Thursday, September 10, 2015

Side Case Touchup

Someone on the Forum commented about possibly removing the reflector markers from the side cases. I hadn't thought about it before, but it was one of those things that, once you starting thinking about it, they don't really look right and it starts bugging you. So I went ahead and removed them today. Then it just looked bare. So I got tinkering around to find a way to get a little more contrast.

Here's what I did. I removed the reflector and plugged the hole with a nylon bolt/nut and the rubber washer that was on the reflector. Then I painted the recessed "Kawasaki" lettering with silver Testors enamel model paint and a small model paint brush (note that you could just as easily use a toothpick). Finally, I ran a 10 mm silver vinyl pinstripe below the orange accent line. Very minor touches; here's how it came out:

Here's a photo of the stock case:

Looks pretty good!

Easy to do!

Painting the lettering took all the time and it was made easy by the fact that the lettering is so large to begin with. Vinyl surface prep was accomplished with denatured alcohol. With some care in application, only a very little clean up with solvent on a q-tip was necessary. I had the paint, brushes and pinstripe laying around so it didn't cost a nickel.

The removed stock reflector is shown in the photo below. There's a cap on the inside that pops up. Then there's a nut that needs to be loosened. The actual reflector has some glue on the back so it may be a little hard to turn at first, but it'll come right off.

This may be a nice little touch up even if you wanted to leave the side marker in place.


Unfortunately, after a couple days of trial and error, I have not been able to keep the silver pinstripe line to stay affixed to the vinyl case. I'm wondering if my pinstripe stock may be getting a little old or the Florida humidity is playing games with me. I've noted other owners putting decals on these cases, so I think stickers and decals do, in fact, stick.

Anyway, since I like the new look of my cases so much, I painted the stripe with an acrylic primer and an acrylic latex paint, both suitable for plastics and vinyls.

First, I reapplied the vinyl pinstripe the way I want it and then taped around that with masking tape. Once the masking tape was applied and I had the template established, I removed the pinstripe.

Then I buffed and sanded the paint line. After blowing it down with my air hose, I taped the rest of the case off with newspapers.

Then I applied the acrylic primer and paint; pulled the papers and the tape...

... and viola.

Reinstalled the cases and am ready to head off to the Keys on Monday!

Yup, that made the modification a little more complicated. However, I think it was worth it. Looks great!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Lol I noticed the 2018 doesnt have them and I thought they looked SO much better! I have a winter project! I am picking up my 2015 this saturday. Used. 1000 miles on it but got a great deal. Its mint. Thanks for these blogs they are awesome!