Following on from my successful test on the cowl and after a couple of weeks with it sitting sweetly on the rear of my bike I began to ponder a plan. I felt I could probably do a proper paint job on the rest of the bike. I just needed to learn a little about paint.

Luckily it’s quite straight forward. Whilst many kinds of paint there are three main categories used on cars, stage 1/2/3. Stage 2 is the most common and the easiest to apply.

Essentially stage 2 means you have your primer, a base coat then multiple layers of clear coat – essentially 2 layers of coating over the primer. Stage 1 is one coat of paint and stage three might involve some kind of additional metallic coating or colour coat over over a base coat.

Now importantly you can get many different types of base coat, those that are metallic, or solid, those that contain all kinds of different pigments. However all that does not really matter at the moment as first off you need something to paint and secondary it needs to be stripped!

Using caution and some logic I felt it was best not to take a sander to my existing paint. There are a number of risks involved with this for example,

  1. I could feely f**k up my paint job
  2. It takes the bike out of action for as long as this process takes.

Thus I opted for the less risky option and purchased the main feature of the bike, the tank.

I was cheap and decided to get one with a small ding on the side. It was allot cheaper and negates the need for me to ruin my perfectly good tank if all goes wrong.

Using a very popular auction site I picked up a tank with a very minor dent for £127 delivered.

What a bargain! Whilst it didn’t include the fuel pump required for my 2010 Bonnie, it did include the tank badges!

Once it arrived the first stage was to strip the sucker down.

Firstly the badges needed to come off, to do that it required some gentle heat from a hair drier and a pull with a screwdriver. I had to be very careful not to do any more damage when removing them. I did damage the badges slightly as they were stuck on tight, but it is superficial. I just gently sanded the sides.

Once the badges came off I initially cracked out the dewalt as before, but this tank had 2/3 main coasts on due to the design of the tank. After a hour I gave up and revered to paint stripper.You paint this goop on and it takes off the paint. I purchased my paint stripper from a supplier up North and was pretty disappointed.

Whilst it took off the clear coat it did very little to the paint underneath which meant more sanding. After a while the hooks on my dewalt hook and loop block went and it became useless leaving the tank half done 😦


As you can see it looked pretty s**ty.

I ended up buying a 75mm air powered orbital sander for about £35 from a pre-mentioned action site  along with 50 discs. This was significantly easier, not only was the main unit so much lighter than the dewalt but it just powered through the paint and primer. In hindsight I should have started with this.

Here is the tank after most of the paint was off, you can just make out small ding under the tank badge and where the glare is.


There is a bit of paint round the edges and where the tank fixtures are. This was tidied up prior to priming with the same sander.

The next post will cover filling the holes.