Rucker Performance Custom Paint Studio - Extreme Road King

Rucker Performance Custom Paint Studio

1. Before the paint process begins, Carl Tyndell, director of design, and Juan Porras, paint shop production manager, determine the colors and layout of the bike.

2. The RP paint package is all-inclusive and covers all the sheetmetal, including the tank, headlight molding, and fork legs/covers-unless otherwise specified by the customer. If customers want some bodywork done, such as tank extensions, RP can handle that as well.

3. After the metal parts are sandblasted to take out any impurities, the body shop preps the tank with a grinder before the body filler application.

4. The body filler is then applied and smoothed evenly over the surface. Once dry, the filler is blocked (sanded), and a polyester coat is applied, followed by a guide coat. After all bodywork and polyester coats are complete, all parts receive a coat of primer. Once again, the parts are guide-coated to reveal any high and low spots that may show the need for more body filler.

5. The parts are then wet-sanded to a smooth finish. Meanwhile, Juan mixes the base-coat colors. During the mixing process, RP adds its signature ingredients to create the company's unique Toxic Paint line.

6. Next, the basecoat is applied.

7. To prepare for the graphics process, Carl and Juan mock up the parts on a stationary bike to ensure everything lines up correctly. After the mockup, they start the layout process.

8. After layout, the parts are moved into the booth for some graphic color.

9. After the color application, the parts are cleaned and prepped for a protective intercoat of clear. Here, Carl peels back the vinyl and takes the edge off the graphic to keep the paint edge from peeking through the pinstripe.

10. Intercoat being applied.

11. Next comes pinstriping. The pinstripe process takes skill and practice for expert and efficient work. After the parts come from the pinstripe area, they are wiped down with a paper towel and cleaner. Tack cloth is used to remove any excess lint or dust.

12. Once pinstriping is complete, Carl begins the airbrushing process to shadow the flames. This achieves a three-dimensional look and makes the flames appear to float on the basecoat color.

13. Once all the color, pinstriping, and airbrushing is complete, everything is protected with clear. Juan clears the base coat and graphics to protect them and give them ultimate gloss. Then he sands the parts, a process some call "color sanding." The team will sand the clearcoat in preparation for final buff, creating a luster and deep finish.

14. These photos show the finished bike with the complete custom paint design: Toxic Orange and Toxic Ebony with silver pinstriping and traditional flames with a shadowed airbrush design.

In the Vol. 39, No. 1 issue of HOT BIKE, we ran a press release in the "News" section about Rucker Performance (RP) teaming up with Bruce Rossmeyer to customize 120 pre-owned police, fire, and rescue Road Kings for a new Enforcer line to be sold throughout all Bruce's H-D locations. Along with the press release was a photo of a customized Road King with a killer blue-over-black paint job and some awesome realistic flame highlights. This bike spiked our interest, so we started doing some snooping around and found that RP has quite a bit going on. Aside from the deal with Bruce Rossmeyer, RP offers a line of custom production motorcycles and a Pro-Mod Package (wheels, sheetmetal, wide-tire kit, and so on) to wake up Road Kings, as well as a complete in-house design studio and department that offers extreme signature graphics and paint selection for individual customers.

It was the in-house paint design studio that really caught our interest. Rucker Performance has put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that its paint program meets the criteria of the most finicky customers. RP has a paint team with the skill and expertise to develop the customer's ideal choice of color, with 40-plus colors and paint selections to choose from. Heading up the custom paint studio is Carl Tyndell, Rucker Performance's director of design. Carl, along with the rest of the design team, packages the color combinations with the right paint schemes, colors, and pinstripes to make each Rucker Performance graphics job different.

Custom color creation is where RP strives to stand out in the industry. The RP design team creates a formula and unique mixture for each color. All of the colors are formulated in-house and added slowly to ensure that the new color mix is documented with a detailed description of the formula for identification purposes and quality control. The RP Toxic Colors line is about the signature RP formula, the diversity of the color mixes, and maintaining a tracking system of each new color created and used. The new RP design package captures the custom techniques in the motorcycle industry and includes a diverse selection of solid base coats, pure candies, and paints, including crushed glass and mirrors.

Dealing with a paint shop hundreds or even thousands of miles away can be pretty nerve-racking. That's why-before any paint is even loaded into the spray gun-RP makes sure its customers know exactly what they're getting. Carl reviews colors, paint schemes, overall design, and timeline with customers. He discusses the quality and brand of the paint and finish. Carl will also provide a sketch. If there are any changes made to the project throughout the process, the customer will need to consent to these changes. Also, before any painting begins, Carl will provide a complete estimate in writing. Then Carl and the customer will review the timeline and the length of the project. When the customer ships the tanks or parts to the artist, the customer needs to make sure that all of the parts to be painted are packed carefully and protected, and he or she will need to add insurance to the shipment. RP requires that all the parts be packed, protected, and shipped appropriately. An average paint job will start at about $3,000-$5,000, depending on the complexity of the paint design, airbrush work, and so on. The total package for paint on all parts of a Road King starts at approximately $3,000.

Sure, talking about paint is great and all, but we wanted to see the RP custom paint process firsthand. We were able to sneak a photographer into the RP facility and snap away as the RP team worked on one of their custom paint jobs.