I ended up just spraying the whole wheel assemblies (minus the brake hubs) in flat black. That left just the exhaust to paint, which I had in mind to do in something metallic of a finish.
First I tried metallic brass, but didn't like it. Then I sprayed it with metallic copper, and I hated it even more. In the end – just like the wheels – I decided to do them in flat black as well, with the header joints in chrome for contrast against the headers and the cylinder. Ultimately, I wanted to keep the engine the centerpiece to this whole thing, so I felt like anything else with any amount of gloss just detracted from that.
I am done.
You know that saying, “it's the journey, not the destination”?
Well, now that I'm effectively done, I do feel a little sad that I am.
Without a doubt, the best part about this whole project was getting to tear down a motorcycle, as I've never done anything like that before, and was always reluctant to try it on an otherwise perfectly fine motorcycle I own. Getting into and gutting the engine was also a fun learning experience, even if to the dismay of some moto-purists. To me, what it was about was despite having known of all these engine parts for years, having seen them on pictures, microfiches, or maybe in real life on their own, but only now having actually seen them all together and how they all connect and work together inside the engine was really cool.
For those two experiences alone, the $100 I spent for this whole bike was money well spent.
The rest of the experience, including the re-painting, turned out to be just the added bonus after all. The way I see it, I just did to this bike what other people tend to do with old, discarded furniture; refinish and repurpose. It had been sitting for who knows how long anyway, collecting dust before I bought it, so it might as well look good while sitting around collecting dust.
I decided to not stick it in our living room for now, not in the single-family house we currently live in. My wife has always talked about wanting a bigger place anyway, which is an idea that is becoming more practical to me as our family grows. So when the time comes that we start looking for a bigger house, best believe that I will be eyeing the corners where I could put this bike on.
Until then, it's going to take up permanent residence in my garage, up on my motorcycle work table for better viewing.
P.S. – More or less, it's done, though if I'm bored here and there, I might get some clear hoses to route between the engine, carbs, and fuel tank. Maybe stick an air filter that would fit. I may also do a faux-seat after all on the seat pan. You know, things like that. But as a whole, it's pretty much together as I intended.