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Wax versus scratches

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by Kreuzer, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. I polished my nice shiny red XVS650 tank with some maguires motorbike wax shortly after getting it. A couple weeks later I noticed some fine scratches from where my draggin jeans might have been rubbing on the side of the tank.

    So I polished it again with the wax, and the scratches are gone. I'm not sure if
    a) the fine scratches were in the wax and so not an issue
    b) the wax is simply camouflaging the scratches in the paint

    I read the other thread about tank protectors - but this being a cruiser I don't want to be sticking things onto the sides of the tank.

    I hoped that the hype about wax protecting paint is true. What do NR members think? Does a good wax help keep the paint job spic 'n span, or is it just liquid dollars I'm rubbing onto my bike?
  2. Get a tank protector!

    Wax does protect paint..from oxidisation and pollutants in the air...it won't protect the paint from rubbing against jeans or leather.

    The scratches may be minor and the wax is filling the imperfections making them less noticeable but as time goes on the scratches will get worse until you will need to use a rotary buffer and some cutting compound to repair the damage...and then it all starts again

    Get a tank protector that protects as much as the tank as possible, the cheap ones for $20 that protect the middle of the tank only are shit...if you can't get a larger size you could look into ducoscratch instead, it's a paint protection film that works really well.
  3. The wax could be a cutting type wax, with polishing particles in it, that takes away a very fine layer of paint, like a very fine sandpaper. It can also fill in the scratches a little.

    On the protection thing, dunno. I try not to wash my bike if I can help it.
  4. Its unlikely that your jeans will be causing the paint on your tank to scuff over a short period of time.
    Wax does scuff, it also protects your paint by creating a physical barrier.

    There is a lot more to wax than you would think though, if your serious about getting a really good finish on your paint then you have a lot of research to do.

    I personally think that whacking a protector on the sides of the tank is useless. Not because it wont protect the paint, but that whats the point in protecting something if it looks shit in the process (Think car-bra).

    I scuff the wax on my bike within a week or so, but i generally wax my bike 3 times a week, so your never gonna see it. I am fanatical about the finish on my bike, so i have an entire closet full of cleaning and polishing product.

    Hope that helps.
  5. Maguires Liquid Wax is the best I've used.
    Any and all scratches show up on a black bike but this stuff fixes them pretty easily.
    I apply it with the applicator and buff off with 2 microfibre cloths.
  6. Unless you have a cleaning OCD like adage82, with the ability to take extreme care when detailing your bike, you do run the risk of doing more harm than good if they gear your using isn't top notch. By this I mean even the finest of dirt particles on your polishing and buffing cloths will scratch and swirl-mark your paintwork. Many a nice paint job has been damaged by polishing or waxing it with the incorrect or dirty cloths, not to mention technique.

    I've always found polish is ideal for bringing out the shine in paintwork and removing very fine scratches. Wax is the gear to use when you want to protect the paintwork from oxidisation, sap and bird pooh etc.

    I remove very fine marks and light scratches with Maguires Scratch X, followed by Maguires Deep Crystal polish and then Maguires Gold Class wax. Each application has it's own new applicator (100% cotton soft weave polishing cloths) to reduce the chances of contamination. This is of course after a thorough wash and chamois dry. If you need to remove deeper scratches, you'll need to go to a panelbeating supply shop to get more abrasive compounds but beware as they can do more harm than good in the wrong hands.

    I'm sure adage82 could elaborate on this much more judging from the arsenal of cleaning products at his disposal.
  7. I don't think you're that far behind RIPPA... :LOL:
  8. Some waxes contain fillers that can camouflage scratches, up until the wax is removed. A wax won't give you protection against, say a scratch caused by the zipper on your jeans.
    If you want to actually removed a scratch, as already stated, you need a cutting compound and for best results, a machine like a Rotex, and then a polisher to bring back the shine.
  9. I'm close, but not 3 x per week close (y)

    That's true commitment!!!
  10. OK that makes sense guys. I don't want to do the protector thing, and I'll stick with the maguire products. At the moment I'm using the "liquid gloss" motorcycle wax. It has done a good job of letting bird poo easily come off, and also tree sap. Living in the country, on hot days bloody trees here drop sap constantly.

    I don't have an OCD with cleaning and polishing the bike although my wife would disagree. Quite a few blokes I meet on my travels do say to me along the lines of "Gee mate how many hours a week do you spend polishing that?"

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who takes pride in a clean and shiny ride :beer:
  11. Bikes are made to get scratched, bent and rusty. An immaculate bike is like a french poodle!
  12. Except I won't jump on a poodle for a ride!

    I get where you're coming from, my car is ratty as hell - dings (all from my wife or cars opening doors into it) and enough dust to grow spuds in. But it is kept mechanically A1.

    My bike is different, yeah it's meant to be ridden and I do. But I love keeping it spotless too (I can't ride it all the time). I don't think all bikes should be treated that way - but I have a bit of a love affair going on with my bike.

    Kind of irrelevant but interesting diversion: I don't know how true this is but I'm told by more than one policeman that if a bike is kept spotless they are much less likely to pay it "adverse attention".

    They weren't saying that's an excuse to be a hoon, but it was explained to me that they've noticed the well kept bikes tend to be ridden by guys that don't want to get even a stone chip let alone a splash from a puddle and so the riders are more conservative.

    I questioned this but I was asked "how many hot rods do you see speeding through town?" Well our town is meant to be a hot rod centre and none of them speed, they love their machines too much. You never see a hot rod here that isn't spotless and gleaming from hours of cleaning and polishing.

    Food for thought. Keep in mind it's not official policy and just casual blather around a BBQ in the country.
  13. use the meguires yellow wax (usually marketed for cars). the solid one in the tub. it DOES protect the paint and help reduce scratches. done properly waxing and the like can help make looking after your ride easier as its quicker to wash and once waxed properly its a quick job to do it again if you have any little marks.
  14. Or tank bra.

  15. Waxing will not remove the scratch, it merely provides a layer of protection against the elements. You need to use a slightly more abrasive/cutter paste like Poorboy's SSR, I find that Meg's Scratch X is too mild to remove scratches. How scratch remover products work is that it rounds off the edges of the scratch to make it less visible to the eye. You can never stop your paintwork from scratching but you can sure reduce the chances. When you clean your bike, wipe the vertical sides of the bike in an up down motion (going in only one direction) as vertical scratches are harder to see.

    Back to waxing, if your bike is parked under the sun, I suggest that you go for synthetic wax as it last longer but at the expense of gloss, natural wax will bring out the gloss but does not last as long. If you want the best of both Worlds, polish the bike first for the glossy effect and apply a layer of synthetic wax to protect the polish's gloss. The polish itself is also a cutter which rounds off the edges of the scratches to some extent.
  16. Yeah im obsessive, thats for sure.
    I commute on the bike, and have developed a real complex about my bike looking like it didnt just roll off the showroom floor.

    But my wife said when i got the new bike "wow, thats nice, you better give it 10-20 minutes after each ride and keep it that way". The devil inside me was cackling with glee.

    Your paint will be different to mine and my methods probably wont give you the same results. I use mixed brands for my products based on trial and error. I loved meguires gold class liquid wax on the car, its useless on my bike. It still looks nice, but not quite the way i wanted it.

    Once a year i clay bar the car, and if the paints a bit rough to touch when the wax is removed ill do it on the bike as well.
    I then use a mild cutting compound. Mothers pre-wax cleaner is about right for what i like. Meguiars is far too fine for my taste.
    I use a polymer sealant to hide swirls and scratches (not that i really have many) and generally give it around 3 coats.
    Then i use meguiars hi tech yellow wax. Basically its carnuba with some silicone agents that help it go on and come off a touch smoother.
    I do up to 10 coats depending on how ridiculous i feel. Usually i stop at 5.

    The end result is crazy deep and unbelievably shiny. But you could argue that a bike with one coat of wax looks nearly as good.

    There is also a lot to be said for how thick or fine you apply the product, how even you apply and what you apply, then remove the products with.

    The great thing about bikes is that all of the above can be done in a day, probably less. On a car youd be pushing it to get a single coat of each on.