Switching to Italian Red - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Switching to Italian Red

So I haven't posted much here in a while and thought it's time to update what my plans are for the RC.

As some here may recall, this time last year I was very busy trying to get this bike back to a reasonably decent mechanical state. By mid summer, most of the mechanical bugs were worked out and I decided that for this year I wanted to get this bike up to snuff cosmetically.

One of my V4 buds who lives in eastern NC happened to spot an ad on CL for a mostly complete set of plastic for an SP2 for a ridiculously low price. I went ahead and bought it since the plastic on my bike was roughed up an several places and this set, while not perfect, was overall in much better condition than what I had. So basically, I have 2 suits of clothes I could dress Mr. Hyde in.

This what I had on it last summer. I used Plastex over the stock front blinker holes in order to use an aftermarket set of lights there but other than that, all the scrapes, bruises and other flaws are there. Even so, it looked decent from a distance...



The rear cowl it came with had the most obvious damage so I began working on repairing it last summer. Most of the repair involved fixing the area just above the 2 bolts on the sides where the plastic was cracked from apparent overloading of the pillion and then "repaired" with the plastic deformed. It's hard to see in the above pic but it's very noticeable up close. This work gave me a good amount of experience working with the Plastex and an opportunity to see if doing other repairs would be feasible. Long story short, the repairs came out pretty well. I decided on a plan for the rest of the plastic it came with.

Generally speaking, I usually like keeping things on my bikes mostly stock but I just LOVE red on a sporty bike. Bright, obnoxious traditional RED, such as the "Italian Red" my VFR is sporting! The "Winning Red" that is the background of the RC's original paint scheme has just a touch of orange to it and I simply like the Italian better.

Since I now have a decent set of stock plastic I can hang on this bike any time, I feel I can do whatever I want with the other set. The repair work needed on the plastic it came with will require stripping all the decals anyway, so I essentially have a blank canvas to mess with. So here's my plan:

Italian red on everything but the rear cowl, mirrors and pipes which will be black (glossy on the rear cowl). The giant Honda wing decal will be eliminated (I can hear the boos already! Sorry but I want a simpler look) but I will have the following decals: RVT racing, silver HONDA along the bottom, RC51 toward the front and 1000R on the tail section.

The fuel tank presented a problem with this idea since it has multi colors that blend into the original "big wing" scheme. My solution for this is to have a solid red tank cover made, similar to what my VFR has.



I have a local upholstery guy fabbing up the cover now and ultimately I will mount a medium sized tank bag to that cover (not the giant one I have on the VFR). If I want to go back to the stock paint scheme, I simply remove the tank cover and swap out the plastic. I don't expect that I'll be doing this often, but at least I'm not permanently ruining the stock paint scheme.

Anyway, that's the general plan. I'll post some more stuff soon to chronicle the project.

Last edited by Half a V4; 03-18-2016 at 10:24 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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So here are a few pics of the plastic that came with the bike and what I've been repairing. I didn't take any close ups of the rear cowl in its "before" state, but I'll post a couple since its repair soon. At present I have only the rear cowl and front fender in "ready to prime" condition. The side fairings are nearly ready but the front cowl still needs some work.

Here is one of the side fairings with most of the decals FINALLY removed. They did NOT come off easily! I used a hair dryer, lots of gentle scraping and a TON of patience since most of the decals were willing to peel off ONLY in one inch strips (or less) They also left behind most of the adhesive which you can see in the pic.



Holes for frame sliders had been drilled in the side panels and I decided I didn't want to install those so I needed to fill those holes back in. The fibreglass mat and plastex covered the holes nicely but filling them in and getting the surface smooth has been a tedious process. The RVT decal will be going over this area but it still needs to be really smooth. I'll upload some pics of the finished repair soon, but here is the initial repair.



By far the most difficult area has been the front cowl...so many areas that were boogered up! Here you can see where I covered the stock blinker mount holes, but look closely and you can see how the PO "repaired" the headlight mounts and that caused some odd ripples in the plastic just above and forward of the RC51 decal.The "repairs" have been repaired and this area has been smoothed down. I plan on keeping my smaller stem mounted blinker lights (the flush mounted ones look cool but I don't think they are very visible). Smoothing down the oval holes there has also been time consuming.



And here are a couple more pics of scrapes that need filling in.





Next post I'll show some pics of how all these repairs are progressing.

Last edited by Half a V4; 03-18-2016 at 10:29 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 07:54 AM
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Your heading made me think you were dumping the RC51 for one of them Ducati models. t😓😓😓😱😱
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Oh HELL no!

I'm a Honda guy. May consider a Yammi someday but I'll pass on Ducs. Cool bikes in their own way but not for me.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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So here are some more pics of the plastic repairs. Two other big challenges (in addition to covering the slider holes on the side panels) were the fabbing up of broken fender eyelets and bridging a big cutout on the front cowl where PO had crudely cut out a hole to access the radiator cap. The Plastex worked really well on the fender. Two of the mounts had broken clean off. Here you can see where the Plastex attached to the original part of the fender:





This fix would have been almost impossible if I didn't have an intact set of plastic to make molds from. It also helped me when it came to contouring the patch above the radiator cap. Here is the initial piece I made using fibreglass mat and resin:



Once that was in place, I layered the Plastex on top of this patch to strengthen it and level it somewhat. Once it was good and solid, I began skim coating body filler to get it nice and smooth, then cut the outer edges of the patch to get the edges correct. Here it is with the final layer of glazing putty and ready for the final sanding:



The other side needed a similar but much smaller repair:



...and its final skim of glazing putty:



This is the root cause of the need to cut out this radiator cap hole: the right radiator is mounted incorrectly and positions it too high to fit under the front cowl. This is what's under there:





The tab that is oriented vertically (just behind the cap) does not seem to belong here so I ordered a new top front mount for the radiator (under the assumption that PO had rigged up this one or made do with the wrong part) and the new one appears to be identical to this one. If anyone here can send me a few close-up pics of a properly mounted right side SP 2 radiator it would be most appreciated.

...continued...

Last edited by Half a V4; 03-21-2016 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Pics too small, typos
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a pic of the repaired rear cowl as viewed from the rear. It took some doing to get the "humps" where the damage was done to be symmetrically contoured. This the final repair from underneath:



They look pretty decent now from the outside:



So with all that said, what remains is sanding, sanding, sanding 'til all the reapired surfaces are smooth and blend seamlessly. I have a professional body guy who will spray the finish coats on all this who advised me to go over every inch of all the panels with 3m pads or 320 grit to insure that the primer will stick (primer doesn't adhere well to a glossy paint finish). This is especially true of edges, where lazy prep work can easily result in paint peeling off. So here are a few more pics of various areas. I'm about 80% done with all of this prep work and hopefully I'll be able to prime everything this week.










Last edited by Half a V4; 03-21-2016 at 12:06 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 08:57 PM
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nice repairs
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks man.

Once the body panels are off to the paint shop, I'll be rebuilding the front master cylinder, replacing front brake lines, re-positioning the right radiator and an oil change. My V4 buds have a meet in May that I plan to bring the RC to this year....sporting its new clothes of course!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-13-2016, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Update:

Body panels back from the paint shop and I'm very pleased!









I'm still waiting on the upholsterer for the tank cover but things are pretty much on schedule.

I replaced the front brake hoses and rebuilt the master (still a tad spongy though) and it needs an oil change. The right radiator in now mounted properly and should clear the body panel. I'm planning to repaint the pipes ahead of the mufflers where it's flaking off also.

It looks like Mr. Hyde will be ready for the meet in May!
Burntclutches likes this.

I refuse to act my age...

Last edited by Half a V4; 04-13-2016 at 06:50 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-13-2016, 11:17 PM
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That is a great job.

I would love to try these repairs on my plastics. What grit paper are you cutting the Plastex with?

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