brake so the BF felt better having another person there to drop it off the insanely steep trailer gate). She was tucked safely in my garage, covered in plush microfiber towels, awaiting the beginning of her transformation.

I officially own a motorcycle. ;D

The fun begins:

Saturday I brought the tank to my BF's house so we could begin the process of cleaning and sealing the tank. The kit I ordered to do so was from www.kbs-coatings.com, and is a 3 step process. I had heard that Kreem is a PITA to use, so I opted for this kit and I'm crossing my fingers that it works. The one thing this kit stresses is patience. Did I mention I have none? You must wait for the tank to be COMPLETELY dry between steps or the sealer won't stick.

We started by sucking out as much rust as we could with a shop-vac, and then started washing the tank with a 50/50 water/cleaner solution. I cannot even explain the kinds of nastiness that ran from this tank once we got into it. It is a wash and repeat solution, and though we got the wather to run clear (after lots of sloshing and slipping with gloves on a sidsy tank) we can still hear little crunchies rolling around in the bottom of the tank. Damn baffles.

In the process of rinsing the tank with pressurized water, we realized that some of my pinholes are actually full-blown holes. Now I need to wait for my KBS NuMetal putty to get here so I can patch it up (and you can only buy this putty in 1 lb qtys @ $25 a lb. Yippie). The best part- can't patch it until the rust treatment has been done. Keeping rust-eating solution in a tank full of holes should be a good time. I'm going to own stock in duct tape by the time this project is over.

I will take pictues of the rusty mess before we start the rust treatment.

Sunday (10/7) we started sanding the plastic, and also took the lettering off the tank and sanded the clearcoat flat. I cannot believe how thin the paint on this bike is. A few passes with 320 grit paper wet-sanding and we were down to base.



The plastic in its sad, stock state.





Me going to town, wet sanding the side covers and getting them ready for primer.



No that's not a black and white photo- that's white primer >:D


I also got the radiator guard painted flat black as it was kind of rusty.

I managed to get all of the body work covered in primer, minus the front fender which was severely cracked and had to be repaired. My BF used 2-part plastic epoxy with some fiberglass sheeting to repair it from the back side. We'll see how it holds up.

Pics of the bike itself, sans tank and plastics of course, have not been taken yet because I've just been too busy.

Speaking of busy it's 10:45 and I still have Geology homework to do for tomorrow night's session.

C'est la vie!
 

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someguy said:
One of the best ways to get rust out of an old tank is to put a bunch of nuts and bolts in it and shake it like a maraca. ;)



Also, congrats! [thumbsup]

Whats the rear tire size? I have a spare brandy new rear tire kicking around, and if it fits, it's yours. It's from a similar bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
;D

150/70 17 Rear
110/70 17 Front
 

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Congrats, looks like you're having fun.

FYI, 320 grit wet sanding is a very coarse grit. Not sure what you were trying to accomplish, but when I "flat" logos and vinylthe coarsest I use is 800, but usually 1000.

Once you get the tank coated, get that rust sand blasted off and get some epoxy primer on it. I would also like to suggest getting the tank patched and welded vs. xyz putty. Try a local high school or votech they may even do it for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Red Baron said:
Congrats, looks like you're having fun.

FYI, 320 grit wet sanding is a very coarse grit. Not sure what you were trying to accomplish, but when I "flat" logos and vinylthe coarsest I use is 800, but usually 1000.

Once you get the tank coated, get that rust sand blasted off and get some epoxy primer on it. I would also like to suggest getting the tank patched and welded vs. xyz putty. Try a local high school or votech they may even do it for free.
I know 320 is coarse. 15 year old clearcoat isn't the most compliant thing. You forget I have a girly touch and quite lovingly romoved the decal and clearcoat with care. We will be going back over it with finer grit paper. Did the same thing to my beau's Monster tank and it came out beautifully.

I know you are going to give me nuts through this whole thing Red [laugh] I was scared to post it up because I know I have it coming to me. ;)
 

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hangin_biposto said:
I know you are going to give me nuts through this whole thing Red [laugh] I was scared to post it up because I know I have it coming to me. ;)
Paint is my passion.
 

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hangin_biposto said:
I know you are going to give me nuts through this whole thing Red [laugh] I was scared to post it up because I know I have it coming to me. ;)
You're welcome to go the route I went....screw everything up and learn the hard way.


(really, don't do that).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it wasn't all done the clean and proper way, but I've been through the whole thing before when my boyfriend tore down his Monster so I've had some practice. Powdercoating the frame aside, we did everything ourselves. You can see the outcome in the "check out my new desktop" thread in NMC. I'd say for a couple of rookies, it came out pretty d**n nice.

I'm a college kid who pays tuition out of pocket so I don't have a bunch of cash to throw at this project. My objective is to just clean the bike up and make it presentable (anything is an improvement) and do it in a way that I won't have to worry about wrecking a nice pretty bike when I drop it or go down.

Besides, ever watch the Red Green show? I'm from Maine. It's not all that far off from the truth, in terms of how we do things here [laugh]
 

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congrats on the ride!

you could always make it a "dark" ;)
 

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hangin_biposto said:
I know 320 is coarse. 15 year old clearcoat isn't the most compliant thing. You forget I have a girly touch and quite lovingly romoved the decal and clearcoat with care. We will be going back over it with finer grit paper. Did the same thing to my beau's Monster tank and it came out beautifully.

I know you are going to give me nuts through this whole thing Red [laugh] I was scared to post it up because I know I have it coming to me. ;)
Boy I wish I had seen this earlier.

I'd like to get in on the hard time giving. ;D

Looks like RB has it all under control though.

Have fun with your ride. [thumbsup]
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It will be a rendition of a dark, but it won't be dark >:D

There will be plenty of time (and opportunities) to dish out the coulda, shoulda, wouldas guys, don't you worry your pretty little heads :). The project is barely under way.

And speaking of the project:

Yesterday my BF ordered the Factory Pro jet kit for it. When that comes in we'll pull the carbs and start tweaking those to get her (hopefully) purring like a kitten. 4 carbs to synch instead of two :p

Also on the hunt for a can, as the stock pipe blew out on the bottom, I'm guessing due to a hefty bacfire in it's currently rough running state.
 

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I have some stock Ducati cans if you think you can make one work.
 

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CONGRATS!!! [thumbsup]

I have an '04 1200S and I love it!! Easy to work on, fast, gobs of low-end torque and comfy. Plus, there's TONS of aftermarket support (e.g., wildhairaccessories.com, holeshot.com and banditmania.co.uk to name a few). I've put nearly 40,000 miles on mine since April '04 and it's been just gas, tires and oil. ;)

If you need any info/advice about aftermarket stuff, I'd be happy to share my experiences. I have Krauser racks and cases for touring, some stuff powder-coated (swingarm, rearsets, handlebars and clamps, top triple), painted the fork lowers and wheel hub black, put on a Supersprox trimetal sprocket, some Pro-Bolt stuff, removed the chain guard, added Suburban Machinery bars, Pazzo levers, Yoshimura slip-on, front LED blinkers, integrated taillight/blinkers, did a fender chop...it's as much fun as modding the Monster!!

Pic from Memphis during a cross-country trip this past May:
 

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Well, concrats...

I've heard Bandit owners say that the front suspension always needs some attention and tweeking out of the box (I think it's usually on the soft side, so maybe not too bad for you). When she's up and running, have a local suspension guru get you in the ballpark. It will go a long way to making you feel more confident riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Grio said:
Well, concrats...

I've heard Bandit owners say that the front suspension always needs some attention and tweeking out of the box (I think it's usually on the soft side, so maybe not too bad for you). When she's up and running, have a local suspension guru get you in the ballpark. It will go a long way to making you feel more confident riding.
The right fork seal is leaking, so we will have to give them some attention no matter what. I've too have heard they are kind of mushy. I weigh about 106 without gear on, but our roads around here are pretty bad so they will definitely need something.
 

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the 400 bandit. i had one of those! my cousin's got it now, but i'd buy it back in a sec if i actually had garage space.

loved that bike. was pretty easy to work on too. if you need any tech info/help on it, give me a holler. i may still have the factory service manual lying around here somewhere...
 
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