The other day I had to nip out to get some materials. A bit of an under statement as it involved a journey of a hundred miles each way. As we were going up the by pass at the beginning of the trip there was a metallic clanging sound of something hitting the under side of the truck which slowed progress as I considered whether or not to stop and check. Needless to say I didn’t as the van felt and ran OK.
Ninety odd miles later . We stopped at a well known supermarket for a break. To be met by a shushing noise. A quick look round the truck did not show anything untoward but the shh persisted; then I noticed that the rear near side tyre looked soft. In that short time it was half flat, the air was coming out that fast. I can’t believe it – another puncture! and its the new one! I will not repeat what was said but I think you can guess!
I ran round to the cab pulled out the jacking kit and got it in place just before it went completely flat. Ten minutes later the Tyre was changed.
Before we returned home I wanted the puncture repaired, so tracked down a tyre shop and took it in. “No prob’ mate have that done for you in a jiffy”. Then things went sideways I saw him call over a colleague and then me. It took us all by surprise. I was told that I had been extremely lucky that it had not blown apart when it happened. The pictures speak for them selves!
It had been a wet damp day and with it getting dark at about four I had decided to shut the workshop early as we were up to date with work and had no bookings for people to drop or collect.
It was early spring when we had a call from a gent about doing some custom work on a Suzuki GSXR. He wanted to give his side panels that Yoshimura look. The out line was would we be able to make a series of air vents and weld them into the side panels. I was more than interested as one of my first custom jobs was a GSXR of roughly the same year. So I have a bit of a soft spot for these bikes.
Over the weeks that followed it became clear that there was not the budget needed to allow us to fabricate the vents from plastic and weld them in, as the customer wanted. Which was a shame! When it comes to making parts from scratch it is labour intensive. But all was not lost the customer had discovered a set of fibre glass vents that matched what he wanted to achieve and asked us if we would be able to make them fit.
After some weeks the vents turned up at the workshop and with a bit of trepidation I opened the package. I have nothing against fibre panels but I have seen some really bad ones. These surprised me, they had a quality finish and looked the same size. On very careful inspection one was slightly smaller than the other and they curved more than the panels they were being fitted into; which in the end lead to an over complicated fitting arrangement.
Once the holes were cut to shape in the side panels, some plastic material was cut to fill the gap left by the original vent. Then a lip was cut into the plastic where the new fibre vents would sit. If they had not been made with an exaggerated curve this part of the job would not have been necessary. It took two of us to bond each vent into place. When this was set the vents were then fibre glassed in with a water proof matt to stop weather degradation. When the fibre glass was dry we used a special flexible filler to fill between the two materials to reduce the chance of cracking.
It is always nice to hear that the customer is happy with the results especially when it is done long distance.
Lets hope there is a change in the weather soon.
- Yoshimura R&D of America Announces All-New Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R Limited Edition (motorsportsnewswire.wordpress.com)
- LED Turn Signal for Suzuki ts dr drz dr350 350 650 400 450 dl drz400 gsxr gs sv (wordprox.wordpress.com)
- Suzuki Gsxr600 Workshop Repair Manual Download 2006-2007 (manuals.typepad.com)
- 2002 Suzuki Gsxr 750 (katry.blogspot.com)
It is now possible to purchase a copy of our Plastic Welding Guide Direct, just click on the high lighted words which will take you to blurb.
The fun and games we had producing the book were posted sometime ago with that in mind this link will take you to that post.
You can also find a link on the web site Plasweld
This just a bit of fun. Our top ten repairs.
1. Welding up a cracked panels.
2. Windscreen finger replacement.
3. Sections broken out.
4. Relocating mounts on headlights.
5. Ground off plastic from bikes that have slide down the road.
We rebuild these with plastic not filler.
6. Panel support mounts.
7. Making mount post from scratch.
8. Broken panels.
9. Missing part taken from a donor panel.
10. Small parts made from scratch.
When we had the idea to do this everyone thought it was great. The reality is that we could not agree in what order they should be placed or if we had the images required to make the top ten. It would be fair to say that these are the most common repairs we see and to a certain degree can be complicated to complete.
Welcome to the New Year we hope that our customers are well and rested looking forward to what 2017 has to offer. As we look back at 2016 – it was busy for us but not in way we had expected.
On a few occasions we failed to keep up with the demand and thank those that were caught up in it for their patience. For the first time we had to close the workshop to all work, due to the unprecedented heat during the summer. Not that many of us remember it now with all the grey, rain and cold.
We have noticed that we are seeing more older bike plastic for repair. These have proved to be more challenging to repair technically speaking because of their age. Brought back some fond memories though!. One of the jobs in particular comes to mind which, came in the form of a rare battery cover from a classic Suzuki. As always we work with our customers to get the best possible out come.
We are happy to talk to anybody that has a problem with broken plastic. It is part of our service to inform not just sell our ability to repair. It is our way of giving something back. Maybe you will remember us in the future when it comes to that job that does need our expertise.
We have published a guide on how to repair plastic properly using plastic welding which is available from blurb and from time to time we run plastic welding courses. (At the time of writing we have no planed dates for these courses.)
Best wishes for the New year.