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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The winter is approaching, and all of us are busily making our maintenance and modification plans. Mine includes repainting my bike from blue to silver. One of the POs painted the bottom of my tank black, and it looks like crap.
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle


As a side note, I cut off about four inches from my exhaust canister last weekend to get rid of some road rash at the leading edge. I think it came out well, and it is not noticeably louder. I like the look, shorter, but not stubby.
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Fuel tank


Nevertheless, I found some excellent information on SVR, and some other sites about painting motorcycles. The writeup below was from from 2008 by JBSWEAR. It's very informative.
So, you want to paint your bike?

This youtube does a great job explaining the steps.
Professional quality paint job for under $100

And this in-depth writeup is painfully detailed.
How to paint a motorcycle without a compressor & spray gun

I am going with Silver Ice Metallic from GM on the tank, fender and side panels. I saw the color on a Chevy pickup, and I like the looks. My plans are to sand the tank and do some light bodywork, prime filler, prime sealer, color coats with Dupli-Color, then clear coat with Spraymax 2K.

Before I begin, I have a few questions for the members.

1. Has anyone removed their factory tank stickers. I read here that they lie under the clearcoat, but I have not read of anyone removing them. My thoughts are to just sand them out, but I don't want to run into any issues. I was hoping not to sand to bare metal, because a lot of the paint is in good condition, and would make a good base coat. Ultimately, I plan to install new factory stickers on the tank in black.

2. I have only a little body work experience. My tank has a few dings, not much deeper that 1/16th on an inch. Can I simply use spot putty to repair the dings, or am I going to have to resort to body filler?

I will post pictures and steps along the way if anyone would like to follow along. Thanks for the assistance.

-Geo
 

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If the logos are under clear, sand through the clear and the sticker. Will likely make your way to metal, prime with a sandable primer. Spot putty will work on minor imperfections. You can get a nice looking paint job with rattle cans, prep is very important along with quality paint. Use a 2k (2 part) clear on the tank Spray-max is awesome, likely 2 cans for all the body work. Color Rite makes good paint in factory colors. Pricy but get what you pay for. If you're going to paint stripes use 3M auto masking tape for straight clear lines, comes in various sizes from 1/8" wide and up.

I've used rattle cans a few times going back 30 years.


This was painted with Color Rite with their single stage clear.


Color Rite with Spray Max 2k gloss clear


Color Rite with their 2 stage clear, not a fan of that


Cheap lacquer paint from the parts store with lacquer clear on the plastic and Spray Max 2k clear on the tanks


In the process of painting a KLR650 now, found some PVC paintable body work, have the Color Rite and spray Max 2k clear, have most of the prep done, will paint before the end of the year. let me know if you want more information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Salty. You obviously have a lot of experience in this area. I'll let you know how things are going. And I still want to take you up on your tire change offer you made a few months back. I simply have not gotten around to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, and I just realized blue Michelob Ultra cans are almost an exact match for Suzuki blue. Important stuff.

Automotive tire Hood Blue Motor vehicle Automotive design
 

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Looking forward to the photos, Geo.

I have no good advice. My only experience rattle-can painting a motorcycle was on a 1976 YZ125. The paint came out beautifully but proceeded to bubble up as soon as gasoline touched it, haha. Looks like the two-part Spraymax 2k clearcoat you are planning to use will prevent that. (y)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
life is too short to be drinking Michelob Ultra
Yes, but when I'm working up a sweat in the yard I don't want something heavy or overly flavorful. MU is the perfect quench. When I'm a bit more civil I like German wheat beers and pils. I've not yet found a craft beer that appeals to me, and I've tried them all over the country. I know we have some beer connoisseurs on SVR, so I will probably step on some toes. But to me, they all taste the same. There's a peculiar background flavor that I simply don't like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Back to the subject, I removed the tank and bodywork to start prepping. I have a few miner dings in the tank, which I plan to fix with spot putty. But when I started sanding I was startled to find a massive clump of Bondo under the crappy paint job. I'll post pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Automotive tire

Draining fuel.
Someone, I think it was ziptech, suggested an easy way to drain the tank. Simply disconnect the vacuum hose from the petcock and replace it with a long one. Disconnect the fuel line from the fuel pump and direct it into a container. Suck on the vacuum line to get the fuel flowing, then clamp the hose shut to keep it flowing.

Hood Automotive tire Automotive fuel system Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


Stuff to paint.
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Body jewelry Art Wood


Naked
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Crappy paint job
Helmet Hood Blue Automotive lighting Sports gear


Huge Bondo tumor.
Hood Automotive lighting Plant Motor vehicle Fender


Helmet Motor vehicle Automotive tire Motorcycle helmet Plant


Blue Fender Door Paint Electric blue


I knew the bike was crashed on the right side from scuffs on the front master cylinder and exhaust can. I had no idea the tank was likewise beat up. I've got my work cut out for me.

Any tips or bodywork secrets on how to make the shape of the right side of the tank match the left side? I've been told working curved panels is easier that straight panels because you can "fake it". But the tank sides have several compound curves that will make it challenging.
 

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First, do NOT use "spot putty"!!! Assuming this is the red laquer based product in a tube. Made from talc and resin and WILL cause shrinkage no matter what you do. Unstable over time. Heat ( engine is right below it...) can cause it to swell and then shrink back.
Rattle can paint can be quite nice. That is the easy part. Hard to tell from high end paint jobs if done correctly.
But there is the problem. Exotic paint jobs don't get that way from how the paint is sprayed. All in the bodywork and the finish work on the paint. Bondo, as bad as the reputation some give it, is probably your only course of action on that tank with the limited experience and tools you have. Unless put over rust, body filler is quite stable. Until you get carried away with thickness. Show cars have "bondo" all over them. But it is a rather thin amount. I would probably have left the bondo in place on that tank. What you really need is access to someone that can spray some high build urethane primer on that for you. Maybe check with a body shop in the area? They are spraying that everyday anyway. This is good stuff and will seal the body work below. Easy to sand and a MUCH better base for the top coats than any spray can primer ( near worthless ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks realshelby. I did not know that about spot putty. I can easily stick with traditional filler. I am not planning to completely remove the existing filler. I think there is enough existing filler left on the tank for me to shape the right side to match the left side. But it's all eyeball judgement. I will have to spot fill 3-4 shallow dings, but that will be easy.

As you suggested, I can take the tank to a body shop I know down the street. I did not know there was such a difference. Good tip.
 

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Some good advice posted.

I'll second the use of SprayMax 2K clear - it's what you want for anything that needs protection from gas or chemicals. Non-catalyzed clears just won't stand up to any chemicals.

One mistake I often see is people wanting to strip the original finish. If it's in good condition - don't strip it. It needs to be sanded to a dull finish, but not removed. Spray can primers are mostly junk, and aren't going to fill sanding scratches. It's best to have the finish evenly sanded to a moderate level like 400, and not plan to fill and significant scratches with primer. Too fine (600/1000) of sanding isn't good either, as it reduces adhesion. For bare metal, a self-etching primer is good idea, but don't expect it to do any filling. Don't apply any more primer/paint than required to get even coverage - and just a little more. Thickness will reduce durability.

I repainted the upper and one side fairing of my son's R6 that he scuffed up, using Duplicolor black metallic base that was right-on for the Yamaha black metallic. Over that I used the 2K clear. Can't tell it's been painted. It hasn't dulled or chalked like a typical spray can clear may have at this point.

The 2K clear sprays kinda thick, so you need to spray pretty "wet" to get good flow. 2 solid wet coats, with some flash-time in between, should be about right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's best to have the finish evenly sanded to a moderate level like 400, and not plan to fill and significant scratches with primer. Too fine (600/1000) of sanding isn't good either, as it reduces adhesion. For bare metal, a self-etching primer is good idea, but don't expect it to do any filling
Good advice Jay.

2 solid wet coats, with some flash-time in between, should be about right.
Still learning this stuff. I read somewhere that after "mixing" the 2k clear, you only have a certain amount of time to spray it. When you mention flash-time in between coats, roughly what time span do you recommend? Will the "mixed" clear still be good for the second coat?
 

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Good advice Jay.
Still learning this stuff. I read somewhere that after "mixing" the 2k clear, you only have a certain amount of time to spray it. When you mention flash-time in between coats, roughly what time span do you recommend? Will the "mixed" clear still be good for the second coat?
That's true - it doesn't last for an extended time after activating.

There is plenty of time before it gels, probably 48 hours.

Depending on the temp, it may be 10 to 15 min between coats. If there is a masked area that gets sprayed the same as the part, test that area. You don't want the paint to stick to your finger when you push sightly and drag your finger over it with some pressure like you are trying to smear it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's true - it doesn't last for an extended time after activating.

There is plenty of time before it gels, probably 48 hours.

Depending on the temp, it may be 10 to 15 min between coats. If there is a masked area that gets sprayed the same as the part, test that area. You don't want the paint to stick to your finger when you push sightly and drag your finger over it with some pressure like you are trying to smear it.
Yep, I watched a video earlier and it said the same thing. I am surprised (but pleased) that it takes so little time between coats. Thanks for your input.
 

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Looking good. As I was looking at the pics of the old blue paint, I thought it would be cool to mask a bit of it off like the offset triple-stripe Suzuki puts on the new 3rd gen bikes. Silver with a blue stripe would look pretty cool, and definitely custom. Either way looks nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looking good. As I was looking at the pics of the old blue paint, I thought it would be cool to mask a bit of it off like the offset triple-stripe Suzuki puts on the new 3rd gen bikes. Silver with a blue stripe would look pretty cool, and definitely custom. Either way looks nice.
Thanks bud. Yes, that would have looked cool to paint it like the newer blue/silver bikes, but the existing blue on the tank was in pretty bad shape. And I've set my heart on a monochromatic silver. I only wish my rims were silver. But in 2000 they were charcoal, and it's not important enough for me to change the color of the rims. No worries, black engine and charcoal rims will look pretty cool.

I must admit, it's nice to have a focus on the bike's cosmetics, rather than simply hoping she keeps running. I credit the SVR braintrust for that. You guys really helped me through.
 

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My kid had a SV and let me drive it. Just fell in love with it. Then he dropped it and I bought it back from insurance company and fixed it up pretty good. Took awhile. New bars, new lever, foot peg, used mirror. Repaired all body work and tank too. Just did not want to put too much coin in it. 100hrs later. lol. I got it reinspected. I had some good luck with Color Rite Paints in rattle can. But had to experiment to find best process and steps of each coat. Repainted the black plastics by speedo and clearcoat, they were dull.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Automotive lighting
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Automotive lighting
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Automotive lighting

Using white gloss primer and some adhesion promotor too really helped. Got some new stickers from Belgium on Ebay. Drove all kinds of cruisers and owned a few too, but this 2005 SV650 is my favorite bike of all time. Plenty of power and torque. Is a blast!!
Been layed up from a work accident. Cannot ride for over 4months so far.:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow! Nice opening post litning. Sorry you're laid up, but thank you for sharing your story. You did a beautiful job on your beautiful bike. The stickers look factory. Did you lay them under the clearcoat or over it?
 
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