Bike - 2013 project - redoing my 2002 shadow spirit 750

Putting on the tip to wrap the pipes. Put heat shield on after spraying the headers with some heat resistant paint. Screwed tips to shield and wrapped.

Finished plasti-dipping the forks and wheels

Used the plasti-dip because my seals are still good on the forks. When those go Ill peel the dip off and have them powder coated. I will say the plasti dip when prepped good holds up great and should you get a little chip it takes minutes to repair.

Sprayed all the plastic with a rustoleum truck bed liner spray. Prepped by sanding, wet sanding then coating with plastic primer. I should have just used etching. Once a few good coats of rustoleum liner were sprayed and dried (about 3 days or so depending on weather) I sprayed a few coats of high temp ceramic coating just for added protection. With enough force you can scratch them down to chrome of course. Painting chrome plastic is like painting wind! I did this in a way that was easily fixed with a quick spray should the need happen.

Also plasti-dipped the rims. Used about 5 coats of black then 4 or so coats of red to get that really deep red color. Again hold up pretty good but time will tell.

On the front I have a dual sport big block tire and the rear a nice white wall one size up from stock for a beefier look.

Was going to have this powder coated but couldnt get the bushing out. I decided to try the rustoleum paint here too.
Sanded good and etch primed a few good coats. I will say on aluminum this stuff is tough. I was beating the tree back on with a rubber mallet (protected with a rag) and had no adverse chipping. I did end up with a scratch on the back from something. I think I slipped putting the tank back on but I simply sprayed over it and was all set.

All my powder coated parts. I put the speedometer in there so you could see the match of the powder coat and rustoleum spray. The spray has very small abrasive fibers in it for tread but when sprayed on the parts it looks awesome and gritty as hell.

headers wrapped and parts going back on

Tank and fender sprayed. Sanded down good, etch primed and sprayed with a stone white rattle can spray from auto zone. Would I do this again.... nope. Im going to find this color in a non acrylic spray and go for that next year. The acrylic chips and ruins very easy. This will make a good base coat for next year I guess. Gotta see the positive!

Sprayed with acrylic low gloss clear. The low gloss looks amazing. Gives the bike a really old school look, which is what I want.

Next up I am jetting it right now and installing a hgh performance K&N filter.

For appearance Im getting a pair of 5" rise black Z bars (handle bars). I will need extended cables for this so Im waiting until winter here in CT to finish up.

All in all Im very happy and the few times I took it out before tearing the carbs out to jet I got a slew of people complimenting. One guy walked across a gas station to check it out and once group almost knocked me off the road not watching where they were going and swerving into me. I guess near death is a good compliment!

Had to pull the carbs again to check the air fuel mix screws. Heres what these little buggers look like. Think I may just have to bring these in to get synced because I am having no luck getting it running right again after messing with the mix.

Updated April 2015 - Seat make

Spray glue for fabric AND FOAM. Make sure it says foam or it will eat up your foam. Locktite makes one, I got some other brand from HD

Staple gun
thread/needle (ONLY IF you are using multiple fabrics like myself)

First step is rip apart that old stock seat. I have no pics of this as I have been actually riding around on the plastic pan for like 2 years. Im not a cushy comfort guy more than just like a good shape so I needed minimal foam for my liking. I used to ride my old bike with a seat made out of fabric covered wood I shaped.

I wanted a solo seat so I cut the back seat off and hucked it, mistake on my part cause now I want a pillion seat, but anyway. I also cut down the edges of my seat because I wanted it a little slimmer. A dremmel or jigsaw works well for this.
You cut to your liking. Do it in small parts tho cause you cant put it back. I pretty much eye'd everything but you can use about anything as a stencil if youre not as confident.

First and foremost we need to cut our foam.
Place the foam on the seat and push into the look you want. This does not need to be perfect and youll see why later. 

Flip the seat and rest your knee into the butt part to help the foam keep its basic shape and use a marker to line out the shape of the seat. Remove the foam and cut it.

Once the pan is where you like its sand the edges down smooth and cover every inch you can with double sided tape. There are some REALLY strong double sided tapes out there and I recommend them but all I had was the generic white scotch stuff lying around so I said Fuck it.

Your seat should look like this.

Remove the adhesive paper cover from the tape and starting FROM FRONT TO BACK, I can not stress this part enough, DO NOT just mush the foam down. Pick an area that works for you, mine was front to back and inch by inch sort of press the foam down lightly. The good thing in using the tape over glue is you have the opportunity to reset the foam if you screw up.
When you get the entire thing pressed in and looking good then your can REALLY press hard and set that foam into the tape. Really get in there hard. Make a mental image of every strip of tape and be sure to put that pressure on and get it good.

Should look like this.

Now let get GHETTO!
Many guys including myself have spent the time to sand their foam in the past and it SUCKS. It makes a mess and you get one shot or your screwed. I was NOT about to go through this again so I came up with this idea!

Gorilla Duct tape is gods answer to everything except sexually transmitted diseases.... at least for now. Dont use anything but Gorilla brand because its actually almost a fabric based backing that is super STRONG. I used the tape to basically mold the foam by adhering to the edges and then folding under the plastic shell. go ahead and double it up. Make that stuff thick. You want it to hold. Go nuts, its all gonna be covered anyway. Hell you could probably skip fabric and just duct tape a black seat lol. 

This tape will actually hold up nicely when stapled as well so when I staple through the vinyl it will also penetrate the tape and keep that secure. Also MAKE SURE you get staples that will ONLY penetrate into the plastic. Last thing you want is to sit down hard and pierce your ass with 1000 staples. Unless that your thing, then by all means. 

Now for the fabric. If you are using only one color then skip this.

If you are using a pattern then go somewhere else. Ill post pics of my vinyl but Im not explaining how to sew because I stink at it and I dont want some ass hat coming here and telling me if I used a "homemaker 3rd row bunny skip stitch" it would have held better. I have no idea what stitching I used but I went over it about 3 times back and forth on each side with different styles Ive learned and it was super strong, Then on top of that..... yup, gorilla tape! Pull the fabric taunt and hold with your knees (or another person) and run the tape down the stitch. Rub the tape to get that glue softened and really holding. Most tape activates much better by creating friction heat. 

See this last pic below how the left side of the stitch looks REALY flat and smooth yet the right looks a bit rolled on itself at the seam. Thats to show you the bonus of the tape. The left side is pulled taunt with tape while the right side was not yet to show you.

This entire process took me a couple hours. If I was using one piece of fabric with no stitching I would have been done with the entire seat in about 2 hours. The stitching alone was another 2 hours because I do not have a machine nor do I know someone who does. I would HIGHLY recommend any pattern be done on a machine to save time and get a super strong stitch.

Next we will be spray gluing the fabric onto the foam.

I will post these pics tomorrow. 

You want to be very careful here and like laying the foam on the tape start from one spot and work your way back. Spray a little foam , set it, then move back and repeat.

You really want to go inch by inch here to avoid bubbles, and get a smooth nice flat appearance. Also if you screw up its easier to remove 3 inches on vinyl with minimal damage then the entire seat. 

You really want to dry fit as much as possible. 

Heres the finished seat. 
I actually passed on staples because my foam was SO thin and opted for some selectively placed thumb tacks and just spray adhesived the fabric to the plastic shell. Time will tell but man this stuff is TOUGH. 


  1. What kind of tire is that on the front rim? - I dig the heavy tread - almost a cleat with the grooves that large. (Swampcroc from the Shadowriders forum)

    1. Shinko 705 Series Dual Sport Front Tire - 110/80R-19 TL/--

  2. Nice combination/balance of black and white as well as treatment of the chrome! -The Croc

    1. thanks took some work, but Im happy for now.

  3. What kind of pipes are those? And what jets did you go with?

    1. just stock headers with wrap and exhaust extensions. The jet kit I bought from

      still running good.
      check out our show on


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