Motorcycle fairings are essential for riders to cut the air drag on their bike, thereby being able to achieve faster acceleration at lower rpm and hence at lower fuel consumption. However, the motorcycle fairings also shoulder the responsibility of defining your style as a rider.
Being such an integral accessory for your bike, being able to repair, restore or renew your bike’s fairings is one of the key skills you need to have as a serious rider. Not the least of them is to be able to paint your motorcycle fairings like a pro.
To be able to attain your desired style at an impulse, knowing how to paint motorcycle fairing is quite essential. You don’t really need to be a great painter but you do need to be able to follow the right steps and take the necessary precautions. Indeed, you would find painting your motorcycle fairings an endearing and rewarding experience.
Be it a sports bike, a cruiser bike, a dirt bike or any other variety, motorcycle fairings grace all kinds of bikes and most the riders today prefer working on their bikes in their garages to acquire the self-accustomed look and performance of their bikes. In view of the growing trend, the below steps on “how to paint motorcycle fairings like a pro” would be highly beneficial to the modern riders.
Painting your motorcycle fairings is no rocket science and does not require you to have great painting skills. However, it still is not something you should undertake frivolously, it would be advisable to reflect and plan in advance exactly the kind of result you want to achieve at the end of it. If you have a special design or color mix in mind, plan and practice it beforehand to give yourself the best chance of achieving the desired result.
Most importantly, have the time on hand and keep the articles you are going to need, handy for the painting of your bike’s fairings.
How Much Time Do You Need?
Dissembling all the fairings you want to paint, the entire painting procedure, reassembling the parts and the waiting period before you can start riding the motorcycle again; all in all requires roughly 2 days to complete. So when you are planning to undertake this exercise, make sure you are not in a rush, and the bike and you both are available to carry out the operation with all the attention and detailing it deserves.
Which Are Items Needed?
A 400-grit sandpaper
A 1,000-grit sandpaper
A Plastic primer
A Base coat
And a Clear lacquer coat
Precautions Before Painting Motorcycle Fairing
Before you start with the process of the painting your motorcycle fairings, ensure that the below basic but essential precautions are taken:
Mark out a small dedicated area where you could do the painting of the fairings. Keep the floor covered with a piece of cloth to ensure that your floor is not protected from spilling paint, etc.
If you are keeping the windscreen on before painting, remember to tape over from both sides completely to keep it protected.
Ensure that the Fairings are in prime condition and is not scratched or dented
Plug the holes in the windscreen or the mounting brackets to ensure they don’t get accidentally filled with paint
How To Paint Motorcycle Fairings
Step 1 - Cleaning The Parts
The first step is to make sure that all the parts which we need to work on are in the condition of perfect use, and no other work needs to be done on them. Remove all the parts of the bike that you intend to paint. Cover the motorcycle with a cover so that it is not just standing there exposed to all kinds of elements (like projectile paint jets) during the entire period of painting. Wash all parts of the fairings using warm water and some soap to ensure they are clean.
Step 2 - Sanding The Fairings
Sanding the fairings thoroughly is an important part of the job. Sanding helps in making the surface of the fairings consistent and smooth to which the primer and the paint will adhere best. With the support of the 400 grit sandpaper, start sand the surface of the fairings. The best way is to go about it, is to sand in circular motions applying a moderate pressure on the surface.
Step 3 - Priming The Surface
Primer is used to make the paint stick to the surface of the fairings and give the truest texture. It is important to spray the primer in a smooth, consistent layer across the surface of the fairings. A Plastic primer can easily be bought in an aerosol spray can and is fairly easy to apply. Spray along in even strokes and avoid stopping on a paint stroke so that it does not leave a patch due to a build up. Give the primer around 3-6 hours to dry before moving to the next step.
Step 4 - First Coat Of Base Color
After the Primer is dried up, spray a thin layer of the base color over the primer. Once you have covered the entire surface of the fairing with the base color, you will be able to see if there are any irregularities or bumps on the surface of the fairings. If there are bumps or dents, then you must work on them at this stage, before moving on. Give the color about 6 hours to dry before wet sanding.
Step 5 - Wet Sand Over The Color
Wet sanding the surface is a great way to ensure a perfectly smooth texture. Wet sanding is similar to dry sanding except that this time you should squirt some water to the area you are sanding. For wet sanding use the 1,000-grit sandpaper for a thorough run. Once you have completed, ensure that all the water and particles are removed from the surface of the fairings.
Step 6 - Base Color Coating
The base color is best coated on automotive parts in 4 - 5 layers, in a technique known as the Grip coats. This essentially means that you will start coating with the thinnest layer and progressively make each layer thicker than the earlier one. The grip coats technique ensures a professional look to the paint as it allows each layer to grip the preceding layer. Apply each coat of the base color after 3 hours, to help the color to dry. Once all the coats have been applied, give it another 6 to 8 hours to dry before proceeding to the next step.
Step 7 - Apply The Lacquer Coat
A Lacquer coat helps to protect your paint job from weather extremities that the bike will be exposed to. Apply the clear laquer to the fairings in 2 to 3 layers and allow 2 hours between each coat. Once you have finished with applying all the layers, give it yet 24 hours to dry and compose before taking the bike out for a ride.
To read a little more in detail about Painting the Motorcycle Fairings, go here.
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Enjoy The Newness
Painting the Motorcycle fairings protects the surface of the bike from all kinds of weather or terrain adversities. When done properly, your paint should protect the fairings be it fiberglass or the ABS plastics, from the UV rays which can weaken the fairings over time.
However, the painting of the fairings is not all about protection and utility. An important aspect is its aesthetic elevation. The ultimate evaluation of the paint job is how it looks to you and if it is able to reflect your riding personality.
For a little more idea and inspiration about how to paint motorcycle fairing, watch this video.
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