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How NOT to Mod Your Exhaust Cover!!!

 

Well, when I bought my black Fazer, I was always planning to get rid of the stock exhausts and get the whole thing stealthed up in black. I was planning to wait a couple of months to buy my new Scorpion exhausts to save up the money, but in the mean-time decided on a little mod to improve the looks of the exhaust and to occupy me. Here is my story of what I did and how it went wrong...

Here you can see the stock exhaust cover on my shiny black bike. Doesn't look too bad, just needs to be a different colour. Hmmm. I wonder...
stock

I decided to take the cover off and paint it with black gloss Plasticote BBQ paint (great stuff). I used my Haynes manual (one of the most important things to buy if you're planning to mod your bike) to get the cover off the bike - stripping a few of the Phillips screws in the process and having to replace them with decent stainless steel bolts. I don't know what it is about Motorcycle manufacturers, but their fasteners always seem to be made of cheese! I actually had to use locking pliers to loosen some of them! Anyway, after a few coats of paint this is what the cover looks like:-
painted

Pretty sexy eh? Well, you have to cure high temperature paint to get it to harden properly so I waited for a day when girlfriend was out and put it in the oven for about an hour. I started out with the temperature at about 50c and put it up in 50c amounts every half hour. I assumed that this aluminium cover would be able to take that easily! And here is the finished product:-
cooked

Looks pretty nice huh? The paint dried on and formed a very strong layer actually. The only problem was that the exhaust cover is not actually made of aluminium as I thought. It's some kind of weird insulating foam stuff with silver covering on the outside. It didn't like being in the oven for so long:-
bubbles1

Here you can see where some of whatever is inside the cover has leaked out:-
bubbles2

Although it was a bit misshapen and warped I eventually got it on the bike and it looks pretty good:-
rear

Although not from all angles:-
left1

But very nice from some angles (as you can probably tell, my camera sucks):-
right1

And REALLY nice here:-
right2

But not as nice here again:-
left2


The moral of this story is don't overcook things! I wish I'd just put it in the oven for half an hour, then let it cool, then put it in for another half hour at a higher temp and then that would have been fine! I was quite tempted to buy a second cover on ebay for £30, but in the end just splashed out £300 on a new set of oval stainless steel scorpions that I was planning to buy in a month or two anyway! I was sooo glad I did. But more about that later...

 

 

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