Triumph Drag Bike Finishing Touches

Published on 22 February 2024 at 11:19

It's important to use etch primer on aluminium or the paint won't stick properly and will peel off in a few weeks or months. Using gaffer or duct tape protects the soft metal while machining.

The panel fitted perfectly and gave  me just the look I was hoping for. It keeps the original flavour but hides the ugly inside of the roughly finished nose cone. It's light and does it's job of streamlining. A bit of t cut gives it a lived in feel to match the rest of the original livery.

With the drag bike now running there were a few bits of miscellaneous tidying and improving I wanted to do, the first of which was the broken windscreen. It was originally a very thin piece of plastic that had gone brittle, not much of it was left, it was pretty useless anyway as you could not see anything out of it. I decided that a replica was needed but when I looked at the job I didn't like that you could see through the perspex in to the unfinished insides of the rather home made nose cone.

I decided a better idea was to make a copy but to use thin aluminium, the more I thought about it the more I thought it was a good idea - it won't break, it would be very light, it's easy to form and paint and I had a sheet in stock. Yes, the plan was cunning, now all I had to do was make it happen. I started off by using gaffer tape to fill the area where the screen would fit, it's easy to trim and then peel it off in one piece, you can then use it as a template, the added bonus is that the tape protects the soft metal from the jigsaw.

Cutting the shape out was very easy although I ended up using my guillotine and files to get the final shape, the  jigsaw kept snagging and playing about. Bending it to shape was pretty easy, I got it close enough so the  fixing screws could do the final forming to the fibre glass nose cone.


Next job was to cut out the outer ring of duct tape to leave me the exposed bit of aluminium that I wanted to paint to match the original. I etch primed it then put the white paint on. Once that was dry I masked off the bits I wanted to stay white and painted on the black bits. Once all that had dried I peeled off the masking tape and remaining duct tape and admired my work. I had deliberately  done it a wee bit hap hazard as I wanted to recreate what had been there  and originally been done by hand. I definitely didn't want it looking brand new, nor did I want the exposed ally to be highly polished. I am very happy with what I have ended up with, next job is to make brackets for the replica Smiths speedo and tacho.

I then just need to back the timing off slightly and I will be ready for a shake down run, don't know yet where that will be, probably just in my mate's car park for starters.

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