It wasn’t long after I bought my 1st big bike, my 2003 Yamaha Fazer 600cc back in 2013 that she sustained some seriously ugly cosmetic damage.
When I first bought her she had already been significantly lowered which was great as I’m only 5ft 2in. However the previous owner didn’t consider shortening the stand much further, thus resulting in her staying rather upright when on the side stand (The centre stand was impossible to use).
Hasten to add she didn’t stand a chance when the winter storms came to Plymouth that year.
I remember that month like a horrible nightmare. Unfortunately my husband Rob was working away at this time and the bike was my only mode of transport.
The 1st lot of damage was sustained whilst I was working in a coffee shop and had parked the bike inbetween the metal bars of a cycle park. It was a gusty day and I came out after my shift to find her laying against the metal bars. It wasn’t until she was lifted up that you could see the full damage. Gutted was an understatement!!!!
The tank had taken the full brunt. Lesson 1 learnt, never park in a cycle park or near objects that could cause damage should the worse happen.
It was then in more storms that followed that month when she blew other a second and third time which resulted in the fairings getting cracked.
The final straw was when I was blown off as I was slowing down at traffic lights when a gust of wind took me out. Thus resulting in my clutch lever being snapped cleanly off. My beautiful bike now looked a mess.
This was one of my loneliest points as a biker. It was night time and I didn’t really know anyone back then. After a couple of people had helped me get her to the central reservation of embankment road I didn’t know anyone to contact to help me out. Instead I stood there on my own in the dark without a clue what to do. Eventually a fellow biker who was actually in a car pulled over to see if I was OK and helped me get her home.
Absoloutely gutted! But determined not to let it put me off. By now I had begun to grow rather fond of my bike despite its ugliness.
The 1st thing I arranged to get done was to get the clutch lever replaced and the stand shortened. A mechanic I recently befriended Dave helped shorten the stand and when my husband came back he replaced the lever for me.
In regards to the rest of the damage it would take me a further 4 years until that was all repaired. My most difficult challenge was finding someone to do the job. I was advised by Dave to get a second-hand tank. After much searching I found one on Ebay for a bargain price of £45 although it did have one small dent.
Then the thought came……As I was already getting a new tank then why not re-spray the entire bike in the colour I always wanted? Plus it would save me trying to match the same red I already had on there.
Dave was able to start the job for me and not only primed the tank ready for painting but also got rid of the dent. Ace job! But for personal reasons he was unable to complete the rest.
Now to find a decent local company or person to finish the rest. Luckily I got some good recommendations from the T.W.A.T (Two Wheels and That) FB community. After much conversation and messaging with various companies, I finally decided to go with a guy called Ricky in Yealmpton who owns Rusty Hills Repair and Restoration I got a really good vibe when chatting to him on messenger and just new he was the right guy for the job.
Now I have to admit I thought I was in the wrong place when I 1st turned up to what effectively looked like a scrap yard behind a locked gate. I most certainly wasn’t expecting there to be hidden what I can only describe as a container which looked liked it belonged in a farm, as a motorbike workshop!
But inside is where the magic happens……
Ricky a former chef but with a passion for bike restorations and a degree in fine art was the perfect go to go to guy for this job.
From the moment I told him of my plans he was on-board and gave me sound advise throughout. It was great to have someone actually working with me on this project.
We chose the paint I wanted which I have to say wasn’t my 1st choice of colour but wasn’t too far off and away he went to get the tank re-sprayed.
I have to admit I wasn’t expecting it to look as good as I wanted because of the slightly darker shade. But wow!
I was absolutely over the moon. After 4 years I was finally getting her restored and in my favourite colour. She’s gonna be a beaut!
We still have a way to go with this restoration yet but keeps your eyes peeled for part two. Which in true lonelyTWAT style didn’t all go to plan and had the usual ups and downs……………