Sunday, May 22, 2011
Yesterday, while out riding the V-Strom, I decided to pay a call to Philip Koenen, owner of Grand Touring Garage. Philip and I were introduced by a mutual friend some time ago, and we subsequently discovered both of us had connections through the motorcycle industry. Although most of his restoration and custom work has been with cars, he has built some outstanding bikes, a few of which you can see on his website.
I wanted to ask Philip about my bead-blast vs. hot-tank dilemma. We sat down in his office and he talked me through the process of bead basting, cleaning, and preserving the finish of aluminum engine parts. Then he floored me by generously offering to let me use his blasting equipment, giving me access to a special stash of GM powdercoat he has, and hooking me up with the painter and chromer he uses. He even knows someone at Yamaha's U.S. HQ in SoCal who can assist with the acquisition of hard-to-find parts.
By the time I left my head was swimming with possibilities. Some of the parts that came with the bike that I had considered to be beyond redemption are now usable. Other parts that I don't have might now be within reach.
I sure hope I get that title mess figured out.