Paint overspray on F800GS - how to handle?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Bucko, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    Several cars and bikes in our office parking lot were recently speckled with an oil-based paint being applied on the roof of the building. My new GS has paint on the most of the horizontal surfaces, which are of various kinds of painted/upainted textured/smooth plastic/metal/mystery material.

    The painting contractor has hired an auto detailer/painter with a good local reputation to do the paint removal. Easy for cars, not so easy for bikes. The detailer told me he would carefully test each material with his paint removal chemicals to avoid damaging surfaces, and if there was damage, would re-paint.

    I'm leary of this approach, especially for the unpainted textured plastics (air intakes, mirrors, headlight, instruments, tail piece, seat, etc.), since I figure the new paint will look like crap in a few years, but I doubt the insurance company will want to buy me a bunch of new BMW parts. Note that this is liability insurance for a painting contractor, not auto insurance (don't know if that makes a difference). I think what I'd really like is a big fat check, but the detailer said he'd have to experiment first to see what it would cost to do the job.

    Has anyone had a similar experience or had to remove similar substances from these surfaces? I've been trying to come up with a name for my bike, and now all I can think of is Spot.
    #1
  2. RobF650GSD

    RobF650GSD Learning

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    Oh man... I'm feeling for you. Take a lot of good pictures of the bike before they start any detailing. I'd also call the insurance company and let them know whay you're concerned. Plastic bits and pieces are very different than painted surfaces. You might consider calling around to some motorcycle detailers or check with your local BMW dealer for reccommendations. Someone with motorcycle experience would be a plus here!

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    #2
  3. ]I)Money

    ]I)Money D NOT I Supporter

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    Go get a couple of independent appraisals. Body shops, not just detailers.
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  4. dtrides

    dtrides Adventurer

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    Ask offender for new bike! Keep old one for spare.:) Paint on plastic surfaces are much harder to remove than painted. My ex-wifes lexas had the same thing happen to it. All the painted surfaces were 'clayed' and over spray remover (chemical) and a low abrasion scotch brite on plastic. It truly is difficult to get it perfect. If your bike is new I would have a moto apraiser look it over carefuly befor the work is done. Best of luck.
    #4
  5. BAZZER450

    BAZZER450 Been here awhile

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    cheap test ... buy Mothers brand gold bar ... it is a clay based product that comes in a yellow brick with a bottle of cleaner slash lube (any auto shop that sells mothers brand waxs and stuff)... try this on you plastic \steel in a small spot. it works very well with enamel /laquer products .. for 15 bucks it would be worth a go .. I know I have had to do a few cars from our fab shop ... I swear by it .... glass, paint, steel cleans all of those surfaces ...
    #5
  6. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    Now's the time for that desert camo paint job you've always wanted.:deal Best of luck.
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  7. yautja01

    yautja01 Been here awhile

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    I'm gonna agree with BRASSER, Mother's California Gold Clay Bar works WONDERS on overspray, tar, oxidation, and bugs and other crap, and if used correctly it will not damage the paint. Flat plastics and flat paints are a little harder but you can try WD-40 and a brand new clean 100% cotton towel or try Mother's "Back to Black". Use Mother's "Plastic Polish" on the windscreen and clear plastics like turn signals and headlights. Give the insurance company the bill for the highest estimate possible, take the money and buy some stuff from Touratech. And finally, GET A MOTORCYCLE COVER FROM DOWCO AND COVER IT!!!
    #7
  8. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    I think I hear a free upgraded "seat of your choice" Corbin, BMW, ... whatever in there for you ............... I can't imagine them getting all the overspray off the seatcover and $300 - $500 for a custom seat is gonna be less $$$ than a new stock one from BMW?
    #8
  9. everywherevirtually

    everywherevirtually In Omnibus Caritas

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    I've used lighter fluid to get tar off the pastics. It's not a solvent so doesn't make the plastic go whitish / gray. You might want to try that yourself along with the other suggestions above.
    #9
  10. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    First, thanks for all the suggestions. :thumb I do see a new seat in my future (stock unit is $338), just have to convince the painter's insurance company. I'm going to talk to a body shop to see what they say. My BMW dealer said they don't really do that kind of work.

    Now for an update. No action on my bike yet, but a guy with a black 2009 KLR650 is taking on the role of guinea pig with the detailer. He's dropped off his bike, told the detailer the world is watching, and is standing back to see what the guy can do. He should be able to give me an estimate once he's done the KLR and tell me which parts he can't do.

    The clay bar should work fine for the smooth stuff, still wondering about the textured plastics and the seat. Might try a little lighter fluid this weekend to see how that goes. The worst parts are probably the intake snorkels, which have covers that cost only $22 from MaxBMW. But the switches, with their painted labels, are over $200 apiece.
    #10
  11. Baloo

    Baloo Itinerant jackass Supporter

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    Also take pics of co workers cars... and the area... If the painting Co. sees you did all that leg work they might work with you better... Be polite and ask them what they can do to solve problem.. let them be the "hero"
    #11
  12. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    After hearing different stories about whether the painter would pay out-of-pocket or get his insurance involved, I call my insurance (AAA) to get them in the loop. I have $500 deductible comprehensive that would pay if necessary, then go after the painter and his insurance.

    Took the bike to the detailed, he got the paint off the shiny plastic pretty well, even the black plastic on the mirrors, but didn't want to risk wrecking the textured parts or windscreen, so didn't attempt them. My insurance rep came by to see the bike afterward, and I took it home. In the sunshine, I could see lots of paint remaining, even on parts where the detailer had removed most of it. I also found parts damaged by the detailing, like small scrapes on the mirror glass from the detailer's razor blade. Called the painter's insurance and she sent out an adjuster.

    I put small pieces of blue masking tape everywhere I found paint so the adjuster could see the extent without looking too hard. He said, "You almost need a new bike," and asked me to make a list of parts that need replacing and have a BMW shop do an estimate (already had that done). I told him I'd go back to the detailer once more, but didn't want to make continued trips to remove stuff they missed. He didn't think that was necessary. Got the estimate and sent it in. A couple weeks later the painter's insurance called and said they'd settle; I signed some paperwork and they sent a big check :eek1 . Now I'm going to do some experimenting on some of the plastic just to see what works and what doesn't, then replace what I have to.

    Lessons learned: 1) don't be in a rush to settle, suss things out; 2) get your insurance involved if you have coverage--it doesn't cost a thing and gives you some backup; 3) document everything; 4) look the bike over very carefully in good light and mark anything with paint on it; 5) be patient, this process took almost two months.

    I'm sure I'll still find paint on this bike 5 years from now, but with the money and some elbow grease, I won't have a bike that looks permanently dusty.:clap
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  13. ]I)Money

    ]I)Money D NOT I Supporter

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    Now, if it was me, I'd either buy the new parts and stockpile them for later, or just have the bike custom painted, and use the rest to buy cool crap.:deal
    #13
  14. Flyer

    Flyer Been here awhile

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    +1 wd-40
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