How To – Plastic Welding

Long term member from across the water, nightrider had a touch at a salvage auction with a Suzuki GS1100ES  bearing some cosmetic damage. Nothing that can’t be fixed, right? Right!

Here, he takes us through his tried and tested approach to plastic repairs.

I have been plastic welding for almost three decades now. I started in an old skool moto shop back in the 90’s. The old timers back then hated sportbikes so it was up to the young buck (me) to figure out how to fix those annoying fairings with that smelly Mac tools Plasti-welder. Through trial and error I weeded out what worked best for thin motorcycle plastics. Later I went on to repair Kayaks where the repairs were a bit more critical.

That being said, plastic welding is a fairly easy process.

Most mistakes I see is from people just smearing the filler rod material on the crack like glue. It’s best to think of it as welding. You have to get the filler material to penetrate and mix with the plastic being repaired. If you think of it more like really slow oxy acetylene welding you will have more luck.

First off, you are going to have to spend some money.

Yes, you could modify a soldering iron. Perhaps braze a foot on it?  But if you purchase a Plasti-welder you will find it handy for fixing all sorts of things (like any other welder). I’ve had the same Polyvance Mini-Weld Model 6 for over 10 years. There is a Model 7 now. They can be found on Fleabay or Amazon.

Don’t bother with the flat welding material. You will need the ABS R3 filler rod.

Once you have your Mini-Welder and R3 rods you’re ready to go.  Generally speaking you will only need to weld on one side. If your bodywork still has good paint you will want to weld on the inside (I typically always weld on the hidden side of the bodywork).

First off I place a piece of foil tape on the outside as a heat sink (this helps to keep the crack from puckering with the heat).

Next you will want to crank up the heat on your welder.

With ABS material I tend to just crank it all the way up to 11 but you might want to stick to the R3 setting if you’re dealing with y2000+ bike fairings as modern fairings tend to be pretty thin.

Once it’s heated up you will want to “stitch” the crack. This both tacks your weld and makes it easier to mix the filler rod with the fairing plastic in the next step.

Put your finger under the area you are welding and drive the toe of the welding iron into the plastic. You’re going to want to drive about 3/4 the way through the material you are welding at a fairly steep angle.

With your finger on the other side you can feel how hot the plastic is getting. Too hot for you, too hot for the plastic.

After you have done that you are ready to start filling.

Stick the rod through the cylinder on the welder.

With a wiggling motion, draw the welder across the stitch line while pushing the melting rod material into the little pockets in your stitches. Try to blend the two materials together (wiggling motion).

After that go back over your weld using the foot of the welder and melt down the excess and blend it into the surface. (This ensures that the outer edges of the weld are bonded and it makes it look a lot better). Take care to not get it too hot or you will ruin the paint job on the other side.

Peel off tape and Bobs your uncle.

With any luck you will barely even see the crack!

… and your shed will reek and Missus will be pi**ed and the neighbors will bitch and…


Huge thanks to nightrider! It’s all about the .info 

Read nightrider’s build thread on the forum here

Have you got any tried and tested techniques you can share? (Keep it clean, please!) >>>> here

Bike of the month March 2018

There’s many reasons to start your own build, with “because I want to” coming first and “because I can” second. (If the person taking on this project actually can, is something different, but more on that some other time)

Other reasons are aplenty but there’s two that carry much more load than any other reason I can think of. One; building the dream bike of a lost friend. Two; being asked to build that dream bike, by said lost friend.

This Katana was trusted upon Pete by Dave “Swingarm” Roberts, member of old and builder of one of the very few actually cool Bandits in history. Dave was lost to a horrible disease and the Katana for which he already had most of the parts, was left to Pete to finish.

Pete took it upon himself to finish the bike to a standard we rarely see outside of OSS. With a general idea of what Dave wanted the bike to be, he set to work.

Built over the course of less than a year, the Katana was entered in the Newark Show as its first public outing this January, it promptly won a award.

The Kat turned out, arguably, better than the Yoshimura-1135R Pete posted up as the end goal for the build and it’s received praise far and wide.

A fitting tribute to a lost friend, I tip my hat to you Pete; the Katana is this month’s BOTM.

More here





New OSS Trader – Lucky7moto

We are pleased to welcome Lucky7moto as an OSS Trader, with a discount available for OSS as well as a fantastic prize to give away too!

Lucky7moto are well known for building cool bikes, several of which have featured in magazines around the world. Their ‘no fucks given’ approach has always been fun to see, take a look at their T-shirts! They do it because they want to, not because they have to.

As well as building cool bikes for themselves and others with deep pockets (check out the Katana or ET they built), Lucky7moto also sell specialist parts.

New bike builds in the making include a GSXR1100 Slabside for a customer and a GSXR Slingshot that will become something endurance based. All builds result in some bespoke specialist parts being made and these are then offered for sale to you.

Today their most commonly requested item is the seat re-covering service. Steve the founding member, is a time served upholsterer by trade spending years in the Aston Martin interiors factory. Using only the best materials like high-grade leather or the latest waterproof Alcantara to the best textured vinyl, Lucky7moto seats can be found on some of the best builds on the planet. Racefit can attest to that. Lucky7 seats are on all of their builds. Steve has partnered with Jay who is an active member here on OSS.

Whether it’s a GSX1100 Katana, Bandit, GSXR (or any other bike including one off specials) these guys can (re)cover it transforming the look of the bike. Just don’t ask them for embossing or bright blue stitched logos, that’s not what they do.

Current bike parts on offer are GSX1100 and Katana oil catch tanks, under trays, swing arm spacers to allow later model swing arms to be used and shock mounts to allow newer style mono shock arms to run twin shocks. Lucky7moto will also supply you with a Racefit Legend system if you ask nicely 🙂

The newest product to come out of the workshop is a stunning hand beaten aluminium tank for the GSXR750 Slabside. It’s internally baffled, much lighter than stock and a real thing of beauty. These are a limited run so be quick to get some exotica. Other limited run, hand made aluminium tanks are on the horizon with GSXR Slingshot and Katana tanks being talked about.

If you can’t stretch to a fuel tank then Lucky7moto offer some very cool T-shirts and stickers for sale too. OSS members will receive a 10% discount.

To celebrate their new OSS Trader status, they are offering as a competition prize a re-cover for your bike seat OR if you are lucky enough to be a Katana or GSX1100 owner – an oil catch tank OR undertray set. Basically one winner, one prize.

For details of how get your OSS discount and to enter the competition, see the article in our Traders section here. Please note that you need a 50+ post count on the OSS forum to take part.

You can find Lucky7moto on the interwebs here: (currently under construction)