View Full Version : Two motorcycle questions

02-22-2011, 08:02 AM
Or more so about paint and clean up.

First, the gas cap on my bike is like a brushed aluminium and I was wondering about the best way to clean it. I remember back in the old days when I would clean my SP badge in the Air Force that I used an old toothbrush and toothpaste. It did an outstanding job. I was wondering how that would work. I'm a bit concerned on that eating any protective coat off of the cap, but with it as dingy as it is it needs something.

Next question is about paint. I'm doing painted on logos, or at least thinking about it. The problem is that once I apply the paint and take off the stencils the lettering is a bit raised. I was wondering the best way to take care of this. Light sanding just fuzz the edges. I'm thinking that many layers of clear coat and than a light sanding with a couple more layers of clear coat.



02-22-2011, 12:53 PM
No takers? I miss the days when a question like this would get some answers.


02-22-2011, 01:34 PM
Well Chad, I must have missed this one earlier. I've seen that brushed aluminum with a plastic like coating on it. Is that what this has? If so, I usually just peeled that off first to improve appearances. If it is still grungy I don't think toothpaste will ruin it. Try it on a piece of scrap Al. first.

As far as the paint. I really wouldn't have a clue so instead of blowing smoke I will defer to someone that paints often. That being said, I'm sure some on here have encountered the same problem with their water craft.


Tall Boy
02-22-2011, 01:44 PM
As for the paint you are correct 2 coats of clear, sand one off, than 2 more coats, sand one off, than one more finish coat. use 800 grit wet and pay attention to the edges.

02-22-2011, 11:19 PM
If there isn't a film on that gas cap then you could acid wash it. Sounds worse than it is. Acid washing is THE way to clean aluminum truck wheels, especially if they have caked on brake dust residue. You can buy it at any body shop paint and supply store. About $11 per gallon, which is the size I bought, maybe it's available in quarts. You dilute it about 25-50% with tap water so a gallon lasts me forever. Just spray it on, wait a minute and rinse with water. Then use Blue Magic to polish it out. If you have an eighteen wheeler truck service shop around, they would probably just give you enough for your job. They acid wash the big rig aluminum (and painted) wheels. Won't hurt valve stems or tires. It will give off a little vapor.

If you are using a rattle can to paint on those logos, they are too thick. They need to be airbrushed on, so you can control the volume of paint. A two stage airbrush really isn't that expensive anymore. You will need to thin it down to get good flow and several LIGHT coats are better than one or two heavier coats. If you do it that way you won't even notice any "edge", but clear-coating is still a good idea as motorcycle tanks do get some wear. If you use enamel, especially hardware store stuff, let it cure a couple weeks before letting any gas drip onto it.

hope this helps,