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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am tired of my lime green rattle can paint job. I kinda want to do something different so I am debating painting or wrapping my motorcycle.

I really want to copy the matte black Kawasaki paintjob but I don't know how that will hold up at the track.

Pro/Cons of both?
 

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I present to you the $90 rattle can paint job. Frame, swingarm, fairings, motor, forks, everything. All rattle can. Easy and inexpensive to mend after a crash. Now some guys would NEVER be happy with less than a professional paint job or wrap. I just couldn't see spending the money there when I could use that money on something to help me go faster. That being sad, if I had unlimited funds I would do a wrap. The graphic possibilities are endless. Really though its a matter of what you want to spend and where you want to spend it.
 

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Speaking from experience, a full color change wrap is very difficult to do with compound shapes and hard transitions. The Gen4 lower side fairings in particular. They'd be near impossible to do well. Then again, it's a track bike you're talking about and not a show bike so I'd say give the vinyl wrap a shot if you can live with imperfections. It's durable enough to withstand the abuse and way cheaper to replace then repainting rashed up satin paint.
 

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Wrap, if you want to do it yourself, has a number of benefits and disadvantages

Advantages:

1) It's cheaper than paint in terms of materials
2) It's not permanent - you can change/alter it whenever you want
3) It acts as a protection layer and takes abuse from debris better than paint and it can be patched up when it wears off (I'm talking about lower/front/under-rear)
4) You can have results that would be much harder/more expensive to achieve with paint - ie. complex design/color combinations
5) If you print custom graphics vinyl, the results could be quite amazing

Disadvantages:

1) It takes longer than paint - it will take some patience and learning to use viny/heat gun/knifeless tape properly but it gets easier with practice so don't expect a perfect result the first time out.
2) Unlike cars, bikes have a lot of curved surfaces and it complicates things, that is it takes a lot of work to lay it down right. Dealing with compound curves can be tricky but not impossible - it could take 2 people to heat/wrap at the same time.
3) The finish may not be absolutely perfect as in some cases you won't be able to lay a single piece to cover the whole fairing so it will have to be sectioned. It's not really noticeable and doesn't particularly matter on a track/race bike.

What I decided to do is combine paint and vinyl, rather than try to wrap the entire bike. For what I had in mind design wise, it would be been very costly to just paint. So I had a painter clean-up and paint the fairings with one base color, which was cheaper since he didn't have to mask anything off, create designs, and add other colors. It was a few bills but still reasonable. Then I added vinyl design over top of the paint. In the end, it cost less than a paint job with added benefits I've mentioned above and time/frustration savings in the end. I got a few pics in my build thread if you want to see how it turned out.

Having said all that, if you want to go all matte black, it might be fun to try to wrap the whole bike. Just pack a lot of patience, study YouTube videos on technique, be ready to compromise here and there, and be prepared to waste some material on learning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Decided I will do a Dark Silver Metallic with black lower, front fender, and tank fairings. Still deciding on my bright accent color for wheels.
 

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Are most people against plasti-dip around here? Would have been my suggestion as it is cheap and looks nice if you put the time into it to prep. Plus you can peal it off!
 

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Are most people against plasti-dip around here? Would have been my suggestion as it is cheap and looks nice if you put the time into it to prep. Plus you can peal it off!
It's only good for panels that never come into contact with anything. Fenders, lower fairings etc. Bits of it will eventually wear off contact areas (e.g tanks, side fairings, tail section). I use a bike cover and it even wore off the the pointy parts of the nose fairing where it came into contact with the cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's only good for panels that never come into contact with anything. Fenders, lower fairings etc. Bits of it will eventually wear off contact areas (e.g tanks, side fairings, tail section). I use a bike cover and it even wore off the the pointy parts of the nose fairing where it came into contact with the cover.
Already tried it. Not good for a trackbike. Comes off because all of the tire debris hitting it. Looks like crap after 4 trackdays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Guess the Xmas bike will be around for awhile. My friend convinced me don't mess with it if it isn't broken. So I'll wait until it needs a paint job. I already have all the colors and powder coat picked out.
 
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