2010 Vn900 SE Paint touch up - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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2010 Vn900 SE Paint touch up

When I ride I always wear jeans and I'm noticing that where my knees hug the tank the flat black paint job is starting to wear off.

Does anyone know if this is a manufactures defect or is it common for the 2010 SE? I know I can buy some touch up paint from www.colorrite.com but I'd rather not go through the hassle if this is something that should be covered under warranty.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jdlangdon View Post
When I ride I always wear jeans and I'm noticing that where my knees hug the tank the flat black paint job is starting to wear off.

Does anyone know if this is a manufactures defect or is it common for the 2010 SE? I know I can buy some touch up paint from www.colorrite.com but I'd rather not go through the hassle if this is something that should be covered under warranty.
Hey jdlangdon,

I'm in the paint business and am a factory rep for DuPont Performance Coatings / Automotive Finishes. My first question is - What do you mean by rubbing off? The paint used on these bikes is very durable and would be hard to rub off from simply rubbing against your jeans. Are you seeing some glossy areas where your knees / thighs rub against it? Or are you actually getting scratches from the rubbing?

If you're seeing shiny or glossy spots where your jeans rub the tank, this is normal (maybe not what you want to see, but normal). Matte or flat finishes have an additive in them that when cured causes the gloss level to go dull. Unfortunately, rubbing theses finishes restores the gloss and nothing short of repainting them can return it to a low gloss. Your jeans rubbing against the tank is acting like a buffer / polisher and shining it up.

There is an old timers trick you can try that I'm not sure I like, but will restore the appearance of the flat finish in those areas. Go to an auto paint store and get a 3M White Scotch Brite Pad. Make sure it is white, not gold, not gray, not red - these are too coarse. Take the white pad and rub it lightly on those areas of the tank that are now shiny until they dull out again.

There are two reasons I don't know if I like this trick. First - what you are actually doing is putting very fine scratches in the finish which, by changing the way light reflects off the surface, will give you a flat appearance. It also probably won't look exactly like the areas that are still flat around these spots. Second - you will have to keep doing it every so often because your knees will keep buffing those spots.

You could do this trick and then put mylar clear vinyl in those spots, but I'm not sure you'll like how that looks either.

If it is actually rubbing the finish off in these areas its undoubtedly a defect. It would take a lot to rub through the paint. If this is the case you'll see a ring around these spots where you've broken through the flat clear to the basecoat below.

Can you send me a digital photo of it so I can have a looksey?

I hope this has been some help.

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Last edited by Dino570; 07-31-2010 at 10:42 AM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 03:06 PM
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Not sure if it's common or not on your '10 SE. I will say that in the past I've used kits from http://www.thetankslapper.com/ to protect tanks on sport bikes that get leaned on a lot. You can also fab up basically the same thing yourself if you are even mildly motivated using clear or near clear shelf paper with light adhesive. Heat guns are magic when applying this stuff, because you can get it to stretch and conform to compound curves.

-RW
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Hey jdlangdon,
If it is actually rubbing the finish off in these areas its undoubtedly a defect. It would take a lot to rub through the paint. If this is the case you'll see a ring around these spots where you've broken through the flat clear to the basecoat below.
That's what it looks like to me, that I've broken through the basecoat. I'll upload a pic shortly but one both sides of the tank it looks as though the paint is turning white. At first I thought it may have been dirt but I've tried using windex to clean that area without any luck.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 07:03 AM
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Forgive me for hijacking this thread for a minute but I have a simliar problem and mayhaps someone can help here as well. I have noticed that there is a small blemish on my airbox cover (09 Vn900 CSE) that I believe is also from my jeans rubbing against it, it appears as a small, cloudy spot. Would it bea advisable to simply touch it up with gloss black spray paint?

Again, sorry about the hijack,

Good luck getting your tank back to original,
Later,
Darknight
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlangdon View Post
That's what it looks like to me, that I've broken through the basecoat. I'll upload a pic shortly but one both sides of the tank it looks as though the paint is turning white. At first I thought it may have been dirt but I've tried using windex to clean that area without any luck.

jdlangdon,

If you could either upload the pics or send them to my box I'll see if I can tell what's going on. Hopefully I can help. How many miles are on the bike?

07 Vulcan 900 Custom
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Darknight View Post
Forgive me for hijacking this thread for a minute but I have a simliar problem and mayhaps someone can help here as well. I have noticed that there is a small blemish on my airbox cover (09 Vn900 CSE) that I believe is also from my jeans rubbing against it, it appears as a small, cloudy spot. Would it bea advisable to simply touch it up with gloss black spray paint?

Again, sorry about the hijack,

Good luck getting your tank back to original,
Later,
Darknight
Hey Darknight,

I wouldn't advise using the spray paint unless you're going to respray the whole cover (then you'll lose the "Special Edition" on it). If you try to "spot in" using a spray can you'll get a dry crappy looking edge around the area that you sprayed. A body shop could spray just that spot and melt that dry edge in by spraying a very hot solvent on it, but it would cost you a lot of money and still may not look exactly right. On top of that it would just happen again if it's from your jeans rubbing it.

Do you know if the cover is painted or is it actually black chrome? If its black chrome the spray paint wouldn't look right anyhow.

I would suggest getting some type of polisher for your drill or Dremel with a soft pad and light compound and try polishing it back up. Keep the speed down to 1500 RPM or so. If it's clear it should come back relatively easily. If it's black chrome you may have to use a chrome polish from Mother's or Eagle or something similar.

Hope that helps.

07 Vulcan 900 Custom
Arlen Ness Big Sucker Intake
Power Commander III
BC Billet Mirrors
BC Chrome Grips
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Dino570 View Post
Hey Darknight,

I wouldn't advise using the spray paint unless you're going to respray the whole cover (then you'll lose the "Special Edition" on it). If you try to "spot in" using a spray can you'll get a dry crappy looking edge around the area that you sprayed. A body shop could spray just that spot and melt that dry edge in by spraying a very hot solvent on it, but it would cost you a lot of money and still may not look exactly right. On top of that it would just happen again if it's from your jeans rubbing it.

Do you know if the cover is painted or is it actually black chrome? If its black chrome the spray paint wouldn't look right anyhow.

I would suggest getting some type of polisher for your drill or Dremel with a soft pad and light compound and try polishing it back up. Keep the speed down to 1500 RPM or so. If it's clear it should come back relatively easily. If it's black chrome you may have to use a chrome polish from Mother's or Eagle or something similar.

Hope that helps.
Dino,

I have the 09 Special Edition so it is gloss black paint on the cover. As far as the SE decals I removed them a couple weeks after I took delivery.
I am not positive it is from my jeans but I can't figure out another cause for it so for now that's my thinking. Is polishing as easy as it appears to be? You see I am more worried about screwing the finish up if I do something wrong, ending up making it worse.

I appreciate your reply, it gives me another option anyway...

jlangdon- again, sorry about the hijack...hope you get the answer you were looking for.

Later,
darknight


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Actually Darknight, don't worry about it. While you may have hi-jacked the post, you're still on topic of touching up a 900SE paint job. You're just touching up a different part of the bike. :-)
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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jdlangdon,

If you could either upload the pics or send them to my box I'll see if I can tell what's going on. Hopefully I can help. How many miles are on the bike?
I just took a macro shot of my tank in uncontrolled lighting to post here. When I zoomed in on the white spots, would you believe it looks like a whole bunch of tiny scratches? I'm going to wait until later this evening when I can control the lighting and try it again but if it is scratches, then it's probably my own fault and not a defect.
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