I bought some fibreglass matting from Wet & Windy, a boat bits shop in Ashton, Bristol. This matting is much better than the crap you get in the car repair kits, it doesn't all come apart when you are trying to stick it down. I bought a tube of Gel Coat and spent £20 odd on a West System Epoxy learner kit that I haven't opened. Doh! I also bought some clear plastic sheeting.
The idea is that you put the plastic sheeting over the front. Then you apply Gel Coat, then matting and Epoxy. Well, I just used the Gel coat, some matting, then some more Gel coat. If it had been a flat surface, my work would be done. But no, the hole had a double curvature nightmare going on, so whilst the Gel coat was really smooth, it wasn't even. So I whacked some car body filler on it, sanded it down, added more, sanded it down and kept going until the top fairing weighed approximately 27 kilograms, but taking extra care to make sure that at no point was the surface even. Thats harder than it looks. So - flat'ish? Cool, its ready to paint then.
I bought a tin of Ford blue paint for £5.95 from Halfords along with some new masking tape. I stuck the tape along the lines I wanted for the outside of the numberboard and then masked up the rest with paper. Now, you don't need undercoat on unpainted plastics but you do need to gently sand it down to key it. I said YOU NEED TO SAND IT DOWN TO KEY IT. Which makes you wonder why I didn't. As you can see in the first paint pic, the paint just won't stick to the top part (and to be fair gravity wasn't helping). So in desperation I did about 6 really really thick coats in quick succession, so it ran a bit. Okay a lot. Okay it ran all over the bloody place.
I left that lot to dry for a day or two and then I sanded it down to get most of the runs out. Then I did a really really light coat, just a dusting if you will. Then an hour later, another dusting. And then for the next 3 days I gave it a very light dusting before work, before tea and before going to bed. And you know what? The bits that I hadn't made a right mess of before came up really well. Makes you think I could have done a good job of all of it if I'd tried hard enough.
I peeled the masking tape off and wondered why they call it masking tape. A better name would be 'let shit loads of paint build up under here and smudge tape' but I guess thats not as catchy. Now I know why Dave put the red go-faster tape on when he painted my other fairing. So, Halfords is shut and I want this done tonight, so silver metal tape (for that Buck Rogers look) will have to do. Nice. Daves since told me you put the tape on and then sand it down, stops paint getting under the tape via the sanding groves. Like I care? So, numbers on and it looks better than it did. No it does, honest. From a distance. Well, it looks better than we all thought it would after the first painting pic so lets leave it at that.
Last season I wasn't even opening the throttle fully (because I don't have the dexterity of a gibbon - yet I've been told I smell like one). Anyway, I have a KMX125 that I bought as a box of bits a while ago and it came with two throttles, one of which wasn't a KMX one, and this one only takes a quarter turn from off to on. Its a single cable job, so I had to remove one cable from the bike and cut the outer plastic of the remaining one to get it to fit. I also utilised a clutch cable adjuster. Now, because I have only one cable I wanted a really clean action, so I cleaned the throttle cable run and the spring on the carbs with a combination of degreser and compressed air. When I was happy it was clean I lubed it all with Solkolene Silkopen Graphite spray, and I lubed the cable with it as well. Blow me! Best wrist action I've ever had! And you can 'ooh-er' as much as you like about those last two sentences, I don't care.
So the last bit I haven't covered in my winter pages is my kit.
Spyke leathers - £180 all in second hand from Ebay
Sidi Vertebra boots - £99 all in second hand from Ebay
Buffalo gloves - gift from my brother
HJC CS12 helmet - £95 from J&S Accessories. Best helmet I've owned actually, prefer it to my Shoei Interceptor
I still have my Knox back protector from the last two seasons. And thats it, lets go fall off!