Silver Ghost Restoration-Part 7 You Want HOW MUCH !!!

I’ve been scoping out the painting and have a couple estimates from shops who do motorcycle painting.  I’ve also been combing the web for information on painting, preparation and do it yourself painting.

I’m debating if I want to add an R90S bullet faring and also if I want to add a new cafe racer style seat with tail cone.  Part of that decision is controlled by the budget.  Adding these parts includes adding the cost of painting as well.

R90S Bullet Faring

R90S Seat w/ Tail Cone


I talked with a local shop about my ideas for the paint scheme and spent some time discussing how to prepare the parts prior to painting as I’m certainly able to strip and sand with the best of them 🙂   I also provided a description of the paint project to a nationally well respected motorcycle restoration painting company to see what they would estimate.

My reaction after I got the estimates:  YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING !!!!  Nope, they aren’t.

When I had the Silver Ghost painted in 1981 in an approximation to the R90S Smoked Silver paint scheme, I think it cost me less the $500 to have have the tank, fenders and side covers stripped, painted and hand pin stripped.  It’s north of $1,000 for that if I do all the paint stripping and also sand the primer and color coats at the local shop. Adding the tail cone and fairing pushes their estimates north of $2,000.   The nationally respected paint shop is also north of $2000 if I provide stripped parts ready to prime and paint 🙁

That’s a budget buster.

It turns out I have an acquaintance who restores Trimuph motorcycles and cars and is a professional gear head as well as machinest, Brian House.  I figured I’d call him up and see what he could suggest for options.  Well, one thing lead to another pretty quickly.  He does his own painting, has the compressor and guns and offered to show me how “to do it yourself”.  That’s cool because I’ve had a hankering to try my hand at painting, but didn’t feel qualified nor did I have access to guns, compressors, etc.

This afternoon I brought the parts over to his place so we could talk about the process.  In the meantime, he  showed me the 1968 Ford pickup he is restoring and some pictures of two of his Triumph restorations.  Drool … very nice.

We are going to paint with laquer as its a “forgiving” media compared to the currently popular urethane two part paint systems a lot of the shops use today.  Based on the pictures of the Triumph he restored, the laquer work he produced was awesome.

The conclusion from inspecting the parts is I need to strip the tank to bare metal as the almost 30 years I got out of the last paint job has resulted in paint cracking down to the primer.  We will hand sand the fiber glass parts down to the gel coat and fix the cracks at the bolt holes with fiber glass resin and cloth for strength.

Stay tuned for the adventures of Brook and Branden as we learn our way around “DIY” motorcycle painting.  I’ll be providing detailed descriptions of the preparation and painting process as we work away under Brian’s tutlege.

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