(Build log from 6/4/2011)
Last build log was about changing my VMX rc bike into a replica of Ryan Villopoto’s bike 2011 bike. Now its about changing the foam rider from stock to a replica of Ryan’s riding gear. I picked his THOR Core Dagger Black/White gear worn at the LA Supercross and Salt Lake City in 2011, along with Alpinestar Tech10 boots.
Backing up a bit here but before painting the rider, I experimented with reducing the weight in an attempt to lower the COG to help the gyro forces in the bike’s rear wheel. Surgery included dremeling the inside of his head, cutting his chest open and dremeling out inside, and dremeling the the inside of his legs from waist down to boot in a way that is not visible. I then modified the rider’s stance from an almost vertical casual stance to a racing stance that is lower. This required a wedge cut out of his front waist area to get the rider lean I needed. I also had to modify direction of his arms cutting/shortening them. It looks better and also benefits lowering riders COG maybe a little. He was glued up with CA glue. In error I used thick CA when thin was suggested. I do have some issues with the glue being too hard and the soft foam cracking near by however so far he’s holding up. The final area I worked on was the foam riders chest protector molded into the foam. I was not a fan and dremeled off some of that foam. I think that was a mistake because it exposed core foam which doesnt look good and makes stickers sticking a pain. Next rider I would just paint over the chest protector or enhance it differently.
Thanks to a tip on paints from Chris Nicastro, R&D at Venom, I used a paint called Createx thats designed for airbrushing. I purchased from local craft store Michaels. I didnt own an airbrush so I experimented anyways and brushed it on with a new set of brushes for 5$. Each layer requires heat in order to cure via heatgun! So far, the paint is flexible and holding up after 2 test sessions of bike at a local track (about 4-5 battery packs worth). Im very happy with the paint.
After painting I experimented with stickers for details. I got experience using GIMP photo editor with the bike decals so I thought it would work here. BTW, GIMP is awesome and FREE. I mapped out the riders body onto paper as a template and set up some graphics from photos. Some stickers are holding up, others are not. To fix the areas that are peeling, Im trying out rubber cement which is also working ok. In areas which stickers are not working, I will maybe go back and paint them in since the paint is holding up so well.
The final touch was adding reflective lens to the riders goggles. I went to a local window tint shop and asked for mirror tint and he gave me some free. I attached a small piece of lexan in the shape of goggles so the tint would have a rigid surface, then I used rubber cement to glue on the mirror tint.
This is not a shelf queen bike. Ive done the work (two fricken months worth!) and have taken the pictures. I did it and looking back at original photos of bike before all this its amazing to see the difference. Now its time to get dirty! The future is about getting this bike track worthy.