Motorcycle Powder Coating

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The process of motorcycle powder coating gives bikers complete control over the aesthetic details of their rides. There are dozens of individual parts that may be coated on a given bike, from handle bars and transmissions to shock springs and manifolds. Riders also have final say over the color of their finished parts, be they silver or chrome, red, black, or blue.

To start, though, motorcycle powder coaters must strip each part to prepare it for application and curing. This may include power-blasting, degassing, and etching, all of which help to remove impurities, grease, and other debris. Typically, a job shop will charge extra for this service, even though it's a necessary step in the powder coating process.

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Many riders prefer a sleek, shiny, or reflective polish on their metal parts instead of a rich saturated color. In this case, coaters must apply clear top coats to help seal the paint and protect it from chipping and fading. "Candy" finishes, on the other hand, require what's known as a base coat that's applied to the substrate and preps the part for its outer layer, the one that glistens and twinkles in the sun.

The pricing system used by most motorcycle powder coaters is frequently a la carte, which means it's easy to rack up charges for extensive work. Most coaters, however, are willing to negotiate price and offer substantial discounts on bulk work. In other words, if you're having your gas tank and engine case done, it may be worth it to include smaller jobs such as your brake pedals and skid plate as well.

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