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Discussion Starter #1
Think I pretty much have my mind set on a 500R for my next bike. Problem is I'm kinda picky about colors. How much of a hassle is it to pull the fairing on this bike for painting. For that matter, what proceedure do you folks recommend for painting this bike (is the fairing metal or fiberglass?, sand and prime or just paint?, clearcoat?)

Thanks,

Coffee
 

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we'll i can tell you the fairings all come off pretty easy. took me less that 10 minutes. the tank is metal, the rest are plastic. as for the auto body (bike body) work on them, i couldn't tell ya.

what color you want to paint them?
 

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Wish I were a Leesta too
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i just got done painting my bike. took everything down to the metal or plastic, repaired a couple cracks, body filler, primed, sanded, reprimed, resanded, painted, sanded out the boo-boo's and repainted again. i still have some wet sanding and buffing/polishing to do too. total cost for materials and tools was $300. i used a single stage paint (DuPont Centari, Porsche Gaurd's Red) which was about $85 for a half gallon. (one quart is plenty if you know what you're doing) 3 coats on everything. it will look great when i'm done, i'm a anal perfectionists but it was a huge pain in the butt and frankly not worth it for the $2k i paid for bike. i probably have 100 hours worth of labor into everything. i already had the compressor, but had to buy a gun, orbital sander, sandpaper, body filler, primer (K36), paint, catalyst, reducer, desicant canisters, tack cloths, etc etc ad naseum. my advice would be to wait until you find a bike in the color you like. even a brand new bike isn't worth the $1000 that a shop will charge you to change the color. doing it yourself is kinda sorta fun, a good project for winter time, and can be done much cheaper but again, the time and money really isn't worth it for a beginner bike that you probably won't keep for more than a couple years. just an opinion.

edit to answer your questions: the grab handle and gas tank are the only metal parts. the rest is ABS plastic. the tank is the only clear coated part. everything can be removed from the bike in a few minutes with about 15 screws. easy stuff. if you're going to paint it, i'd recommend just roughing up the stock paint with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper, spray a sealer-primer so the color doesn't bleed through and then shoot your basecoat and clearcoat if you're using a clearcoat. its unnecessary to take all the paint off down to the plastic/metal (learned the hard way). if you've never painted before, i'd suggest getting a decent gravity feed paint gun (a detail gun is even good for such small parts) and have someone that knows what they are doing adjust the pressures, patterns, flow rates etc. i wasted A LOT of paint trying to learn the proper way to set up the gun, reduce the paint, and apply it. i learned a lot from the process so it will be much easier next time. (if there is a next time) there are a lot of things that i didn't have the foggiest clue about when i started but i was determined to learn. things like painting a horizontal flat surface is WAY different than painting a curvy vertical surface. different reductions and gun setups are required for each, and there is a very fine line between applying enough paint so that it will flow out into a smooth finish and applying too much where you'll get runs and sags. the kind of stuff you can only learn by doing. its an art and i can now see why shops get the big bucks to do it right. its extremely labor intensive and time consuming so if you're going to do it and do it right, wait until riding season is over and start immediately, then you'll probably be done in time for spring. i started mine if Feb and i'm just finishing up now. if i knew then what i know now........

Bobby

almost forgot to add: forget putting factory decals back on after your paint job too. the set for the whole bike is over $400 from Kawasaki. check out www.edecals.com when you're done. they have some stock decals that say "Kawasaki" and "Ninja" for about $8 each.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks folks! Big help! I was wondering if I needed to strip everything or not. Glad the answer is not 'cause I wasn't even sure how to strip back the plastic.
 
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