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Discussion Starter #1
Waterwolf: Son of Zombiestomper



Base model: 1987 Yamaha TW-200



Motivated by the awe-inspiring job done by Zombiestomper, as documented in this forum, my 2011-12 winter project was to convert a barely-running, decaying TW-200 into a head-turning addition to my assembly of kayak fishing gear. Carried on a rack on the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser, the bike would serve as a shuttle vehicle between the take-out point and the put-in point on fast flowing rivers. Very useful for solo trips or other occasions when bringing two cars is not an option.



I’d owned the bike for many years, but could never trust it to run right. The first photograph shows it – pre-conversion – being put to use as a shuttle vehicle in its original incarnation, circa 2002. It was retired from this duty several years ago due to its infuriating lack of reliability. But several unnecessary carburetor rebuilds later, the culprit was finally identified (with the help of this forum.) And the true problem was – drum roll, please – a faulty CDI! With the bike now running like a dream, and mesmerized by the miracles performed on the Zombiestomper (which I discovered while researching the CDI issue), the vision for the Waterwolf was born. I had never heard of a Theme Bike before but now was consumed with imaginings of what it could look like, tempered significantly by what my (very modest) technical abilities would allow.



My first decision was probably my best – do not remove the engine from the frame and don’t do anything which requires significant re-wiring -- which pretty much makes this a purely cosmetic rebuild. The second decision was to fix up the old shed behind the barn as a dedicated workshop, including building a ramp from cinder blocks and 2 by 8’s to bring the bike up to just above knee level.



Then I removed from the bike everything that was reasonably removable, painted it and reassembled it. But those sparse words don’t do justice to the experience. I really learned a lot! Like why people make such a big deal out of the preparation phase of painting. I also learned that I could replace little gizmos and doo-dads that were missing and worn out, either at the local hardware store or on the internet. I took it on my first kayak fishing trip of the season this weekend, and it was just like I pre-visualized it. The bike ran like a dream and served its purpose like a true champ.



The pictures tell the tale. And again, many thanks to Zombiestomper for the inspiration and encouragement.
 

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Can't wait to see the pictures!



Open a free photobucket.com page (or others) and upload your pictures there. It's easy to insert the pictures into a post here from one of those sites.
 

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Gotta love theme bikes! looking forward to your pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The original rig, circa 2002. After this was taken, the bike was put into the shed for years, due to lack of reliability which no one seemed able to diagnose.





 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to the Forum, I learned about the devious nature of a faulty CDI and got the bike running perfectly in late 2011. This paved the way for the cosmetic restoration around the Waterwolf theme.



 

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Discussion Starter #8
Most of the work was done in the shed attached to the barn. But it got cold in there and Mrs. Waterwolf was out of town. So I turned the kitchen table into a paint production shop for a few days.





 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here I am, enoying the fruits on my labors on the banks of the James River this weekend. A great, functioning kayak fishing rig with a reliable (and really cool looking) shuttle bike.





 

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sweet restoration on that TW! i think zombie stomper would be proud to call you his son.



i bet everyone is happy except the fish!
 

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Nicely done! We have to get you a larger decal to do it justice. There is a guy on here that can hook you up.
 

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That looks Soooo much better than the original! Really nice job.



I don't know about you, but I'd be nervous about my wife seeing what I did with the kitchen table while she was out.




Like others, I'm curious about your paint selection and application.



Happy trails to ya!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
(Paint and Prep 1) Painting was a major part of the restoration. First I removed everything from the bike that was reasonably removable, including all the plastics, the handlebars, the foot pegs, the gas tank, and, of course, the seat.



Then I put everything (except the gas tank and seat) into an enormous wash tub and washed it all down with hot water, soap, and/or degunker. I also had several grades of wet sandpaper/sponge. A little elbow grease with these on the plastics had an instant and amazing result. All the green mold stains were gone and the plastic was gleaming white, almost like new. More elbow grease removed the decals, although I was plagued by a slight sticky residue for the remainder of the project.



Following the advice on the forum, I decided to use Krylon Fusion for Plastic spray paint. I selected the Pewter Grey color and ordered 6 cans off the internet. I also went to the Auto Zone and bought several types of Rustoleum, including flat black, gloss black and high-heat black. Then I used masking tape to cover everything I didn’t want painted.



I thought I did a lot of surface prep on the plastics, including wiping them down with alcohol and a lint free cloth between sanding rounds with various types of abrasives, but it became clear to me that I was a real amateur when it came to surface prep. I learned that there is a considerable different between “dry to the touch” and REALLY dry. Also, warm temperature is critical to a thorough drying of the paint. The more I became involved, the more my perfectionist streak kicked in, until I finally decided it was “good enough for who it was for.” The muffler got a good scrubbing and several coats of Rustoleum, and looked a lot better. The gas tank was more of a challenge. After thoroughly screwing it up trying to get the original clearcoat and decal off, I took it to a guy who sand blasted it into pristine condition ready for painting.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
(Paint and Prep 2) In doing some test work, it became clear that the Krylon was going to be sensitive to gasoline spills – even just a few drops. So I bought several cans of Spray Max 2K Clearcoat off the internet (in “Glamour Gloss”) and coated everything with that. It really created a nice protective shell around everything plastic (and the gas tank) and helped pull my amateur paint job together nicely.



I used a spray can truckbed spray coating to coat the handlebars black. Also used a spray-on vinyl upholstery paint to change the color of the seat from blue to black. It worked great!.



A big challenge was the frame. With the engine still attached, I couldn’t use spray paint. So I just took some time and painted the frame the old fashioned way – with a small paintbrush. It didn’t take anywhere near as long as I had feared, and looked much better than the original blue.



I didn’t use any primer on anything and I’m wondering if that was a mistake. It might have helped the surface prep, but it’s too late now and I’m actually pretty happy with the way it turned out.



That was basically my approach – glad to answer any specific questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know about you, but I'd be nervous about my wife seeing what I did with the kitchen table while she was out.






No worries. She's very unlikely to ever see this........
 
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