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Nick (LUCAS) Comstock
Nick (LUCAS) Comstock UltimaDork
10/31/15 10:26 p.m.

I've been accused of being stuck in the 70's. One of the best things about the 70's were raised white letter tires. I love them. I believe they make any vehicle better. If you are like me, and long for the days when massive sideburns where socially acceptable, follow along and I'll show you how I bring some 70's into the present day on my new rear tire.

You will need one Sharpie white paint pen. I got mine at Staples. It is oil based and has a medium point.

I took a little bit of alcohol and wiped the letters down for prep.

The letters on this tire are not really raised a whole lot. It's super easy to run the tip off the letter and on to the serrated lines. That looks like crap. But give it a little while to dry and you can use a fingernail to scrape it off.

I get the tip pretty well flooded with paint. Using a very light touch, I trace around the out line of the letter. Then, I flood the area inside that outline with dabbing circular motion, barely even touching the surface with the tip. The first coat will be blotchy and transparent. You need to let it set for a while before putting on the second coat. I have not had any success putting more than two coats on, it always pulls the other coats off for me.

One coat.

Blurry second coat picture.

Ugly boring black tire.

Super awesome RWL tire.

Yes, but how does it hold up? I did the front tire April 5th of 2014. By my math that's a little over a year and six months and it still looks like this. I'd say it holds rather well. This bike does not live a pampered life, it get ridden hard, every day, in all weather.

Ugly black wall tires.

Here is a picture from April of last year when I did the original tires.

So there you have it. Go paint your tires.

nepa03focus HalfDork
10/31/15 11:15 p.m.

I agree it looks great

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
11/1/15 7:56 p.m.

The part of me that is loathe to provide advertising for anything hates this, but it does look pretty sharp.

The_Jed UberDork
11/1/15 9:28 p.m.

Looks sweet!

Now wrap those pipes!

Nick (LUCAS) Comstock
Nick (LUCAS) Comstock UltimaDork
11/3/15 11:26 a.m.

In reply to The_Jed:

Waaa?! And cover up all that awesome chrome?!

Spoolpigeon UberDork
11/3/15 11:37 a.m.

Love it! I need to do that to my race tires.

Grtechguy UltimaDork
11/3/15 1:49 p.m.

Hmmmm.....I might do that

edizzle89 HalfDork
11/3/15 3:06 p.m.

a friend of mine did this but in yellow on the tires of his NBS dodge charger. the car was black with black wheels so the yellow letters on the tire really popped and gave it a good look

nutherjrfan HalfDork
11/30/15 1:27 a.m.

well guess i might be going to Staples tomorrow. gotta look at what cheap tires are on the 97 200sx first. I remember how well it looked on my Fathers 70s Hillman Avenger/Plymouth Cricket.

RedGT Reader
12/4/15 3:11 p.m.

Have always loved the look. Want to do it, yet find it cringe-worthy on the street on a Miata. Trying to decide which set of tires will make me feel the least ridiculous. The autox tires that tend to be on the car all summer? The rallycross winter beater tires since that car already looks like crap? The racecar's street tires that see about a month of road use between the end of autox season and the start of winter storage but have some cheesy name like 'mastercraft'?

noddaz Dork
1/9/16 6:31 p.m.

Nice idea. Thank you.

AClockworkGarage Reader
1/16/16 10:00 p.m.

I Was thinking "I know what I'm doing tomorrow" then I remembered that my tires are different brands front and rear, and I probably shouldn't draw attention to that...

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
1/16/16 10:03 p.m.

I love RWL tires and have been bummed about how few choices there are anymore that offer a RWL option. This is an awesome trick.

wbjones MegaDork
1/16/16 11:19 p.m.

when you first posted this, I didn't like the look at all ... but I've come back to look several times and it's growing on me ... I might just try it on the autoX tires for the CRX

thanks for posting this

Nick (LUCAS) Comstock
Nick (LUCAS) Comstock UltimaDork
1/25/16 11:22 a.m.

In reply to wbjones:

It may crack on a flexi sidewall, or one that sees some abuse. Not an issue on the bike but it may happen on a car. If it does I would just put another coat on.

Knurled MegaDork
2/11/17 7:45 a.m.

I am in no way posting here just to make it easier to find at a later date.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/20/17 7:47 p.m.


Huckleberry MegaDork
6/20/17 7:55 p.m.

I use those pens for writing miles/dates on oil filters. And occasionally to write my name on leftovers.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock MegaDork
6/24/17 9:07 p.m.

In reply to Huckleberry:

You know how awesome those BMWs look with that red white and blue rim tape right? It would look twice as awesome with some RWL on the tires

However, with as quickly as you go through tires it would certainly become a hassle doing it every couple weeks

Woody MegaDork
6/24/17 9:21 p.m.

I support this. I was always a fan of RWL tires, and maybe more so of Outlined RWL tires.

The manufacturer has to have a great name though, regardless of how good (or bad) the tires are. Goodyear, Dunlop, Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli ---> Cool.

Mastercraft, Kumho, Sumitomo...not so much.

I remember a kid in high school who had a set of RWL Macho GTs, and I always think of that car when I see tires with a cheesy name.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock MegaDork
6/24/17 9:27 p.m.

In reply to Woody:

Yeah, no bueno with off brand stuff. I had a set of Dayton RWL tires on an old truck and always felt self conscious about it.

Tom_Spangler UberDork
6/24/17 9:29 p.m.
Woody wrote: The manufacturer has to have a great name though, regardless of how good (or bad) the tires are. Goodyear, Dunlop, Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli ---> Cool. Mastercraft, Kumho, Sumitomo...not so much. I remember a kid in high school who had a set of RWL Macho GTs, and I always think of that car when I see tires with a cheesy name.

RWL BF Goodrich Radial T/As were the bomb when I was in high school.

RevRico SuperDork
6/24/17 9:41 p.m.

In reply to Woody:

So I shouldn't do this to my nankangs?

singleslammer PowerDork
6/24/17 10:22 p.m.

Come on, Kumho makes some good E36 M3. I will totally give you MasterCraft though.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock MegaDork
6/25/17 12:22 a.m.

Since this thing came back up and I really have nothing better to do I decided to put my money where my mouth is.

If you look closely at the lower left corner in the first picture you will see a can of CRC lectra-motive electrical parts cleaner. Thank you JG and Scott Brownstein for letting me feel confident that it wouldn't affect my tires! That stuff is awesome and is what I used to clean the tires this time. Does a much better job than the alcohol.

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