I confess that there were times when I clicked and bought online, however these were small items that would be more costly to make myself, the big exception being the Burton seat. If I have to buy or pay for a service I prefer to support the little guy because he tends to care more and offer a better quality product, for example, tune from TTP, lay flat instrument bracket by D9 - both members of this forum with small businesses. LED boards for the flashers and OEM rear light, IMO the best on the market, came from Matchless Clueless, a guy who originally made these for the Matchless forum, and at my request, began to produce boards for the Triumph twins. At first, just boards for the Lucas replica tail lights, then requests from this forum led to boards for the OEM 'ET head' tail lights and OEM flashers.
There's a few improvements on my bike that are hidden, mainly electrical. For example it has keyless ignition that works on both keyfob and RFID frequencies which gives me choice on how I want to switch the bike. With RFID (present a tag, like tapping your bank card in a store), I can get tags in the form of credit card, coin size or a ring, or the pet chip which can be sewn into a glove. A member on here even had the pet chip implanted into his hand. That was a bit overboard I know, but his reasoning was that by programming 'his hand' to multiple RFID units, he could operate numerous things such as garage door, or the ignition of multiple bikes with just a wave of the hand. Of course I think having a tag implanted is insane, however if one is so minded the possibilities are endless - light switches, garage doors - anything requiring switching on or off.
Another hidden feature of my bike is the hazard flashers. These are not ordinary hazards but work in a smart way. Initially, they won't come on without ignition but having set them going the ignition can be switched off. They will keep going until switched off at the handlebar, after that the ignition needs to be on before they will start again. I planned it like this so that if I should get stranded by a roadside breakdown, I can leave the bike to phone for help or whatever without leaving ignition on. I believe that BMW have this feature also.
I too make stainless my first material of choice.
The climate where I live is particularly harsh. Lots of salt on the roads in the winter. Lots of rain all the time. I polish my stuff regularly, but stainless takes some of the weight off, but yes this bike takes lots of polishing. I use Mother's mag and aluminum polish and all is good.
Much the same climate here, in the winter the road salt is wicked, but still necessary. We usually get just a few days of sun during the summer, between showers and heavy downpours in the spring and autumn. The UK is a dank, damp country to put it bluntly.
As far as polishing is concerned I'd like to give you a heads up on some wonderful stuff. Its a metal polish called White Diamond. Its for any metal and is the same stuff that the truckers on your side of the pond use on those big mirror finished aluminium fuel tanks. When I had my engine cases polished I started using this stuff, it leaves behind a protective coating and I only had to polish the cases about once per year, despite the English climate. The white oxidization that plagued me before was gone. However I will say that my bike is pampered and under cover when not being ridden. Paintwork is also a once per year job, I use a ceramic coating (for car detailing) on that, which is a water repellent. Water runs straight off and won't even bead. I find that if water doesn't stick, then neither does the road grime. A simple rinse/wipe over now and again keeps the bike sparkling, no shampoos or detergents. My bike is 12 years old in March.
How did your fenders come to be? Again...off the scale.
I find that plastic has its uses, experience with chrome fenders in the past was not good, they tend to rot from the inside, and at one point I had attempted to cure this by coating the inside with underseal (as on cars). The spray from the wheel simply carved a trench in the underseal and they kept corroding. I thanked the lord when plastic fenders and side panels (and mag wheels too) started to appear, so I didn't want to change them. However, the bike was all black originally. Black is my favourite colour, and the bike did have some chrome but there was too much black.
So when I planned out the paint job, and made it symbolic, I decided on the chequered flag as my personal tribute to Slippery Sam - I'm sure you already know, but Slippery Sam was a factory racing Trident. It earned its nickname when it had engine problems and dropped all its oil on the track during the 1970 Bol d'Or, and still managed to finish in 5th place. Sam went on to win 5 consecutive production 750 races in the Isle of Man TT from 1971 to 1975. It was arguably the best bike to ever come out of the Meriden factory.
I've been up close and seen Slippery Sam many times at the National Motorcycle Museum. However, there was a big fire there in 2003 and Sam was destroyed, but has since been restored. Still, Sam is no longer original.