Black engine? Oh yeah!

I compared for hours pictures of XR500 engines in their plain aluminum finish (pre-‘82 models) and semi-gloss black finish (‘82 and on) and decided that black it is.  We’re going all black!

And so I painstakingly cleaned and degreased every part which would get painted and wished a hundred times or more that I had a sandblaster (this has to be my next acquisition).  Every chemical under the sky had its turn in helping the effort but none were magical.  A set of metal brushes, patience and elbow grease ended up being the only working solution.

XR500-72a
As clean as it’s going to get – the XR500 parts are ready for assembly and paint.

Because I want a bit of contrast between the black parts and the assembly screws & bolts, I’ll assemble the parts but just temporarily.  After painting is completed, I’ll take the top end and engine side covers off again to finish the assembly with actual gaskets, piston, camshaft and valves.

XR500-77a
The XR500 engine ready to be painted.

The engine paint needs to be high temperature resistant to assure that nothing will peal off while traversing, say, heat-crazy-sun-baking Arizona in mid July!  I’m sold with the Dupli-Color Semi-Gloss Black DE1635 Engine Enamel rattle can — claims heat resistance up to 500°F (260 Celsius) and will handle oil and gas.  It is also easy to apply and doesn’t run.  Maybe it even helps grow hair.  Sounds like perfection in a can?  Well, it better be because I committed, now the engine is Dupli-Color black!

XR500-84a
All black, loving it.

Now let’s let it cure for a few days and then take it apart again to actually complete the engine assembly.  This is probably my favorite part.  Put some Pink Floyd music on, drift away, and enjoy every minute of the final touches.

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8 Responses to Black engine? Oh yeah!

  1. Roland linder says:

    I think that the all black is a great idea. Besides the racy look that the engine will have, you’ll not see all the oil leaks as fast!! haha! You better have no leaks but I know the way you work and all should be just perfect like a Swiss watch..right??
    Roland

  2. mike disney says:

    I Like the black ! Are you going to black out the whole Bike?

  3. Jennifer says:

    Wow! Nice work…I’m not surprised it’s meticulously done…I know how you work! 🙂

    Is there a Honda “color”? If it were a Ferrari I’d say go with red, a Porsche go with black, a BMW go with blue….you get the drift.

    If not, then I say go bold. I think red or yellow would look cool with the black engine.

    xo

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for the input. There are classic standards in motocross (red for Honda, blue for Yamaha, yellow for Suzuki, green for Kawasaki and orange for KTM) but outside this market there isn’t a dominant color for any brand (well, maybe orange & black for Harleys and red for Ducatis). I’m tempted with going with fire red which was the original color of this XR500 but I also wouldn’t mind creating something original. Decisions, decisions…

  4. H. Fritzer says:

    Pourquoi tu ne peinds pas ton engin “gold” comme l’était ton Puch 2 vitesses en 1975???
    Ce sera peut être le seul de posséder une Honda XR500 dans cette couleur:-)

    • Mike says:

      Hé, hé, j’y ai pensé et c’est certainement une possibilité. J’ai probablement trois ou quatre semaines devant moi avant de devoir prendre une décision. Je vais utiliser Photoshop sur l’ordinateur pour faire des représentations graphiques en différentes couleurs, Je t’enverrai des copies et on discutera. xo

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