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