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Painting Gen 1.5 nylon tank

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blacklines View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 10:49
Anyone ever painted their plastic tank? What preparation did you need to take and did it stay on ok without rubbing off on your legs? Planning to rattle can the whole bike in petrol resistant paint so that the tank is the same shade as the rest of the fairings. 

This year I've been stripping down my very clean 2003 RSV and turning it into a fairly ratty looking track bike. I know many people wouldn't do this to a nice road bike but it's my bike and the track is where my priorities are. Been meaning to paint it up once I've got all the fairings together. Got the tail unit on it's way from eBay and a member on here has kindly offered to give me his bellypan so I'm at a point where all my ducks are almost in a row. 

Been a low priority but I saw this on AF1 the other day and it reminded me just how good these 20 year plus bikes can look. Have a look, taken crown from the Troy Corser superbike as best Mille for me: https://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/showthread.php?360946-Mille-in-MotoGP-Livery 

I'm going for satin black base (like the 2019 motogp and the Troy Corser wsbk) with some glossy red, white and green vinyl details.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 11:16
I didn’t do anything mega special on a Gen1 tank. flat one back used a regular primer and then paint but with the petrol resistant lacquer you mention. All rattle cans and was cheapish though a paint sprayer would probably do all the panels for £100-150 if it’s just black. I had the Kawasaki sprayed in gloss black, panels only not tank for £120. 

For graphics etc I just purchased vinyl and then used a heat gun to get it all smooth. Had to watch a few vids and some trial and error but it’s straight forward on rounded bikes like a Gen1 as opposed to some of the more ‘spiked’ designs about. 

I’d try and get high impact areas covered by a vinyl as it looks nicer longer and gives fibreglass panels some rigidity. Works well on the nose and screen for any race numbers etc 

Enjoy! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 12:03
Ah cheers. Was that the plastic tank, not metal? Looking at the finish on the tank I wasn't sure if any paint would just rub straight off from riding leaving it looking really shabby. Seen with steel tanks people usually rub straight back to metal. 


£17 for 6 big cans of petrol resistant looks ok, hopefully it's passable quality.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 12:07
Got any pictures of the bikes you've painted James? Not to use as perfect examples or anything. I just like seeing track RSVs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 14:34
Have done quite a few bits in rattle can over the years. 
You get a good finish, but durability is poor compared with spray gun paint.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 14:52

I used regular but with a petrol resistant lacquer over the top to help with the durability that Steve mentions. I find any respray doesn’t have the same durability to the original stuff for whatever reasons. 

Only pics I have are of the rear black panel on the race bike then some of the vinyl I cut and put on to lessen the chances of chips. 

Somewhere I maybe able to fine the finish on my old gsxr but then of course that was on a metal tank 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 15:05
Guess 2K is really needed for the hardness of finish. I've noticed the track fairings I have seem to have little scratches in the paint that you'd never get with the factory finish. 

I'll give it a go with the stuff I have. With 6 cans you'd think I should have plenty left over to touch up any scratches. Probably do the fairings first and see how it goes before committing to the tank. Makes me wonder whether to sell it and just get a cheap scratched one off eBay ha. Though all tanks seem to go for £80-120 anyway regardless of condition and at least I know mine hasn't swollen or anything.

How far back did you sand? Thinking I'll need to go enough to get through the lacquer to be able to peel off the stickers. You know the stripes, Aprilia logo and WSBK stuff on the tank.

Not the best picture but it's the hot red colour. Now only the tank and air ducts are left in the original red plastic. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 15:07
Originally posted by wigginsjp wigginsjp wrote:


I used regular but with a petrol resistant lacquer over the top to help with the durability that Steve mentions. I find any respray doesn’t have the same durability to the original stuff for whatever reasons. 

Only pics I have are of the rear black panel on the race bike then some of the vinyl I cut and put on to lessen the chances of chips. 

Somewhere I maybe able to fine the finish on my old gsxr but then of course that was on a metal tank 



Looks good to me. Is the white on the second picture vinyl? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 15:15
Certainly is 

Just white vinyl. Use a hot air gun to help apply and get it moulded around panels 

Works a treat 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 15:58
As a bonus with vinyl I could bring it inside the house to work on it. I'm aware that for painting I'd best get cracking on because there's not a huge amount of the year left where it'll be warm enough outside. For the paint I mean, I'm not delicate ha.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 19:22
Yeah there is a basic temp which it generally says on the can. 

I did however spray the tank I mentioned in January of that year and used a hair dryer to warm the panel I was that impatient 😆
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 19:24
Sorry ref the sanding I just flatted it’s so that it was flat in colour with none of the satin shining 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IanG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 19:34
So if say I wanted to change the colour of a front mudguard it would just need abrading to key and then new base coat/colour coat/lacquer ?

Rather than taking it down to the base abs/plastic whatever and starting from scratch?

Same for the wheels I suppose?  I wasn't sure if all the lacquer needed taking off before new paint
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 19:47
Depends how much effort you want to put in. 

A bare metal respray of course is good as your effectively keying the original surface for the paint. So the idea being it won’t be too thick and cover details and be hard wearing. Also if your colour is being changed from a red to say a white where they are totally different shades or in the old days when you had cellulose, 2K, transport polyurethane, synthetic and water based paints. 

You used to get a product called Barcoat that you could paint over any finish, so if you didn’t know what the finish was , say synthetic paint and you wanted 2K over it, it would react unless you had this stuff on first. It saved stripping all the old stuff off. Another way acceptable was a lacquer as it effectively sealed the paint but then you still had an issue of some paints could react. I don’t know what they put in Barcoat off hand but we used to sell mountains of it where I worked into the body shops and it seemed ‘universal’ to what it covered somehow. 
Most body shops, unless it’s an insurance job with all new panels as a must, will just flat and key it for fresh primer and colour for private off the street work or if you turned up with a wing and were fitting yourself. 
Classic restorations will mostly be bare metal stuff as they have to sandblast stuff to bare metal to deal with rust etc. Lacquer is fantastic at protecting colour. 

A long answer to your question Ian where as Yes, flat it and primer, base, clear coat it would do a good job 👍🏻 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote legend88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 19:49
Originally posted by IanG IanG wrote:

So if say I wanted to change the colour of a front mudguard it would just need abrading to key and then new base coat/colour coat/lacquer ?

Rather than taking it down to the base abs/plastic whatever and starting from scratch?

Same for the wheels I suppose?  I wasn't sure if all the lacquer needed taking off before new paint

I'm not sure if you need to go through the clear coat but I would definitely start with the correct primer before the base coat especially if you are changing the colour. The base coat usually relies on the correct primer to give the correct finishing colour/shade.

A bit like gloss wood paint relying on the primer to make it white.

Beaten to it!  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IanG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 19:57
I'm thinking as I have an incorrect black front guard albeit in excellent paint condition I quite fancy changing the colour to the Dream Blue it should be.

I also wondered about blowing over the tatty wheels with the same colour and 2k clear afterwards for protection as it's not that far away from the OZ type blue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 22:27
It's sounding like lacquer is near essential then. I got the petrol resistant paint because I wanted a  matt/satin finish and I couldn't find any petrol resistant lacquers in matt finish. And the petrol resistant lacquers I did find cost more for 1 can than the 6 I've bought. 

Guess if it gets small scratches I can touch up with spare paint. If it's terrible then it'll mostly just be labour I'm down if I need to do it again. 

Like you Ian, I'm thinking if this turns out ok I might do the wheels too. Not that they need it particularly condition wise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 22:30
Originally posted by wigginsjp wigginsjp wrote:

Sorry ref the sanding I just flatted it’s so that it was flat in colour with none of the satin shining 

Ah right you just went over where the stickers were? I was only thinking to get rid of them as they are raised and thought it would show through really badly. Can't see they're raised now because you just see the sticker but would imagine the outline would show through on flat matt black.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2020 at 23:08
Originally posted by blacklines blacklines wrote:

Originally posted by wigginsjp wigginsjp wrote:

Sorry ref the sanding I just flatted it’s so that it was flat in colour with none of the satin shining 

Ah right you just went over where the stickers were? I was only thinking to get rid of them as they are raised and thought it would show through really badly. Can't see they're raised now because you just see the sticker but would imagine the outline would show through on flat matt black.

You will see stickers unless you rub them back though the glue can leave and image too. I’d forgotten that until you mentioned it but I just got replacements the same size and used the ones under the paint as the template to mount correctly. I didn’t lacquer them on but you can buy suitable ones to go under lacquer if wished. I also used stompgrip for the sides and their universal tank pad as it’s good quality. I’d removed all the safety stickers long before so it was just the words Aprilia I painted over then re applied stickers on to. 
You will find them an arse to rub out without making the tank look odd 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 06:29
Yeah that's what I thought too ha. I'll give that a go then. Either be that or some filler to smooth the edges of the stickers. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 12:27
This is how the bike looked last night. Hope to be able to show you something pretty later on to make amends LOL At least it fits the state of my garage 





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 19:31
Good stuff. 

Enjoy. Look forward to end product 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 14:40
Been working towards doing the tank, starting off with the fibreglass, then I'm just preparing to do the air ducts that are OEM plastic. Then tank will be after that. Then probably wheels after that too. 





Can see I'm pretty shabby when it comes to preparing the surface. The nose previously had some kind of tape under the paint where a race number must have been. You can see the outlines that were strips of tape, then there was some kind of sticker in the middle. In hindsight I should have probably scraped off the tape, then stripped the paint off with nitromors. But what I did was get some putty from Halfords and had a go filling the gaps. Leaving it looking probably worse than before 😂😂 Still it's satin black now. Not sure whether to get some vinyl to go where the old numberplate would have been or do just start again stripping right back.. 





I'm happy enough with the rest I've done so far. Not immaculate but it's second hand repaired race bodywork so I'm only really aiming for good from a distance. 

Don't get much time to work on it but I've started sanding the plastic airducts down ready for the filler primer I've used on the rest of it. Looking forward to seeing how that comes out, being the same finish as the tank. If successful then I'm pushing forward onto the tank finally. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 14:43
This is what the nose looked like midway through removing the tape. Before filling, sanding, priming and painting.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snowman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 15:00
No pictures here?????Ouch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snowman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 15:12
Scamming comes up , don’t worry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snowman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 15:13
Got pics now ok 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacklines Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 15:15
Ah right ha, sorry about that. Had no issue using https://cubeupload.com/ up to now. Been all I've ever used for rsvr.net. Many other hosting providers started charging money for image hosting. Glad you got sorted but wonder if it's the beginning of the end for cubeupload Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wigginsjp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 15:47
I can see them so that’s a bit odd snowman. Maybe your parental lock on 😇

Going right way isn’t it

Use some gloss black vinyl to follow the pattern then an oval white number board over that So it’s thick and that it won’t notice. Plus the gloss black then matt black will have a great contrast imo 


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