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So I was stupid, I didn't put on a tank pad and scratched the daylights out of my tank. So what do I do? Spend money on moar kit!

I didn't take any before and after pics, I didn't want to record my shame if I screwed up. Fortunately for me I didn't fail and it was a great success.

Inventory:
Meguiars DA powersystem (On sale)
Meguiars Compound PowerPack (On sale)
Meguiars Polishing PowerPack (On Sale)
Meguiars Black Wax

So ya I got everything on sale, it was also everything I needed.

Why did I get the DA PS? It's really small and perfect for a bike and small jobs on my cars. It's a random orbit polisher and works off of a cordless drill. It also reduces the RPM a lot so it's not going to go crazy if your drill is fast. Speaking of which I just happened to have recently got a decent 18V cordless so that adds another job to it. Why spend $200 on another powertool that only has one use when I could spend $24 and get more use out of something I already had? Why all meguiars? All on sale for one. Two the powerpacks come with a generous enough supply of the compounds and I need and pads.

So what was the scope of the problem? Not great... Crotch area of the tank was basically a matte finish and there were a couple real nice scuffs around the tank.

Procedure:
Step 1: Wash the bike
Step 2: Clay bar the areas to be treated. I kinda went to town on the seat cowl and scuffed the surface with the clay. I know better but I was fighting something like sap on it which was moving around. I was unconcerned because of the following steps.
Step 3: Apply compound to the pad and buff out the bad areas, wiping off shortly after and repeating as necessary.
Step 4: Change pad and repeat Step 3 with polishing compound.
Step 5: Change pad and work the wax into the surface. Allow it to haze and buff off by hand.

Results:
A couple small scratches were still there but they are the kind you only see like a foot away. Otherwise it's like new. I did pick up a tank pad to install later. The little drill powered jobby did the job, got in where it needed to easily, I didn't burn the clear coat and it didn't leave any swirl which tend to drive me INSANE. Now to tackle the big soft ball sized scuff some asshat with a bumper painted with housepaint left on my vette.
 

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Nice write up. Thanks for the info. Got a scratch on the left side of the tank from when I was taking the fairings off for another project and scratched it up while not even realising it.
 

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i always use maguiars to clean and polish my bikes ,i probably spend more time cleaning them than riding ,can not stand a dirty bike ,i have a 17 year old bike that still looks new
 

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i always use maguiars to clean and polish my bikes ,i probably spend more time cleaning them than riding ,can not stand a dirty bike ,i have a 17 year old bike that still looks new

Like so see some pics of that bike!!!!


Bigjdoberman
 

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Waste of money. With such a small area like a tank, just use a microfiber towel and the compound. Then use another microfiber towel and a polish. Then a different microfiber towel and the wax. Then spray on a detailer. You'll do a much better job by hand.

By the time you take out the power drill and the pads for the DA, I'll be applying it by hand already.
 

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Waste of money. With such a small area like a tank, just use a microfiber towel and the compound. Then use another microfiber towel and a polish. Then a different microfiber towel and the wax. Then spray on a detailer. You'll do a much better job by hand.

By the time you take out the power drill and the pads for the DA, I'll be applying it by hand already.
do you get a better finish if you use a polishing compound after using rubbing compound? I always use rubbing compound, then wipe clean and wax.. I get a pretty damn good scratch free shine. I'm just curious if I could get her even more shiniery... :popcorn:
 

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Depends how bad the finish was. If they were tiny blemishes, sometimes a non abrasive polish will be more than enough.

The only time you need to use a compound is if the surface has been abused pretty bad. The compound is pretty harsh. It'll strip a lot of the clear coat off the paint.

I personally go least invasive first. If that doesn't work, I go something more harsh.
 

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I've had great luck using Maguire's Scratch-X by hand with micro fiber cloth followed by tech wax. Worked wonders on a heavily oxidized sportster gas tank (Black) that I restored last summer.
 

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Depends how bad the finish was. If they were tiny blemishes, sometimes a non abrasive polish will be more than enough.

The only time you need to use a compound is if the surface has been abused pretty bad. The compound is pretty harsh. It'll strip a lot of the clear coat off the paint.

I personally go least invasive first. If that doesn't work, I go something more harsh.
Agreed...Unless your motorcycle has been painted aftermarket the factory paint and clear are extremely thin. The only exception to that is European paint jobs tend to be thicker than products for the US. If you are not skilled at paint correction you could remove more paint/clear than necessary. This could result in paint cracking later, fading, rust, dull finish, etc. Be careful especially if you are using any sort of force rotation polishing with a drill or forced rotation polisher. About the only semi safe polisher that does work would be the Porter Cable 7424xp. Even that on a bike if used wrong can overcorrect the paint.
 

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I have had great experience with the Meguiar line. And I used to detail my cars pretty frequently last year.

From Meguiar's line....from most aggressive to least aggressive:
-M105 Ultra Cut Compound
-Ultimate Compound
-ScratchX 2.0
-SwirlX
-M83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish
-M205 Ultra Finishing Polish - M80 Speed Glaze (Different types of abrasives but close in cut ability)
-ScratchX (Current Version being discontinued)

The last thing you want to do on your bike is to use a compound on a 2 year old bike. It will rip a nice layer of paint/clear coat off the bike.

I have a 1990s vehicle that sat outdoors 24/7/365. It's my daily driver. Haven't washed it in over 7 years. Black vehicle. Last year, I decided to spend 3 days to detail it with Meguiar's line. The paint literally felt like sand paper. Let me see if I can find a before/after picture for you guys.

But remember.....start with something that won't cut the paint too much. If that doesn't work, slowly work your way up!
 

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Found the pics.

Here's how my car was for 8 years. It's my daily driver. Snow tires for the winter. Then summer tires for the warm weather. It doesn't get a spot in the garage as it's my beater. It never gets washed. But last year, I got rid of 2 other cages and decided to keep this one as my only cage.....so I decided to give it a good detailing job.

Here's the before picture:


This is in the spring. I swapped my winter tires for my summer tires. Had to clay bar it, compound it, scratch-x it, polish it and wax it 3x to get it to shine again. Took over 8 hours.

This was the polish.


This is after polishing. No wax yet.


I don't have any close up pictures.....but these were taken after 3 layers of wax was applied.



Not the greatest...but considering this is a 17 year old car that has sat outdoors for 9 years, I was extremely happy with Meguiar's products.

So.....on a 3 year old bike....even if it sat outdoors for all 3 years in the elements.....you probably can get it to shine without the harsh cutting compound.
 
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