Recently started work on my big summer project---painting my Dakar Yellow K75S a different color and polishing out my aluminum tank.
Thought I'd start a potentially long-running thread here to show the whole process for anyone interested and to solicit comments, questions and advice.
I'll begin by posting some photos of my bike as it was, how it is now and some of the steps of the painting, polishing and preparation process now in progress.
NOW (June 28th):
After reading many different posts on this and other Forums (ADVRider in particular has lots of painting/bodywork experts) I decided to DIY the whole job instead of farming out the work to a paint shop.
I decided to use a Fuji Mini Mite* 4-stage HVLP turbine paint sprayer with a Fuji gravity fed (and pressurized) gun---instead of going with a more conventional big air compressor/conversion gun setup---for a number of reasons:
The powerful turbine's compact size, warm & dry air that won't require moisture filtering, ability to work in tight spaces, very fine paint atomization and far less overspray. The Fuji also has rec'd. excellent reviews and features the same 4-stage Ametek-Lamb turbine found in all of the top tier HVLP turbine systems. Overall cost was about the same or actually less than the good quality big compressors.
I will use 1.0mm and 1.4mm aircaps for paint and primer.
(*I bought mine from a Wisconsin Fuji distributor who had many informative video clips on his website that helped clinch my decision---Google Roger Phelps or Phelps Refinishing for his url---I certainly will recommend him to anyone considering such a system)
I also purchased a Breath Cool II fresh-air respirator system (available on ebay) to protect my health during spraying. The PPG polyurethane paint I will be spraying has extremely hazardous isocyantes in it (they can glaze over your lungs and dramatically shorten your lifespan in no time!) so I decided not to take any chances (facemask respirators with paint cartridges don't cut it with this type of paint).
For the polishing of the tank I bought a Makita 7" professional-grade buffer/polisher and got some extra foam pads and polishing compounds. I am still loooking into clearcoating the aluminum once it's polished but I am hearing different things about that subject. I may first try waxing the aluminum to protect it against our highly corrosive atmosphere here in Volcano, Hawaii.
Besides the salty and humid air of the lowlands we have year-round volcanic acid rain here in the highlands. Kilauea's summit is only 4 miles from where we live.
This will be an interesting "polished aluminum experiment." I will probably be asking for further advice on this subject as I go along. I also plan to cover the low Sargeant seat with a black sheepskin or leather look-alike and remove the rubber tank surround completely. I'll build up the saddle to fill in the gap between the tank and seat and also make it a bit higher for the benefit of my long legs (and aging knees) If my results with the tank are worthwhile I'll want to show more of it off, too
I will be doing most of the spraying and polishing either outdoors on a (rare) dry and sunny day or in my small bike shed (not pictured) that I will convert to a makeshift spray booth i(f I get too many bugs in the wet paint).
That's most of the info for now. I'm going to start soaking all the tupperware from the bike in Simple Green for a thorough cleaning before I begin the sanding...
Stay tuned if interested---I will post pictures, questions and comments from time to time and I welcome all of you reading this to feel free to respond as you wish anytime