can you paint the regulator - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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can you paint the regulator

I relocated my regulator awhile ago. well I am in the progess of doing alot of upgrades and maintence. My regultor looks a little ugly. I was thinking about painting it to make it look good. My question is would painting this cause any problems.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 10:19 PM
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General rule is not to since the fins and entire surfaxe is designed to distribute excess heat off the R/R. Painting it would sort of seal it in. Plus you have the effect of the heat on the paint to consider.
I'd suggest giving it a good scrub with a brass brush to spruce it up.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 10:34 PM
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hm i painted mine.... o well

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by oglejust View Post
hm i painted mine.... o well
If it was relocated away from the goat belly I don't think a little paint will hurt.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 08:15 AM
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I painted mine as well, But at the time the paint can was alot closer to me than a brass brush! lol
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 09:47 AM
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Actually painting it flat black should help with heat disipation.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
Actually painting it flat black should help with heat disipation.
+1 to Scoop. Look at a radiator or heater core, always painted black from factory or from shop after a rebuild, and their function is the same as r/r, to shed heat. IMO brush off any dirt, bugs or loose paint and rattle can on some high heat black paint.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
Actually painting it flat black should help with heat disipation.
Uh, no.

Back in the late 70's alot of racers thought this too and started painting everything black. Not sure how this happend, guessing someone read somewhere that "black disapates heat" better and it went from there.

Granted this is true to some extent...if everything else is equal, but in most cases it is not. Painting an aluminum finned heat sink..which is what the outside of the R/R is..will only insulate it more, and if the R/R has been relocated to the outside of the bike, you can throw in the fact that black also absorbs heat exposure to the sun would simply be adding more heat to the unit.
As the benifit of moving the R/R outboard is to put it where more air can pass over it..then you are talking about convection, and painting the R/R would decrease the amount of relative cooling from convection.
The best finish is the one that is on there..if you wanted to make it more efficaint in disapating heat, the best thing you could do is bead blast it to give it a rougher surface.

There is some information here on this:

But, given the small amount of diffrence if you did paint your R/R black (after moving outboard) it likely is not going to hurt anything. So if you want it black just use a thin coat of high temp paint. This is purely a cosmetic change as painting it any color is not going to make it more efficiant...but less efficiant , however the percentage of "loss" is likely going to be so low you really will not notice any difference.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 01:28 AM
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Mine came stock painted Black, I don't know, maybe because the engine came that way too.

Found this little tid bit about heat sinks, which is what the outside of R/R is.

This is one of the reasons that aluminium is so popular as a heatsink material - it can be anodised, and black dye is then introduced into the porous layer of aluminium oxide. This is far thinner than any coat of paint, and is very effective. Copper is actually a far better conductor of heat, but cannot be anodised, and its colour is such that it is a naturally terrible radiator. Such is life. Oxidised copper (kinda, sorta like anodising) is passably effective, but rarely used due to its cost.
Table 3 shows the "emissivity" of various surfaces. This is a measure of their ability to emit infra-red radiation (heat), and a figure of 1 is as good as it gets for a passive heatsink (i.e. no heat pumps or the like). This list is not exhaustive, but is a fair indicator for the most common surface treatments.

Surface Emissivity
Polished aluminium 0.05
Polished copper 0.07
Rolled sheet steel 0.66
Oxidised copper 0.70
Black anodised aluminium 0.70 - 0.90
Black air-drying enamel 0.85 - 0.91
Dark varnish 0.89 - 0.93
Black oil paint 0.92 - 0.96
Table 3 - Emissivity of Various Surface Treatments

Emissivity refers to radiation, which is only a relatively minor (typically 25% or less) but still important means of dissipating the heat. Most heat is conducted to the air at the surface boundary, and although black oil paint has excellent emissivity, it will also insulate the fins from the air. Overall, as discussed above, about the best treatment is black anodising, but matte black automotive type lacquer is also very good (IMO) - provided it is applied as thinly as possible


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 08:40 AM
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If I move mine, I had considered putting either an aluminum or chrome vented cover over it. Not completely surrounding it, just big enough to cover the outer exposed side.
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