Without a template to trace, Jim Le carefully measures and marks where the plastic needs to be trimmed around the turbo system.
Start small and make additional cuts as needed. Blue tape helps keep the bodywork from splitting.
An easy access clutch cover is only useful when the plastic is out of the way. Slice time.
Precise cuts trace the contour of the exhaust pipes.
Measure twice, paint once. Long Le lays down a potential pattern with painter’s tape to get a sense of the flow and overall theme.
Wet sanding is meditative for the Buddhas.
ADULT CONTENT With each new layer comes additional wet sanding to ensure a quality finish.
Masking off sections for each layer is time consuming but necessary for tight lines and separation.
“Blue Velvet” is a flat finish over a candy base that creates an eerie, color shifting effect.
One minute it’s black, the next it’s gunmetal thanks to a unique blend of metal flake.
All of the long hours in the shop have paid off. The early installments traced the steps to reviving a crashed bike and making it road worthy with upgraded performance and appearance mods. Phase two covered the monumental engine build that included a full internal package along with a Stage 2 Velocity racing turbo system.
The majority of the stock bodywork had been destroyed in the previous owner’s accident, but Nice Cycle had an affordable solution. Nice Cycle’s Hayabusa kit comes complete with every piece of bodywork including the stuff most of us would typically neglect such as the ram air tubes and plastic inner shrouds. In fact, there were pieces of bodywork in the box that we didn’t even know existed—it’s that thorough. Even a windscreen and tank cover (so you don’t have to repaint your tank to match) are included with the kit.
Of the numerous color scheme options available we selected a flat black finish. This isn’t your typical rattle can style job though. Nice Cycle’s ABS plastic (not cheap fiberglass) bodywork starts with a primer, followed by the colors and graphics, and then it’s finished with a clear coat. The flat black had a deep satin finish that looked like it was a custom job from a pro painter. It could stand-alone and look quite aggressive, but with paint plans in the works it seemed flat black would be a good base color (little did we know, the painters would end up stripping it entirely bare).
Even with all of these upgrades the bike still looked a bit underwhelming, but the brothers at Buddha Paint had the solution. The Suzuki Hayabusa inherently provides a massive canvas that painters lust after, but this wasn’t to be a free-for-all of gratuitous splatter. Instead, the Buddha boys planned a classic scheme with a clever twist on otherwise standard colors.
Long and Jim Le were tinkering with different techniques and came up with a “velvet” finish that appears deep and textured (it’s actually smooth). They won’t give up their secret formula of course, but after successfully creating a red velvet finish on a GSX-R, they wanted to use the Hayabusa as a test mule for a similar finish in blue. To compliment and contrast the satin finish, a heavily flaked black with white accents completes the scheme.
There was still some major prep work to be done before the spray guns could come out to play though. The bodywork had to first be cut and smoothed to fit around the exhaust dump pipes and the air filter. A Dremmel, air saw and finishing sander did the trick. Next was a test fit, followed by a complete tear down, stripping of the existing black paint and a mock up of the new scheme. Not as easy as we expected, but ultimately it was all worth the effort versus simply laying some accents over the original color.
Nice Cycle Fairing Kit
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Next Month: Performance testing.