So you wanna Line-X Bed Liner spray your dirt bike frame...
What's up everyone!
I hope you are all happy, healthy, and twisting throttle as often as possible. I had a cool conversation with one of my awesome customers (Hi, Punk - if you're reading) about the line X frame we did on our giveaway bike a while back. I figured I should write up a little something about it as it did actually end up being a topic that receives questions quite often.
So, in an attempt to explain what I know to be true about applying Line-X to dirt bike frames, here goes: I often get asked about the use of Line-X bed liner on one of our giveaway bike. Questions range anywhere from- "does it clean easy", all the way up to more in-depth questions like "what was the weight gain". I even had one guy asked me, "what the f*** did you do to that poor frame?" Can't please them all. But it sure did please about 99% of you, myself included! Our winner wasn't terribly bummed out either. If you entered our CR250 bike build and give away, I want you to know how eternally grateful I am for your support. It was one of the coolest things I have done with you guys so far. I can't wait to do it again someday soon. But for now, back to the Line-X! In all truth, it's about doing something different. It's about trying new things, perfecting your craft, and ultimately helping people who are interested in learning about the things you've done on your journey. I'll start with cost. Easily one of the most often asked questions regarding the Line-X frame: Cost was about $475. This is in California where sales tax is about 9%. I took this frame to a accredited Line-X installer local to our shop when it was still in San Martin, California. Prices may certainly fluctuate depending on where you live. For a coating that should technically last forever, I didn't find that to be too bad. Especially because, when installed by Line-X approved shops, the coating actually comes with a warranty. I thought that was pretty cool since more than anything, dirt bikes are subjected to rocks, roost, and a host of chemicals either leaking out of the bike, or the occasional fuel overflow when topping off your tank. All good. That should take care of any questions regarding durability. Now as we all know- there are two types of frames used for Motocross bikes. Steel, and aluminum. Both carry their own caveats. Aluminum: The fact that our frame was a twin-spar CR250 frame that was fully constructed of aluminum, required that there was also a base primer involved in order to allow the Line-X to properly adhere to the frame. I don't recall now, and there was no itemizing on the actual receipt for this, but it may have had an impact on price as well. As for the steel frame type motocross bikes, there is certainly less surface area to be covered and to my knowledge no primer or free chemical would have been required. Either way, no big deal.
This leads me to the question that I DON'T get asked about our Line-X bike: Prep. Once you start going down the rabbit hole here, you start to realize that there are several points of connection on your motorcycle frame that are metal on metal. Specifics include both lower engine mounts, upper engine mount or head stays, frame/engine / swingarm juncture, sub frame points of connection, and lastly tight tolerance areas such as triple clamps and shock mounting. Simply put, make sure you do not get any Line-X coatings applied in these areas. Otherwise you will be trimming and hacking to get things to fit again. With the aluminum this was very straightforward. I took a red sharpie and used it to apply color to all of the area's I did not want Line-X applied to our frame. Sharpie comes off easily with a little bit of brake cleaner. Just make sure to protect your skin. Have a look at the photos I've posted within this blog & you'll notice these un-coated areas. Additionally, you can shine-up the exposed aluminum tabs very easily with a brass wire brush. That makes aluminum shine like crazy. This prep is more of a problem on steel. As I've not done this on a steel frame myself, Line-X personnel may have a solution for this but here's what comes to mind: Since aluminum does not rust like steel, keeping the un-coated areas mentioned above raw, does not pose a threat for corrosion. The engine mounting points on steel frames, with prior coatings removed before Line-X, can pose a problem for rust and corrosion if not addressed. Raw steel rusts very quickly. All you really need to do here is get these locations protected. How you do that is up to you. I would imagine that Line-X can also be applied over the bikes previous frame coating to cut down on overall cost and general prep. But imagine a YZ250 steel frame, blue in color, revealing these tabs and contact points we are talking about. These are most likely worn, and could be hanging out of your freshly coated frame. Yuck. If you have had the previous steel frame coating sandblasted off, a protective coating in clear on raw steel in these locations could look awesome, as well as the more obvious black protective coating most will choose to match the color of their new Line-X coating. On that note, Line-X does offer additional colors beyond black. Tight tolerance areas such as clearance between triple clamps and frame just need to be paid attention to. Usually there is enough room between the two to accommodate the added thickness created by Line-X once applied. Prep is the most important part of the entire process in my opinion. A little forward-thinking on your part will save you from cutting, trimming, and hacking areas of freshly coated Line-X off your perfect frame. Just take a few minutes to go over areas you think may pose a problem. You may not be one of the lucky ones who gets a proactive technician applying the coating to your frame, or an experienced one for that matter. As far as cleaning goes, it cleans very easily and offers some added grip as well. I even know today light vibration damping the fact though it may have been in my head. It can easily be pressure-washed which takes care of any dirt in hard-to-reach areas. You can even apply something like Maxima SC1 once the coating gets a little older and starts to become more matte like in finish. When new, there is definitely a nice mild shine and deep black color to the coating.
On the scale, our CR250 frame picked up just a little bit over 2 lb. Fortunately, Two strokes can stand to gain a little weight when compared to their bigger and heavier brothers - the four stroke. Couple that with the fact that this bike was about 17 years old, and slated to be given away... Nobody batted an eye at the added weight.
Overall this was a super fun part of our CR250 project build. I look forward to doing it again in the future (the giveaway part)
So in closing- If you'd like to add some durability to your motorcycle, a unique look, and something that definitely catches people's attention, it certainly wouldn't hurt to give the Line-X a try.
A few of you have had incredible results with your Bedliner Builds since the completion of Project Gun Show (the CR250) and I've enjoyed seeing your submissions!
If you have any questions regarding details I may have missed here, don't hesitate to reach out for additional help & information.
I'll be here for you & I appreciate every single one of you for your continued support.
You are the ones who make mXrevival thrive.
-Charles // mXrevival