Alright guys, I’ve got a little idea for some of you. As we start to look at putting our bikes up for the winter, a lot of us start thinking about go-fast goodies and bolt-ons to increase performance and add a little custom flair. Some of us will be thinking about this from a pure performance point of view, and others will be pondering just giving an older bike a “new” look.
As much as I like my bike to look good, I’m resolutely in the group that performance trumps looks in many cases. Simply put, I want it to work better than before and how that makes it look is secondary.
I also am not too keen on changing out a part to simply have the same performance and a different look. I’ve run S and S air cleaners for a long time, and the simple fact is that pretty much all of them look the same. Enter Plasti-Dip.
Now, for those of you who just recoiled, don’t worry, I didn’t Plasti-Dip my air cleaner. On the other hand, I’ve done it to some little parts like the battery box and I gotta say, I like it.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Plasti-Dip is essentially a “plastic” paint. If you’ve ever held a pair of insulated Channel Locks, the handles feel a lot like Plasti-Dip, and it comes in an Aerosol can that you literally spray on like spray paint. The good news is that you can peel it off easily with your hands when you decide that the color or the look isn’t really your cup of tea.
As popular as “flat” paint jobs are right now, the idea of rattle-canning an old bike is actually kind of a fun one, especially when you consider the cost of stripping a bike down at the shop, all the prep work, and actually shooting the frame. Suddenly, a $10 can of paint and some masking tape seem like a fun winter project.
I’ve seen some pretty cool designs done on gas tanks, air cleaners, sissy bars, rims, and fenders and fairings over the last summer and to tell the truth, if you are more performance oriented, then it may make sense to look at this as a fun little project to change things up without dumping loads of cash into a go-fast bolt on … especially if you already have your bike dialed in perfectly – or the bank still owns more of it than you do.
For what it’s worth, though, understand that this stuff is not Kevlar-tough. You literally peel it off. I know a couple of dimmer bulbs did it in the fender wells of cars and then wondered why it chipped when hit with all the stuff that tires throw out. If you wanted to get a contrast under the fender, I would absolutely go with a truck-style spray-in bedliner product like Herculiner, then paint the top coat the color you want. Whichever way you go, the nice part is that you added a little touch to make it your own and didn’t have to rely on some expert to do it for you … or pay them!