Personalize The Plastics On Your Motorcycle

They're a perfect canvas for personal expression

Motorcycles have always served as a perfect canvas for personal expression. If your bike is just begging to be experimented with, or even if your plastics just need a freshening up, paint-dipping your motorcycle's body panels makes for a simple and cheap weekend project guaranteed to produce a unique result.

Materials Needed

Strip

strip plastic parts from motorcycle
Take a photograph of your bike before you start pulling it apart. Remove the body panels that you want to paint and organize them from small to large. Confidence in your painting technique will improve as you go.Brenda Weaver

Sand

sand down plastic to dull matte
Using 400- to 500-grit sandpaper and a sanding block, take the glossy, smooth finish of your plastics to a dull matte, and smooth over any abrasions they might have suffered in the course of your riding.Brenda Weaver

Prep

scrub plastic with paint thinner
Using an industrial solvent like brake cleaner or paint thinner, give each panel a good scrub. If you encounter any still-glossy surfaces, take the time to do a little more sanding. Good prep is the most important step in the process.Brenda Weaver

Spray

Spray paint surface of water
Fill a plastic tub with lukewarm water, shake your spray cans well, then spray paint over the surface. Splatters and streaks look fantastic. A swizzle stick dragged through your masterpiece can create galaxylike spirals.Brenda Weaver

Dip

dip plastic into painted water
Wearing gloves, grab hold of your bodywork from one of its mounting points, then gently dip at a 90-degree angle and roll the panel through paint on the surface of your tub. It’ll adhere instantly, transferring the design.Brenda Weaver

Preserve

spray clear coat on plastic
Allow the paint to dry, then use a sprayed-on clear coat to seal in all your artsy cleverness. Finish-sanding and respraying your clear coat can create a glossy, finished look—and make for plenty of double-takes on your next ride.Brenda Weaver