Yamaha FZR 600 Mods: Spray Painting and the long, hard road…


I know, I know.  Most people will tell you that doing a rattle can job on your bike is the worst move.  But it’s easy to allow yourself to believe that those people are the naysayers, that they don’t know how much gumption you have, and that YOU might be the one who can pull it off.  Then there are those who are exactly the opposite.  They feel that spray paint is capable of providing  “good enough” covering, to fool even the most staunch critic.  Well, I am here to tell you that I have fallen smack-dab in the middle of these two groups…

After spraying and sanding the hell out of the primer coats, some of the pieces were sanded thorough to the original paint.  This means those pieces needed some more primer.  So I hit them again with another 3 coats, and let them sit aside to dry.  But there were a few pieces that survived my rigorous sanding, and had a nice smooth finish of primer, begging for the final color to be applied.  Have to admit, I was nervous.  There was no turning back at this point (or so I thought).  The consensus on the interwebs is that once the base/color coats are laid down, you never want to sand it.

So, off I went, back into my painting lair, cobbled together walls of plastic, cotton sheets and 2×4’s, hoping for the resolve to pull this off.  At the last-minute, although I had planned on using Rustoleum color coat, I switched to the Dupli-Color brand that I had also purchased for this job.  Not sure if this was the beginning of the downfall, but decision made, I went ahead and began painting.

Immediately, I noticed that the cold weather was effecting the paint, and the way it came out of the can.  Clumps were almost impossible to avoid, despite having the big heater blowing full blast in the garage.  The biggest challenge I faced, much like with the primer, was that it’s nearly impossible to “keep the spray perpendicular to the surface.”  These fairings have almost NO flat surfaces, so hitting the piece at a right angle, is frustrating at best.

The other big tip you will read is to make sure you sweep the can across the object, starting before and ending after, the surface to be painted.  This is to avoid extra paint build-up, when you turn back across the piece.  In essence, when you turn back, you are leaving a double-thick layer where you reversed direction.  These pieces were at such odd angles, and large enough, that I found it hard to spray past the end of them.  This certainly left a shiny, double layer in only those spots.  I was not working in a space big enough to really get around the odd-shaped fairings.  Not good!

In the end, the pieces looked rough, and had various levels of shine.  This was quickly turning into a disaster.

Stay tuned for possible redemption, with the help from the folks over at Dupli-Color…

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