How to protect your motorcycle tank from scratches?
We all have gone through that one common frustration on the day we first scratched our motorcycle tank and somehow wished with all our heart if this could have been avoided. Then again, anything that is supposed to go wrong will definitely go wrong, as rightfully stated by Murphy’s Law.
How does the motorcycle tank get scratched?
The art of motorcycle riding involves an accurate seating posture, connecting with the soul of the bike, by controlling the center of gravity, as well as being able to predict the situation on the road. The very first lesson taught in any motorcycle safety foundation (MSF) is to shift the center of gravity in the front by leaning your body closer to the gas tank and holding the bike tightly with your knees. This posture helps the rider to keep himself stable at the time of sharp accelerations and sudden braking.
However, sudden braking and accelerations creates a slight friction between the knees of the rider and the motorcycle tank. This friction or rubbing causes undesired scratches on the body of motorcycle tank. As annoying as it may sound, it is quite common among motorcyclists and can be prevented by applying a special protective sticker on the tank.
Step by step guide to protect your motorcycle tank from scratches
If motorcycle is your first love, then you would never want to see scratches on it. But it turns out that your bike somehow manages to get at least a few scratches. It might break your heart, but it’s true that most of these scratches could have been avoided if you had been a little more careful.
Follow our step by step guide to prevent any unwanted scratches on your motorcycle tank.
- Tank protection mat prevents scratches that can result from the friction between your knees and the tank. However, they do not protect against all kinds of impact, but rest assured, it can protect your motorcycle tank from minor abrasions and graze. Although this solution is the most conventional, many bikers do not really love hiding their beautiful motorcycle tank under a mat. This is one of the reasons why riders generally prefer stickers or transparent films over a tank mat.
- Self-adhesive stickers or films are a simple alternative to the tank protector and a cheap as well as a quick solution that does not distort your motorcycle’s aesthetics. The stickers or films retain the original look of the tank as well as help in protecting it from any scratch.
- Motorcycle cover acts like a shield, usually made of polyester, which not only protects your motorcycle tank, but every other crucial component from rain, bird poops and other external damage. It is a very useful accessory if you do not have a garage or a place with a roof to park your motorcycle. However, while purchasing a motorcycle cover, make sure you keep these things in mind; the material, the model, and of course the quality of your cover. It is recommended to have an elastic heat resistant cover, which will fit along the shape of your motorcycle.
- Some scratches on your motorcycle tank occur due to incorrect parking. Other vehicles can scratch your motorcycle while parking close to yours. So always use the center stand instead of the side stand and try to park your bike where there is plenty of space around it. Do not attempt to cram between other vehicles. Your motorcycle may even fall over when surrounding vehicles are moved.
- It is advisable to apply a layer of Teflon to your motorcycle periodically to avoid minor scratches. Teflon coating not only prevents the metal, but the plastic parts as well which is equally difficult to repair. This liquid coating can be purchased at various specialty stores.
- Do not use long metal key chains for your motorcycle. These key chains can rub against your fuel tank and make long term highly visible scratches.
- One of the most common places where your motorcycle can get scratched is during maintenance. Lack of space, sloppy handling and too many vehicles and tools around the bike means there is a high possibility of your bike to get scratched. Inform the technician about your concerns and make sure your bike is serviced in a spacious garage. Take photos before and after maintenance to ensure everything is in order.
- Avoid sticking in between every possible space in traffic. Most of the scratches on your motorcycle tank happen here. If you have recently purchased a new bike, chances are that you won’t know how much the tank may protrude out. So it’s better to have enough space around yourself than to be in between vehicles.
- Always clean your motorcycle with a soft cloth. If you are using a hard cloth, you may end up adding more scratches to your bike. The best way to avoid scratching your bike is to clean it regularly with a cotton cloth.
- Clean up the bird poop as quickly as possible, as removing them after they have dried out will result in scratches. If you drive on muddy roads during the rainy season, wash your motorcycle when you get home.
Can a tank pad protect your motorcycle tank from scratches?
By holding the tank with your legs, you can eliminate slippage while braking or accelerating. It also helps to improve your riding posture and technique, and reduce fatigue. Tank protectors additionally improve your riding comfort and safety by relieving pressure from your shoulders and wrists. Also, thick tank protectors made of soft rubber can absorb engine vibration.
A center tank protector is designed to prevent damage to the paint finish caused by any kind of contact; you can even install saddle bags for your long distance tour without worrying about scratching your gas tank. They are made of high quality PU resin, that give them high flexibility to mold around the curves and designs of your motorcycle. They are resistant to UV rays or pollutants and do not turn yellow, or dry out with time.
Tank pads are used as a shield that prevents any kind of damage to the finish of the metal tank; they prevent minor scratches or dents that may arise due to the constant rubbing of your belt’s buckle, zipper, or knee guard against the paint of the motorcycle. Additionally, all motorcycle tank protectors and pads come with strong, high quality adhesive that can make sure the paint of your motorcycle doesn’t peel off because of intensive friction, even in extremely high or low temperature.
Some good brands even use solvents that leave no residue if you decide to remove or move your tank protectors.
3 Effective ways to remove scratches from your motorcycle gas tank
When moving around the city on a daily basis, it is impossible to avoid small scratches, whether caused by falls, traffic or other factors. But the fact is, every self-respecting motorcyclist will want to keep his motorcycle sparkling new not matter how many times he has scratched it.
There are many things that you can do to remove scratches from your motorcycle tank, washing is one of them, but sometimes few deep scratches won’t leave and may need professional techniques to remove them. Let’s take a look at 3 basic techniques that will leave your motorcycle tank as good as new.
- Clean your motorcycle using wax
For minor scratches, waxes are an excellent bet to make the tank as good as new. There are many good brands available in the market that you can opt for. Make sure you opt for the one that matches with your motorcycle color, so you can cover the scratches easily.
In order to do so, just apply the wax after washing the bike, the application must be done on the entire surface, and leave it for few minutes before you start rubbing. It is definitively recommended to reapply the wax after each washing.
- Remove scratches with polishing compound
Another effective way to remove scratches from your motorcycle tank is by applying polishing compound. This technique is also ideal for deep scratches that have reached the lowest layer of paint. The action of the polishing after applying putty is deeper and longer lasting, because it fixes the scratched surface, filling in the space that has lost paint.
To apply the putty, just cover the areas that suffered scratches, making circular movements with a sponge or cloth, this way the putty will penetrate the damaged points. Post this; remove the excess putty with a dry cloth. Now apply the wax over the entire surface and the tank will be as good as new.
Both for wax as well as polish, we recommend Meguiar’s Motorcycle Care Kit that cleans and protects all motorcycle surfaces including paint, plastic, leather, vinyl and metal
- Remove tank scratches using scratching pen
Another practical and efficient solution for removing scratches from your tank is by using scratching pens. They are best suited for minor scratches, which do not need to be filled with putty. They present a good cost/benefit ratio, as they are relatively cheap compared to professional services.
The application is simple; just use the pen with a thinner tip over the scratched area. For the action to be more efficient it is necessary to choose a color that matches the tone of your tank. Just apply over the scratches and wait for them to dry. As it is a product with surface action, it must be reapplied periodically, as the pen’s ink will fade over time.