Monday, April 15, 2013

Fun with Spray Paint

Hammered paint with appliance epoxy over.
Doesn't look like plastic -- more like enameled cast iron. 
Cosmetically, I'm having fun with this project. The bike when purchased was red, purple and rusty chrome.

So I have set out to rectify the appearance of the bike by eliminating as much chrome as possible and getting rid of the purple. The great thing about the VSTAR 650 Classic is how much of the bike is steel rather than plastic.

Those big sculpted front and rear fenders are made of metal and so I can sand it down to the metal and start from scratch. That said, the bike does have some cheap plastic bits on it and I don't like plastic.

At one point I removed the decals and painted the side covers with Rustoleum Hammered metal to get rid of that too-smooth plastic look. It worked great, but now I want the side covers to be black. I could strip off the old paint, but again, I don't want it to look like plastic when I'm done.

So I tried painting over the hammered with Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy - a paint intended for painting refrigerators but used successfully by motorcycle folks to get that powdercoat look without the cost.  I used it on the smooth plastic speedometer binnacle and very very happy with it. I wasn't sure how it would look over the hammered paint finish. Turns out, it looks pretty good -- if enameled cast iron is what you like. Beats plastic. I'm also using the same combo of Hammered with Appliance Epoxy over to make the cheap looking plastic covering the neck frame look less horrible. It is not a look for everyone, but I like it.

You can also see I'm playing around with some graphic ideas for the El Burro - I like the type above, but I think I'll try to mimic the sweep of the side covers somehow. Early days yet.

Another part of the bike I wanted to change was the rear tail lights -- It is kind of a droopy mustache looking thing that broke when we were getting the bike out of the truck. I've repaired it but always kinda hated it - it was rusty and funky looking. Over time, however, I've started liking it. It is very distinctive of the V-Star model line, and I've found it a neat way to identify other Vstars the road or in pictures.

The rusty chrome had to go, however, so I sprayed it with Plasti-dip. It actually doesn't look that bad -- the plastic stuff hiding the imperfections and even the electrical tape holding the left side up.

Meanwhile, the rest of the paint is coming together. I really like the Regal Red as it the layers get thicker. The earliest parts have already had clea rcoat and I started sanding with 1000 grit and polishing with the Mequiars Ultimate last night. (as demonstrated by this guy)  It looks great -- amazing for rattle can spray paint. Can't wait to see the tank and fenders with this finish.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Red Paint Going On

Paint is going on. Red and black. Of course some parts are already powder coated black. I used ultra hi-temp paint on the ugly pipes to blacken them up. They look pretty good. I was going to wrap them with pipe wrap, but the stock pipe layout doesn't really lend itself to that. If I upgrade my pipes down the line, I'll probably wrap those -- I hate chrome.

Here's a hint of what we're going to be looking at in the future. Red and black on the headlight and air cleaner, black pipes, red tank. You can see that I did the Key Mod of the Webslinger's website (RIP). I also coated the plastic neck guards in Rustoleum Hammered black to give them texture. The chrome driving lights and signals are coming off and will be replaced with matching red and black theme.

The first layer of red went on the tank today. It looks awful bright in this picture and there is still a lot of work to do.

I also took off the California emission can and ran the overflow hose down empty space where the can was before. I have the AIS holes all plugged.

Before I put the exhaust back on, I should probably pull the back wheel off and lube spine on the drive shaft. If I do that, there's a couple other projects I could also tackle -- the rear brake, painting the spokes, etc. The front end is the same story - new brake pads, clean the caliper and disc, paint the wheel and replace the brake line and fluid. I'm getting tempted to just put it all back together for a quick spring ride.   Oh well, it's only April. If I stay focused, I can still get a lot done before the sun comes out in July.