Bags of Trouble.


Badly broken nose cone  Plastic welding can rebuild this nose cone where glue cannot

Badly broken Plastic

A distressed looking man is walking towards the doors of the workshop, in his hands are two plastic shopping bags. We unpacked the bags and laid out the contents piece by piece on to the work bench. I started placing the jigsaw of a faring together, the shape it  formed was that of a Honda CBR 600F side panel. On closer inspection it became more complicated, there were a number of pieces missing, some of these major.

I looked at him, he said “I was told it could not be done” I replied ” The only limiting factor is price”  A smile crossed his face the first bit of good news in his quest to put his pride and joy back on the road. ” This is why we say bring it in let us see it in the flesh.” It was not a lost cause. After fixing the price, he left with a happier look, to return in a couple of weeks.

We had our work cut out, first thing to do was to fix all the bits together so the main part of the faring was in one piece, then we could start fabricating the missing parts, these would be cut from sheet plastic of the same material, if it is not the same type it will not weld together.

We are not like other repairers in that, we do not use two pack  fillers to replace parts that are missing in thermoplastic products which a lot of faring’s are made from. Other repairers will do this were they can get away with it or say it cannot be done. If you have a vintage farings on your bike would you not want the best repair possible for this rare item? I know I would!

When you use the same material to repair a breakage it should act in the same way that it did before it was broken. If you introduce another part whether it’s filler or fiberglass it will change the way the panel acts and can cause the repair to fail in the future.

When the man returned he did not believe that it was the same panel until I showed him the back with it’s fine lines of weld. He was very pleased with the result.

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Foxy GSXR


It is not that well-known among the wider biker community that we were the first to put a set of foxeyes ( head lights from a Honda fireblade) into a Suzuki GSXR 11oo nose cone. We were also the first to do it using sheet  thermo plastic, molding  it to fit an existing faring and welding these parts into place giving it durability and strength and above all that distinctive sexy look.

 

I only discovered recently that the nose cone was still about, in good condition and in one piece. But sadly not on the bike it was made for. It turns out that it is sitting on a shelf in someones garage looking for a new GSXR home.

I am pleased to say it has stood the test of time. Just go’s to show plastic welding is number one for repairs and custom work.

 

Restoration Plastic


oldplasticWe do from time to time get asked to repair plastic on bikes that are more than thirty years old. These panels present some unique challenges. Panels made of ABS, age, this leads to deterioration that shows it’s self in a couple of ways. The first are fishers appearing in the panel as you pass heat over the area to be repaired and secondly moisture leaching from these hair line cracks. It is well known that untreated ABS is hydroscopic.

Recently we had a gent in with two very old Triumph battery covers that had stress cracks. I say stress but to be honest these were signs of their age. The next indication was the way little rivers of water came running out of the plastic as heat was passed over the repair area, with numerous fishers opening as well. This complication turned a straight forward repair into a bit of a challenge.

It is difficult to know how far to to take repair’s like this. It was handy that the owner was in the workshop to experience what was happening. We agreed between us to only make good the cracks and some of the fishers that lead into those creaks. Otherwise the repair would have become very expensive.

Windscreen repairs


We are often asked to repair plastic petrol tanks and motorcycle windscreens. In the case of the former we say no even though we have in the past repaired one. We only did it as an experiment to see if it could be done and the customer had spare tank material we could use to plug the holes. Did it work? As far as we know; we tested it with water in the workshop with no leak but petrol is another matter. We are happy to try another as a test to see if it works or not. BUT the material has to be identical to the tank you want repaired.

motorcyclewindscreenAs for motorcycle windscreens we can repair them as long as they are made from Polycarbonate and the crack or piece broken off can not be seen when repaired. There is nowhere to hide with clear materials as you can see from the picture. Once repaired and prepared the plastic go’s a milky colour. Imagine how that would look running down the middle of your screen.

On a more serious note, in some cases broken screens are less expensive to replace than have repaired.

Bumper Repair.


Two_pack_bonding_plasweld

Two pack urethane repair material.

Not all the plastic that turns up at our door can be repaired by gas welding. Dare I say it that we have to resort to two pack bonding don’t get me wrong it is a good repair but 90 seconds to apply the adhesive is not on some occasions  enough time to get the job done.

Plastic in the cold


Yamaha_side_faring_repair_p
Welcome to a freezing start to the new year.
 
This weather has implications for automotive plastic ( farings, bumpers, etc,etc ). Plastic looses its elastic properties when the temperature drops making it hard and brittle but this does depend on the plastic material used.
 
There are two main categories of plastic hard and soft. Hard plastics like ABS  used  in motor bike farings, can become very brittle and break easily. Soft materials like Polyprop , being more flexible , will not crack so easily but will show signs of stress in the cold.
 
With the weather as cold as it is, it means that any damage your plastic receives will be twice as bad. So take a bit more care around that bike stored in the garage.
 

Top Ten Faring Repairs?


 

This just a bit of fun. Our top ten repairs.

 

cracking

 

1. Welding up a  cracked  panels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

windscreenfingerreplace

 

2. Windscreen finger replacement.

 

 

 

broken-offtab

 

 

3. Sections broken out.

 

 

 

headlightlug

 

4. Relocating mounts on headlights.

 

 

 

 

 

groundoffsections

 

5. Ground off plastic from bikes that have slide down the road.

We rebuild these with plastic not filler.

 

 

bodylug

 

6. Panel support mounts.

 

 

 

 

gsxheadlightbezel

 

7. Making mount post from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

broken-intobits

 

8. Broken panels.

 

 

 

 

One panel made from two

 

9. Missing part taken from a donor panel.

 

 

 

 

smallreplcementparts

 

10. Small parts made from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we had the idea to do this everyone thought it was great. The reality is that we could not agree in what order they should be placed or if we had the images required to make the top ten. It would be fair to say that these are the most common repairs we see and to a certain degree can be complicated  to complete.