Performance Coatings: Auburn, WA - Motorcycle Coatings

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Performance Coatings

Coatings For Every Part Of Your Motorcycle

When my friends and I were growing up we'd eventually drop our bikes in the dirt, leaving some nasty scratches on the pipes and elsewhere. We'd always attempt the silliest thing and try to use rattle can spray paint to make them look nice again. Heh…, within a few laps around the block the new paint peeled off.

Those who had chrome pipes often experienced bluing of the pipes within the first few hundred miles.

So needless to say our pipes never looked too good.

Even today the same holds true. New motorcycles leave the showroom floor, and within a few hours of riding the pipes have gone blue at the header points. Black pipes turn to brown and rust as quick as the seasons change. So what's a rider to do?

Technology has advanced greatly over the decades and today there are coating processes for header and exhaust systems, internal engine parts and just about any metal part on your motorcycle you'd want to coat.

In the heart of northern Auburn lies Performance Coatings, Inc., owned and operated by Brad Gua (pronounced Gwaah) since 1997. The shop is a one of a kind for Washington State, offering high temperature and anti-friction coatings for all kinds of motorsport parts.

"Performance is what we're all about", says Gua during a recent shop tour. "We have customers who come in and want to coat parts to make them visually appealing, but are using a coating that is not correct for the application. I try to steer them toward using the right coating for the right part.

For example, Gua's shop can put a ceramic chrome thermal barrier coating, called CermaChrome, on a set of motorcycle exhausts for about $150. That type of coating actually keeps the heat in and it won't change colors over time. It looks and works very nice. But, for someone who wants to use that same coating for a cylinder head - "They're asking for trouble because they'll be raising the internal temperature of the motor, reducing horsepower and chance having engine failure as a result."

Gua has the solution - "Instead we have coatings for engine parts that actually act as a thermal conductor and cause heat to transfer away from the part that is coated" such as a cylinder head. An anti-friction coating, called molybdenum disulfide, can be applied to valve stems, springs, pistons skirts, bearings, camshafts, oil pumps, lifters, push rods and transmission shafts & gears. This coating greatly reduces friction and heat buildup, while retaining the parts original dimensions.

In all there are five types of coatings Gua provides and they are each described in detail at the Performance Coatings website.

The process starts essentially the same for all parts that are coated at Performance. Customers can either bring in their parts, or request their local dealer or mechanic to send the parts out to Performance for coating while their motorcycle is being serviced.

The first phase is to blast all parts free of any debris. In the case of exhaust systems headers are first sandblasted with garnet and walnut shell media, inside and out, to ensure the removal of any foreign matter that could impede proper application, and then re-blasted with aluminum oxide to give the surface the perfect tooth for the coating to adhere to.

Parts are then coated with the appropriate coating and cured at high temperature for a few hours. The final phase for the CermaChrome coating is putting the cured parts into a vibratory polisher, which is a large tumbler bin, filled with ceramic marbles of all sizes. After half an hour or so in the bin, the part is polished and ready for pickup.

Gua lives his work. He competes in 600 Supersport, Superbike and TFS on the WMRRA & OMRRA circuit and sponsors many other racers in many different types of racing around the northwest. Part of his sponsorship includes coating exhaust and engine parts for the racers as they strive for higher horsepower and greater reliability.

Performance Coatings goes beyond just motorcycle parts, doing car, boat and even airplane parts. And although they're in Washington, they work with clients all over the United States. For more information about their services you can visit their website at

Performance Coatings
60 37th St NE
Auburn, Washington 98002

TM/Summer 02

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