Painting it Red

New Bike, New Paint!
2011

With the purchase of a second 1st generation KLR (documented here), it was time to customize it. Truthfully, I probably would have left it stock green, as I like that paint scheme, but someone had painted the front fairing black and I couldn’t leave it like that. Sure, I could have bought a new one off e-bay, but where’s the fun in that?

Ideas were tossed around. I was partial to painting it like my ’00 KLR, but someone brought up the Swiss Army knife. After all, that’s pretty much what the KLR is: not dedicated towards any one thing, but good at lots of little things. Let me edit that: it’s very good at giving me a grin on my face. So here’s the painting of the ’01. I used the knowledge I had from painting the ’00 and tried to make it work in my garage.

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What she looked like while still living in Phoenix. Looks good and shiny – not at all what a KLR should look like!

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The inspiration for the new paint scheme on the ’01

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Like most bikes, the KLR is dead ugly without her skin. I am taking advantage of this nakedness to install heated grips and replace the instrument lights with LEDs

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My neighbor asked me who the “kill booth” was for. I guess it does look a little weird. But it keeps the spray from getting all over the garage and the dust off the new paint.

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I chose Krylon Fusion paints for the base coats. It bonds amazingly well to the plastic. Inside surfaces would be flat black, outer surfaces are getting a base coat of white.

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Showing off the inside black coat

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Starting on the red

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The bike (minus the tank)

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Tank, ready to go

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A little over spray is acceptable to me

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Lacquered vs un-lacqured

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Shiny!

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Decal on the tank (yes, I know that I didn’t smooth out the original decal edges)

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Complete and assembled!

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3/4 rear view

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Out in the wild

Epilogue: for some reason, the base coat didn’t stick to the plastic as well as it did when I painted the green KLR. The only difference that I can come up with is that I didn’t sand blast the pieces before I started. I ran some sandpaper over them, but I guess it’s not the same. I’ve had to touch up a few sections already, which is a royal paint because it flakes all the way down to the green, which means that I have to start with the white and then blend the red into the area around it. Come spring I’ll take some parts off and give them some more attention. I like the looks of the finished project and figured that it’s worth fixing.

Tell me what you think! I want to know!