Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hard Chrome ain't so Hard... OR... Rusty Pipes in the Desert

Moved my camp down to the Quartzsite area. It's just plain easier down here. Water, dumps, and somehow... the "atmosphere" is better...

*Back on the Desert between Quartzsite and Parker*

Put Sonja back on the ground and cleaned up a bit. We rode quite a little bit there around Wickenburg. Up the hill above Congress that climbs to Yarnell and beyond. That's a nice lil' peg scraper.

Here on the desert I am more and more unhappy with the performance of a fairly big "Brand Name" of Motorcycle exhaust... ie. Hard Chrome Motorcycle exhaust.

I put their 3" Big Straights on in July of 2012... and was really happy with the look, sound and performance...

all about the same time I changed out the chrome backrest for Yamaha's newer design and went black.

Powder coated backrest from Yamaha and powder coated pipes from Hard Chrome...

Then... time rolled along...

But only a bit over a year... and the finish on the pipes began failing.

Now, what, a year and a half later? They are getting damned ugly.

*in the Quartzsite desert*






The "pattern" of the finish failure hints to me of some sort of failure in the preparation before powder coating...




... Some might say it's the "conditions" the machine has lived and been run in...


Buuuut... That steel, powder coated Yamaha backrest was installed in the same time period and has endured the same conditions the rest of the bike has... not a blemish...

 A big company like Hard Chrome you'd sorta expect to be a bit concerned about such poor performance of their product... wouldn't you?

But the Hard Chrome Manufacturer... has failed to even respond to my attempts at contact... so... I won't be buying any more of their product. What you do is up to you...

What am I going to do? Well, I gotta do something... those pipes are just gettin' fugly.

I'm not about to be replacing pipes every two years and I sure don't want to have to refinish every few months.

Been doing some reading. I just can't bring myself to trust another powder coating... I'm thinking strongly of going through the rig-a-ma-role of pulling the pipes. Stripping the shrouds to bare metal. Proper 2000 degree primer and 2000 degree paint... and then a proper high temp clear coat... and then carefully following the correct curing procedure. (Be a good project for this summer when conditions and temperature are compatible)

At least... with a paint finish... I'd have the hope of being able to maybe do a touch up...

I've had good success with equipment paint in the past... with careful preparation I think it could be a serviceable option...

Some point in the future I'll likely replace them with another brand... If I can find one that has the reputation of standing behind it's product and as soon as I sell enough novels to pay the freight! :)

Till then I'll likely just try and keep her complexion looking decent with paint.

Warming on the Desert
Brian

8 comments:

Erik said...

Brain, too bad about your pipes. Even worse is a manufacturer that won't stand behind a product. Have you looked into getting the high temp ceramic coated? I've seen some Zx-14 exhausts that have been ceramic coated, and everybody seems to be happy with the result. I think one of the names I heard was "jet coat" or something similar. It might be more durable that 2000 deg paint.

Erik.

Steve Johnson said...

BBQ grill paint. Get it at Home Depot. It's flat black and can withstand high heat. Good to see you're still kicking. I've done that ride up to Yarnell and back a dozen times. A great ride, but always cops around.

Tina Walker said...

Believe it or not, I actually know a thing or two about powder coating. Looks like they did a poor job. Powder coating should last for 10 years, minimum, at high temps and through all weather. It's a touchy process to powder coat, so if it's rushed just a little. . . well, that looks like what you got there.
I would suggest having them re-powder coated by another place. I used to go to a guy in Temecula, CA, but that does you no good.
Yes, my exx had a show car and he liked getting pieces powder coated under the hood, so that's where I learned this stuff. From the guy who did the coating. Nice guy. Anywho, good luck with that!
Smooches,
Sash
www.SashMouth.com

Brian said...

Eric; I'll look into that too. Ceramic is what these were "Supposed" to be...

Steve; Ha ha... they were there both times this trip too. I was sitting in a wide spot up north of Yarnell toward Prescott... and Hwy Patrol pulled up in front of me. Popped a guy coming up below us with his radar... I had JUST come through there scraping the pegs :)

Tina; I'll investigate powder coaters in colorado... see what the cost would be to have it redone right maybe... if there's an outfit there that somebody can vouch for! ;)

Trobairitz said...

Wow, too bad they have weathered so quick and that the company has no support.

Hope you find a way strip and to re-coat them without it costing an arm and a leg.

bob skoot said...

Brian:

I don't know much about powder coating but I agree with Tina that they were not made right, or the surface wasn't prepped . . .

they must know that they aren't any good for they must have had returns already, that's why they didn't reply. They don't wish to honour their work or warranty

I know it would bother me every time I looked at them. Hope you find a homemade solution soon

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Brian said...

Yeah... not much I can do right now sitting here in the desert. Plans look like I'll be spending much/most of the summer in Colorado... So ... either I'll find the automotive grade high temp and do a DIY job when I have access to a place to put her inside and see how that endures... or I'll hunt up a "coater" in colorado that can be trusted... and knock off a liquor store to finance it ;)

fire damage maine said...

BBQ grill paint. Get it at Home Depot. It's flat black and can withstand high heat. Good to see you're still kicking. I've done that ride up to Yarnell and back a dozen times. A great ride, but always cops around.