I traded the paint on this bike (frame, headlight shell, headlight ears and side panels) to a guy for a RL250 roller I later restored (see photos of the RL on the site). I think the owner of this bike got the better part of the deal. This is the worst tank I have ever repaired. It looks like it was run over by a car. I probably took me 40 hours to complete the paint. The stripe was hand painted and the paint ended up being a flawless reproduction of the original factory paint. Too bad the front end was extended or it would have ended up as a really nice bike.
I began the project by trying to figure out the best place to cut the tank while causing the least amount of damage. Rather than work from the bottom like I would normally do, I had to cut the top off the tank and straighten the panel. I then tig welded the panel back in place and sealed the tank with an epoxy coating. I then put on a skim coat of plastic filler - most of which was removed before priming. After that the primer was blocked out and re-coated repeatedly to get the finish as perfect as possible before painting the base color coat. The paint consisted of base coat, a pearlized coat and about 5 layers of clear. The final coat was sanded with 2500 and hand buffed. This turned out to be about $2500 worth of work which I traded for a bike that was probably worth about $900. Not a great deal for me, but I enjoyed the challenge was pleased with the results. The customer was overjoyed!
Getting the panel straight was extremely difficult. Unfortunately, the owner couldn't locate a better tank. Of course, right after doing all this work I ran across several tanks that would have been a breeze compared to this.