From:Dave Hennessey
Subject:RE: RE: RE: RE: Chainguard Date:Mon Aug 17 18:44:59 2015
Response to:20699

A little closer up photo.

This is actually a Jim Garrett repaint, but it's awful darn close to the original. (Jim is the most meticulous restorer I've ever met).

This is an amazingly hard thing to take a really good photo of. Or I'm an amazingly bad photographer. (Probably the latter.)

You can plainly see the over-spray on the "3".

On the "2 0 1" you can see that the paint is very light - the "3" is really like that also. The factory really should have done a second coat - as these came out pretty terrible.

Today, Harley employs computer-controlled robot painters, that do a perfect job every time.

But we're talking 1950s factory technology - in a mass-production environment. They probably used a cardboard-like stencil with the numbers cut out, and bent it to match the curve of the "numbers pad" - just like you and I might do today. Whatever. Then they painted it in one pass, and tried to strike a balance between good coverage and minimal over-spray. They got neither...

[Begin Soapbox]

Most restorers today over-restore bikes. Paint jobs were not 77-coat hand-rubber miles-deep lacquer - they were do-it-once baked enamel, and had mild orange peel. Frame parts often contained noticeable runs. Polished aluminum parts were polished, but not to the mirror finish you often see today. Engine cases and covers were sand-cast aluminum. Engine covers may have been smoothed a bit, but they definitely were not polished. Today you see mirror-finish engine covers (which admittedly look pretty good), but they were never polished at the factory, so they really shouldn't be polished now.

Harley ran a production line - "get 'em out the door" - they weren't building priceless antiques. Restore your bikes to production-line standards - and then you'll have a priceless antique...

[End Soapbox]

JOEP->Plus my numbers are 3201 (not 1023 as described on the website chainguard page) but mine is a replica so this
could have been done on purpose of course

DAVE-> You are correct - from left-to-right, they are 3201. However, most of us start out in 1st gear. (OK, that's pretty weak, but I gotta try and save face here.)