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Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for Hinckley Triumph Twins: Bonneville, T100, Speedmaster, America, Thruxton, and Scrambler.

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine lacquer

My 2005 Bonnie has the factory silver lacquered engine cases. Where the bolts have been disturbed (like on the gearbox sprocket cover) the lacquer has started to lift and peel. It's not urgent, but before it gets too bad I would like to sort it. Any ideas on refinishing these parts?

In was wondering about stripping back the lacquer and leaving the alloy bare, with just a polished finish. I think I was influenced by being next to a T140 at a bike show at the weekend, which had 'proper' battered and scarred cases, shiny alloy with proper dirt in the pits and scars. Real 'oily rag' condition! I love that look.

Is that vandalism, and a long-term headache, or a really good idea?

Thoughts welcome
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If its the clear lacquer like on the thruxton polished cases it strips easily and lots of us have done it. If its a silver paint or powder coat finish it might be a lot harder to remove. It looks good once removed though.
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It looks like clear lacquer over brushed/polished aluminium. The bits that have flaked off seem to be clear, anyway. Thanks for the advice.

I am a bit disappointed, to be honest. I've never had this happen on a bike before. I took the sprocket cover off to swap the footrests back to standard, and the lacquer was rubbing off as the bolts turned. It seems to be very soft. On other bikes I have had, the lacquer has chipped with high miles, but it has never come off during a normal maintenance procedure. I think Triumph have cut a corner here.

Right - when it gets worse, that's what I will do.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Think of it as a protective coating for while its on the shop floor, Triumph did. But to be honest I've seen hondas like it too.


Looks nice when stripped and polished though


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Old 08-06-2010, 09:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mmmmm. That looks just right! Did you take the badge off first, or work round it?
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Took it off, a bit of dental floss worked around the back and sawed back and forth did the trick. put it back on with high temp RTV.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Gotcha, thanks.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i stripped the lacquer off mine and polished them up with a corded drill and some buffing wheels and compound and they came out with a mirror finish. looks way better than chrome. the pic above looks only half polished, but with a little more work it can be even better. the easy part is stripping off the lacquer, then the fun begins. lots of wet sanding to get out the factory swirls (dont skimp on this step or it will come back to haunt you when you start getting a mirror finish on the cases because those scratches with show up really easily). then its just a matter of using compounds to get the desired look. its a PITA, but if you take your time its well worth the end result.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You sound very dedicated. Is it a lot of work to keep it polished like that without re-lacquering?

The great thing about Triumphs is that you could strip off the varnish, but the cases in a sack with some nuts and bolts, shake it for an hour, then rub the scarred cases with dirty chain grease and - it would look fine, too!

Proper bikes, Triumphs.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Blackdog, I polished up the rear peg hangers on my TDM850 a few years ago when the laqcure started to lift off, similar to sbpark I used poilishing mop heads in a drill. looked good but took some work.
I just went fot the polished look.
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