Yamaha FZR 600 Mods: Long decent into (painting) Hell…

Fanciest paint in a can...

After many days of painting, waiting, drying, repainting, and waiting again, it was finally time to apply the clear coat.  This would be the last phase of the operation, and I was amped to have this project completed.  I had my fair share of mishaps with this project, but looked forward to getting it completed.  I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel…

Multiple coats of black base-color had been applied, wet sanded and cleaned, in preparation for the final clear coats.  I had purchased a highly recommended clear paint called SprayMax 2K.  This is a 2-part paint with a hardener in it, which is supposed to stand up to UV damage and fuel spills better than typical off-the-shelf brand clear coat.  It looks like a standard rattle can, until you turn it over revealing a small cylinder, which gets pressed into the can – releasing the catalyst for the hardener.  This stuff is pricey, at $20/can, but with the rave reviews it gets, I figured I might as well finish this project on a high note…

I followed the same steps I had with the base coats: putting the spray can in the warm water to bring the paint temperature up, beginning the spray stroke before and ending after the piece being sprayed, wiping the nozzle every 5 stokes, timing the wait between coats, etc.  Applying this paint was far superior to any of the rattle paint I have used in the past, and it went on nicely, without too much effort.  Because of the hardener, it’s suggested that you only need 2 coats, and far less dry time.  But I laid 3 coats on the 7 fairings, and set them out-of-the-way to dry.

Drying...

While they were drying, I began to reassemble the bike.  With all the new mods, there was plenty of work to be done, before getting to the last step of the paint process, the sanding, cutting and polishing.

Although it only prescribed a 24 hour dry time, I waited 3 days, and then began the arduous process of wet sanding with very fine, 2000 grit wet/dry paper.  This makes a mess, but the high grit should only take off a little of the peaks and valleys, and prepare it for the cut and polish, which should give it the nice deep shine.  That was not to be…

Why I didn’t go out and grab some super fancy rubbing and polishing compound, I will never know.  I had some Turtle Wax product in the cupboard from long ago, and I assumed it would be good enough.  After the wet sanding, the pieces looked a bit cloudy, but this is expected, because the cut and polish will bring out the true shine.  I launched into the cutting, rubbing the compound onto the pieces, and gently “sanding” with soft stokes.  Next was the polishing compound, which is supposed to be the last step, and can be done numerous times to bring out the deepest shine available.

Oh, good grief!

The problem was, the compounds ended up making all the pieces turn a thick, cloudy white.  Not a slight cloudiness, but COMPLETELY cloudy.  This was a nightmare!  I was afraid that I was going to need to begin again, right down to the base coat.  They looked horrible!  I consulted a few sources online, and determined that if I wet-sanded again, removed all the polish and let it dry completely, I should be able to just apply another coat of clear.  This should bring out the shine again, but with the way it was looking…I was skeptical at best.

Of course, I only had one more can of the SprayMax 2K clear, so a quick call to the shop where I special ordered it, and they promised that another 2 cans would be waiting for me the next day.  Impatience set in, so I set up my make-shift spray booth, and got to using the little paint I had left.  I just NEEDED to know if this would work…

After another coat of clear...

Well, it looks like it may have done the trick.  A couple passes over the clouded pieces, and the black was back to looking…well, BLACK!  I’m waiting on the extra cans, so that I can finish all the fairings, but if the first round of fix coats is any indication, I should be “in the clear…”

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