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West Coast Moderator
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You may be able to find some carbon fiber looking film to cover them with. I'm sure you can find it at one of the automotive outlets. A guy I work with covered some of the dash panels in his car with it. I'll see where he got it from.
 

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The Deer Slayer
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Hey chuck, I was wondering, what about painting them? I was thinking about painting mine same color as bike. But, I reflected on that while staring at the bike, and thought it would ruin the flow of the body. Can you explain the carbon fiber look thing to me, I don't get it. I understand carbon fiber and the benefits on sport bikes, but I don't get the carbon fiber look.

Truth be told, I don't like the look, sometimes even when it's real. But the patch on carbon fiber look really turns me off. Chuck, can you paint to look like carbon fiber? I know a lot of people love the look. Guess I'm an old fart who likes it old school. Those side panels aren't so ugly as they are suseptible to scratches, oil, marring, ect.

Tony.
 

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if you wanted, i have a family member that does custom fiberglass / carbon fiber work. you would send him you side covers and he would send them back plus a set of carbon fiber ones. he does chain guards and stuff like that, too...

only problem is its time consuming and he's backed up right now.

i will check and see what he thinks when i visit next month.
 

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This company http://www.eurostreetgraphics.com/carbon.htm sells Carbon look vinyl 15''X4' roll for $30. I posted this a while back on the old board, but decided not to get this yet, as I have a friend who thought painting the side covers 'blue' would look just as good. Have to pull out Paintshop to see what these two styles would look like.
 

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painting the side panels

i'm going to be doing this later. right now it's too humid and i'm too broke :( i originally posted about it here:
http://pub22.ezboard.com/fthezr7garageonthewebmaintenance.showMessage?topicID=253.topic
it looks like it will be about $80 in paint plus shipping.

if you want to get an idea of what it would look like here is a picture of a kawasai er500 in blue:
http://www.pressinformation.com/kawasaki/bildbank/kawa_mc_2001/preview/2001-mc-11.html

similar styling but the side panels are colored to match the bike.

scott :)
 

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The Deer Slayer
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Hey Scott, do you know the cost of replacement side panels? I'd like to try painting too, but I'm afraid it might look awful. Then I'd have to replace them. I don't know. If you do paint them, please put up a pic, I woluld love too see it. The 500 Pic looks OK, but I'm still not sure.
 

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i cracked one of mine a while ago and the replacement cost was something like $90 each. yikes! luckily for me an epoxy surf board repair kit for $15 set me right again :) as for the finished effect i think some time spent in photo shop to experiment is a good idea

if you paint them and don't like the outcome you have some other options. you could buy new ones but that's expensive. you could sand them back down. you might be able to get a finish similar to stock by using *really* fine sandpaper. if that doesn't quite do it maybe you could clear coat them. or you could always just paint them some generic grey/silver/black color and get on with your life.

i think color matching them will look good. i'm not sure how good the match will be so i'll test the color on some scrap first, or maybe on the buell fly screen if i get one by them. i think it will probably be pretty good.

i'm more concerned with chipping. i've never seen paint out of an aerosol can that is as durable as a professional job. the finish is also usually not as fine but clear coat fixes much of that. since the panels are not in a high wear area and they were the one thing i really didn't like about the bike i'm going to try it. just need to get some cash and drier weather :)

i'll be sure to post pics when i do it :)

scott
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have used the faux carbon fiber sheets on a gas tank before and it was very difficult cutting the sheet to fit the curved surface. Since the side panels have several curves, I think it will be very difficult to obtain a clean look.

I think that painting the panels or purchasing real carbon fiber panels are the only two options. Since the panels are made of plastic, any paint will tend to chip or fall off over time.
 

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Wheelie for Safety
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Here is a before and after picture of Scott's bike with red side panels.




The fairing on my bike is thin just like the side panels and the paint sticks to it without cracking. I would think a good quality automotive polyurethane paint would work very well.

Andy
 

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Looks nice!

I think you could take it even farther though. Say, add the foot guards (near the pegs) and the chain cover. Add a colored hugger and voila, instant custom ZR!
 

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The Deer Slayer
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Wow , what a different look that gives the bike ! Hey Chuck, do you think the painted plastic would chip that easily ? The other plastic painted parts don't chip with the factory paint job.

Tony
 

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kawman, i have thought of adding a hugger and color matching that as well. it would be pricey since the only hugger i''ve seen here in the states is carbon fiber and thr paint supplies run $80. but i think it would look cool :) i think i'll leave the kick plates stock though, too much wear and tear in that area. the stock chain guard won't take paint well at all. i think aftermarket aluminum ones are available though.

scott
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow Andy. The color matched side panels look great. Did you paint the panels yourself?

My worry about paint chipping is that if I try to do the paint job myself, I will not have the proper equipment and technique to duplicate the durable paint that is applied by the factory. I am assuming that the factory baked the paint on and maybe used some special under coat. I guess if I choose to have the panels painted, I will choose to have them painted by a shop.
 

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Wheelie for Safety
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Hi Chuck,

Thanks... I used Photoshop.

I think it does look better. I wonder why the factory didn't paint them. I would guess cost.

I would go to a body shop and have it done right. Painting is very difficult if you want it to match. I would imagine it would cost a few hundered dollars.

Andy
 

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Mr. Clean
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Gray side panels

I was going to paint my side covers candy blue, but with my second look seat cover, they wouldn't tie in. I'm thinking of painting them gloss Pearl Cosmic gray (the same color as the frame and wheels)...what do you guys think?!
 

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Dirty Harry.... Moderator
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no patience...

I think I'll just put stickers all over mine...have a K&N sticker on the right side already. Tom :? :rolleyes:
 
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