Food coloring

Tips and Recommendations from Guru Mike Nixon

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mikenixon
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Re: Food coloring

#16

Post by mikenixon »

desertrefugee wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:25 am ...Harley Davidson
:shock:
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5speed
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Re: Food coloring

#17

Post by 5speed »

mikenixon wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:48 pm
desertrefugee wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:25 am ...Harley Davidson
:shock:
:lol:
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Re: Food coloring

#18

Post by desertrefugee »

5speed wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:30 am
mikenixon wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:48 pm
desertrefugee wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:25 am ...Harley Davidson
:shock:
:lol:
I would love, if I may, to provide an example here. First of all, I appreciate the HD machine for what it is, but neither it not its culture is for me.

A few years ago, when I still had my previous Vmax… A marvelous machine, a group of us had arranged a weekend ride into the hills. We met, as most of the max riders will, and a gas station to fill up and begin the ride. One of the fellows had a friend along from work who was riding a late model very chromed out, very nicely painted custom Harley Davidson. I’m guessing it cost him many thousands of dollars. But, per his intent, it looked good, and he looked good astride it.

After we had gassed up, everyone was firing up and getting ready to roll and of course the Harley would not start. So, the world stopped so we could tend to him. I walked over and asked him where the battery was. He literally didn’t know. I said, well most of them are under the seat. Let’s start there. He didn’t know how to pull the seat. We got it off, and both battery terminals were swiveling on their posts. Tightened them down, and Motorcycle started right up.

He was so spooked by the event, he did not want to go on the ride with us, and split off to make a beeline for home.

I may be slightly off track here, but I think this fits in someway the topic that Mike has introduced. There is a large number of motorcycle riders out there who are more concerned about appearance and/or perception than ride itself. And, although is impossible to empirically demonstrate this, I would further submit that a larger percentage that sort of rider chooses Harley Davidson. Noise. Bling. Attention. Like blipping the throttle through parking lots and at stoplights. An act which, in my opinion, is the human equivalent of a gorilla beating his chest.

Being a bit more introspective, I will freely admit that I am proud to be seen on certain motorcycles. And I’m lucky to have a couple that do seem to draw some attention. However, that attention is not my primary goal. From the age of 10 until today, a span of over 50 years, I am ridden the wheels off of every machine I’ve ever owned. I baby none of them. I may not push them to their limits as more skilled riders might, but I push them to MY limits.

Anyway, I think Mike has hit on a topic here that could probably be served and discussed at great length could probably fill a book. Sure got me thinking.
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Re: Food coloring

#19

Post by Shadowjack »

Two things:
I also have been fooling with these things for more than 50 years, and by reading the various forums and the questions posted, I see that many, many are from people who have absolutely no mechanical experience, let alone experience with the old bikes that they just picked up, whether they're shiny or not. I don't know if they ever get these things running, but I doubt it.
Re the form-over-function discussion, "Doesn't matter if it's ugly as long as it's fast, and I don't care if it's got t*ts or tires". :-D
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Re: Food coloring

#20

Post by kjmarti2 »

Great post Mike. As someone who has spent most of the last year taking apart and putting back together a few 1000's, I can see why. If I was looking to make good money "restoring" old bikes, solely focusing on the shiny bits is the only way I can see to do it. Those parts are the attention grabbers, they are usually a bit easier to access and fix up nice, and probably help minimize cost because you're more likely to avoid the money pit of "well while I'm in here, better fix this also".

It's a good thing I'm restoring my LTD for my own enjoyment and use, because I would make no money there. It looked pretty good cosmetically when I bought it, but I had no idea how badly it had been neglected until I really dove into the "un-shiny" bits. Brakes not serviced for decades. Butchering of the wiring harness. Barely functional starter. Bent rear fender supports. 20 year old tires. Warped rear hub. Addressing all of these issues definitely hasn't been cheap.
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Re: Food coloring

#21

Post by mikenixon »

Thank you for the kind words and feedback. Wow. What stimulating, thoughtful responses. And slightly different, very interesting takes on the subject. Thank you all. I'm enjoying it. And it's nice to have such fascinating and positive perspectives on what I was sure was a fairly negative subject, namely the disappointment liable to be encountered with "restored" motorbikes. And really, my perspective is that of blaming the seller who passes off shined up sh*t as "restored", with "restored" pricing. The judgment I passed on the buyer was limited (though I argue strongly for his culpability) to the lessor, but learned, acquired, inculcated sin of the blissful naivete that fuels and abets this criminality.
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Re: Food coloring

#22

Post by CYBORG »

mikenixon wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:00 pm Thank you for the kind words and feedback. Wow. What stimulating, thoughtful responses. And slightly different, very interesting takes on the subject. Thank you all. I'm enjoying it. And it's nice to have such fascinating and positive perspectives on what I was sure was a fairly negative subject, namely the disappointment liable to be encountered with "restored" motorbikes. And really, my perspective is that of blaming the seller who passes off shined up sh*t as "restored", with "restored" pricing. The judgment I passed on the buyer was limited (though I argue strongly for his culpability) to the lessor, but learned, acquired, inculcated sin of the blissful naivete that fuels and abets this criminality.
Let the buyer beware..... kind of how sellers justify things these days
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Re: Food coloring

#23

Post by 77Gowing »

What poetry to feast ones eyes on Mike, my friend. One would never have expected a "grease monkey" with dirt under his nails on well worn technically expert hands, to wax so eloquently. That is, until you see it is Mike Nixon speaking or writting. I now have 5 MCs. Ive only been tinkering on bikes on & off for ~5 years in shortz spurtz with large batchez of cash, (mainly on my 77 basket case, my first). I have my doubts about my 77GL, but it runs absolutely great. I've washed it carefully once. It is my baby, not even close to being viewed as a bling thing. I have a 2017 Indian scout with what I call Gucci saddle bags and a new custom corbin seat. All of my friends covet my Scout and drool all over it. It is the first one I offer to friendz to ride. I ride my 77... it has my blood, sweat, tears and more money in it than I could track. I preferr how it sits, how I sit it, how it feels/sounds & smells. She runs like poetry in motion, (even with accelerator pumps...NOT. LOL) Then there is my 2009 VTX1300R in sapphire blue, gorgeous blue, my brothers bike I resqued for him as he was readying himself for the grave. He is up and almost 100%, bless him. And I hope for the day he can ride it and ask me to sell it back to him. I will in a heart beat. The VTX is the fast 2nd that everyone drools over.
Then I have two RAGs, a running 84 GL1200 interstate turning naked, and a naked 82 GL1100. They look terrible, but way better than my 77 when I got it in boxes, baskets n bins. I will pay a fortune to put these rags back in running ridable condition. It is my Cycle theopy. I care more about the resurection of an engine than I do for how it looks. When I crank them up, I want to screem, IT'S ALIVE!!!!! with a maniacle laugh! Then, I will add a little color and clean them up decent to appeal to the eye a little. My money & my effort leans heavilly towards function.
I have a young friend of 28 going on 17, he has stars in his eyes. He blows his last unemp check on two cheap flashy watches, claims he wants to be a rapper. I tell him he is like a fish. He says, "how so?" I said a fish goes after a shiny lure that has a HOOK! Then I told him I'm a rapper too. And I told him, "Bling ain't the thing... Cause Chrome won't get you home!"

I love the repartee in this thread.
Forgive me, I am not worthy.
Some of you are great with words.

And the rapper said, "WORD!"
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Re: Food coloring

#24

Post by mikenixon »

Thank you for weighing in, 77Gowing. Good input, kind words. My machines tend toward utility more than beauty also.
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Re: Food coloring

#25

Post by dontwantapickle »

different people - different skills.
There are many folks that can build you a super sturdy house but couldn't decorate it to save their lives.
meanwhile..... there are great interior decorators out there that don't know what end of a hammer to hold.
sometimes it takes both skill sets to produce a quality product.

I like to think that I am adequate at both making a bike run and look ok.
I approach my project bikes as really two stage projects...... the Bike and the Engine.

The mechanical side of things is what interests me the most, so that is where I usually concentrate my efforts.
but over the years I have shined my share of chrome, painted plenty of tanks, covered many seats, etc.
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Re: Food coloring

#26

Post by Sidecar Bob »

There's nothing wrong with making it look nice but that should come after getting it running well, and that applies to customs as wall as restorations. I've seen more than a few examples over the years of people putting thousands of $$ into ill considered modifications that make the bike work less well than it did originally in the name of "building" a "cafe racer" (sorry, but it's not a racer unless you actually race it) and then can't get it to run right (usually carbs not sorted properly) or stop well (not surprising with those 40 year old rubber lines and calipers that you didn't rebuild before making them shiny).

BTW: I thought you were going to tell us about ways to use food colouring in the shop.
All of the coolant I've bought in recent years has been very pale yellow and it is next to impossible to see the level of something that pale in the coolant recovery tank. I've started keeping a bottle of blue food dye in my shop and adding a few drops to coolant when I mix it to turn it green and darken it enough to see through the tank.
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Re: Food coloring

#27

Post by mikenixon »

Sidecar Bob wrote: Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:21 pm ...I've started keeping a bottle of blue food dye in my shop and adding a few drops to coolant when I mix it to turn it green and darken it enough to see through the tank.
A neat idea!
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Re: Food coloring

#28

Post by rcmatt007 »

BTW.... I have a freshly painted restored '79 barn find for sale
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Re: Food coloring

#29

Post by 77Gowing »

Does the blue food coloring last.
Or do you just apply it to check your level?
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Re: Food coloring

#30

Post by Sidecar Bob »

When I drained my 'Wing's cooling system while replacing the head gaskets this spring the stuff that came out was still nice & green but I can't say for sure about long term because it was only driven a few thousand Km in that time.
I more expected it to fade in the coolant recovery tank on my winter machine, which hangs on the side of the sidecar next to the fairing (= more exposed to light than on a 'Wing) but the coolant in it still looks green 2 years later.
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