Motorcycle paintwork projects in the past have ranged from a classic 1970's CZ restoration, to custom Harley Davidson type choppers, to modern sportsbikes - all with very different painting requirements. Full motorcycles are never kept on site and only the stripped parts are taken in. All stripping and refitting is carried out or arranged by the customer.
Due to the many different types of motorcycle colours and the individual nature of each bike, my usual procedure for carrying out motorcycle paintwork is for the customer to obtain the required basecoat colour/s from a dedicated motorcycle paint specialist - I can provide contact details for my recommended supplier. This avoids any confusion and guesswork surrounding colour codes and paint formulas, which may only be available through a limited number of automotive paint brands, if at all.
As well as allowing the bike owner to get the paint at cost price, the time savings allow me to concentrate on the necessary repair work.
The basecoat colours are supplied pre-thinned and ready for use.
Any left over paint goes back in the bottle and is returned to the customer after repairs have been completed - very handy for any future paintwork or touch-ups and avoids any colour matching or tinting issues at a later date by being from the same batch that was used during the initial repair.
All the other required consumables such as adhesion promoter, plastic fillers, primers, final lacquer etc., can be supplied from my own stock.
During the initial estimating stage I can advise on the required quantities of basecoat colours to order and prevent any excessive amounts of paint being purchased and remaining unused.
Motorcycle colours are among some of the most eye-catching shades on the road and often present a challenge during painting.
Basic solid colours and metallics are no different to the colours generally found on cars, although because of two-tones and multicolour schemes there is often intricate masking to be carried out to separate the colours and each time a different colour is applied a fresh coat of lacquer goes over the top so the masking edge cannot be seen or felt.
The biggest challenge with motorcycle colours is three-stage candy & pearl colours. These particular types of colour provide some of the most stunning shades available with excellent depth and a brilliance under sunlight which cannot be achieved using ordinary two-stage colours.
The way a three-stage colour generates its individual colour effect is to allow the sunlight to pass right through the outer colour coats and reflect back from the underlying groundcoat - this creates the impression of depth and brightness - almost a 3D effect.
The basic process involves firstly repairing any panel damage in the usual way and 2-pack priming as necessary.
Once the parts to be painted are prepared and ready to spray, they are entirely painted in a specific groundcoat colour. This represents the first of three stages and is absolutely vital to achieve the correct colour effect once finished. The groundcoat is usually a very bright, clean white, or in some cases a very coarse brilliant metallic silver or even a coarse metallic colour. In any case the purpose of the groundcoat is to provide the basic starting point for the generated colour and the groundcoat is always - to some extent - visible even when the remaining pearl/candy and lacquer stages have been applied.
The second stage is to apply the precise number of coats of pearl/candycoat over the top of the previously applied groundcoat. This second stage coating provides the main colour tint but is very transparent and has limited covering power - many coats can be applied yet the groundcoat will still be visible - although the perceived colour of the groundcoat will now be tinted to whatever colour this midcoat is - and becomes a darker shade with each coat that is applied. This is why three-stage colours are a challenge to get right as not enough pearl/candy coats will leave the finished shade too light, whilst too many will leave it too dark. It is therefore essential that a selection of test panels are sprayed prior to any paintwork being carried out. The test panels will all be painted firstly with groundcoat, then a full selection of pearl/candy coats will be sprayed ranging from a single pearl/candy coat, up to around eight pearl/candycoats, prior to them all be clearcoated with lacquer.
Plastic welding techniques can save a fortune compared to the cost of replacing expensive motorcycle fairings. Most types of damage can be repaired from a minor crack to large areas of splitting with pieces broken away - any large missing pieces must be kept in order to weld them back in place.
The only requirement is that pieces of donor plastic exactly matching the original are available during repair - usually taken from a spare damaged fairing, which can be sliced into strips and used as a filler rod during the welding process.
Sometimes strips of donor plastic can be shaved from hidden areas avoiding the need to source separate donor pieces. Some samples of plastics are kept in stock for this purpose from fairings which were beyond economical repair, but it is always worth hanging onto damaged parts incase a the same plastic type is unavailable.
Different types of plastic can NOT be fused together hence the need for a donor sample for bridging cracks and splits, ideally taken from the original item or from a similar make/model. Only Thermoplastics are repairable in this way.
Thermosetting plastics cannot be welded - the application of heat burns the plastic rather than melting it, making fusion impossible. Luckily the majority of plastics used on cars and bikes are thermoplastic and therefore repairable.
Once properly repaired, a plastic welded panel is very strong compared to other repair methods such as glue, adhesive, or bonding.
Repairs of this kind aren't just limited to automotive components. Plastic welding can often be successfully carried out on many items. Some of the more diverse items enquiried about have included a children's slide, plastic toys, agricultural items, plastic pipework, water tanks, caravan fittings, garden furniture etc.
Plastic welding and repair methods are becoming the environmentally preferred option instead of replacement and avoids any associated waste disposal costs.
This range of test panels will give a very close indication of the exact number of pear/candy coats required to generate the final required colour shade. The final stage of the three-stage process is the final lacquer/clearcoat stage.
Notes about three-stage pearl colours:
The correct groundcoat colour MUST be used.
A full selection of test panels will need spraying to determine the right number of pearlcoats required.
Three-stage colours can NOT be blended or faded out like ordinary colours as this will alter the shade - which usually means spraying a full side or even a full respray.
Three-stage colours are often difficult to get a perfect edge-to-edge colour match with fairings that bolt up to each other - as above, adjacent parts often need painting to match properly.
Petrol Tank Repairs
All work carried out from a minor dent or scratch to a full tank restoration including shotblasting, dent removal/re-shaping and decal replacement.