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How to Paint Motorcycle Tires

How to Paint Motorcycle Tires

It is possible to restore old motorcycle tires by painting them. They can be painted without needing specialized tools and a professional painter. Painted motorcycle tires look good when they spin while the vehicle is moving. If you want your motorcycle to have a custom look, painting the treads, letters, and white walls on the tires is a good option. Read this article to learn how to paint motorcycle tires.

1. Can You Paint Motorcycle Tires?

Yes, you can paint motorcycle tires but make sure to use commercial-grade paints for marine and industrial use to keep the rubber from becoming cracked. Make sure to use light colors when painting motorcycle tires as black tends to absorb more heat.

2. How to Paint Motorcycle Tires

2.1 How to Paint White Walls on Motorcycle Tires

Popular during the 1990s, whitewall tires have a strip of white paint circling around the exterior. If you have standard black tires and want to paint the walls white, you can accomplish this by following the steps below:

Equipment Required to Paint White Walls on Motorcycle Tires

  • Adjustable spanner
  • Masking tape
  • White commercial-grade spray paint for marine and industrial use
  • Pinstripe tape
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Wire brush

Removing the Tires

Remove the tires from your motorcycle using an adjustable spanner.

Cleaning the Tires

To make sure the paint sticks better to the surface of the tires, clean them using a microfiber cloth to wipe off all the dirt. Use a wire brush to clean the treads.

Covering the Wheels

Cover the wheels with masking tape to protect the original paint on the wheels. Push one end of the masking tape gently between the tires and wheels by using a screwdriver. Make sure that the rims, spokes, and center bores of the wheels are properly covered. Repeat the process on the other side of the wheels.

Using Pinstripe Tape to Mark the Boundary

Most tires have lines or sidewall boundaries that can be marked with pinstripe tape. Pinstripe tape can be used in place of masking tape due to being thinner and having a better curve. Use masking tape to cover the area surrounding the pinstripe tape. Repeat the same process on the other side of the tires.

Painting the White Walls

Use commercial-grade white marine spray paint to ensure the paint sticks better on the rubber surface. Mix the spray can well before using it. Apply three to four coats of paint, waiting between each one to let them dry before adding the next one.

Reassembling the Tires

Until the paint completely dries, make sure that nothing touches the white paint. After the paint is dry, remove the masking and pinstripe tape from the tires and reassemble the motorcycle.

2.2 How to Paint the Motorcycle Tire Treads

Equipment Required to Paint the Motorcycle Tire Treads

  • Paint pen
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paintbursh
  • Microfiber cloth
  • WD-40
  • Heat gun
  • Wire bursh

Using the Paint Pen

Wash the tires to remove debris buildup. Use a microfiber cloth to dry and clean the tires. Then use a wire brush to remove dust trapped in the treads. Now heat the treads using a heat gun to open the tire pores so they better absorb the paint.

Shake the paint pen well before using it. While painting the treads, press the paint pen gently so that the paint comes out. If you are painting the rear tire’s treads first, make sure it does not touch the ground. Start by painting the treads on the upper side to keep the paint from dripping. If the tire has zig-zag or v-shaped treads, you can use a cotton bud or a toothpick to apply the paint on the edges. A cotton bud can also help you paint the walls of the treads. You must apply two to three coats of paintto ensure the treads are painted properly.

After you are done painting the treads on the upper side, wait for the paint to completely dry, and then rotate the tire to paint the remaining treads. You can also use the heat gun to accelerate drying. The paint pen does not have a brush on its tip so it is possible that the tread may leak paint. However, you can just clean the dripping paint later.

The scattered paint outside the treads will eventually be removed after riding the motorcycle for one to two kilometers. A single burnout can also remove the scattered paint on the tires. You can also remove the scattered paint with the WD-40. Take a piece of cloth and spray some WD-40 on it, then clean the patches of scattered paint while making sure the fluid does not enter the treads.

Using Acrylic Paint and a Paintbrush

You can also use acrylic paint and a paintbrush to paint the treads. Acrylic paints are the best type of paints for painting rubber surfaces. You will need a paintbrush large enough to cover the size of the treads. If your motorcycle tire has treads of different sizes, you will have to use paintbrushes of different sizes.

Before applying the paint, clean the tires to remove any dust trapped inside the treads. Use a small wire brush to reach the deepest treads for better cleaning. Use a microfiber cloth or a heat gun to dry the treads and ensure the paint sticks better to the surface.

A paintbrush provides a better finish than a paint pen as it ensures a more even coat of paint. Make sure that the tire you are painting does not touch the ground until the paint dries completely. Also, paint the treads on the upper side first to ensure the paint does not drip. Wait for the treads on the upper side to dry, then rotate the tire and start painting the remaining treads. When you are finished painting all the tire treads, wait until the paint is completely dry. You can also use the heat gun to accelerate drying.

Do not worry if some of the paint leaks out as you can easily remove it using WD-40. Take a piece of cloth, spray WD-40 on it, and rub the spots on the tires you want to remove paint from. Make sure the cloth does not touch the treads from the inside of the tires.

2.3 How to Paint the Letters on a Tire

It is difficult to paint the letters on a tire as the rubber surface is slightly bulging and can be hard to remove any dripping paint. Before you paint the letters, heat the tire surface using a heat gun. Use a paint pen to paint the letters on a tire. Use small strokes to avoid mistakes. Wait for the paint to dry before you move your motorcycle.

3. Takeaway

Painting motorcycle tires is easier than painting any other motorcycle part. You don’t have to be a professional painter to paint the letters, treads, and white walls on tires. By using the tips listed above, you can give your motorcycle tires a custom look. If you want the paint to stick better to the rubber tires, make sure to use commercial-grade or acrylic paints. Paint pens make it easy to paint the tire treads and letters. However, using acrylic paint and a paintbrush can provide a better finish.

If you want to completely transform the look and feel of your motorcycle, you can modify it by installing various aftermarket parts available at Viking Bags, including handlebars, crash bars, sissy bars, fairings, and backrests. If you love to go on motorcycle trips, Viking Bags also offers various luggage bag options, including sissy bar bags, saddlebags, and trunk bags.

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