Spruce up your body­work

Re­pair cracked plas­tic and scratched car­bon-fi­bre to get your bike back to look­ing its best

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Whip it off and get crack­ing 1

Crack­ing a plas­tic panel does­nõt have to mean splash­ing out on an ex­pen­sive re­place­ment part, there are var­i­ous prod­ucts avail­able on the mar­ket that you can use to make an ef­fec­tive re­pair. The eas­i­est to use is a prod­uct such as Q Bond to bind and fill the crack. First things first, re­move the dam­aged part from the bike and then clean to en­sure it is free from mud and de­bris.

Start fil­ing on the re­verse side 2

To en­sure a re­pair ends up be­ing barely vis­i­ble, all the bonding will take place on the in­side of the panel, where it will be out of sight. Flip the part over and start to file the edges of the crack to 45¡, even­tu­ally form­ing a V-shaped chan­nel in which the bonding agent will form. This will in­crease the sur­face area of the bond, help­ing to make it as strong as pos­si­ble.

Clean and join – ready to fill 3

Clean the pre­pared sur­faces with a panel wipe or con­tact cleaner. The bonding medium re­quires an ab­so­lutely grease-free sur­face. Wipe away with a clean rag or fresh pa­per towel only. Join the sur­faces to­gether on the out­side us­ing a strong cloth-type gaffer tape. You may need to prop the two parts up so that they mimic their as­sem­bled form.

Add the bonding mix­ture 4

In­tro­duce the plas­tic pow­der filler, mak­ing sure the pow­der pen­e­trates all the way into the V groove. Dis­pense the bonding agent onto the pow­der, en­sur­ing all the pow­der is cov­ered com­pletely. Af­ter al­low­ing the pre­scribed amount of dry­ing time, re­move any ex­cess glue with a sharp knife, to make it flush with the orig­i­nal sur­face, and re­fit the panel.

Sort out those un­sightly scratches 5

Car­bon-fi­bre body pan­els are an at­trac­tive ad­di­tion to any bike, but these ex­pen­sive pieces of trim can so eas­ily get su­per­fi­cially dam­aged and lose their good looks. Luck­ily, scratches on non-load-bear­ing car­bon-fi­bre items like mud­guards, hug­gers, chain guards and frame pro­tec­tors can be re­paired in a sim­i­lar way to painted sur­faces and then re-lac­quered.

Get rid of any dirt and grease 6

Re­move the com­po­nent from the bike and clean with warm wa­ter and a mild de­ter­gent to re­move all road dirt, then rinse. Dry with a fresh pa­per towel and then as­sess the dam­aged area. De­grease the whole mud­guard with white spirit, us­ing a pa­per towel to wipe away any ex­cess. Re­peat. Don’t for­get to de­grease the re­verse side so the en­tire com­po­nent is grease free.

Sand out the scratches 7

Rub the dam­age down with 240-grade wet ‘n’ dry pa­per – rub hor­i­zon­tally across the scratch, not up and down. Take your time and be sure to use wa­ter with the pa­per. When the dam­age has been re­moved, go over it with 1000-grade pa­per. De­grease us­ing white spirit and dry with a pa­per towel. If there are still scratches vis­i­ble, re­peat and fin­ish with 1000-grade pa­per.

Get the white spirit out again 8

Use a grey Scotchbrite pad to rub the com­po­nent all over with white spirit. The en­tire sur­face needs to be flat­tened down to a dull fin­ish. Rub it firmly, but not ag­gres­sively; the en­tire sur­face needs to be uni­formly flat­tened. De­grease and clean the com­po­nent us­ing white spirit and clean pa­per, then re­move any ex­cess and en­sure it is com­pletely dry.

Ap­ply aerosol lac­quer 9

Wipe the en­tire sur­face with a tack cloth, which will be avail­able from spe­cial­ist paint sup­pli­ers, to re­move any dust. Make sure your work area is well ven­ti­lated and warm. Us­ing a clear aerosol lac­quer, ap­ply two light coats, al­low­ing 10 min­utes in be­tween. Ap­ply the third and fi­nal coat a bit heav­ier. Leave to dry for two hours, af­ter which time a wax pol­ish can be ap­plied.

With pa­tience – and lots of white spirit – you can get car­bon-fi­bre pan­els look­ing as good as new

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