As you accumulate miles on your bike, you also accumulate cosmetic damage. This is usually presented as scratches and small nicks in the paint on the fairing and gas tank. You do not usually think about wheels. They are not as easily seen - not in your face, so to speak. You must bend over to get a good look at your wheels. Wheels these days are quite often a solid cast piece of aluminum that is painted by the manufacturer. Now, if you bend over and look at your wheel, you may find a sizeable collection of imperfections caused by road debris and tire changing. Sometimes the paint will just flake off all on its very own...imagine that!
Different motorcycle shops have different equipment to pull that tire off your rim. Some shops send your wheel out back with Junior and a 2 ft. pry bar. Others have equipment that will peel a tire off and no moving part will touch your rim. Look at your wheel with a shop manager to locate any prior damage before submitting your wheel for mounting the new tire. A tire sells for $102 at Junior's shop while the shop with the expensive tire remover sells the same tire for $132. Well you're paying for the equipment, not paying to have your wheel refinished. Junior autographs your wheel every time you go there. What to do? A local powder coater charges $200 for a three spoke wheel. Seems like a lot to me.
My wheels had 29,000 miles worth of nicks and dings, not to mention many sessions with Junior, so it was time to do something. The stock silver gray paint was coming off and fading. Krylon in a can was not in the picture. Rustoleum black maybe? My wife wouldn't let me. While at the AMA Vintage Days event I met some vendors who would powder coat just about anything. Their big market was hot rods but they also handled a lot of motorcycle parts. I took one of their cards to stow away for future reference. Well, it's been almost two years since Vintage Days and I knew that I wouldn't be riding for at least six to eight weeks. I called the number on the card. Doug, the owner, quoted me a price of $70 per wheel to sand blast and powder coat. Very competitive with local shops. I was told to remove brake rotors, cush drive, bearings, etc. and send them only the stripped wheel.
I put the Sport on the race stand; pulled off the rear wheel; jacked up the front from underneath the oil pan and removed the front wheel. I lowered the front forks down onto a temporary stand and left it. Then I took apart the wheels - boxed them up and shipped them off to Summit.
I called Summit PC and spoke with Doug about colors and decided that the black satin finish would work just fire. Summit called me about two weeks later and said the wheels were done and that they would put the charges on my charge card. Including my shipping cost, the total was less than it cost for powder coating one wheel locally. Such a deal. My wheels arrived and they are beautiful - a seamless consistent finish throughout. I tried to capture their beauty in a photograph but the photo just didn't do them justice so I'm not including it.
To reinstall the bearings, Summit said heat the wheels in an oven at 300 degrees; put bearings in the freezer the day before you heat the wheels. Take very cold bearings out of freezer and immediately install in the 300 degree rims. Find a shop that won't use Junior and his pry bar. Pay the difference for good equipment, serve up with premium rubber and bon appetite.
The folks at Summit PC were very professional and informative. I would use them again and recommend them for anyone needing powder coating whether for wheels or any other applicable part. Powder coating uses a backing process so any rubber or plastic parts must be removed prior to sending to Summit PC or pay them to do your work. The folks at Summit are Mike and Doug Paskiet. 330-753-7040.