2012 Harley-Davidson FLD Switchback | Doin' Time

Photography by Joe Neric

Wrist: Joe Neric
MSRP (2012): $17,579
Miles: 10,629
MPG: 38
Mods: Color Rite Touch-Up Pens

After the fun weekend getaway with the wife to Los Olivos, I needed to give the Switchback a little TLC. The first week I had the bike, I accidentally kicked the saddlebags a few times when I threw a leg over. Having just spent a year with a Honda CB1000R, I wasn’t accustomed to life with such a wide bike. I should also mention I may have run into my parked truck—just a little bit. And there was that time when I removed the windshield and set it on top of the saddlebags while I opened the garage door. As it slid off, the metal bracket scraped some paint away, like peeling a banana. Don’t worry, I have it all under control now, but it didn’t stop the guys at the Harley Fleet Center (where magazine test bikes are prepped and serviced) from asking if I’d been in a small crash.

The dings were strictly cosmetic and touch-up paint would cover up my blunders. I ordered Color Rite Touch-Up Pens after Ari’s strong recommendation and revisiting his MC Tested from back in July 2010 (www.colorrite.com; $31.90). Some paints require a base as well as a top color coat—the Harley’s Ember Red Sunglo is one of them. (Still others use a color coat plus a clear topcoat.) Sounds confusing, but Color Rite’s website does a great job of letting you know what you need for your bike. Color Rite works closely with manufacturers, so there’s no need to contact your dealer for part numbers or paint names, just follow Color Rite’s website prompts.

The touch-up pens delivered as promised. Applying the base coat and touch-up paint was easy, and with a little buffing my goofs were concealed. I did need to apply two coats of the base layer to one of the deeper scratches—one that actually qualified more like a gouge—so it would blend in without looking like a poor touch-up job. But the overall results were very good.

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