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Painting Your Engine Covers

2119 Views 26 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Sidecar Bob
Don't do it!

I was looking at you tube vids where everyone takes a spray can to the various corroded aluminum covers. I have attached a snap of my clutch cover after a few hours of sanding and polishing. Not perfect, but it previously looked like the oil filter cover sitting beside it. Followed a post about wet sanding on here and finished with a cheap buffing wheel I put in my drill. Lots of aluminum on these engines that look great when polished!


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Spray some clear lacquer on it otherwise it’ll tarnish in no time.
Oh, I dunno. I did my rocker covers in black wrinkle 10 years ago and they've held up well.

Looks better than the peeling clear coat did.
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Please don't lacquer it.

I have bikes with extensive polishing in use full time. A quick repolish once or twice a year keeps the polished alloy nice.

Lacquer over polished alloy has a tendency to yellow or chip and peel.

My 2 cents.
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Spray some clear lacquer on it otherwise it’ll tarnish in no time.
They need a little more work, will try some autosol first to see if that improves it more. It's always a personal choice, but hey- who doesn't like a little more shine!
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I clear coated the engine block paint for more depth, shine and resilience, but going to leave these au natural and see how it goes.
I just loath those "20 minute cafe racer" videos where they just spray over the entire engine. IMO these are one of the best looking engines on two wheels.
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It's all a mater of personal preference. I painted the covers on both of my bikes with hammered black, on the GoldWing because I like the look and on the CX because I drive it in the winter and polished aluminum and road salt isn't a good combination (I tried polishing its forks one year but the next year I painted them too).
Come January, I punish myself by looking at the Vancouver Island weather for the next few months. Plus 6-9 degrees C and keep wondering why I am still in Ontario in the winter!
We actually have it pretty good in Southern Ontario. It doesn't get as cold as a lot of places or as hot as a lot of others. We get enough rain and enough sun for things to grow (most years). It snows but not as much as a lot of places (like the Maratimes) and we don't have hurricanes or anything like that.

Anyway, only 35 days till spring How many days until Spring?

BTW: It is +4 in Vancouver today, which sounds nice until you realize that the relative humidity is 90%.
My experience has been that even in my full winter gear I feel a lot colder on the bike on days like that than I do on colder days when the humidity is lower.
Plus 9 and sunny in Victoria Bob- I think we will agree to disagree.😱
I looked at the Vancouver weather again to make sure, Now it says +7 but still foggy

The page for Victoria says it is only +5, sunny but with 81% RH

Anyway, that's the "wet" coast and we get enough precipitation here for my taste.....
Morning Gents, Is foggy this morning and 5c at Delta
-16C in Minneapolis right now. -22C when I was out this morning.
I've had enough of winter. :(
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Paint looks good
Powder coat is better and the silver powder coat can all most be taken for polished aluminum

I my self have a vapor blaster and that cleans every thing nice and removed all the oxidation on aluminum
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TLD 🇨🇦 🇩🇰
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Don't get me wrong, I like making things shiny. In fact, I spent a few minutes in the garage shop this afternoon shining up some bolts on the buffing wheel for an electronics project.
But the covers on my GoldWing's engine have been painted for a lot longer than most people keep a bike so it's become sort of a tradition
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Been great all day here in Victoria - got up to 12 deg C and sunny. Remeber that BC does not mean British Columbia, it means "Bring Cash".

Have mentioned before on sevseral forums and forum threads that one of my C-19 projects was rebuilding the 1200 engine in my '85 Limited Edition. Had the parts/pieces, engine cases and such vapour blasted. The fellow doing the vapour blasting recommended coating these with ACF-50, but this a fluid film and since most of the engine would be enclosed, a lot of crud would attach itself to the ACF-50. Did a bit more research and came across a CERAKOTE product MC5100, contated the company as well, for all aluminum finishes as a protectant including vapour blasting. One coat, spray/brush on, air dry and nothing sticks to it. Cleans up with a damp rag. Works on painted surfaces as well. The Canadian distributor is Caswell Canada: Cerakote Canada coatings ceramic This product works very well. A disclaimer, no affiliation except that I like the product. Should work well in Ontario.

My brother is in northern Ontario, just north of New Liskeard. He has seen how this product works and this summer, we intend to clean, paint if necessary and use this product on his winter rims. Be a good test of the product.
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-10C here in NE Illannoy this AM. I was planning to ride the Ural to a bicycle swap meet today, but as this is the high for today, I think the Jeep wins.

That engine looks nice, Bob.
Ah the Pros and Con of Polish or painting. Polish not temp sensitive like paint, and for me doesn't make ugly runs, yeah someday I will learn how to paint.
Bring Cash ,Could not agree more.
If I wanted to polish my bike, I'd have a Harley! :p
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