How to Fill and Repair Deep Scratches on a Motorcycle Fairing?
Motorcycle fairings look good when they are new, but riding can be a hectic affair. The bike falls or bumps into things or things bump into it. Sooner or later, the fairing may get scratched.
Obviously a scratched fairing doesn’t look good at all, so what should you do to make it look good again? We break down the DIY process of repairing scratched motorcycle fairings.
Things You’ll Need:
Step one: Removal of the fairing
Don’t work on the fairing when it is still attached to the motorcycle. Remove it first, so you can wash it and work on it properly.
Begin by unscrewing the bolts which attach the fairing to the motorcycle. Remove the fairing.
Step two: Clean with soapy water
Before you can start repairing the scratches, you must first wash the fairing until it is properly clean.
Take your warm water and add liquid detergent to it. If you do not have liquid detergent, motorcycle soap is also great.
You will use this soapy water to get rid of dust and other debris and gunk that has built up on the fairing. Having been in use for a while means the fairing has built up a layer of black engine gunk.
Dip a sponge in the soapy water and carefully clean the fairing, using a circular scrubbing motion. Give more attention to the parts of the fairing that have accumulated the black engine gunk.
Since you are using a sponge and cleaning gently and carefully, any motorcycle fairing speakers are safe.
Once you have cleaned out all the dirt and are satisfied with your work, take some clean water and apply to the fairing’s surface to rinse off the soap.
If your fairing has any stickers on it, that means they too have accumulated a layer of dirt. Washing may do the trick, but it might be a better idea to just remove the stickers and replace with new ones.
Removing the stickers may pose a challenge, but there is a simple solution: use a hairdryer to apply heat on the stickers. The heat makes the glue of the stickers loosen up, and you can then easily peel them off.
Step three: Apply polishing product
Now the real work begins. If the scratch is a shallow one, buffing it out with polishing product should be enough to do the job. You can use your fingernail to gauge the depth of the scratch. A deep scratch will require further measures.
If it is a shallow scratch, take a soft sponge and use it to apply the plastic polishing product on the scratched section of the fairing. An all-in-one polish product can also do the job well.
Just as you did when washing the fairing, you should use soft, circular motions.
Use a soft towel to carefully buff the scratched area. Doing this gets rid off the light scratches on the surface of the fairing. In case the scratches are deep, move on to the next step instead.
Step four: Sanding the scratched area
For this step you will need 1000- to 1500-grit sandpaper. These high-grade sandpapers are finer than lower grades like 400-grit or 800-grit. You can purchase it at a local hardware store or anywhere that sells home improvement supplies. Sandpaper is typically available in assorted packs, which means you do not have to buy a new pack for each grade.
Before you start the sanding process, you must prepare the sandpaper by soaking it for 2 to 3 minutes in warm, soapy water. Soaking the sandpaper in this way helps ensure there will be no clogging.
Work on the scratched section, gently moving the sandpaper upon the scratched surface of the fairing. Be careful that you don’t get rough and sand too deep – the clear coat applied on the fairing by the manufacturer is typically thin.
Step five: Second wash
The sanding may make the fairing dusty, so give it a second wash. Once again, use warm, soapy water, with the circular motions of a sponge dipped into the soapy water.
After cleaning, let the fairing air-dry, and then carefully wipe the fairing (particularly the affected area) using a tack cloth. This is to ensure you get rid of everything before you apply plastic adhesion.
Step six: Apply plastic adhesion
Take your plastic adhesion and apply 2 thin coats.
After applying the plastic adhesion, give the fairing time to dry. Where drying time is concerned, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of the plastic adhesion product you’ve used.
Step seven: Apply polishing compound
Apply a medium polishing product compound.
If at this stage you realize that some areas don’t look perfect enough, you can redo the process starting from step 5 through 8.
Wipe using a tack cloth.
Step eight: Painting
Paint using an airbrush.
Apply 3 to 4 paint coats. Paint with even strokes.
After each coat, let the paint dry. Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions as regards drying time.
The last coat, however, will need between 6 and 24 hours to dry properly. That will depend on the number of coats you paint (among other factors like temperature and humidity). Don’t touch or interfere with the paint until it has completely dried.
Step nine: Apply clear coat
Use a tack cloth to wipe the area and then apply clear coat. Let it be 2 to 4 thin coats.
After applying, give the coats time to dry, following the manufacturer’s recommended times.
Step ten: Reattaching the fairing
Once the final coat is completely dry, you can reattach the fairing back on to the motorcycle’s body. Use the bolts you took out in step one.
Once you have followed these instructions, the fairing should go back to looking attractive. Scratches on the motorcycle fairing are unseemly, especially if you're looking to sell your bike in the future. The fairing should look good and lend flair and style to your motorcycle.