Wednesday 10 July 2013

The Blueing of the Ninja part 2

I spent some sweaty hours this weekend de-blacking the Ninja.  The coolant got flushed as I was waiting for paint to dry.  With the fairings off I got more done than I intended.  I stripped the tank and repainted it, my first attempt and recovering the stripped back to blue paint.

Original Kawasaki Paint codes courtesy of Color Rite
I was able to find a metallic blue that would work with the Ninja original Candy Plasma Blue.  Going on it looks almost identical, but it dries a darker blue, a more royal blue, though since it's metallic it pops like the original factory metallic paint does.  The paint I found was Rustoleum's Metallic Cobalt Blue.  It's readily available, I found it at Homedepot.

After laying a couple of coats of the new blue, I followed it up with a couple of coats of a gloss clear coat.  The picture of the tank on the right shows you what kind of finish you can get out of these basic tools.  It won't satisfy a perfectionist, but at under $20 to paint the front fender and tank, it will satisfy your accountant.  I waxed it once everything set (I let it sit for half a day), and it looks pretty sharp.  I've driven it 200kms so far this week since and no scuffs or scratches on the paint, so it's pretty tough too, even after an impromptu ride through a driving hail/thunder storm.

I could agonize over stockness here, but I don't think I will.  The vision I've got for the bike isn't stock anyway, but it's a far cry from the flat black bike I started with.  I'm still working out the orange for the frame.  I've got a gloss red and a gloss yellow and intend to mix my own.  The only oranges available seem to be traffic cone inspired (see the pics below), I'm going for a burnt orange as an opposing colour to the royal blue.

From the pictures you can see that the blues are mighty close, though the camera does flatten the differences a bit.  When you're up close you can see where the new paint is slightly darker, though just as rich and metallic.  With the clear coat on top it's silky smooth to the touch and polishes up nicely with wax.  I've been riding in rain all week and everything now beads off where it used to just get wet and sticky on the flat black.

The back end is still stock blue, the tank is the new metallic cobalt  blue
This is a closeup of the seat fairing - the front is the new blue, the back is
the old blue - pretty damn close - matches the spring nicely too
The headlight and front fairing is stock blue, the front wheel
fender and tank are the new blue
Another angle on the tank.  I taped off the filler cap and silver surround,
it came off clean.  I wiped any overspray before clear coating everything
After and before - the metallic blue covers up the bruises well, and where
the bike was already blue, you've got a strong undercoat that supports
the top colour.  It took a couple of extra coats to cover the bruises.
Next up: cleaning up the frame and getting it a metallic burnt orange
While I've got the fairings off to do the frame, I'll have another go at the blue on the big front fairings.  It's a time consuming, tiring process taking that black off, so the fairings might be a while longer before I get them done, then I can finally call my beaten up black bike blue again.