The King lives again, thanks to the
Harley-Davidson Spring catalog supplement.
The factory now offers complete blacked out
Road King front end components. We
replaced the warped nacelle.
small brush and a 1/2 pint of gloss black
Rustoleum, we touched up chipped fasteners
over a couple of Coronas. What's next? The
rear fender needed touch-up. The all-black
King was cool, but the damn thing needed
some color. That called for old school
pinstripping. Finally we liked the new mostly
black mags except for the tits around the rim.
They seemed out of place. We pondered a
There's Henry with a Jitter-Bug orbital
We rode over to Henry Figueroa's Auto
Restorations, a steel corrugated building on
the wrong side of town. Henry worked for his
dad as a kid fixing cars. His mainstay is
restoring antique autos and custom paint jobs
for four-wheelers from the '20s through the
'60s (310) 218-9097. Henry said he would fill
the holes in the bottom of the fender and
prepare it for George, The Wild Brush, to
perform his pinstriping magic (310) 488-5488.
Since we didn't change the color scheme,
paying homage to the 100th, we decided to
snatch the gold from the edge of the silver
band and expand it to other elements of the
King. We removed the license plate holder
and plastic fender tip in preparation for
reworking the fender and filling three holes.
Henry handled the small holes with
Z-Grip bondo and welded a plate behind the
large quarter-sized hole (used for accessory
wiring, then filled it with bondo. With
nasty-rough 80-grit sandpaper he shaped the
bondo to conform with the fender. Then he
used finer sandpaper to continue to smooth
the surface until it was as slick as a baby's
ass. Sheet metal and bondo work takes a
trained eye and artistic patience. Henry buzzed
through it like it was second nature and with a
block sander massaging the surface before
painting it with House of Kolor primer filler.
More sanding with finer, wet-and-dry grits took
place before the final black coats were laid
over the tip.
It's the magnificent George, the Wild
Then we were graced with the talent of
George, the Wild Brush, a pinstriper who has
been wielding Blue Liner striping brushes for
30 years. As a youngster he worked in the Los
Angeles Gasoline Alley. He created wild paint
schemes for Mario Andretti, Bill Simpson and
George mixed and matched enamel
stripping paints for just the right hue.
He used only enamel striping paints for
drying flexibility. He can test, paint and tinker
and wipe the surface clean if he's not happy
with the results. "Metallics are much more
difficult to work with," George explained mixing
paint and testing the consistency on his
delicate brush. "Gold is particularly difficult
and may not flow. Anytime I reload the brush
there may be a matching problem." He used
talcum powder, to keep his hands from
sticking to the metal face being striped, for a
pure clean line. With a grease pencil he
marked the center of the fenders and went to
work freehand, without so much as a sketch.
Sometimes George uses masking
tape to find the center of the fender.
Pinstriping is a delicate art form often
administered in public.
The front fender gave George the best
vantage point and position for striping so it
received the finest workmanship.
We wanted an old school appearance
and his seasoned talents were perfectly
suited for the task. With the rear fender tip
touched by the Wild Brush, he moved onto the
front Street Stalker fender, then the horn cover
and finally a small touch to the jet hot, flat-
black-coated Screamin' Eagle air cleaner
cover. George instructed us to wait three
weeks before adding protective wax to the
finish. He suggested Turtle wax as a polish
that works without harmful abrasives or
chemicals. That's it for this issue.
Here's before and after the Jet Hot flat
black coated Screamin' Eagle Air Cleaner was
Keeping his striping brush loose and
flexible before completing the rear fender.
The rear fender, while on the bike, was
awkward to stripe without a lift. The paint still
needs final polish.
George pointed out a little trick for the
powder coated point cover. Instead of striping
it, and since our powder crew coated the back
side, he rubbed some of the gray enamel into
the slots and left it to dry with a light coat of
gray on the surface. "That's not a problem,"
George pointed out. "Leave it for a couple of
days then polish the cover. It will look as if it
That covered the striping but not the wheels.
We rode back to the headquarters and jacked
up the King on the lift. We dug out a handful of
tools, bought some model car gold paint and
plain old black enamel.
I sanded the tits on the wheel with 400 wet
and dry just to create a surface that would hold
the touch up excercise. I was determined that
legs of the wheels are powdercoated flat
black, perhaps over a clear coat that covers
the entire wheel. This was a test. The right
way might include taking the wheels off,
machining the tits away and re-powdercoating
the entire wheel.
I used a rag and harsh electrical
contact cleaner to prepare the surface for
This will tweak your mind. I painted the tits
on the alloy wheels with the gold paint first.
Then I stood back and eyed the job. It looked
sharp and added a touch of color. On the other
hand it had that gold-trimmed Cadillac
appearance. That was a bastard to swallow.
What's a poor Bandit to do? I went after
the other side of the bike with cheap brushes
and black touch-up paint. The exact same
procedure on the right, but without the gold
paint. Let me know what you think.
That did it. We installed the bags with the
left side touched in gold and the right handled
with hardened black. I still can't decide what
side I like the best. The women lean toward
the gold. Let us know what you think? I still
might stripe the wheels, machine them, then
black powder both entirely. That'll answer that
goddamn question. See ya next time for our oil
cooler install that's currently being featured in