The Lacquer over the Suzuki legend on my GSX1100E tank was
cracked and flaking, the exposed writing was retaining dirt,
it generally looked messy and as I am going to sell it I had
to repaint it.
Figure 1. the Tank legend with a paper scale(inches) surrounding it.
In Figure 1 the dark line across the K and I are where some
Lacquer remains, it is missing on all the other
I usually repaint lines and writing rather than buying stickers.
Apart from being a cheapskate, painted stripes and lettering
is more durable and you don't have to wait for someone to
cut them out.
There were a couple
of blisters on the tank otherwise the paint was in good shape
and there was only one small dent, it isn't visible in Figure 1 but the centre
of it is in the middle
of the second "U". So I sandblasted the blisters with a pressure washer and
wet blasting attachment. The wetblasting attachment came free
with a Hobby 88, I didn't try it
until recently and I am quite impressed. The original stripes and writing are
stickers, the remaining Lacquer was sanded off them and with a bit off heat
and/or thinners they were cleaned off. The tank was blocked(sanded)
with 120 grit and bare metaled in the area surrounding the
little dent, which I skimmed with filler then blocked with 80
grit. Don't fill on top of paint, that's just asking for
shrinkage and scratches to show. The tank was sprayed with 3 coats of
two pack primer and the primer left overnight before being
blocked with 600 wet and dry.
The tank was to be painted Orange then sanded before
applying the black panel. The tank would then be sanded again,
prior to the lettering and stripes being
applied, the whole thing finally being Lacquered. 2
pack solid colours would be used for the orange and black
and basecoats for the stripes and letters.
The first colour coat was the "correct"
Suzuki Rosso, the black was stock black tinter, the silver was BMC
silver leaf, this is a nice fine silver and the lettering was
white with red pearl. The correct colours are usually quite
subtle, micas and candies being very common. Look at a black bike
tank in strong sunlight, FZRs were blue mica basecoats with
the black pearl over the top!! The orange on the GSX had
fine orange mica in it, the colour I used, the "correct"
formulation from a paint company(Sikkens), is almost the right colour
but it's just solid colour.
Three coats of Rosso were applied and flatted with 600
then the tank masked for the black panel to be squirted on.
While not absolutely necessary -as the edge would be
hidden- 1/8" fineline tape was used for masking the edge. Fine
line tape is easy to get round curves and prevents
fuzzy edges. Two coats of black were sprayed on the top
of the tank. The black was allowed to dry overnight and the
whole tank flatted with 1000 grit and 800, anywhere near
the edge between the black and orange that needed much sanding
was done with the 1000 grit, I didn't really want to feather
original stipes were 20 mm wide, so I masked the shape
of the stripes with 19 mm masking tape.
The edges of the tape would be used
as a guide for masking the outer edges, Figure 2
shows the tank with the "guide" tape stripe. The outer edges were
masked up to the "guide" stripe with fine line tape, then the guide stripe
removed, so the gap between the stripes just needed masking now. As
the original stripes are 10 mm and 6 mm with a 4
mm gap between them, I thought I would get away with a single
1/8" fineline tape stripe to mask the gap.