Making of the Handguards
As you may or may not know, I am the proud owner of an ’89 Yamaha XT600z 3AJ. During the summer of 2018 I came across a single image (featured later on in this post) of Ingo Locherts 3AJ rally replica, see his website here. Quickly I fell in love with the bike and, specifically, his rally replicas from the early Paris Dakar events. After successfully purchasing my own in October 2018 I set my sights on restoring my Tenere in the memory of Ingo’s replicas, which have all but disappeared from the world. This post is one of many following the restoration, you can follow my progress and read about the 3AJ here. Now, on to the handguards..
From the few and far between low quality images I had of Ingo’s handguards, I could only determine the rough shape of guards and the Acerbis logo. I asked around on the XT600 Facebook group and was suggested that these were Acerbis Rallye Pro’s with Extensions. This sounded right so I headed to Ebay in search of the guards. Unfortunately times have moved on since Ingo’s original build, the handguards did exist but in a slightly updated design. You can find the official Acerbis hanguards here and the extensions here. Ultimately, there was no way that I could spend £70 for the guards and 2 pairs of extensions at £10 a pair. After a long time I found a company that appears to be reproducing the Acerbis guards. I purchased the guards featured below instead, and after a little wait for delivery I was quite pleased with the product.
Next it was time to customise the design. Ingo’s bike had top and bottom extensions fitted. I need to mark up some holes for the bottom extension to be attached to the guards and then cut the holes using a Pillar Drill. This type of plastic is quite soft and drilling is easy enough but take care not to slip as the surface is smooth and curved. Once the top and bottom extensions were attached I replaced the standard bolts provided with stainless washers, bolts and nuts. I do not want my hard work being stained by rust in a few years time. I then proceeded to mark up a number of holes around the edge of the guards and drilled those out too, taking a file to clean up the holes. Here is the assembled product.
Producing The Decals
For some reason I decided that I wanted the ability to create my own decals rather than purchasing them online for a couple of quid a sticker. Usually when you purchase a decal you get either a cut vinyl decal or a printed vinyl decal. In my opinion cut vinyl decals are far superior to their printed counterparts, even if the coloring and designs are harder to produce. After pretty much wasting some money on a couple of printed decals, I bought my Silhouette Portrait 2 Vinyl Cutter, a couple of meters of vinyl and some transfer tape.
After getting my head around the software I produced a range of vinyl decals. Belgarda and BYRD (Belgarda Yamaha Racing Division) I produced with a simple font, writing the letters/word and then sending the design to the cutter. The Motul logo decals were made by importing a design from the internet and cutting them with the cutter. By far the hardest decal to produce was the Chesterfield decal. I had to make this in 3 parts. Firstly the ‘hesterfield’. To get this font I used an online tool that scanned an image and determine a range of fonts that the image may contain. I then picked one that looked good and seemed accurate to the original and downloaded that font to use for the text. The ‘C’ shield logo was the hard part as it contained two colours. I first cut out the black outline and middle part then cut out the inner red component as a separate piece. I carefully position the red into position to finalise the handguard design.
Shortly I will be experimenting with lacquering the handguards and sealing in the decals to preserve their colour and condition.
You can now purchase this decal set for your own handguards here.