How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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ghostvet
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1997 GL1500SE

How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:51 am



Hello all!

I have enjoyed this site and made use of a lot of the how-to information. It is invaluable. So, I documented what I did in the hopes someone else might enjoy this. It is my own way of paying back the community.

So, I have this really nice 1997 GL1500SE (and a not-so-nice-yet 1982 GL1100A). As pretty as I can polish it up, there was always something missing- the lettering around the ignition switch.

To some this may sound silly, but it always bothered me.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I had a custom bowling ball made for me, engraved with my name. I remember the bowling pro fill the engraved lettering with a special sort of lacquer crayon. I started researching and found out it is called a "Engravocolor Stick". Trying to find these on the internet was really difficult- down right virtually impossible. I can find the company name, and lots of BS sites that just use their own invoice and page back to the company's ordering web site. We can talk more about that little scheme later. However, I could not find pricing at all. Being a weekend, calling the company didn't work either since they were closed. This was really irritating me. I finally found a snippet of a forum conversation where someone mentioned there were about $8-10 apiece.

I started pondering. My MacGuyver instincts took over and I tried a few different methods to accomplish this amazing feat. After a bit of experimentation, I zeroed in on a plain old wax crayon.

First, clean the area to be filled- I used a toothbrush. Then, take a plain old wax crayon- the whitest one you can find, and just start rubbing it in to the lettering.

Go around in circles, horizontal, vertical, whatever. The object is to get the wax heavily into every crevice and corner. Don't worry, you cannot put too much.

Take caution not to get it into areas you don't want filled. It is easy enough to clean off (especially when Pledge is used on the bike), but why go through the hassle. You might even want to pull the plastic off from around the ignition switch. I thought of that after I did the job... :lol:

Next, you want to take a shop rag and lightly rub off the excess. If you use too much pressure, or a rag with extra fluff to it, you may pull the wax out of the lettering.


Then you basically want to buff the area until it is nice and shiny. I used a red crayon for "ON".


Don't worry, you can touch it. I even lightly used Pledge right over it, but I wouldn't do that too heavily since Pledge cuts into wax. I used Pledge and a toothbrush to get all the old paste wax from the previous owner out of between the lettering on the light lenses, the various badges around the bike, and all the seams or fit around the plastics and it works real well.

Then, I saw the Honda logo staring at me, needing, pleading for some attention.


So, since the logo is red...



And, so I see the maximum number of attachments to this post is 8, I will continue in a reply.
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Last edited by ghostvet on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ghostvet
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1997 GL1500SE

Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:55 am

CRAP!!! None of the pictures came through....

Gonna PM the boss. Maybe he can help.

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virgilmobile
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby virgilmobile » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:55 am

I wonder if a shot of clear coat to protect it would benifit?
My wife wonders why I have red and white nail polish in the shop... What will she think when she sees a new box of crayons??? :oops:
I can't tell her it's a guy thing

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seabee_
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby seabee_ » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:56 am

Looks sharp. That's a great low buck fix. Amazing how something so simple can work.

How's the dreaded 1100 coming along? I haven't seen any posts on it in the other forum for quite some time.
Paul
CE1 Navy Seabees/RET
1981 to 2002
ASE Mechanic

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ghostvet
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:08 pm

virgilmobile wrote:I wonder if a shot of clear coat to protect it would benifit?
My wife wonders why I have red and white nail polish in the shop... What will she think when she sees a new box of crayons??? :oops:
I can't tell her it's a guy thing



Write something manly on the crayon label?

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ghostvet
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:30 pm

So, I looked around and find a whole lot of other things that needed a little attention...





And then I saw my '82 standing next to me sobbing for attention too...


Unfortunately, my radio cover was on so I didn't see the radio knobs- they need lots of attention too. Maybe later today when I get home.

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seabee_
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby seabee_ » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:08 pm

You'll have to let us know how it holds up in that Floridian sun down there. :lol:
Paul
CE1 Navy Seabees/RET
1981 to 2002
ASE Mechanic

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ghostvet
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:36 am

UPDATE- The HOT Florida sun...

OK, so we have had some pretty hot days down here and the bike was parked in the direct, blaring sun on several of these days...

The wax crayons in the ignition surrounds held up great- no problems so far.

The logo I did in red did have a melt-down of sorts. The wax flowed out of the logo, but left the red pigment in place. Just the clear wax melted out. There was not enough pigment to completely fill the logo (the red part looked sot of shriveled) so I just added some more crayon and see what happens next.

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WA9FWT
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby WA9FWT » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:06 pm

It sure looks like it works! Just wondering what happens with the first heavy rain hit's it.
Maybe that clear coat would be the answer.In fact you made me go out and look at my old
machine. :lol: :lol:
Nice posting with the pictures, and that sure adds too this site..

WA9FWT Phil

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virgilmobile
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:21 pm

ghostvet wrote:
virgilmobile wrote:I wonder if a shot of clear coat to protect it would benifit?
My wife wonders why I have red and white nail polish in the shop... What will she think when she sees a new box of crayons??? :oops:
I can't tell her it's a guy thing



Write something manly on the crayon label?

I'm gonna print a paper about the "lost wax molding" thing and leave it right next to the box. :mrgreen:

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WA9FWT
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby WA9FWT » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:50 pm

virgilmobile wrote:
ghostvet wrote:
virgilmobile wrote:I wonder if a shot of clear coat to protect it would benifit?
My wife wonders why I have red and white nail polish in the shop... What will she think when she sees a new box of crayons??? :oops:
I can't tell her it's a guy thing



Write something manly on the crayon label?

I'm gonna print a paper about the "lost wax molding" thing and leave it right next to the box. :mrgreen:


That clear coat got me thinking about whats in my tool box. I have a bottle of clear finger nail polish,I emphasize
"Clear " :lol: I use it to seal a welsh plug replacement on any carb.The gas will not effect the polish.Used this stuff for over 50 years.....it works.

WA9FWT Phil
Never used it for any thing else

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:07 pm

If you say so, Phil!! :)

Perhaps masking off the area around it (especially the dash!!) and a couple quick hits with clear acrylic spray paint would work well.

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ghostvet
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:11 am

WingAdmin wrote:If you say so, Phil!! :)

Perhaps masking off the area around it (especially the dash!!) and a couple quick hits with clear acrylic spray paint would work well.



I would think you might need to get the surrounding area really clean first, and that ”might” pull out the wax/pigment. Remember, I was just ”waxing” the immediate area around the lettering/logo with a crayon and only used a dry rag to clean and buff the area.

Short of that, it could maybe do a great job on protecting it, especially if the clear coat had UV protection to prevent it from degrading and peeling.

But so far, the only thing I had to redo is the red logo. The lettering is doing fine- maybe because it is so small, it doesn't melt and run. :?:

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby Mag » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:46 pm

My wife is wanting me to wait until you find something that can protect it (the nail polish, which I know I do not have one of those in my shop, lol, and clear laquer), but this is a great little project (after I get my controls back on.

She is saying if there is some kind of a sealent for oil paints, this may work....but do not hold me to it.

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redial
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby redial » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:07 pm

There is a North American artists' supplies company that I sometimes deal with, on behalf of my artist wife, called Blick Art Supplies, and they have resins and varnishes that may work in this situation. <http://www.dickblick.com/products/michael-harding-mediums-and-varnishes/>

The only trouble with the sun, is that the wax in the crayon would go soft as the temperature increases (either F or C), leaving a puddle of colour underneath a seal. It would be better to start off with a coloured medium, so that the colour is all the way through. Then if a hot day occurs, it will stay in place rather than decide it is good enough for the mc to go wandering, it will go as well.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

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ghostvet
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:46 am

Update...

We went through a pretty warm summer here. All the lettering remains fine. Some of the buttons needed a light touch up, depending on how much usage individual buttons had. No big deal- once or twice a year maybe a little touch up.

Stay safe everyone!

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby liquineer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:27 am

I am in the process of doing some small repairs to my 1988 1500 goldwing, and found this thread. I have just done the same with my switches etc. It is a bit cold at the moment, (about 48 F) and I think it would work better if the temperature is up nearer spring early summer like around 70F as I keep pulling the wax out again BUT it is working, several of the switches had no visible white lettering, and now they have- I may run over the fainter ones when the temperature rises a little- but a great idea.
Are we having fun yet?

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ghostvet
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:49 pm

THANX!


Every once in a while I come up with something... not too often, just every once in a while.... lol

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby Bobwquinn » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:30 pm

I just got back from the dollar store to get some red and white crayons. Did the ignition, light & starter switches as well as the Honda logo in red - looks awesome!! I'll spray it with a clear coat acrylic as soon as the weather warms up.

Bob

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ghostvet
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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby ghostvet » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:28 pm

Bobwquinn wrote:I just got back from the dollar store to get some red and white crayons. Did the ignition, light & starter switches as well as the Honda logo in red - looks awesome!! I'll spray it with a clear coat acrylic as soon as the weather warms up.

Bob



GREAT!

Post some pics!!!

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby tunaman01 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:17 pm

These people have the goods for the lettering! :D
http://www.shop.innovativebowling.com/L ... ks-312.htm

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby Mag » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:37 am

Ya know, did not even think the paint sticks they use to fill in the lettering on bowling balls. What else would take a beating more than that? Ugh, and I bowled for like 20 years (duh duh duh!!).

By the way, I did do the crayon route....damn it looks good! Only the bigger areas did not work really well, but for all the lettering and such, SWEET!! Even my wife was surprised (and she was giving me a bad time about stealing her crayons, lol)

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby erikwillke » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:09 am

tunaman01 wrote:These people have the goods for the lettering! :D
http://www.shop.innovativebowling.com/L ... ks-312.htm



Great prices (except shipping). Ordered white and red. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.
Finally bought the same bike that brought me so much joy as a kid from the backseat.

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby wingone01 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:52 pm

Did you try this yet? I am looking at doing my radio and handlebar switch buttons. Regards

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Re: How to Fill Lost Lettering on Your Bike

Postby erikwillke » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:37 am

I did but I wouldn't use it on your radio buttons. The paint stick (wax stick) would block the light coming through at night. I used it for the non-lighted switches like turn signal, hazard, horn and such.


Finally bought the same bike that brought me so much joy as a kid from the backseat.


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