Re: DIY paint-anyone done it?
Yep, done quite a few bikes, if you're considering picking up a can from Halfords and expecting a perfect colour match with the tank you will be disappointed. The best advice that I could offer would be to beg, borrow or steal (or at a push even buy) a medium sized compressor, with a least a 25 liter reservoir, you should be able to hire this kit for a day if you don't want to buy. You will obviously need a reasonable quality spray gun as well. When doing a panel, cleanliness is very much next to godliness, sand down the panel as you described using a reasonable course grade paper, say a 400 grit. When you have removed the decals and removed the top layer of lacquer, start sanding with finer and finer grades of sandpaper, I personally would use a 600 grit, followed by an 800 grit and finish with a 1200, until the panel is smooth, but avoid using a paper less than 1200 grit, or wet and dry, as you will want a little bit of roughness to allow the paint to "grip". Next thing is to get your paint organized, have a look under the seat of the bike and you should be able to find a paint code sticker on the frame, take this code to your local paint supplier, I would think that a half liter of paint and a quarter liter of thinners would be enough for two panels, your paint dealer will advise. You will also need about a half liter of clear coat (lacquer).
Before you start spraying the prepared panels, clean them thoroughly with an appropriate degreaser, again your paint dealer will provide this. You are now ready to spray, begin by testing the paint application by spraying on a blank piece of paper, you want to aim for several light coats rather than a heavy coat, building up each layer giving it a minute or two for the previous one to dry, it is also important to note that a clean dry and relatively warm environment will also help with getting a good finish. When you are happy with the panel, clean out the gun with thinners or gun wash and refill with clear coat (lacquer), lacquering a panel is a slightly different procedure than painting, insofar as you want to 'wet' the panel to give a nice shiny finish, applying lacquer in very light coats will leave a dull finish, the trick is to apply enough lacquer to leave a nice wet glossy appearance, but not apply too much so that the lacquer runs. The best way to get this right is to practice with different settings on a piece of cardboard. One final thing, if you are reapplying decals, place the decals on the paint BEFORE you lacquer. Hope this is of some help
'04 Transalp 650
Why do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow. I'd rather be out on me bike !!