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On the topic of restoration, a wise man once said that an item is "only original once".  That speaks volumes, and if you're wanting to preserve your Barracuda, you should take the time to clean and recondition the bike, including replacement of parts with true originals, but leave the finish on the frame and fork as it is.

If however, you're not necessarily looking to preserve or hold onto your bike for decades, in hopes that it's worth a ton of cash down the road, you have some work to do.

The first thing I suggest doing, is disassembly, documenting each and every part on the bike.  Include the make, model and size of each part.  During disassembly, you can take the time to inspect and clean any parts that you will keep and reinstall later.

Now that you are down to a bare frame, you can inspect it and determine whether or not you will refinish it.  If the frame is to be refinished, you can either choose to do this yourself or have a professional do it.  Doing this yourself, means removing the existing finish including decals, then applying new paint, then decals, then a clear coat.

A hair dryer or heat gun is the easiest method to soften decals for removal.  WD-40 can then be used to clean any adhesive residue.  At this stage, you should be seeking or fabricating replacement decals.

Paint removal can be done in a number of ways, but I recommend using a paint stripping gel.  Use steel wool or high-grit sandpaper to smooth your surface once the majority of the paint is removed.

Wipe down the surface with acetone to remove residue prior to painting.

Again, painting is something that I won't go into much detail on, but many people have success with rattle-can paint.  The trick to this method is to spray light coats more often, rather than fewer, thicker coats.  You will prevent running, and get a better finish.

After allowing a few days for the base coat of colours to dry, apply your decals and let them set up for a day.  Once that step is complete, spray on a clear coat using the same method as you did for the base coat.

Now, you can reassemble the bike with your parts, being careful as to not scratch or disturb the finish on the frame and fork.


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