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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1995 Ninja 600R. The wheels were purple. They hadn't been cleaned in a longgg time, if ever.

Prep for paint:
- Washed with warm soapy water
- Scrubbed with steam cleaner
- Sprayed with engine degreaser
- Washed with warm soapy water
- Sprayed with ether and wiped off
- Wiped down with rag and lacquer thinner
- Sanded with 320 grit
- Went over it with tach cloth

Paint:
- 3 light coats of a black sandable primer
- 2 med coats and 1 light coat of semi-flat black rustoleum paint
- 2 heavy-ish coats of duplicolor clear wheel paint

I only did the front wheel so far. I just had a new tire put on it before painting. The back wheel needs a new tire, so I'll get that put on before I paint. When I had the front tire put on, the guy scraped up the purple powder coat with his tire irons, so I don't want him to touch the more delicate paint I'm putting on.

Prepping the wheel for paint is where all of the work is. Painting is easy. I had 600 and 1000 grit sandpaper for wet sanding, but I never used it. I had a tiny run with the first layer of black paint. I sanded that down with a tiny piece of 320 grit and then painted back over it. It didn't leave any scratches or uneven marks. The front looks great. I hope the rear wheel looks as good when I'm done. I'll put up picks of the bike after I get the wheels back on it in a couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I ordered a new rear tire today. I used the rear wheel for comparison. Can't wait to get some pics of the bike with the wheels on it. The wheels don't look as good in the pics as they do in person. It looks like they're pitted and spotty/dirty, but they're not. I'm glad I didn't go with anything glossier.
 

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WTF keeps ticking?!?!
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Looks good. Good work with the paint job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I wanted to get some pics up of the bike & wheels. I know a lot of people aren't happy with the wheels on the older Kawis, but they're hesitant to paint because they think it will look worse. Hopefully they don't get chipped up too badly. If they look terrible after a few months, I'll rub them down with old axle grease and then they'll look just the way they did when I first bought the bike. :)
 

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bustedfeet
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The black looks much better than purple.
Did you install new bearing? If not, did you protect them from contamination?

I refurbished some old KZ cast alloy wheels, repainting them w DupliColor high temp engine enamel: no primer or clearcoat - I simply sprayed several coats during one painting session. Afterwards, I baked the wheels in a low temp oven (bearings etc removed ). Their engine enamel is available in gloss, semi-gloss & flat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I ordered a complete set of bearings for the bike for $25. But I don't have a bearing removal tool. If I don't have to use a slide hammer or something, then I'll go ahead and install them. Otherwise I'll have them on hand for future use. The bike has about 12k miles on it. I did protect the bearings. I bought a pair of snap ring pliers so that I'll be able to inspect the bearings and repack them with grease later this week.

I'm laying primer down in the rear wheel right now. Time for another coat. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I finally got the bike put back together and took some pics. I got it insured & bought a tag after finishing the MSF course. It's fun! :) I think it looks much better with black wheels. I might clean up the last owner's road rash on the right side of the bike at some point. I'm happy enough with the way things are now.
 

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