Pros and cons of Powder coating or painting motorcycle wheels

In my opinion, one of the most exciting things for a rider is customizing his or her motorcycle. And it is never much thoughtful to say, the motorcycle is any day more customizable than any other vehicle. There are endless modifications you can do to your motorcycle, like installing a motorcycle exhaust wrap, tinting helmet visor, painting the gas tank,  and so on. 


One very interesting and cool modification is definitely making your motorcycle wheels look different, enhanced keeping the quality grade persistent. Getting it done properly using the right process makes it durable, and, fantastic looking.


But the question which is definitely arrived in your mind by now is, which paint should you use for coloring the wheels of your motorcycle.


Let me tell you, it is one very debated topic among riders and motorcyclists. 

The two most commonly debated choices are powder coating versus painting. Each of them has its own set of positive aspects as well as setbacks. 


So, it would not be very nice to guiding you about only one and take up charge of decisions for you that which should be used by you. Rather I mention all the pros and cons of both, powder coating and painting. You make the choice as per your wish. 


Let’s start with powder coating.


But before we get into the pros and cons, let us once have a brief glance at what powder coating is and how it is done. 


How to powder coat your motorcycle wheels?


It is basically the application of color to the wheels of your motorcycle by letting the color particle stick to the wheels. It is done using the charged particles. It is more lasting and valuable for money. 

The first step to doing this is to clean the wheels completely. 

Remove all the dirt and grease off the wheels. Then the wheels are dipped in a solution containing chemicals to neutralize the surface so that the color particles stick to the surface properly. 

Next, the wheels are hung and are grounded electronically. 

The sprayers change the particles into charged ones after a special blend of polymer resin is put in the sprayer. And then the color is sprayed on the rims of the wheels. 


As the wheels are grounded the particles get attracted and stick to the wheels. 

After the wheels are thoroughly filled with color on them, it is placed inside an oven at 320℉ to cure the powder. 


This is better to be done by professionals as doing it yourself would take much effort and equipment. 

So, now let us get into the discussion of the positivities is to negativities of powder coating of motorcycle wheels. 

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What are the pros of Powder coating your motorcycle wheels?


When talking about powder coating, the first thing which is a must mention is its durability. Powder coating is durable and is capable of standing the wear and tear of roads which is not very suitable to ride. 

If you are going for powder coating you need not worry about mounted coating too. It is easygoing while you get you to motorcycle mount. 


It is longer lasting in comparison to paints. 


It does not fade easily. Lasts for years and would be a really good investment. 


It does not necessarily need to be done by a professional. You can do it yourself too. But it must be done thoroughly.


There are lesser chances of getting it done inaccurately. And the coloring done using electric charge increases the chances of missing out on areas while coloring. 


To sum up, it would enhance the look and strength of your motorcycle without degrading an inch of its purpose and authenticity. 


What are the cons of Powder coating your motorcycle wheels?


The first in the list of drawbacks would be a limited choice in color option for powder coating. There is only a confined color variation available for powder coating so you may not find the right color for your motorcycle. 


It is more preferable to get down from professionals and servicemen as it requires proper technique and a number of types of equipment. So if definitely expected to cost you more than the regular paintings. 


If you decide to powder coat you have to keep at least 5 to 7 days in hand. The process of powder coating is lengthy and time-consuming. So, in the case of people who use their motorcycle regularly make sure to get the dates right for getting the job done. 


Last but not the least, powder coating your motorcycle wheels can change the structure of the wheels physically. Baking the wheels mostly made of aluminum at a high temperature can cause structural deformations. This can hinder rides and can be threatening at worse circumstances. 


Now that we are done with the basics, pros, and cons of powder coating motorcycle wheels, let’s take a glance at motorcycle wheel painting. 


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How long does powder coating on the wheels of the motorcycle lasts?

The powder coat on the motorcycle wheels lasts for 15-17 years on average. (as per 2021)

However, the amount is expected to vary from country to country and from time to time. 


How much does it cost to powder coat motorcycle wheels?

It costs $500 - $700 for powder coating motorcycle wheels. It is a long process and needs a minimum amount of professionalism to get it done accurately. 

The provided value is based on 2020. The value is expected to vary over time and location. 



How to paint your motorcycle wheels?

Painting the wheels is much simpler to be done than it sounds. It is not a tedious job as powder coating. 

Following are the steps to paint your motorcycle wheels, 

  • Detach the wheels of the motorcycles and other associated parts, 
  • Clean the wheels properly to remove all the dirt and grease from them,
  • Start coloring from one side, wait until it dries, and then move on to the other side, 
  • You can paint either using spray paint or may us can color to paint. 
  • This is simple and can be done at home. 



What are the pros of painting your motorcycle wheels?

Regular painting is firstly time-saving. It takes hardly two days to get done. It is much simpler than powder coating and can be easily done at home, though you can always get the thing done by professionals. 


Now coming to the pocket pinch. It is inexpensive and worth investing in. 


In case, you want it easier you can paint the wheels with the wheels attached to the motorcycle. 

The overall expense with the wheels not removed during painting is expected to cost you $50 to $70. 


With the right amount of paint and proper skill, it is no way lesser than powder coating. 

Though the powder coating is durable and retains longer, painting is cheaper and can be cost at smaller intervals to keep up the shine and style. 


Thus it gets a full score in pocket, and time friendliness.



What are the cons of painting your motorcycle wheels?


The laid backs of painting include non-durability. The coats of paints peel off over time after a few days. No matter how many layers you put, it starts to chip. 

Needs touch at regular intervals or looks very ugly. 

If you do not clean the wheels properly prior to painting, it would fasten the process of chipping. 

Sometimes can be non-uniform if not done carefully. 

Overspraying the paint is strictly against the recommendation.


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How long does it take to paint your motorcycle wheels?


It involves a very few steps that are simple and easy to do. So, you can pretty well understand it is not a very time-consuming activity. It is expected to take a day at maximum. And if you want it to be more precise, as per my experiences I can recall it took me around two to three hours. 



How much does it cost to paint your motorcycle wheels?


It is very affordable and accessible to all. If you are going to paint it yourself all you have to invest in is in buying paints. That is like a hundred dollars or so. 

And getting professionally done would take a little more charge in the name of labor charge and other extras. 

However, the removal of wheels and associated part is expected to cost your $350, but in case you want it easier by simply painting without the removal of wheels it would take you around $100 to $150. 

The amount of money listed here is estimates and is subject to alteration based on time and location. 



Thus, each type has its own characteristic feature and pros and setbacks in accordance. 

Powder coating is long staying and durable, whereas painting is cheap and has a vivid color option. 

Painting can easily be done by yourself whereas, powder coating includes little mechanized works and requires professionalism. 

Powder coating takes a longer time than painting. 


So, a coin has two sides, and by now you are aware of both phases. So, now that your know the whole of it, take the decision wisely!

All the best!

Also read, Why a motorcycle clutch becomes stiff?

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