Plastex Plastic Repair Kit
Repair Kit Review
by "Smalls" for webBikeWorld.com
Technical, Repair and Maintenance Articles
They say there are two types of riders: those who have gone down and those
who will go down. Figure on an accidental drop or two, or someone backing into your
As your eyes survey the damaged plastics, your mind calculates replacement
costs while your blood pressure skyrockets.
Cracked and broken fairings are expensive to replace. The solution?
Repair it yourself with a Plastex Plastic Repair Kit.
Okay, here goesÖI have to suck up my ego and tell
the story about why I needed to buy a Plastex Plastic Repair Kit.
It was Labor Day and Iíd been looking forward to a ride with my Dad through
the twisties up one of the local mountain passes. We had taken a wrong
turn and we were in the mountains, in an area I was unfamiliar
with. To get back on track, I had to do a tight, right-hand turn. Thick
trees and brush blocked my view of what was on the other side of the turn.
As I went around the corner, several things hit me at once: the road turned
to gravel, became an incline, and was bordered by a ditch.
My attention was suddenly divided and my head wasnít completely in the game
in the first place. Not good. Luckily I was going slowly, and I decided the
best approach was to stop, back up a little bit, line the bike up and then
I stopped -- or tried to -- I still donít know what I did wrong, but
suddenly I was face down in the gravel with my foot pinned under my bike.
I was shocked because I had been putting my feet down to stop, then was on
the ground. Iím still not sure what happened: was it the gravel...Too much
front brake? Were my bars still slightly turned from going around the
corner? Or all of the above?
I felt pain radiate through my foot, thought it was broken, and rolled over
to look at my bike. I donít know if I was more upset at my error, my hurt
foot, or my broken turn signal and cracked fairing (Insert scream here!).
Thankfully, I always ride with full gear and had on my
TCX Womenís Sunray
Boots (review). The weight of the bike sprained my foot, but it would
have been much worse if Iíd been wearing sneakers.
There I was: shaken, cold, with a throbbing foot, and facing at least a
ninety-minute ride home.
Lesson learned: donít push yourself. If your head isnít in the ride, donít
ride! If youíre cold, you arenít focused; you canít react as quickly.
The accident was completely my fault; I was foolish, distracted, and didnít
turn around all the times I wanted to. Iím very lucky it wasnít worse.
So in typical "Smalls" fashion, that's my long background story to lead into
Removing the fairing.
Many owners think that the plastics on a motorcycle are actually fiberglass,
but theyíre not. At
least none are to my knowledge.
The inside of my Ninja 500 fairings say "plastic". Iíve read many stories of
those who repaired their fairings with a fiberglass kit, only to report that the
repair cracked again as soon as the plastic started to flex.
Plastex Plastic Repair Kits are unique because the powder and the liquid in
the kit actually becomes plastic when combined. And here's the beauty of it:
there is no mixing ratio to follow, so you canít mess it up!
Tim, the owner and product designer of the company, informed me that Plastex makes a very
strong bond. He said if a repaired area is damaged again, it is more likely
to crack next to where the Plastex repair was made than on the original
crack -- the repair is that strong.
By the way, Plastex is a family-run business and the customer service
was a testament to that -- talking with Tim was like getting help from a
friend and he gave me several tips when I placed my order.
Each Plastex Plastic Repair Kit comes with powder, liquid, applicator
needles, and other containers necessary for its use and application,
along with an instructional DVD. A molding bar is also included for molding
small replacement parts.
Powder and liquid refills, molds, and repair cloths are also available
individually. Several different kits are available; the kit shown in
the photos is the Standard Clear Plastex Kit.
As long as the lids are kept tightly on the liquid to prevent evaporation,
and itís not stored in direct sunlight or high heat, Plastex has no shelf
life and is good indefinitely. Plastex can be sanded and painted, by the
way, and is available in many kit sizes and colors.
Grinding the crack on the inside of the fairing.
Prepping the Plastics
To overstate the obvious, remove the pieces that need to be repaired.
This was interesting on my Ninja 500 since the upper fairing is one large
piece from side to side, so I had to first remove the mirrors and disconnect
the turn signals and headlight. This required a couple of basic tools,
like a Phillips screwdriver
and a 10 mm socket wrench/ratchet.
Enlist the help of a friend to hold the fairing so as you take off the last
screws it doesnít hit the ground and cause more damage. When I first started
prepping the plastic, I left the headlight in the fairing, but the weight of the light
made it difficult to work with the fairing so I removed the light, too.
Per the instructions in the Plastex kit, the back of the
crack to be repaired should be filed down to a "V". This allows the Plastex
to form a strong bond all the way through the material being repaired rather
than just forming a bond on the surface of the crack.
I used a Dremel tool to file the back of the fairing. I tried a couple different Dremel tips and angles to find what worked best, and ended up switching to a
flat disk to get more control over the width of the cut I was making.
Filing the inside of the fairing was a little challenging because the Ninja
500ís top fairing is one large, U-shaped piece and was awkward to work with. Plus, one of the cracks was on an inside corner which made it difficult to
get a good angle with the Dremel.
The bottom edge, where a piece of the fairing had broken off completely, was
much easier to file down. Also, make sure the back of the area being
repaired is clean -- remove any dirt and paint down to the bare plastic.
Since my fairing was cracked where the turn signal is inserted, Tim
suggested I reinforce the area with fiberglass cloth. If a fiberglass cloth
strip is being applied for reinforcement, itís vital to also clean and sand
off the paint where the strip will be placed; I used sandpaper for this
Once the back of the fairing is prepped, use clear packing tape and tape the
front of the pieces together, being careful to line up the cracks so no gaps
show. The tape not only holds the pieces in place, but also prevents any Plastex from running through the crack onto the front of the fairing.
Inside of the fairing with the Plastex applied.
Apply the product in a well-ventilated room because the chemicals in the Plastex
repair kit have a very strong odor. Even though it was chilly outside, we
ended up opening a window to vent the room.
I watched the instructional video to get a feel for how to apply the product. There are two different ways to apply it: The powder can be squeezed into
the crack, and then liquid applied over it (I thought this was the easier
Plastex can also be applied by placing a drop or two of liquid into the
container of powder, then picking up the resultant ďbeadĒ with the tip of
the applicator needle and placing the bead in the crack while adding more
liquid, then repeating.
If fiberglass cloth is to be placed over a repaired crack, cut the cloth to size
and place it on a piece of packing tape (sticky side up so the cloth sticks
to the tape). Cover the cloth with Plastex Plastic Repair Kit powder, and
then squeeze drops of the liquid onto the cloth until the powder and cloth
Pick up the tape and cloth and invert over the repaired crack, applying
pressure on the tape to smooth any bumps and bubbles out of the cloth, then
remove the tape.
Let any repairs sit at least an hour before removing the tape off the front,
doing touch-up painting, or reinstalling.
Before (L) and after (R). The crack still shows, but the fairing is
solid again, which is what counts.
The repair on the piece that had broken completely off the Ninja
looks really good -- a
smooth crack in the paint on the surface is all that is visible. A little
sanding and touch up paint would hide it completely.
Once the Plastex was completely dry, I used a drill to cut through the
hardened cloth that covered the hole where I needed to reattach the
The area around the turn signal was a little trickier to repair with a nice
smooth edge because of the location of the crack and all the tight curves
around the opening. But this was my error because I think I didnít tape it
well enough; this turn signal opening was difficult to work around.
But based on the overall results, and especially with how good the repair
looks where the piece had broken completely off, this is a product I would
Plastex Plastic Repair Kits are easy to use; the repair dries quickly and is
very sturdy. I tried to flex the piece back and forth to see how strong the
bond was, and it was definitely solid (Side note: your fingernails donít
have to be painted to match your motorcycle when doing repairs!).
From start to finish, it took me less than an afternoon to have the repair
done and the fairing back on my bike. And it cost me less than $40 US
Plastex Plastic Repair Kits can fix cracked or broken plastics for a
fraction of the cost of replacing them. Itís easy to use, cures quickly, and
looks a heckuva lot better than duct tape or zip ties.
Plastex is available in black, white, clear, and a variety of other colors.
Technical, Repair and Maintenance Articles
Product Review: Plastex Plastic Repair Kit
From: G.T. Motorsports
|List Price: $13.95
Ė $244.95 (for a master shop kit)
colors and kits.
||Made in: U.S.A.
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From "W" (5/10): "First off, I enjoyed the article.
Well done, and it mirrors my experience with using Plastex as well.
One minor nitpick: The different colors that come with the basic kit (white,
clear and black) are not just different colors. The instructions state
that the black is specifically formulated (with graphite?) to be used in
areas of higher temperature.
In my experience, the black plastic is much more brittle than the white
and should be generally avoided unless the temperature resistance is needed
(inside a fairing next to the engine).
For bigger jobs, I invested in an actual plastic welder. It's a bit
harder to use, but the results are quite worth it, in my opinion."