There is no worse feeling than saving up for your dream bike only to scratch it the day after you buy it.
Ceramic coatings are a relatively new technology that can offer an additional tough layer of protection, but how do you know you’re getting the real deal?
I’ve found five specifically that not only protect but give your bike that finished look.
AvalonKing Armor Shield IX DIY Kit
AvalonKing is a brand-name company entirely devoted to ceramic coating. Their Armor Shield is undoubtedly my favorite on the market, as it is with many of my fellow riders.
I’d recommend it for any motorcyclist in pretty much any situation.
What’s always surprised me about Armor Shield is the value.
While you pay a little more for the name brand, keep in mind that this is a complete kit. It has everything you need to coat your bike at home, including an applicator block, applicator suedes, and a buffing towel.
More importantly, it comes with pretty solid instructions, better than most kits out there, which relieves a lot of the stress that comes with anything motorcycles and DIY.
So if you’re new to coating your bike, just admit to yourself that you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how many YouTube videos you’ve watched, and get this kit so you can follow the instructions.
As for the coating itself, I love the shine it produces. It looks really professional. Plus, it protects against everything from street grime to UV light and makes washing easier because of its hydrophobic protection. The water dissolves any dirt on your bike and then just slides right off.
- Full DIY kit
- Easy instructions
- Beautiful shine
- Hydrophobic protection
- Great value
Adam’s UV Graphene Ceramic Coating
Adam’s ceramic coating is another top-shelf coating with two main strengths: UV blocking and longevity. It’s a good choice for anyone, but I especially recommend it for those in sunny areas who ride year-round due to the climate. Think Florida, Texas, Arizona, etc.
This is due to the “ceramic glow” technology included in this coating. I don’t want to nerd out too much on the technical details, but basically, the coating has a heightened ability to absorb UV light, so your paint doesn’t have to.
This not only keeps your bike looking good longer but, more importantly, protects the metal underneath from corrosion.
As for longevity, Adam’s coating lasts an impressive seven years versus the four or five years you get from most other coatings. That’s convenient but also economical. While Adam’s has a higher-end price, it might save you money in the long run if you only have to apply the coat half as often.
When it comes to the coating’s primary uses, Adam’s also does a top-shelf job. It has stellar scratch protection and excellent hydrophobicity, making washing easier and reducing water spots.
- Ceramic glow UV protection
- 7-year life
- Great scratch protection
- Reduced water spotting
- Top-shelf price
- No applicators included
Mothers 01024 CMX Ceramic Spray Coating
The Mothers CMX coating is my budget suggestion. For a really low price, you get a huge bottle of coating, 24 oz.
Honestly, there’s not a whole lot to the CMX spray. It’s a basic coating that provides a basic level of protection. It protects against the elements and gives you a hydrophobic gloss, though it’s not quite as pretty as higher-end coatings.
As for longevity, the coating doesn’t last quite as long, so I’d recommend regular applications. Luckily, application is pretty straightforward, thanks to the spray design.
Overall, this coating is a good choice if you have a used starter bike and just want a simple coating that will provide a minimum level of protection until you’re ready to trade up.
- Budget price
- Hydrophobic protection
- Easy application
- Poor gloss
- Doesn’t last long
Drexler Ceramic Car Coating Kit
This is another complete kit that comes with everything you need for application.
Application is a bit more complex with this kit as there are two layers, but it’s worth noting that you don’t have to put on both layers. Putting on one layer gives you protection, just for only three years instead of five.
I’d call that two-layer setup both a pro and a con. On the one hand, it can be a hassle to put on two coats, especially if you aren’t experienced. On the other, this provides dual-layer protection. The gloss finish turns out great with both layers, and you get a high level of UV protection and protection against grime and chemical residue.
The hardness is pretty good at 9H, though some newer coatings out there are starting to surpass this. I will say the hydrophobic effect is one of the better ones out there on the market, making washing that much easier and making your bike look that much sleeker.
- Full DIY kit
- Long lasting
- Dual-layer protection
- Strong hydrophobic effect
- Two-layer application
- Not as hard as other coatings
Nexgen Ceramic Spray
The Nexgen spray is another basic coating with slightly higher quality than the Mothers CMX. It’s suitable for off-roaders, for example, who need to protect their paint but aren’t necessarily looking for the glossiest shine year-round.
Application is effortless, too, even if motorcycle maintenance isn’t your favorite thing. Specifically, it comes in a spray bottle filled with eight ounces, enough to coat most motorcycles about ten times. That’s good because it honestly doesn’t last that long, so you’ll probably want to apply it multiple times.
As for protection, it provides an excellent basic layer against environmental contaminants like bird droppings and street sludge.
For a budget option, it’s highly hydrophobic and makes washing easy. That’s also nice for off-roaders. With this coating, just hose down your bike, and you’re good to go.
- Mid-range price
- Easy spray application
- Enough for 10 applications
- Hydrophobic coating
- Requires repeated applications
- Not very glossy finish
FAQ About Ceramic Coating
What Is Ceramic Coating for a motorcycle?
Ceramic coating is a finish for your bike that’s made with around 80% silica refined from quartz-rich sand.
You may often see ceramic coatings advertised as “nano” because they also feature tiny nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, which have the following properties:
- Creates a solid bond throughout the coating allowing it to act as one layer
- Allows the coating to permeate into even microscopic cracks in your paint.
When applied to your motorcycle, this ceramic coating provides a shell over the paint that gives the bike an extra layer of protection.
Usually, it protects against UV light, mud and grime, and natural chemical contaminants like bird droppings that could hurt your paint.
You want to protect your paint, not just keep your bike looking pretty, though that is part of it. Paint is essential to keeping the metal parts underneath from rusting, so an additional layer of ceramic coating helps the metal last even longer.
Is Ceramic Coating Good for Motorcycles?
It’s not just good for motorcycles. Ceramic coating is ideal for motorcycles.
For one thing, many people leave their bikes outside for long periods even if they’re not riding them. That means rain, harsh sun, and birds using them as toilets. You want strong, long-lasting protection against these things.
More importantly, ceramic coating can handle high temperatures, usually around 400-500℉. Motorcycles have a lot more of their internal mechanics exposed to the elements like the engine and exhaust, so you want to coat these too. However, they get really hot, so you need a substance that can take it.
Can You DIY Ceramic Coating for Motorcycles?
Yes, you can apply ceramic coating to your motorcycle yourself. You have to do the work, but it will save you quite a bit of money.
The easiest way is to use a full DIY kit that comes with everything you need to accurately apply the coating and instructions on how to do it. If you don’t get a complete kit, make sure you watch some videos or read up on what other equipment you need and the overall process.
Since you’re buying the ceramic coating to apply yourself, the first thing you should look at is the ease of application.
Applying the coating is easiest if it comes in some kind of spray bottle, one with a relatively good design that isn’t going to spurt or stop working.
You also have to think about the equipment you need to apply the coating over the motorcycle, like cloths and suedes. A kit that includes these things is of great value.
Shine and Gloss
A good ceramic coating looks good and creates a glossy finish. Usually, higher-end coatings do this better than budget options.
Just consider whether this is something you want or need before paying for it. If you have your dream Harley, you probably want to keep it looking pristine. If you have a 125cc motocross bike, you probably don’t care that much about shine.
The hardness of the ceramic coating can seem a little confusing, but it’s pretty straightforward.
It’s based on something called the “pencil test,” but all you need to know is that a bigger number is better and provides more protection against scratches.
Most ceramic coatings are 9H, but recently some manufacturers have successfully developed coatings with 10H hardness.
Certain coatings stand out for their protection against specific environmental factors. For instance, some may be better for protecting against UV light, while others are more resistant to physical scratches.
When choosing a coating, consider your environment.
Is your motorcycle going to spend a lot of time in the sun? In the rain? Do you deal with a lot of mud and sludge?
Whatever contaminants you see most, look for a coating that protects against them.
A ceramic coating is an ideal method of protecting your motorcycle from the elements and giving it that finished, cared-for look.
I can’t say enough about AvalonKing’s Armor Shield IX for the best, complete DIY kit. If you’re on a really tight budget, though, take a look at Mothers CMX spray.