Honda XL250 tank painting finished…

The Honda XL250 tank with base and clear coats...

The Honda XL250 tank with base and clear coats…

The Honda XL250 tank was nearly done, with good coats of base color and clear complete.  The final stage was to design and paint some custom stripes.  This is far and away the most difficult task in regards to painting…

The Honda XL250 tank sanded with guide lines...

The Honda XL250 tank sanded with guide lines…

The main green color was on the tank, including a couple coats of clear to keep it protected while we prepped for the stripes.  The clear had made the tank really shine, so scuffing the clear coat with 400 grit sandpaper almost brought us to tears.  But the stripe paint will not bond correctly without some help – so went about “ruining” the fine looking paint job.  We had decided to do some custom stripes, with a nod to the stock lines.  We opted for dark silver stripes.  Guidelines for the tank stripes were applied using painters tape.

 

Honda XL250 tank custom stripes…

The tank covered by tape except for the stripe areas...

The tank covered by tape except for the stripe areas…

The guide tape in place, it was time to create the the stripe areas.  We used 3M fine line tape, which is vinyl tape that allows for sharp curves and radii.  Without this flexibility, there would be no way to successfully get the curves we were looking to achieve.  The fine-line tape is applied only to the edge closest to the relief (the area to be painted).  The fine-line tape also helps keep a clean edge, therefore care should be taken to press the edges with a fingernail.  The 3M tape is expensive, hence the use of good quality painters tape for the backmasking.  The photo above shows the tank with the stripe relief, and the rest of the tank backmasked.

The Honda XL250 tank complete...

The Honda XL250 tank complete…

Into the booth we went, and out came a finished tank complete with custom stripes.  Removing the tape is a bit nerve-wracking due to the possibility of bleed.  But in the end, we ended up with a tank that suited the build, and had our own mark on it…

The tank on the bike...

The tank on the bike…

The only decision left is whether to apply a classic “Honda Wing” decal that we had purchased online for the sides of the tank.  The jury is still out.  What do you think?

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