Cockpit Refurbished

The wrinkled paint of my Guzzi “dashboard” was gone years ago. The rattling keys left marks on the paint; so did the weather and my daily (ab-) use. Time for a change…!

I had the dash disconnected already when removing the front fork. Dismantling all bulbs, speed and rev counter was no big deal then. But I made sure to install everything correctly later by making some notes and a quick wiring diagram. The old paint came off with a grinding wheel driven by my drilling machine. It was a very dirty work, so I secured my face from dust, dirt and spalls with glasses and a breathing mask.

Due to an electrical malfunction in the original ignition lock, I also wanted to switch to a new one with starting function (like in a car and some old Guzzi V7 models). I found a new part on Ebay. My hope: It would not only cure the potential problem, but also offer the very cool option of starting the bike with a turn of the key rather than pushing a huge ugly button on the right side of the handle bar. We´ll see later if connection and function match my expectations…

The new lock can basically be mounted in the hole of the cockpit. But it does not fit perfectly, nor does it give you the chance of using the two fixing lobes in the dash. So I reshaped one particular diameter of the lock casing with a file and made it fit. Two matching drill holes allowed for clearance in the fixing lobes.

I´m not sure yet whether to use the original (bigger) lock nut or the new (smaller) one for the ignition lock (I would need to widen the thread of the old one). Luckily, the old Bosch flap cover will fit onto the lock body in both cases – something very important to me.

Finally, I went for a respray, using wrinkled paint in a spray can. This stuff is more resistant than usual spray products, accepts much more heat (max. 350 °C) and looks just the part. But it takes way longer to harden.

I cleaned the cockpit surface thoroughly and gave it a first try. The color did not immediately appear wrinkled. It took many hours, if not a day to develop the 3D surface structure. It´s tricky to foresee where wrinkles will appear (mostly on flat, horizontal areas; slopes were relatively smooth). I was not lucky with the first result (after 24 hours). A more homogeneous dispersion of wrinkles on the surface could be reached with another layer of spray. And further hardening time. Finally, it took me three days and three layers of paint to accomplish my tiny painting mission. A proper heating phase (90 °C) for one hour in the kitchen oven (after 24 hours of natural hardening) finished this tiny sub-project.

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