All of us have done it at some point in many ways. We all wash our bikes, except Magoo but even he has a 10 year schedule, and we find that dreaded scratch. Some of us have put our saddle bags on and somehow even after taking great pains to protect our skins they get damaged. Something like this,
That is NOT a 10 foot and it disappears scuff.
The scratch to the left of my reflection is a deep one caused by some bungee cord ends. There are a few other scratches in the area on the right.
Taking the seat on and off just destroys this area. I cry every time I do it because I know what will happen when I put it back on.
These pictures don't record all the little scratches on the skin but believe me they are there and quite visible on these black bikes. So, what to do? Pay a grand for a new set just to start the whole process of loosing your mind all over again? No need. Save the money and go buy one of these.
NAPA has them, some of the other big name parts stores may or may not. I recommend this kit because of this.
Left to right they are 500, 800, 3,000 grit pads. The orange thing is a big thick foam piece used with the polishing compound provided. The first thing you do is open the kit and toss the 500 grain stuff into a drawer for when you need to polish out the worst weathered headlights known to man. The second thing you do is wash the hell out of the piece you will be working on. Try to remove the wax but just a good scrub with some Dawn goes a long way. I would leave the pieces on the bike, I took mine off since my bike is in the shop and I decided to fix my scratches so I could then transport it all over hell's half acre in my truck to see if I could scratch it again. BRILLIANT! After you have washed the piece you are working on you need to cover and protect the rest of the bike as best you can because when you use the polishing compound it will get slung EVERYWHERE. Remember, safety thir,,, I mean first! Some glasses would be a good idea for when you use the polishing compound.
So let's begin shall we?
Start with a variable speed cordless drill. I did almost all of this at medium speed. Too slow isn't good, too fast and you will burn the plastic. Put an 800 grit piece on IF YOU HAVE DEEP SCRATCHES. If not skip this step and save yourself the heart attack.
I know, I know, half of you just told yourself *FK NO* Believe me, the first time I did this and I seen that I was wondering how much was in the bank account. Stick with me here guys, give it a chance. After thrashing your skins with the 800 grit and use the 800 grit as little as possible and as much as possible stay away from the hard bends/angles on the surface. Now switch to the 3,000 grit pad and continue to buff with it. As you are working you can see the scratch as a bright white streak where the powdered clear coat paint collects in the deeper scratches. Once you get it almost out stop, clean it with a clean towel, and switch to the foam pad with a good bit of the polishing compound on it.
Start buffing it nice and slow to spread the compound a bit then go to the middle speed of the drill and work it over good then clean everything up and repeat as often as needed till you get this.
Believe me, other than that deep gouge on the front there are almost NO blemishes on there any more. To all intents and purposes they are as good as new.
Now, if all you have is scuff marks I would skip the 800 grit part. Just a note here on doing this. I KNOW it works on this glossy black and I am almost positive it will work on the glossy orange and probably the silver bikes. What it wold do to the mat finished bikes I do not know so take that into advisement if you have those colors and if you do then you can, if you have just thrashed your tank skin *hinthint* and you are going to replace it anyway well give this a shot and post up the results here for others to learn by. I have removed a GOUGE on the side of my tank that I was positive I would not be able to removed by doing this. No, I didn't mean a piddly scratch I mean a full on GOUGE. I was stunned on how well this system worked and believe me if my ham fisted self can do this you can do it as well. I hope this can save a few of you a few bucks and bring that new bike shine back to your bikes like it has mine.
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