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The new arrival II: Paint

In my first installment, I got a new little motorcycle and started cleaning it.  With the layers of filth removed, I could start working on important parts of the bike. One of the first things that I noticed was the paint. Although I was not a big fan of the color, I could have lived with it if it weren’t for the crappy clear coat job that someone had put on it.
For starters, they had not bothered to take the tank off the bike before applying the clear coat. The evidence of this was globs of dried clear coat all over the case of the engine. Also towards the bottom of the tank there were bubbles that had formed while it was drying. When it came time to strip the paint off, those bubbles would prove to be troublesome.
For the cover that locks over the gas cap, I used a chemical stripper that came in a spray can. The instructions were easy. Spray it on, wait 10-15 minutes, and then scrape off with a flexible scraper. The locking cover didn’t have the clear coat problem that the rest of the tank did, so the paint came right off.
When it came time to hit the tank, the spray on stripper was just having too much trouble eating through the clear coat. It was time to break out the power tools!
I got my drill and the wire brush attachment out and started working on the tank with that. Even with the wire brush on the end of a drill, the paint was being a huge pain. At this rate, it was going to take a week to get the paint off.
A quick trip to the local Bi-Mart got me the tool that I needed to take care of the problem, a larger and coarser wire brush. Within three hours the tank was nothing but bare metal. Of course, under the clear coat bubbles were rust holes. Three of them were just pits, but the other three went all the way through the metal. I was suddenly glad that I had taken the time to strip the paint off the tank after all. A little touch of JB Stick Weld had the holes patched up air (and gas) tight.
After two coats of primer and three coats of flat black, the tank was ready to go back on the bike. As a huge stroke of luck, the Honda name badges simply screwed on with two small screws, so there were no nasty adhesives to mess with.
With the tank and side covers back on the bike, it was time to try firing it up for a little longer than five minutes. In the next installment, the first ride.

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