Powder coat, anodize or polish frame?

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Chris_W_65, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Chris_W_65

    Chris_W_65 XR KILLER

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    XR650R supermotard for street use

    My friends tell me I will regret powder coating my frame if I go that route - as soon as it cracks or chips they say it starts peeling off - I am thinking titanium silver or maybe satin black

    Other options
    I could anodize it silver or polish the frame, polish would look trick but apparently is hard to maintain.

    What do you guys think?
    #1
  2. dpforth

    dpforth no inline fours

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    Only aluminum or ti can be anodized. With aluminum there are structural implications also. If you want the polished look your best bet with a steel frame would be nickel plating IMO.
    #2
  3. 4play

    4play Next?

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    If your a polishing kind of guy, polish it. I don't remember the exact # but I remember reading team Honda's prep for the XRR at Baja the weight savings of stripping the paint was something like 7lbs.
    #3
  4. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Personally I'd powdercoat it. PC is tough, cheap and looks good. You can get some bling PC finishes if that's what you are after. If you get a normal color you can easily touch up chips with detail sized paint from auto parts store to hide the chip. In reality, it's pretty hard to chip PC, especially on a street bike.

    As noted, you can't anodize steel, and anodizing isn't very tough of the regular variety. I have anodized triple clamps that have work through easily with a little chafe.

    Polishing? You've got to be kidding me. On a XRR? Save that for the harley or stretched Busa that never gets ridden.
    #4
  5. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

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    zinc chromate primer does not rust thru and your choice of paint color.
    seems the restoration guys bake theirs at about 150 degrees .
    #5
  6. Chris_W_65

    Chris_W_65 XR KILLER

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    Bike is an XR650R - full aluminium frame
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  7. dpforth

    dpforth no inline fours

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    Sorry, my mistake.
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  8. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

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    on aluminum,alodine,prime then paint.
    alodine is a surface prep to help adhesion.
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  9. RedRaptor22

    RedRaptor22 Been here awhile

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    Polishing is fairly common on alu frames, especially stretched and lowered bikes...but it's done in complete ignorance usually when done on plated and insured street bikes, as polishing is a process that removes material even though in some cases it can in fact make it stronger insurance companies look at polished frames the same way they do scratched/scuffed and gouged frames...totaled
    #9
  10. mudvaynedude122

    mudvaynedude122 Adventurer

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    Of the options listed, I think powder coating would be the most durable. It also gives you the option of pretty much any color imaginable. Powder coating over a media blasted surface does not peel off in my experience. Bonded black chrome powder coat looks very similar to the titanium silver color I think you are talking about.

    [​IMG]


    Anodizing, in my experience, wears pretty quickly unless its never touched.

    Polishing would have to be kept up on unless you seal it, which you can do with clear powder coat.
    #10
  11. CharlesLathe

    CharlesLathe Been here awhile

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    I used to build custom bicycle frames and tried several well recommended powder coaters over the years. Rust issues screwed me. I can't imagine ever trusting powder coating again no matter how many glowing reports I hear.

    You might not think of rust with aluminum, but it does corrode and can certainly do that under the powder coat. Then, as your friends say, it can peel off.

    Sailah says it's cheap. It isn't necessarily inexpensive, but cheap sounds right. I think I paid quite handsomely for cheap work.
    #11
  12. foggy50361

    foggy50361 Adventurer

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    I've had the same issues with PC, if not undertaken correctly it will peel (aluminium corrosion).
    Anodising looks good but where you rub up against the bike will eventually wear through the protective layer.
    Polishing a frame is a daunting task plus will take up all your time keeping it in good condition, and if anyone tells you to clear coat the finished article, just remember the preparation process, new paint needs a keyed surface to stick to, but you've just spent 6 months removing every minute scratch on the frame to make it sparkle so no key, no adhesion!

    If it was my bike, I'd media blast the frame after removing any scratches then clear coat.
    #12
  13. Sevv

    Sevv Been here awhile

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    Anodizing doesn't work well on cast parts.
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  14. majorpayne

    majorpayne Been here awhile

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    I've never heard of powder coating peeling off. That's kind of the point of it, over paint, is that it bonds to the metal. Paint bonds to itself and simply sticks to a surface.

    Anodizing is nice but depending on the type it can scratch easily. If you can find a place that does a hard coat anodization you'll be good to go.
    #14
  15. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    It would take less than 1/2 lb of powder to do your frame, of that some will blow past the frame into the spray booths filters so weight really isn't that much of an issue.

    Powder wont peel if prepped properly, it will chip with enough force but it's pretty resilient stuff.

    Polished would look nice but it's not only a ton of dirty work to do initially but a part time job to keep it up. Last thing I have time for is polishing dirtbikes. :D
    #15
  16. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    powdercoat [​IMG]
    #16
  17. mudvaynedude122

    mudvaynedude122 Adventurer

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    As someone who powder coats quite a bit, I am interested in the rust issues. I have yet to experience a powder coat failure on a properly prepped and blasted part. Where the parts that you had done blasted before hand? Also what kind of areas did the rust start at? Tight corners, edges, started on the bare metal areas that had to be masked off and crept under the powder coating?

    Thanks
    #17
  18. Sevv

    Sevv Been here awhile

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    Aluminum needs to be exposed to oxygen to oxidize, properly applied powder coat will not let the air in to start the process.
    #18
  19. mudvaynedude122

    mudvaynedude122 Adventurer

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    Yes, is is not ideal to use clear paint or powder coat over a polished surface, but when its polished aluminum, the choices are very limited and clear powder coat is at the better end of the spectrum. Again, the polished, completely smooth finish is not ideal and durability will be sacrificed, but when you have a polished frame, durability wasn't the main concern to begin with. There are always sacrifices when it comes to form vs. function.
    #19
  20. foggy50361

    foggy50361 Adventurer

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    I understand, just feel if you know a finish is going to fail, because it will, why waste your money/time/effort. Nothing more soul destrying than watching all your hard work going to s**t in front of your eyes and there is nothing you can do about it, unless you start all over again.
    #20