Road Rash Repair Advice (Maaco?) - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2010, 10:49 pm Thread Starter
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Road Rash Repair Advice (Maaco?)

Hey Everyone!

I just registered here within this BMW cycle community, and I'm glad to be a part of it. After browsing around a bit, seems like an outstanding group of people here. I'm a 3rd generation rider, and part of the flying-brick clan (myself, dad, brother, uncles...etc, all brick owners).

I am the proud owner of a 1990 BMW K75S.
You can find some pictures of her here:
http://www.charlesdonahue.com/bmw

Now, I am looking for some advice. Towards the end of last years riding season for me, I had a fairly minor wipeout, and it gave my front left fairing a bit of road rash.
You can find pictures here and here

I have decided to repair and paint the front left fairing, as well as paint the right fairing and engine bucket all in one foul swoop... just to keep them the same color. Also, the right side fairing and engine bucket have some cracks from the previous owner, so I am looking forward to fixing that as well. I had a local BMW shop quote me a price for repair and it was wayyyyy outside of my price range. I then took my 3 fairing pieces to a local Maaco, and they quoted me $300. That price was unexpectedly cheap... so that kinda scares me (life lesson right, get what you pay for...). Has anyone had any experience with Maaco doing motorcycle body work? Further, does anyone know any people in the Chicagoland area who does dependable motorcycle body work at a reasonable price? Any advice/insight here would be great obliged! Thanks all
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2010, 11:27 am
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Hi there,
I am not familiar with your area shops as I live in Canada, but I am a ticketed bodyman and painter so I might have something usefull to say.... Maaco is cheap because they don't pay their staff well which usuallly means they don't care how it gets done.It also depends on who is working at MAACO. You might have some noob apprentice that ****'s it all up or they might surprise you and do a good job. They get really good deals on cheap materials as they make deals with certain companies to only buy their products at all their locations. The paint they use is kinda a garbage compared to todays standards but it is better than what was available say 20 years ago.

The repair is the most critical as cracks and poor repairs will show through the paint as the paint cures and the panels heat up and cool repeatedly from use. The sun is really bad for doing this... If you don't need a really nice job done $300 isn't all that much like you said.... My experience ( not with maaco tho ) is if you want it done right you are going to have to pay to have it done right. By the looks of your pictures, I would suggest getting a body shop to do it. Your panels look like SMC and the fit and finish would be done better by a proper shop. Also the cracks in your panels go deep and would require a lot more time and material to fix than you might think..... one tube of repair adhesive is around $40-$50 and you will need approx 2 tubes. From your pics it looks like a $1000 repair job.... So yeah 300 is low....
If it were my bike? I would want to ensure it was done right. Maaco Is a second rate shop and uses cheaper paint and materials. You probably won't be happy. It certainly wont look as good as it did before the drop if they do it. If a real shop does it at least your bike has a chance of looking perfect again. You really do get what you pay for, but as I said, if the guys at your Maaco shop have a brain and experience it just might turn out.......
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2010, 1:13 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the insight....

Ya, I kinda feel the same way. "ya get what you pay for" is a life lesson I have learned more than once. Each fairing piece is $277 primed, or $523 if I chose to just replace them, rather than repair them.

I guess I'm just on a strict budget lately (along with the rest of the world), and I'm trying to find the most cost effective way to restore my bike back to her beautifulness. I still haven't decided whether or not to go with Maaco. In the meantime, I've been on the hunt for a used fairing(s) to replace it with.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2010, 3:11 pm
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Have you tought of going to a boat shop? The fairing is fiberglass and they usually have a lot of experience with that material. I would probably do most of the prep work myself, but my dad used to own a bodyshop, so I have a slight advantage here.

For the valve cover, I have fixed worse than that on my GS, go at it with a fine file, then sand it well. I have had good success by mixing 2/3 HiHeat Gloss with 1/3 Flat to match older case paints. If you want it durable, Zinc Chromate primer is suggested for any Aluminium or Magnesium alloy parts.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2010, 5:00 pm
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Maaco known around here as "Splash n Dash", you do get what you pay for.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 11:53 am
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"Cheap paint jobs aren't good, and good paint jobs aren't cheap."

I've taken BMW bike parts to an area auto body shop which does a lot of frame off restoration & paint work, but the owner owns several bikes and also does custom painting for motorcyclists. They'll also work with any material, even fiberglas since Vette owners have specialized work done there.
post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2010, 1:24 am
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Talk to your local dealer. They usually know people who deal with motorcycle repairs like this, and who can do it right. I wouldn't take a crappy car I didn't want to Maaco, and certainly not one of my bikes.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2010, 2:22 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
Talk to your local dealer. They usually know people who deal with motorcycle repairs like this, and who can do it right. I wouldn't take a crappy car I didn't want to Maaco, and certainly not one of my bikes.
Oh yeah! That is what I did way back then,turned out the guy was was "THE" Triumph restorer/authority on the West Coast. Had about 20 restored bikes in his basement besides the ones in a museum which I saw later.

He was doing all the BMWs for them, the cost was very reasonnable considering he beautifully pinstriped my bike without asking me, at no extra cost over what we had previously agreed upon. And he painted the inside of the fairings too.

That paint job was even better than BMW's, it chipped less from rocks and such from the extra clear coats he put on.

Here is to you Rick Brown!

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 2010, 6:45 am
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Jeromy sounds like he knows what he's talking about and it's good to hear from paintshop pros.

Over the years I've dabbled with paint finishing and with mixed results. Without a clean dust free workshop and IR heating lamps, it's hard to get good blemish free paint finishes. What impressses me about BMW paint work is how 'solid' the color is and it seems very UV resistant. My bike has never been stored inside a garage, but I do keep it covered with a fabric bike cover when I'm not riding. That blocks the UV because every 3 years the cover is toast, not through rain and rot, but UV - even in UK. UV protection in paint formulas is an expensive component of the paint, so it's worth considering what you might be getting when the paint is a bulk purchased non-speciality paint. My '97 needed a new red top tank panel which I damaged (ouch!) in 2005. Comparing the new and 8 year old panels, I could see no paint fade at all! That's why when you park older Beemers alongside most 3 year old+ bikes - they can look like sh*t.

The paint finisher won't use much paint on a panel, so you can afford the best paint. It's the labor of pre-preparation, setting up to spray and cleaning up afterwards that is time consuming.



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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 2010, 7:25 pm Thread Starter
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Great group of people here, I appreciate everyone's insight and advice. I'm still leaning towards Maaco, just because I can't afford spend $1000+ at a more legitimate body shop... but I'm really hoping that I don't regret this decision. I'm still kinda back & forth in my head

Just for reference if someone stumbles across this topic in the future, I would like to add some seemingly-expertise advice from another K-Bike rider in the I-BMW forum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob
Then here are a few hints. If your fairing is made of what appears to be "fiberglass" (that is, it is relatively thick and does not appear to be "molded out of plastic" like newer fairings are), then it is made of something called Sheet Molding Compound ("SMC"). This is the same stuff that Corvette bodies are made of. It is a mixture of chopped glass fibers, polyester resin, a catalyst, other fillers, and some mold release compound. It starts out as a putty-like glob that is precisely weighed and put between halves of a mold. The mold is then closed and heat applied. The stuff flows out, fills the mold and then hardens.

OK that's what it is. Now the problem. The mold release they put in, is there to ensure it doesn't stick to the mold. It also makes adhesion to it very difficult.

So... if you or your guy need to patch cracks in the fairing, DO NOT use ordinary polyester "fiberglassing" resin!!! It will not stick!

Instead, it is imperative to use an epoxy resin. Not the sort of epoxy that comes in 2 tubes in the hardware store, but a proper epoxy such as West Systems "G-Flex 650" epoxy. It comes in a kit of 2, 4 ounce bottles for about $20. This is a "toughened" epoxy that withstands vibration.

The only problem with using epoxy is that the stuff is not nice and runny like polyester fiberglassing resin is. It is like honey. So if you need to repair a real bash, you will need to lay up layers of fiberglass cloth, and saturate them with the epoxy. The best way to do this is to suspend the part being fixed above a hotplate, and allow it to heat up to about 100 - 110 degrees F . Now, when you brush on the thick epoxy onto the part, it will instantly heat up and get nice and runny and "wet" the part beautifully. The other advantage of heating is that the epoxy will cure MUCH faster... in about half an hour, instead of a day.

As for more minor graunches, ordinary "bondo" filler (body filler that uses a catalyst) works well.

As for painting, once the bodywork is finished, you need to primer it with a catalysed primer like "PPG Prima K36", then sand with 400-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper, and then rub it thoroughly down with a Green Scotchbrite pad.

Final color coat should be painted with Glasurit paint. Glasurit is BMW's paint supplier and the have the original formula. Trying to get a paint match using another brand is a crap shoot.

Your bike should have a sticker with the "Finish Code" under the seat. My old K100's is #617. This needs to be looked up to get the actual Paint Code which is what they need to get the paint formula. In the case of my old K100RT, looking up the #617 Finish Code, results in a paint code #186, and the color name "Diamond Grey Metallic" (or some German equivalent ...in my case, "Diamont Grau Met.").

Here is the website where you can look up your own Finish (or "scheme") Code to get the paint code..... http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/paintcodes.htm

First, select the general color (in my case, I clicked on "greys"), then in the page that comes up, look down the Scheme Code column (I looked down until I saw #617), then next to it you will find the color name and paint code number (iin my case, paint code 186 and the name Diamond Grey Metallic.

Glasurit has a US site that gives locations US many US shops that use this paint.
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