Is there anything that you DON'T know how to do? Good info dude.
Having been asked a few times about how I painted my bike, I thought I would make this A-Z guide. I will try to make this as complete as possible based on my experience and techniques. If anyone wants to add to this, stuff like matching colors or other paint processes, feel free to chime in.
The bare plastic
If you are painting your bike, there is a chance it is because it has some rash and needs repair. If not, skip ahead, although, there are a few cool things you can do with this part, even with perfect plastics.
So, you have rash on a panel, the tail is cracked in two places and the headlight mount broke on the front cowl. Well, before heading to eBay, you can fix those cracks for practically no cost.
What you need:
- A good soldering iron (preferably electric)
- A wide, fan-tip for the iron
- Donor plastic (cut strips from that old 750 junked in the garage or ask on the boards for donations)
Sand down the area that needs to be welded to the bare plastic.
Cracks: Build up the area on the back side and front side. With the soldering tip, press the plastic strip into the crack, melting both the strip and the fairing part being repaired. Get a good weld on both sides. You want to make sure that it will not peel and has the best bond possible, so melt it thoroughly, without distorting it, of course (practice this on some of the donor parts, this is hands-on types stuff). Sand down the front surface, inspect the work and re-build if necessary. Important! Test the piece thoroughly by bending it to its 'normal' extremes. If the bond is ever going to break, you want it to break now, not after $200 worth of paint have been laid and cured.
Rash/holes: Build rashed areas much like doing the back side of a crack as above. Melt the plastic and build layers. Sand, build, sand... Scrape your fingernail over the built surface to make sure the plastic is bonded and will not peel. To check the contours, get a hand-held fluorescent shop light. Light the surface while looking at it from an angle. If it is too flat, spray a little canned primer/paint to see the light's contour on the surface. You will get the idea of what I am talking about once you do it.
Cool projects: If you have all the rash fixed, or do not have any to fix, you can still do some welding for fun. Here is one I did. I felt that the keyhole in the tail section was a bit out-of-place, especially with the scheme I would be painting. So, I cut a piece of plastic to match the hole, sanded it to fit and welded it in place. About 30 minutes of work, welding, sanding and spotting glaze to fine-tune the contour was all it took. When I ask people to spot what's missing, no one yet has been able to tell that it ever had a keyhole, even when their stock busa is sitting right next to mine. *I made a cable that is hidden under the left tail hole to unlatch the hump.
OK, so when you are happy with the bodywork, nothing is peeling or cracking, go ahead and fill any small rash, scratches with spotting glaze and sand the whole thing down with 220 grit. If you have old paint, go down to at least the primer. Sand everything down with 220 grit or 320 grit. It needs to be rough enough to accept the primer, but fine enough not to affect the primed surface and minimize post-prime sanding.
Paint Prep - Shopping
Now would be a good time to start looking for equipment, materials and paint.
First of all, you will need something with which to paint. I will skip the brushes and rollers here and go straight to the HVLP (High Volume-Low Pressure) paint guns. You could get a regular spray gun from Home Depot for under $100, but when spending $200-300 on paint, and painting the first time, this could prove very disappointing.
Here is where I got my system: http://www.autobodystore.com/paint.htm. *You can read up on the different guns and do a Google-search on other guns and other sites to see if you can get a better price, deal, etc. This was the best deal at the time. I got the DeVilbiss GTI-620G 'Millennium Special', which was especially a nice deal because it came with several extras all packaged with the gun, like extra nozzles, cup liners, a full cleaning kit, etc.
Once you have a gun, you will need an air supply. Since the parts to painted are small and stroke lengths are much shorter than doing a car, a smaller ~$200-300 compressor will do the trick. Read up more on the site above or do an Internet search. Go to Home Depot/Lowe's etc. and look around. You need something that will provide an even 30-35 psi with plenty of 1-3 second bursts. I used an old, mid-sized compressor that leaks oil, which worked fine. If you have to buy one, though, try to get a bigger, better built one, but for doing cycles, I think $500+ is overkill.
So, you have a gun and a compressor at this point, now you need all the stuff in-between. Tip: Do not use quick disconnect adapters. They constrict the airflow, reducing the available airflow and cause too much of a drop of air pressure at the gun. Connect everything directly, screwing the hoses directly to parts. Besides having hose, I strongly advise buying at minimum an air/oil/water separator, a filter and a regulator. The separator you can get at the hardware store where you get all the hose and adapters (that is the small thing with the glass bowl and a line-in/line-out). Since you probably don't have one of those $100K paint booths, a one-stage filter to separate water vapor should do the trick. http://www.autobodystore.com/Filter/regulato.htm You can get them with the regulator as well. You will need a regulator to set the maximum air pressure going to the gun, which is very important (also note, you should have this accessible where you paint).
With those components gathered, place from the compressor, the separator, the filter, the regulator and the gun in that order. This will get most of the oil and condensed water with the separator before it reaches the filter. Then the filter can handle just the water vapor and not get clogged with crap. Size up all of the adaptors that you will need. The hose, regulator, filters will likely have different sized threads. Note: The Devilbiss kit I mentioned earlier comes with a small regulator that fits on the gun as part of the ME kit. This is NOT a substitute for a real regulator, like the ones that come with the large filters. So don't try to skimp on that one.
Now you should have the bulk of the shopping done, but to greatly minimize total screw-ups like THIS and dust and other crap.
Here are some things to consider:
1) You need lots of ventilation. High VOCs can lead to rather heated situations.
2) Primers and base coats are very sticky. Make sure you have an exhaust filter or vent somewhere that you do not care gets a film of paint.
3) Clear coats cause a heavy electrostatic reaction with loose, over-sprayed primers, basecoats and dust. Fans and filtration should placed such that over-spray does not collect overhead, otherwise it will be raining paint before you start spraying the second coat of clear/pearl (uhhh, don't ask me how I know this ). Make the booth very clean-able. And always clean everything between process changes.
4) The exhaust needs to be as big as the intake. Do not let a vacuum form or over-pressurize the booth. Try to keep the flow even.
5) Lighting will be your greatest investment. Have as many as you can to light many angles. You can never have too much. Not enough and you will be underspraying parts, have runs and mis-matched colors on parts.
6) Build a bigger booth. I made mine 4' x 6' x 6'. After about 6 redesigns and reworks, it was ultimately too small. I could only spray a few parts at once which made it a real drag, especially when getting to the clears, which have a short pot life. Make the booth wide enough to move and spray parts easily and long enough to hold other parts without getting excess overspray on them. Or devise a way of getting freshly sprayed parts outside into a dust-free environment.
There is no real formula here. It all depends on how much space you have, how much you want to spend, what you already have, your climate, etc., etc.
Again, when you build it, make sure you route the air supply so that the regulator is in easy reach. You will need to adjust the pressure to the gun and tweak it as you progress. As an idea, I used aluminum studs to build the frame and lined the structure with plastic and reflective insulation. I never quite got the ventilation down, but I suggest getting a fan that can flow through the filtration, avoid using cheap box fans, etc (don't ask me how I know that, either).
Paint - more shopping
Now it is time to get creative and start getting some actual paint. You should have an idea of what color(s) you want, the scheme, etc. You can start looking either online for paints or shop locally. Check if there is an English Color supply. Their prices are not the best, but they are, after all, local. The added bonus is you can look at their color samples without shelling out $40 for a book of cards. But
You want to start with a good primer. I strongly suggest going with a high quality epoxy primer. PPG makes one of the best sandable epoxy primers. I just got mine from House of Kolor along with the rest of my paints. Not sure who makes it precisely, but it has proven to be a very good primer. You will then need a color coat and a clear coat. I suggest going with a high quality polyurethane system, so as not to put the primer coat to waste. Here is where I got my stuff: http://www.autobodysupply.net/houseofcolor/houseof.htm (thanks to Nick Smith for that link ). Take a look through the technical sheets as they will give you more than enough information on the process. Just note that the gun pressures they list are not for HVLP. Stick to the 30-35 psi recommended by the gun manufacturer.
To make it a little easier choosing, here is what I used:
KP-21/KP-21B Epoxy primer (2-part)
RU-311 Medium dry reducer (used throughout)
BC-25 and BC-26 white/black color bases
DP28Z2 Silver dry pearl (mixed with clear, followed by final non-pearl clear coats)
UC35 Polyurethane clear (Use KU150 hardener ... also, keep in mind the pot-life when you get ready to paint)
This is only what I used, there are a ton of other options from this company alone and many other paint manufacturers to choose from. Look at the technical sheets, make sure to note the reduction ratios so you order the right amount. Again, search the net, or visit your local paint suppliers. You may find better paints than the ones I used. The options you have are almost limitless (pearl, glow paints, metallics, Chromoflare-like paints, etc.). I suggest thinking of the color(s) you want first, so you do not get bogged down with the amount of choices.
Finally, get a half-gallon or a gallon of lacquer thinner. You will need it to clean the equipment. Also, make sure to get a little extra paint so you can practice. It won't be perfect no matter how hard you try and the final product will be wet-sanded anyway, so do not think it is the end of the world when you start getting minor orange peel or a few runs. If it helps, just look at ANY production car today. The orange peel on those is horrendous. Final wet sanding, although a hell of a lot of work, will get the mirror-smooth finish you want that is sure to win some shows (more on that later). Oh, I also did not add any flex additives. I felt there was no need and have not had any problems. Just do some research or ask around if you really want to add some to the paint process, I can not help much on that. Get a face mask, goggles and decent cover-alls. Make sure the mask handles high VOCs and organics (these are about $25-30 at hardware/paint stores). Do not use dust masks.
Hopefully that should cover everything you need to start painting. If I missed anything, remind me and I will add, correct or change the info.
So, now you should have a well-lit, well filtered and ventilated booth, a gun, compressor and a bunch of parts sanded down to 220-320 grit and ready to paint. Get some old t-shirts, lint-free cloths, tack cloths or the likes and wet them (not the tack cloth though, if you buy that stuff) and wipe down the whole booth (pre-vacuum if needed) and wipe down all of the parts before painting. Run the filters, turn on the lights and check the air temperature. Once everything is ready, mix the paint. Read the technical sheets on the paint you are using, they go into detail on the process. Just remember to adjust the gun pressure, as most sheets do not account for HVLP guns (Do not try forcing that 55 PSI through the gun).
- Is the air temperature within the recommended range (usually above 70ºF/21ºC)?
- Is the air temperature within the proper range for the reducer being used?
- Check the airflow and filtration. Is it flowing properly? Check where overspray collects throughout the painting process.
- Check the lighting. Make sure you have enough.
Once everything is checked and the paint mixed and ready to spray, get the parts in place. Do a few strokes on a test piece to make sure the regulator pressure is correct. It will take some time to get used to operating the gun. By the way, the gun should have some more controls on it. One should control the trigger, which determines how much paint flows, and the other controls how much air flows through the sides at the tip, which determines the fan pattern (close for a concentrated 'point' of paint, open to make a wide fan). Experiment to get a feeling. You may find that painting a motorcycle will be quite forgiving in the learning process, unlike a car which has large panels that require long, smooth and constant spray patterns. Since, again, this is a hands-on process, I will not go too much into depth, so here are a few tips.
- Check the distance, again refer to the recommendations of the gun manufacturer as well as the paint tech sheets.
- Experiment with the spray speed, distance, pressures.
- Check the recommended overlap.
- When practicing, look at the coats to determine if coats are too thick, too thin. Check for common errors.
After the primer coat has been sprayed, you can heat-cure the parts at 130-140ºF for 45-60 minutes, otherwise, let them dry and cure for several days (again, check tech sheets for specifics). Once cured, you can do the sanding. Use 400-600 grit for this process. Any errors and texture problems will be corrected in the sanding. Base coats and clears will not fill in cracks, coarse grits and errors, so make sure the surface is completely smooth before continuing. You should also have sprayed enough coats of primer so that it does not become thin, even after sanding.
On the base coats, just reduce and mix, these are fairly straight forward. If you are going to use a multi-color process, go ahead and mark the pattern and spray the first color in the regions, making sure to go beyond the region. Dry and mask for the second color.
Urethane clear coats will be a bit different. They will be a bit thicker. Make sure you only mix enough that you can use in less than 2-3 hours. If it goes beyond the pot life, the paint will harden and start spraying like those foam sprays you get at novelty stores (don't ask how I know that, either). Pearl is mixed with the clear coat and further reduced. If you use a pearl, this is not the final coat. Finish the job with a final 'clean' clear coat (2-4 coats), remember, you will still need to sand.
- Make sure panels match. Pearls, metallics and such can have different finishes by changing the thickness of a coat. A big difference can be even in just half of a coat, so make sure your lighting is good and match the parts before drying and spraying the final clear coat.
- Check the tech sheets, they are your friend.
- Any major errors after a process can be sanded and polished. Say, after spraying the base coat, you find a bit of dust and a few runs, sand them to 1000-1500 grit. You can use cutting compound before going to a clear/pearl after sanding.
Sanding and Polishing
After all of the painting is done and dry, you can either put the parts on the bike and go or do more work to get them perfect (or put them on and sand them later when you have time). Again, you will need good lighting to get the paint super-smooth. For runs, use a sanding block.
I would start with 1000 grit. You can skip to 1500 or 2000 if the surface is smooth enough. Wet sand it and wipe with a towel. Check the surface to make sure errors and orange peel is gone. Once you are happy with the surface, go to 2000 grit. Sand either in small circles or in 'X' patterns. Never sand back-and-forth. If there are errors or texture problems, doing that will only worsen the problem. Just make sure the sanding direction is always different and it will be fine.
After the 2000 grit sanding is done, polish with 2500 grit cutting compound. This is like polish/wax and you can get it at any auto parts place where you get sandpaper (the 3M stuff that comes in a dark grey bottle is good). Again, do circles or random 'X's when applying. I strongly suggest doing this by hand as the various corners will be quickly run down with a buffer (ugh... also, don't ask me how I know this ). It will probably take several applications until the surface shines completely.
Once the surface looks good, get some swirl removing compound and apply as before. With all of that done, you can do a final polish with a conventional polishing product and a final wax.
That is it. One final tip, either find or make thin plastic washers for all of the bolts. Make sure the washers are slightly wider than the bolts. This will ensure that when you loosen the bolts again, the paint will not chip off.
If I have missed anything or if anyone has any details that I can add, please feel free to post. Again, this is just the way I paint. It is not the only way. Do as much research and ask as many questions as possible before you ever get to the actual spraying.
A few links to help:
http://www.parasolinc.com/Product....?Link=6 (Paint product for orange-peel, I have not tried this myself, so use with caution)
http://www.google.com/ (No, I am not being a smart-ass )
Is there anything that you DON'T know how to do? Good info dude.
I intend to ride this mutha 'TIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF... *(Martin Lawrence)
It's not the Jack you should be worried 'bout... it's the ACE in my hand. *(Petey Pablo)
If I find something, just give me two weeks and I'll learn it.
thx alot for the info it will really help..
Wow very in depth information.
SIMPLY AMAZING! I learn more here than on the LEARNING CHANNEL!
Something about that full leather look that makes you just want to put your knee down!
I've been in the automotive refinishing industry for about 13 years. I just found this site this week while researching information on Hayabusa bikes before I buy a bike. This post caught my attention immediately seeing as how it's right up my alley.
I'd have to say that you're on the money here. You done a nice job of outlining the process and the tools and materials involved. Can you still feel your fingers after typing all that? Maybe they're worn down and numb from all that sanding?
Anyway, the only thing that I thought you missed (but almost hit) was the air hose it's self. You warned against quick disconnects that restrict airflow to an HVLP set-up but you didn't mention that using a hose with a small inside diameter will also restrict the volume of air flow, thus affecting the performance of an HVLP gun.
You did bring up a very valid point regarding following gun manufacturers' recommended pressures. I was in the auto body supply sales end of things when the HVLP stuff started hitting the market. The hardest thing to convince "old" painters to do was to lower the pressure to what the gun manufacturer recommended. They were so used to blasting away with the "conventional" guns that they just didn't believe the paint would lay out right at such low pressures.
I had to leave the store many times and go to many shops to show painters that I had not sold them a junk gun. They simply wouldn't believe that LP would work until I came out and proved it to them. I'd go out with a regulator in my pocket (most didn't use them on conventional guns) and sdjust to manufacturer specs, then lay the base coat out like silk. Same with clearcoat... After that, no complaints.
Just wanted to touch on the hose issue and re-enforce your statement about following manufacturer pressure specs. Again, you laid out a well written, well thought out guide for beginners.
By the way, any photos of your bike with your House of Kolors paint job on it?
I didn't give that one much thought. The hoses I am using all have a decent I.D., though.
I just (fianlly) finished wet sanding the rest of the bike yesterday (had the sides and front to go, tail, fender and tank had been done. This time I used a small buffer instead of doing the cutting compound by hand (I had a larger orbital buffer that would kill corners, so I had to stop). I also mixed some Meguire's 'Gold Class' clear coat wax/polish to the cutting compound and it really smoothed it out. I still need to get a bit of roughness out, but I think it is good enough for now. I really need to find some power tools to reduce the wet sanding time. That really gets to be a drag after a while.
Here is one I took just yesterday. You can see more of the bike over the past three years by heading to the Pics and Archives section, in my album.
Nice! First white one I've seen.
I've done TONS of watersanding but never on bikes. I can only imagine how fun it's going to be with all the edges and body lines and such! I still can't wait though.
Have you checked out the air powered dual action sanders designed specifically for wet sanding? Eagle Abrasives had a decent system available when I got out of the sales end of the business. Don't know what might have cropped up since then since I really haven't kept up with the tool innovation in the industry.
Anyway, schweeeeet bike!
Great tips!!! Thanx for all your effort too!
Was wondering if anyone know someone who custom paints bike (2002 Hayabusa) near Memphis, Tn Thanks
Just realized that my posts in this thread read as Guest. I had my user name changed when I bought a busa and all my old posts made under Wannabusa show up as Guest now. Just thought I'd post this so if anyone had any questions about my older posts they would know who I am.
And sorry, but I don't know any painters near Memphis. You might ask around at car shows and such, or ask some local riders though.
Si vis pacem, para bellum...
GOOD INFO ,(BUT) I'VE GOT SOME SCRATCHES ON THE BOTTOM OF ONE OF MY PANELS, WHICH I COULD FIX WITH WHAT I'VE JUST READ. ONLY THING IS I DON'T NEED TO PAINT THE WHOLE PANEL. JUST THE AREA AROUND THE FIX. ANY TIPS ON HOW TO BLEND THE PAINT SO IT'S A SMOOTH TRANSITION? < THANKS IN ADVANCE>
keep the rubber side down and the skin side up
The only real way to do it right would be to spray the repaired area, blend the color into the surrounding area and then clearcoat either the entire panel, or at least all of the color that you touched up if your bike is a two tone.
Si vis pacem, para bellum...
One important question Narc I thought when painting on plastic (motorcycle parts) that you needed to apply a flex additive to the primer and clear coat to avoid problems (flaking) l8tr on. //// Have you notice any problems with flaking or peeling since ?
Reason for Edit: None given...|1068979168 -->
Ok, rivvum, I ain't Narc but here's my $.02 on the flex additive thing...Originally Posted by [bQuote[/b] (Rhythm @ Nov. 16 2003,3:24)]One important question Narc I thought when painting on plastic (motorcycle parts) that you needed to apply a flex additive to the primer and clear coat to avoid problems (flaking) l8tr on. //// *Have you notice any problems with flaking or peeling since ?
I never use flex additives and here's why. Their purpose is to make the paint more flexible. Why? To prevent cracks and recude chips, right? Using flex additives also has trade offs just like anything else in life. We'll get to that later.
Let's start with cracking. When does automotive paint crack? When a body part is bent past the flex limits of the paint. My experience is that when bodywork is bent to the point that paint *without* flex additive would crack there is usually some damage or deformation to the body part that looks as bad to me as cracks in the paint, requiring repair or replacement and repaint anyway.
How about chipping? Automotive paint chips when it is struck by a small, hard object that is harder than the paint. In my experience, if something harder than the paint hits it you are going to have damage anyway, be it a mar, scuff, scratch, etc...
Now let's talk about that trade off thing. Flex additives basically make the paint more elastic and softer than paint without additive. That's why paint with flex additive might bend a little more or take a little harder hit without chipping than paint without it. The side effect of keeping the paint softer and more flexible is that it is easier to scratch. Trust me, clearcoat with flex in it will scratch and swirl mark a LOT easier than clear without it.
Another side effect is that in my experience paint with flex additive isn't quite as chemical (gas, cleaners, etc...) or bug gut resistant as paint without it. I also suspect that clears with flex additives might not be quite as UV resistant and might fade a little easier than without it. Can't scientifically prove this though. It's just the impression I have from being in and around painting over the years.
To me, the trade offs (soft paint, lower chemical resistance, etc...) just aren't worth what little (if any) benefits might come out of it. Of course I'm talking about painting with modern urethane paint systems. The paint makers have come a long way with their chemistry. Modern urethanes are designed to be as chip, crack, fade resistant as current technology allows. For my toys and my use, flex additive is a waste of money. Other painters' mileage may vary.
For what it's worth, the prep work done to plastics (especially bare plastics!) makes MUCH more difference in the quality, durability and adhesion of the primer and paint than any paint additive EVER could. This is where good painters are separated from the DIY'ers, jacklegs and beginners.
Reason for Edit: None given...|1068994521 -->
Si vis pacem, para bellum...
<span style='color:red'>Let's start with cracking. When does automotive paint crack? When a body part is bent past the flex limits of the paint. My experience is that when bodywork is bent to the point that paint *without* flex additive would crack there is usually some damage or deformation to the body part that looks as bad to me as cracks in the paint, requiring repair or replacement and repaint anyway.</span>
Paint will also crack and peel when it undergoes "freguent " flexing such as when removing your inner fairing providing that they are painted and your side fairing just to do preventive maintance (oil changes etc) not just from to reaching its flex limit due damage or deformation. *Just ask some of the guys who had the inners painted that are going through this peeling crap. *Yes !Prepping also contributed to the problem as well but I believe if the person that painted their inner added a flex additive and sanded (leveled)the inners properly this would had be avoided the cracking. * I think Nickslick or whoever the individual is that hangs out on the Busa sites and offer the painted inner mentioned that he uses flex and has been very successful with painting the inners because of it.
<span style='color:red'>Trust me, clearcoat with flex in it will scratch and swirl mark a LOT easier than clear without it.</span>
So are you saying it can not be buff out with a good 3 step detail jobr?
Also Train I'm only refferring to the plastic parts not metal (gas tank) which is more prone for scratches.
To make it short the plastic on a Bus will see more flex time (removing for service) than getting a scratch mark due to personal error (tank bag,body rubbing etc). * I appreciate your input Train and will make note of it but is your experience in regards to *flex additive uses apply to motorcycle part beng painted ? *This is the first negative response I have heard about flex additives when being applied to plastic part(motorcycles), I dont see much use for it on automotive vehicles because their body part do not go through the stress levels as motorcycles body parts. *That is why I'm asking Narc for some persona feedback of his results not using it . *I'm like everyone else and only want whats best for my bike, to be able to identify a quality painter based on his verbal and portfolio.
<span style='color:red'>For what it's worth, the prep work done to plastics (especially bare plastics!) makes MUCH more difference in the quality, durability and adhesion of the primer and paint than any paint additive EVER could. This is where good painters are separated from the DIY'ers, jacklegs and beginners.</span>
I couldnt agree with you more on this but it still wont prevent the paint from cracking *when being flex constantly over time from the movement of the bike when riding or routine maint and will fall short sooner than not adding it I think .
From the few bike painter I talked to *last year I was told to make sure I take it to a painter that has experience painting bike and not cars. *So this tells me these guys are using a different step or adding somthing to their paints.
Oh well my paint quest continues , thanks for your input Playa (Train).
Paint will also crack and peel when it undergoes "freguent " flexing such as when removing your inner fairing providing that they are painted and your side fairing just to do preventive maintance (oil changes etc) not just from to reaching its flex limit due damage or deformation. *Just ask some of the guys who had the inners painted that are going through this peeling crap.[/QUOTE]
Cracking and flaking/peeling are two different paint problems caused by two different things. I've seen paint cracked all to Hell without it flaking/peeling because it had good adhesion to the substrate. I've also seen uncracked paint blow off in sheets as big as my hand from metal that hasn't flexed at all because of poor prep/adhesion. Again, cracks are caused by flex (well, contraction/expansion as metal/plastic heats and cools can do it too, but that's another story for another time). Flaking/peeling occurs when adhesion is poor. Flex cracks may give flaking/peeling a starting place but it doesn't cause it. If the paint has proper adhesion it can crack all to Hell without peeling.
So are you saying it can not be buff out with a good 3 step detail jobr?[/QUOTE]
Nope, anything short of a turd can be polished if you know what you're doing and use the right polishing compounds. Just saying that given two paint surfaces, the softer of the two will be more susceptible to scratches, swirls, "spider webbing", etc... At the same time the harder surface will be more susceptible to chipping. Again, that damned trade off thing.
To make it short the plastic on a Bus will see more flex time (removing for service) than getting a scratch mark due to personal error (tank bag,body rubbing etc). * I appreciate your input Train and will make note of it but is your experience in regards to *flex additive uses apply to motorcycle part beng painted ?[/QUOTE]
My experience is mostly automotive. However, I've painted TONS of rubber car bumpers that had to be flexed FAR more to be installed back onto the vehicle than I have ever flexed my busa fairings including when I was trial fitting and adjusting the frame sliders. No cracks yet from any flexing to install them. I've also painted, airbrushed, and cleared on some flexible stuff, neither automotive or bike related, and didn't use flex additive. Still no problems. No peeling problems because I do proper prep.
This is the first negative response I have heard about flex additives when being applied to plastic part(motorcycles), I dont see much use for it on automotive vehicles because their body part do not go through the stress levels as motorcycles body parts. *That is why I'm asking Narc for some persona feedback of his results not using it . *I'm like everyone else and only want whats best for my bike, to be able to identify a quality painter based on his verbal and portfolio.[/QUOTE]
I have no problem at all with you asking for and even following Narc's advice, dude. I'm interested in hearing his input as well. However, in reference to this being your first time to see negative feedback on flex additive, have you ever considered that the painters might just be telling you what you want to hear? If you are talking to a painter and you ask about flex additive and come across like you think all good painters would use it chances are if he picks up on this he will pump you full of what he thinks you want to hear. Then, when he paints your bike chances are he won't even have a container of flex agent in his shop. If he really pegs you as gullible he might even add an extra few bucks into the price on the paperwork to make it look really good. Remember, I've been in this industry for over half my life and I've seen this kind of thing from the other side.
I've never done business that way because the only way I know to be is honest. I'd rather people go to Joe Blow if he flips their trigger with bull****. (Could just be what that verbal presentation you're looking for ends up being. ) Then, after they experience problems with Joe's work and experience the nightmare trying to get things right they will trust me next time.
I'm not trying to influence anybody's decision here. Just sharing my opinion. Not being rude or ugly to you, Rivvum, because I love you like a brother, but again, I'd rather you go the way you feel comfortable going. If you're happy that's great. If you're not, then you'll see what I meant. I hope that doesn't come across as harsh because God knows I don't intend it that way. Just laying it on the line. *
From the few bike painter I talked to *last year I was told to make sure I take it to a painter that has experience painting bike and not cars. *So this tells me these guys are using a different step or adding somthing to their paints.[/QUOTE]
What this tells me is that they make at least part of their living painting bikes. If you had a BMW car and they only painted BMW cars they might advise you to find a car painter that has experience painting BMW cars. Again, just my take after years in the industry. Overall painting experience and expertise means more to me than what they paint for a living. Are they saying that a painter that has painted cars and other stuff for years and that knows all the products and how to use them can't apply the products to a motorcycle as well as someone who has only painted motorcycles? Just something to think about.
My ultimate advice? In the riding world there are TRUE RIDERS and there are PEOPLE WHO RIDE. The difference is in experience AND knowledge, not just in experience. A TRUE RIDER can outride a PERSON WHO RIDES on any damned bike. I don't think anyone here would argue that, right? Well in the world of auto/bike painting there are TRUE PAINTERS and PEOPLE WHO PAINT. A TRUE PAINTER can outpaint a PERSON WHO PAINTS on any damned thing. Find a TRUE PAINTER whether most of his "experience" is in painting Plymouth Neons or Ducati Monsters and BEG him/her into painting your busa. Again, just my fraction of a US Dollar, worth what it cost you.
Si vis pacem, para bellum...
Good lQQkn out Train but damn do you honestly think that I would just bend over and grab my ankles and give a guy ammo like that and ask if he adds flex additives to his paint (not). I have pm'd a few Playaz here about this including Narc and the response was a split on adding flex, my conclusion is that I will use it on my inner fairing only if I have them painted because of the pulling and twisting they go through unlike the other body parts. Once again my brotha you know I got much love for the Big Man himself (Train) and appreciate your fraction of the dollar you are always willing to share with you brotha and sistaz.