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Discussion Starter #1
when the weather gets a bit warmer i was thinking of buffing and polishing and waxing my whole bike it has a buncha scratches on the tank and the bags due to constant riding and my girlfriend always kicking the bags with her boots while getting on and off.

i have a dewalt variable speed 7inch buffer that works wonders on boats (yes ive done many boats and polished loads of fiberglass) but ive never done any bikes, any suggestions on compounds?
 

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I don't have enough experience to offer any useful help on the polishing, but I share your issue of, "passenger".......If I said girlfriend, she may know I was talking about her kicking the bags and I've learned it's not a good thing to point out :) So I did my rubbing compound by hand, because I don't have your experience with a power polisher and have heard stories of rubbing through the paint. It worked really well and now I'm ready to add some protection. I will post the process with photos and we'll see how it turns out, but I'm using a 3M product called, "Paint Defender." It's a spray on film that can be peeled off if needed. I tried the 3M adhesive film, and it looks really good, but I was not able to match the contours of the saddlebags so I had to use multiple smaller patches. In the end, I hope to have the scuffs and scratches be on the film and not on my paint......and said passenger will not have to admit to any theoretical guilt.....Good luck....saddlebags & girlfriends may ride in peace !

Don
 

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I have "restored" the finish in many autos, so I know a little but I'm not a pro. I have brought an '87 BMW 5-Series from chalky grey to the deepest black I have ever seen on a non-show car. A lot of that was the quality of the OEM paint job, but it was SOOOO trashed when I bought it. This was years ago, 2004?, but the process is the same.

I bought two steps of the maguires 3-step system, a clay bar, and Klasse glaze. Didn't use the Maquires wax though (their Step-3).

Start by Clay barring it. Simple to do...spray the lubricant and wipe the play do-like Clay bar over the paint. You'll actually hear and feel it as you gently wipe it over the paint, then you won't...that means you have removed all the crap out of the paint pores. Knead, or fold it frequently, and it it touches anything dirty (you drop it), then throw it away! For this reason, I always break the bar in half, and keep one half in a ziplock bag...that way if I drop it, I save $10 and a trip to the autozone...just use my backup half.

Step 1- cleaner wax. This is where most of the work is on a car, a bike will take no time. Do a good job here and the rest is gravy. This will remove dead paint that is oxidized.

Step2- polish. Think of polish like lotion on dry skin. It will drink this stuff up and deepen the paint unbelievably! This is the key to a great finish, NOT the wax, which only protects.

Step3- here's where I change things up and use the Klasse Glaze. A glaze is like a super-thin plastic coating which seals the paint and protects it from all kinds of nasty stuff. Put it on SUPER THIN. A bottle will do a Walmart parking lot full of cars! Lol

Step 4- wax of your choice. Can be carnauba, best shine but doesn't last long OR synthetic, okay shine (reflectivity) but lasts much much longer. I've used many. California Gold (Mothers?) is a good one, Zymol is good, etc. My current choice is Poorboy's Nattys Paste Carnuba wax. A little goes a LONG way and is comes off super easy.

Each step gets easier because you are dealing with a harder, smoother, better nourished paint job after each step.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't have enough experience to offer any useful help on the polishing, but I share your issue of, "passenger".......If I said girlfriend, she may know I was talking about her kicking the bags and I've learned it's not a good thing to point out :) So I did my rubbing compound by hand, because I don't have your experience with a power polisher and have heard stories of rubbing through the paint. It worked really well and now I'm ready to add some protection. I will post the process with photos and we'll see how it turns out, but I'm using a 3M product called, "Paint Defender." It's a spray on film that can be peeled off if needed. I tried the 3M adhesive film, and it looks really good, but I was not able to match the contours of the saddlebags so I had to use multiple smaller patches. In the end, I hope to have the scuffs and scratches be on the film and not on my paint......and said passenger will not have to admit to any theoretical guilt.....Good luck....saddlebags & girlfriends may ride in peace !

Don
now thats funny man, i would honestly rather not put any "film" ontop of the bags as it would take away from the look of the bike, however something needs to be done as every single time the passenger gets on my teeth cringe as i watch my bags get scratched up more and more, i do understand why it happens thou as the harley bags sit a big higher then the standard OEM bags, they are tall to begin with and with the custom brackets i had to raise them a bit so that my pipes dont melt them.
 

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I have "restored" the finish in many autos, so I know a little but I'm not a pro. I have brought an '87 BMW 5-Series from chalky grey to the deepest black I have ever seen on a non-show car. A lot of that was the quality of the OEM paint job, but it was SOOOO trashed when I bought it. This was years ago, 2004?, but the process is the same.

I bought two steps of the maguires 3-step system, a clay bar, and Klasse glaze. Didn't use the Maquires wax though (their Step-3).

Start by Clay barring it. Simple to do...spray the lubricant and wipe the play do-like Clay bar over the paint. You'll actually hear and feel it as you gently wipe it over the paint, then you won't...that means you have removed all the crap out of the paint pores. Knead, or fold it frequently, and it it touches anything dirty (you drop it), then throw it away! For this reason, I always break the bar in half, and keep one half in a ziplock bag...that way if I drop it, I save $10 and a trip to the autozone...just use my backup half.

Step 1- cleaner wax. This is where most of the work is on a car, a bike will take no time. Do a good job here and the rest is gravy. This will remove dead paint that is oxidized.

Step2- polish. Think of polish like lotion on dry skin. It will drink this stuff up and deepen the paint unbelievably! This is the key to a great finish, NOT the wax, which only protects.

Step3- here's where I change things up and use the Klasse Glaze. A glaze is like a super-thin plastic coating which seals the paint and protects it from all kinds of nasty stuff. Put it on SUPER THIN. A bottle will do a Walmart parking lot full of cars! Lol

Step 4- wax of your choice. Can be carnauba, best shine but doesn't last long OR synthetic, okay shine (reflectivity) but lasts much much longer. I've used many. California Gold (Mothers?) is a good one, Zymol is good, etc. My current choice is Poorboy's Nattys Paste Carnuba wax. A little goes a LONG way and is comes off super easy.

Each step gets easier because you are dealing with a harder, smoother, better nourished paint job after each step.

Good luck!
Thanks for the advice man, ive used maguires before and honestly wasnt impressed with the results for the price.

ive polished many cars and removed many scratches on the enthusiast level (non professional) with great results using the chemical guys v36 and v38 compound which is obviously not something you can pick up at your local autozone. i just never went all out on a bike.

my previous bike was a 2009 vstar which is now resting in peace in some junkyard after falling apart into about 200 parts on i95 last year, i had her professionally detailed and she looked great but there is no way in hell im shelling out another 500 bux to get that done again.
 

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Thanks for the advice man, ive used maguires before and honestly wasnt impressed with the results for the price.

ive polished many cars and removed many scratches on the enthusiast level (non professional) with great results using the chemical guys v36 and v38 compound which is obviously not something you can pick up at your local autozone. i just never went all out on a bike.

my previous bike was a 2009 vstar which is now resting in peace in some junkyard after falling apart into about 200 parts on i95 last year, i had her professionally detailed and she looked great but there is no way in hell im shelling out another 500 bux to get that done again.
Well, I have about $150 worth of "high-end" products from detail shop retailers as well...but I didn't want to go there, here, because a bike has such little paint to correct, I couldn't see recommending those products because of price. I was, however, able to do what I said with the products I mentioned; as a disclaimer I'd say that people should feel free to substitute same-type products (polish for polish, etc.). YMMV, so just don't hold me responsible. ;-)
I would recommend sticking with a very high quality glaze, however, and the Klasse is exactly that.

Also, this is just my own personal "formula for success"...again YMMV.

// Radar //
 

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Discussion Starter #7
you can give two people identical products and have two completely different results :) as i said any advice is always apreciated
 

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Go to autogeek.net. You will learn more about detailing than you ever wanted to. I hate to say it but, unless I read it wrong, if you paid $500 for a bike detail someone took you to the cleaners. You can get a full paint correction and interior detail on an SUV at most places for that amount of money.
 

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now thats funny man, i would honestly rather not put any "film" ontop of the bags as it would take away from the look of the bike.
3 M makes amazing products. I put a large piece of the film on one saddlebag and honestly you cannot see it. It's what they use to bra cars and I don't think it looks any different. I understand the concern. I'll photo it as I do the spray on....we'll see. You Tube has a couple of detailers applying it, I hope I can do as well as they did.

I'm already riding, but I need to get this done before, "you know who" goes with me. I rubbed out the scratches and I don't want to start over !

Best of luck.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i ride year round and the weather has already been good enough for the "lets go for a ride" topic, i would deff like to see how it turns out as well all know that the product demo videos rarely translate into reality once you actually start the project
 

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I have a Harbor Freight Special variable speed buffer with the different pads.
I found that unless the clear coat is really faded you can use a mild polishing paste with low speed polishing pad and then finish up with a good quality wax coat like Nuefinish or Maguires paste.
If your clear coat is really rough then the clay bar is the way to go.
The buffer will save you a lot of elbow grease and tendonitis.
 

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As mentioned, basically treat it like you would a car... the only thing is that a standard 7 inch polisher is way too huge for smaller parts, I wouldn't be compounding a saddlebag with it. I have a great little drill attachment from Meguiar's called the DA Power System and it's amazing for the bike:

http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G3500-Power-System-Tool/dp/B009OBVRY4

I generally use Meguiar products but I love the scratch/swirl remover from Nufinish called Scratch Doctor, the one in the orange bottle you get at Walmart, I use that for everything.

Like you guys have mentioned, I just completely repainted my 1976 Harley saddlebags and my big ol' feet have a nasty habit of dusting the tops from time to time, so I am debating what to do... there are chrome protectors you can install but i think as some have mentioned, I might get some of that clear plastic wrap stuff they use on the front of cars and put some of that on the top.

Dan
 

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DanR, if you do decide to go with the clear plastic wrap, would you mind updating us with how it worked for you? I've been considering using the same stuff on my bike.
 

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and my big ol' feet have a nasty habit of dusting the tops from time to time, .

Dan
I know its totally unrelated to the topic but I use to have the same problem of occasionally kicking the bike when climbing on & off. I found that instead of throwing a leg over, if I get on and off from the right side and lift my leg over the seat I don't hit anything. Granted this may not be that easy for someone shorter but it works great for me being 6'2" with size 13 skis. Especially dismounting.
Just thought I'd throw that out there. :)
 

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I know its totally unrelated to the topic but I use to have the same problem of occasionally kicking the bike when climbing on & off. I found that instead of throwing a leg over, if I get on and off from the right side and lift my leg over the seat I don't hit anything. Granted this may not be that easy for someone shorter but it works great for me being 6'2" with size 13 skis. Especially dismounting.
Just thought I'd throw that out there. :)
Funny you should mention that because I've been doing the same thing since riding the cruisers. I'm 5'7" and I just can't seem to get the leg up and over the back from the left side. I have no problem from the right and I can hold onto the engine guard or handle bar to support me, which is counter intuitive since you mount a horse from the left. :D Of course a horse isn't leaning over to the left on a kickstand.
 

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Funny you should mention that because I've been doing the same thing since riding the cruisers. I'm 5'7" and I just can't seem to get the leg up and over the back from the left side. I have no problem from the right and I can hold onto the engine guard or handle bar to support me, which is counter intuitive since you mount a horse from the left. :D Of course a horse isn't leaning over to the left on a kickstand.
Yeah I'm not sure where I saw it but I remember seeing it on a video.
When you dismount grab the right control with your left hand. Squeeze the brake for security if you want, stand up on your right leg and just pull the left one over behind you. Works like a charm for me. Some might think I look odd doing it that way but if it keeps my feet off the bike its a plus!
 

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After a fail using the film wrap, I did try the Paint Defender from 3M. I got anxious and did it on a day when it was only 55 degrees and the can says 65 - 90F. It didn't cure fast enough so one bag still has some orange peel texture, but not noticeable enough to bother me. It supposedly only lasts for about a year, so I'll be doing it over this fall, I may even re-shoot it this summer if I run out of things to do. This forum's size restrictions on photos never allows me to post, so I will put the series up on my website. http://www.donhamon.com
 

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Well, I have about $150 worth of "high-end" products from detail shop retailers as well...but I didn't want to go there, here, because a bike has such little paint to correct, I couldn't see recommending those products because of price. I was, however, able to do what I said with the products I mentioned; as a disclaimer I'd say that people should feel free to substitute same-type products (polish for polish, etc.). YMMV, so just don't hold me responsible. ;-)
I would recommend sticking with a very high quality glaze, however, and the Klasse is exactly that.

Also, this is just my own personal "formula for success"...again YMMV.

// Radar //
I would totally agree with this post. I will never claim to know everything, but I used to work in a body shop + painted motorcycles + work on them regularly. (Which sounds like a giant contradiction)

Anyway, Motorcycle finishes are not remotely the quality of auto finishes. You will cut through a motorcycle finish VERY quickly.

To my surprise, I just watched gas eat through the tank finish on my wife's bike. Thankfully it is on my list for a repaint any way.
 
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