Allen Millyards web site has a useful trick for finishing welds on exhaust pipes which may be of interest to you, about 9 mins in.
I have used this idea for refurbishing rusty kickstart levers etc.
Since a couple are interested, Just a quick update: painted tank, front guard and headlight and made up a couple of headlight brackets. Paintwork yet to be polished, also have a couple of 650 stickers I'm thinking of applying to the tank. Not sure about them, don't want to draw attention away from the engine. If anyone is interested I can post some pictures and write a 'how to' narrative on making the headlight brackets.
Finally finished off the forks today, right side needed a final polish. These pics show how not to remove fork seals. Some people shouldn't be allowed near bikes, gouging the fork legs like that to get a seal out is criminal..
The damage is actually worse than the pictures show, both legs have deep gouge mark inside and outside the seal housings, one was cracked, but despite blasting the area and using a loupe I couldn't find it. I thought about cutting the top section down to the level of the top of the seal, then turning up an aluminium sleeve with a circlip groove and shrinking it over the seal housing, but, the seals were a damn tight fit and no more aluminium broke off the top. I might still remove the top section down to the level of the seal as the circlip really isn't needed, so tight is the seal fit. The stanchions have a bit of rust on them, hence the gaiters, but, I think the forks look better with them.
I had another shot at the left side engine cover. No matter how much I polished it before, the aluminium appeared stained. I've tried a nylon fibre wheel before with no luck, so this time I scrubbed it down with wet and dry then polished it, Still the same. It appears there is a fault in the aluminium, I must have scrubbed the aluminium down by at least half a mm, all to no avail. Still nice and shiny, but the staining is really annoying me. Strangely enough, whilst the other aluminium on the bike was in terrible condition, badly pitted and oxidised, nowhere else is staining a problem. It's only in sections rather than the entire cover. Nothing more I can do, so I'll have to hunt around for another cover. Japanese metals have always been of bad quality, too much junk in the casting I'd guess.
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I do not know if you are familiar with the Ceriani forks of the 1960/70s (maybe earlier as well) but they were made from tube with extra pieces glued on. The glued pieces were the axle carrier, mudguard and brake torque arm mounting and the seal holders.
The damping pieces that I mentioned were for some replica Cerianis that I made for my classic race bike. I made the mudguard mounts and seal holders but for the axle carrier I cut the bottoms off the CBX forks which saved a lot of machining. Here are some pix.
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I used a size for size fit which I lightly knurled and glued the pieces on with Loctite. The knurling gave a slight interference but the main purpose was as reservoirs for the Loctite.
The Ceriani form of construction is a successful precedent to what you propose for the Yam forks. I agree about the circlip, I have never found them necessary. The only force trying to move them is friction and that should be minimal.
Shame about the imperfection in the engine cover thats the trouble with being a perfectionist I know because I am also that way. I had a similar issue with my Triumph timing cover which had a gouge across it from a probable spill. I ground a groove and used Lumiweld to fill it and flatted and polished it smooth, There is a slight colour difference in the two metals but only noticeable because I know its there. I would be interested in how you achieved such a neat bend in those headlamp brackets. I also prefer the look of fork gaiters on road bikes.
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