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  1. #1
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    "Vivid Black" Paintwork correction

    Those of you with gloss Vivid Black bike finishes may have noticed how easily the finish seems to attract swirl marks and scratches. I don't know whether this just shows up more on black bikes or whether it affects a batch of bikes. When I picked up my new bike, it had to be sent back to have the tank removed and a deep scratch (clumsy clots at the dealership inflicted) but also to address swirl marks which were, no doubt, the result of over-enthusiastic dry buffing in the show-room with a polishing cloth (a big no-no).

    The bike was returned to me but it was still obviously covered in swirl marks even though the scratch had been taken care of. Rather than too and fro-ing like this, I decided to tackle the job myself (if you want something done properly and all that) and thought I'd share with you some paint prep' steps and product details that were used. The final result is swirl-free and a much deeper gloss than from new, with the added bonus that there's 12 months paint protection virtually guaranteed. What follows is a really effective "fix" for all you Vivid Black bike owners who's bike's finishes may also be affected by loads of paint swirl defects.

    You will need:

    • Wash Bucket;
    • Car shampoo;
    • Microfibre towels;
    • Ultra fine polishing microfibre cloths;
    • Polishing sponges OR Dual Action pro-polisher and polishing pads;
    • Specialist polish and sealant products (see below for further details);
    • Somewhere under cover (preferable) to do the work and the bike, once sealant is applied, must be kept dry for an hour at least.
    • Patience!




    1. Paint Finish Correction


    The first step with anything like this, even straight from the showroom is that your paint finishes will require correction. This is best tackled with a pro-polishing tool like a DA (dual action) polisher, but if you don't have one you can still improve the finish by hand. If using a DA polisher, swirl marks can be corrected using a 2300 grit polish to cut the top surface fractionally and restore the polish, then move straight to a 4500 grit polish and finish with something like the Carlack68 paint cleanser (applied by hand). Before you start any polishing work, remember to wash your bike with a neutral car body shampoo or similar and rinse off. Use a microfibre towel to gently dry the paint.


    2. Surface protection


    At this stage, normally you'd just use something like a synthetic polish such as Autoglym resin polish or one of the more modern compounds (I tend towards Menzerna and Meguiars polishes). However, this won't offer great protection against picking up swirl marks and minor scratches nor offer much environmental protection (against bird poo and other contaminants) , so a surface paint sealer is the next step, after first applying a paint cleanser (see step 1).

    The best available these days are Silicone Dioxide (sometimes referred to as "Quartz") finishes but these mostly have been professional only coatings until relatively recently. You can get some Pro-sumer ones from the likes of Gyeon Q2 and GTechnic, but they're very expensive and not that easy to use if you've not done much detailing. What makes these special is that they have the SiO2 compound which cures to form a coating a micron or two thick, and almost as hard as diamond. It's a ceramic bond that instead of forming a surface coat, creates a covalent bond with your prepped paint surface. It lasts about a year between coats. The best products have at least an H9 hardness rating as well as being very hydrophobic (repel water and resist dirt). They essentially form a swirl-proof coating which deepens your paint's shine.

    Thankfully a company called Sonax has brought out a top of the line compound, same as the professional line ones, called sonax Nano Paint Protect. It's cheaper than the rest at under £15 for a 50ml application bottle and pad. You apply a little to the pad and work over the tank in cris-cross miotions until covered, then leave for between 15 and 30 seconds before gently buffing the excess off with a CLEAN ultra fine microfibre cloth. Leave for a few hours out of direct sunlight and under cover (don't let it get wet). You're best to leave overnight to fully cured.

    When cured, you'll have an ultra-deep and smooth vivid black gloss finish which will resist further scratches.

    3. Post Curing treatment

    Don't attempt to buff up the finish until it's been allowed to cure overnight. Whilst you can leave it as it is for a water and dirt repelling and high gloss finish, to add to the protection (extend the life of the coating) you can finish with something like Carlack68 sealant which has its own hydrophobic coatings. This also enhances UV protection of the paint surface. You'll probably only have to do this once every 6 months, otherwise the Sonax treatment can be repeated annually. In between it's just a matter of washing as normal and buffing with some clean micro-fibre towels.

    I have just finished my tank, mud guards and side panels. It took a few hours to properly cut back the surface and polish to a high gloss before surface treatment and that was after an hour or so was spent thoroughly cleaning and drying the bike. I have yet to apply a final coat to enhance the colour depth but the results already look fantastic. I'll post a few pictures once I have the job properly completed. Needless to say it's way better than the showroom finish and with peace of mind that on these gloss black bikes, you have some really decent protection against swirl marks, scratches and even light stone chips, and all for a fraction of the cost of having it professionally done. The above products are also suited to car finishes. The most important stage of the lot is initial paint finish preparation and polishing.

    For those without access to a DA polisher, start by using Meguiars Ultimate Compound to remove swirl marks, applied with a dual sided polishing sponge) the type with a coarse and a fine side....use the coarse side first and go easy!). Finish with some Menzerna 2300 and then 4500 polish or similar gentle cutting compounds. Do not use other synthetic resin sealers, use quality paint polishing compounds.

    I hope this proves useful even if only to a small handful of people. It's worth the effort!
    Last edited by BuckhornBud; 05-13-2017 at 09:48 AM.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BuckhornBud For This Useful Post:

    K9F (05-13-2017), xbpod (05-13-2017)

  3. #2
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    I can see I need to step up my game from a quick wash and rub over with a cloth.

    Wish I could get the enthusiasm to do a proper clean and polish, but loose the will once I have started.
    To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world

  4. #3
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    Post edited as cut and copied only half of it originally!

  5. #4
    Senior Member K9F's Avatar
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    I find cleaning (the Breakout is the easiest bike I have owned for cleaning) part of the enjoyment. Giving it a thorough clean which only takes about two hours may also reveal any defects that may have otherwise gone undetected until it digresses into something more sinister or dangerous! For example: I once discovered a cracked link on the inner side of my chain on the Triumph whilst cleaning it!

    I am surprised you have not included the use of either a clay bar or clay mit application in the process as well. If anyone was to put a laytex glove on (this perhaps unbelievably increases sensitivity to detect sap/tar/oxidisation on the paint) and run there index figure across the paint you will feel all the imperfections.

    A clay bar or clay mit application will gently remove these deposits and leave the paint as clean as a whistle. This process comes after the initial wash and I swear by it!

    I only discovered and tried this about two years ago and have not come across anything else as good personally! Protectant application comes after this!
    Last edited by K9F; 05-13-2017 at 10:13 AM.

    IF YOU GO THROUGH LIFE WITH YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND.....ALL PEOPLE WILL SEE IS AN ARSE!!
    TREAT EVERY DAY AS YOUR LAST.....ONE DAY YOU WILL BE RIGHT!!

  6. #5
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    I didn't include claying, because this was for the correction of new paintwork from a showroom bike with defects and that doesn't require any clay stage. Claying doesn't correct swirl marks and minor scratches either, it just lifts contaminants. For paint that has seen a few years outside in the elements, then yes, after washing and drying, I'd recommend using a medium clay bar, then followed up with another wash before undertaking all the stages described above. That will bring the paint back to better than it left the showroom.
    Last edited by BuckhornBud; 05-13-2017 at 12:34 PM.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by K9F View Post
    I find cleaning (the Breakout is the easiest bike I have owned for cleaning) part of the enjoyment. Giving it a thorough clean which only takes about two hours may also reveal any defects that may have otherwise gone undetected until it digresses into something more sinister or dangerous! For example: I once discovered a cracked link on the inner side of my chain on the Triumph whilst cleaning it!

    I am surprised you have not included the use of either a clay bar or clay mit application in the process as well. If anyone was to put a laytex glove on (this perhaps unbelievably increases sensitivity to detect sap/tar/oxidisation on the paint) and run there index figure across the paint you will feel all the imperfections.

    A clay bar or clay mit application will gently remove these deposits and leave the paint as clean as a whistle. This process comes after the initial wash and I swear by it!

    I only discovered and tried this about two years ago and have not come across anything else as good personally! Protectant application comes after this!
    Mal if I bring my bike down to you, you can enjoy it as much as you want.
    To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world

  8. #7
    Senior Member K9F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xbpod View Post
    Mal if I bring my bike down to you, you can enjoy it as much as you want.
    Unfortunately Pete my enjoyment isn't quite as profound when it isn't my own bike!

    IF YOU GO THROUGH LIFE WITH YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND.....ALL PEOPLE WILL SEE IS AN ARSE!!
    TREAT EVERY DAY AS YOUR LAST.....ONE DAY YOU WILL BE RIGHT!!

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to K9F For This Useful Post:

    xbpod (05-13-2017)

  10. #8
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    The worst part about cleaning is dealing with the nooks and crannies. Some bottle brushes and mops needed!

  11. #9
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckhornBud View Post
    The worst part about cleaning is dealing with the nooks and crannies. Some bottle brushes and mops needed!
    I've bought a set of "pimp stixx". With a damp cloth they get into most nooks and crannies on the bike.
    FTW )

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Whistler For This Useful Post:

    BuckhornBud (05-13-2017)

  13. #10
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    Thanks Whistler, I'll look 'em up.

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