It goes without saying that the steel frame of a motorcycle needs a coat of paint to save it from the vagaries of nature and other problems. Without the coat of paint, the frame will get rusted and will fall apart within a very short time. If the frame breaks while you are driving the motorcycle, then it may cause an accident which can be fatal also.
So, what paint to use on a motorcycle frame is a question that every motorcycle rider asks himself…
…when painting the frame especially if the bike has been custom made or a second-hand one.
There are many things to consider when you want a painting job done on the frame of your motorcycle, which are:
The advantage of powder coats
The first thing to decide is whether to give the frame a powder coated finish or a standard paint job. Powder coating is also a type of painting which is done electrostatically without using a solvent and is a good option for what is the best paint to use on a motorcycle frame. It is tougher than conventional paints and forms a single thick layer after the frame gets baked in a special oven.
It can withstand impacts from rock chips and other hard materials without peeling off. It tends to stick to every metallic surface, and this is the reason that you should cover all such surfaces such as bearings and others which can get affected by the powder during its application. The process is also environment-friendly as it leaves no overspray produced by spray painting.
Disadvantages of powder coats
The surface has to be thoroughly sandpapered and cleaned before the paint can be applied. If there a dirty or rusty area then the dust will not stick and will peel off after being baked. If it is not applied evenly, then it will cause blisters on the surface which will fall off after some time. Flat surfaces like fuel tanks and fenders are especially susceptible to this kind of occurrence. The layer has to be thin enough not to fill up the numbers engraved on the frame.
The points where the different members of the frame get welded together might not allow the powder to take hold leaving the areas around them without any paint. This must be taken care of by evening out any edges on the surface. Doing a powder coat job for your motorcycle frame requires a professional expertise and equipment for which you may have to spend a good deal of money. The thermoplastic polymer used for the powder coat is very expensive and should be utilized only for painting a motorcycle which you will be using for quite some time.
Regular oil-based paints
Working with normal oil-based paint is a much easier job than using powder coating when you are not sure regarding what kind of paint to use on a motorcycle frame. The layer of paint on the bike frame is very fine and can get scratched very easily by any hard surface. By giving the frame multiple numbers of coats, the overall coat of paint becomes thick.
There are various options available for using a regular paint such as using a brush to apply it or using a spray can or using a spraying equipment which works under air pressure. There is also an option of whether to do the job yourself or get it done by a professional painter.
These paints have petroleum based solvents that dry by evaporation. The process gets hastened by baking the frame in an oven. It is a job that can be done easily by DIY enthusiasts who are looking for answers to their query of what paint to use on a motorcycle frame. It is more of a professional job that gets usually done by the manufacturers of cars, motorcycles, and bicycles at their workshops.
The paint creates a thick and durable cover over the metallic surface of the frame but is very toxic in nature and has an intense smell. It has to be handled carefully by DIY enthusiasts who are recommended to set up a separate shed for doing the job.
- Deciding on the paint
Whether you should go in for a powder coat or a simple, cheap paint for your motorcycle frame depends on a few considerations such as the condition of the bike or whether it is too old for an expensive paint or not or you want to sell the motorcycle quickly or not. The value of the motorcycle also depends on the type of paint it has.
The motorcycle may be an old one, and you want to cover up the rusted parts to make it look new. In this case, you would not like to spend money on expensive paints or the cost of a paint job done by professionals. Using cheaper paints and doing it yourself will help you achieve your objective.
If you want to save some money by doing the painting job yourself, then you can use a brush to apply it which is the most inexpensive and easiest option. You can cover every inch of the frame you want to without having to bother too much about paint getting into unwanted areas. But you will need quite some time for each coat to dry before you can apply the next coat of paint.
You can use spray cans to paint the motorcycle frame. This can be done at a reasonable cost and requires lesser time. You can also use equipment like a spray gun and an air compressor to do a professional job of it.
Good quality spray paints
One of the paint that got approved by many DIY enthusiasts as the best spray paint to use on motorcycle frame is the ‘rust-oleum’ type of spray paint. It is available in cans at many stores and can be applied very quickly to the metallic surface of the frame. It spreads evenly over the surface when short bursts get used, and the can is moved from side to side quickly in a straight line. Solid bursts applied on a single spot can make the coat too thick and cause the extra paint to drip lines. It got established that it gives an excellent coat of paint which can stand gas and oil better than other paints in its class.
Whether the color you use for the motorcycle frame is in powder form or it is an enamel paint, you need to go over all the advantages and disadvantages of the different colors and painting procedures also. Only then the question of what paint to use on motorcycle frame will be answered.