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Indian Motorcycle - Follow along

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Recently we were contacted by the client of a custom motorcycle painter about the possibility of doing some work together on bikes he builds to put some final polish down and to bring them to the next level of gloss and protection. 


One of his clients he’d done some work for followed up with us shortly after about doing some work on his bike that he’d just picked up from the same painter. After some discussion about techniques and products, he told me he would make the hour and a half drive and drop it off so we could do what we do. 


Well today, it showed up. So I figured we would do a write up as we work on it and everyone can follow along as they’d like to. Some products may be referred to genetically as this is more about process than product. I’ll also openly disclose that not all products used are Adam’s Polishes, although for most Adam’s offers a suitable product. The coating for this particular job is not Adam’s, although it was offered as an option. 


Moving along...the bike has been stored in a warehouse. It’s currently covered in quite a bit of dust. Since it’s new, we don’t plan to give it a full on wash but will instead opt for waterless wash. 


We will be starting it after Christmas but here’s some photos from the builder and one of it in the shop. 


Hope you guys enjoy following this project as much as we are going to enjoy doing it. Please feel free to ask questions about product and process as you have them. 


Enjoy. And Merry Christmas. 










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I started playing a bit to establish the process. The clear coat is VERY hard on this bike. I tried polish at first and wasn’t impressed. Then I tried compound and a foam pad and it was much better. Finally I settled on using a wool blended pad with compound. This will be the starting point. It’s a HUGE improvement so far. This is not polished out all the way, but just to get a feel for correction. It still will need two more steps of polish before we coat it. 


This is is a project that will be done with the Nano and Mini as the polishers of choice. It actually has me debating adding a long neck nano to the shop as well. We will see. 


Stay tuned for more. 





Edited by shane@detailedreflections

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Now that Christmas is done, we had the chance to dive into this bike a little bit. Working on a bike it significantly different from working on a car or truck. There’s far less flat panels, so this work was done when a Rupes Mini and a Rupes Nano. We have a shortneck, and for this job I find myself wanting a longneck. If we keep this kind of work coming in, another nano in longneck will be in our future. 


Anyway, the paint was pretty rough as you can tell. I’m not sure if it wasn’t wetsanded entirely between coats, but swirls exist on multiple layers. We found a coarse microfiber towel in one of the saddlebags, so it makes me wonder if that’s part of the problem?  I’ll have to inquire with the owner. Needless to say, he will be getting a new buffing towel from me. 


In this photo, we’ve already started cutting the right side of the tank. We used a compound, correcting polish and then a finishing polish/gloss primer to get it ready for coating. 



We knew we were making good progress when a camera phone recognizes a face in the reflection. This was the only photo done with a camera phone. 



You can get a feel for the swirls that we started with on this piece. 



After being polished out, we saw significant improvement in the deoth of the paint. There were aspects of the paint that we didn’t even notice before. 



Polished and primered for coating. 



Upper fairing after polishing. 



Later this week we will finish polishing out the rest of the bike. We have some engine detailing to get done before we coat the trim/paint along with some metal polishing to do.


It’s a slow process on this one, but the client is looking for as close to perfect as we can achieve. I’m looking forward to seeing his response when he sees his bike without defects and dripping wet in three layers of ceramic. 


Enjoy!  Merry Christmas!


Edited by shane@detailedreflections

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