2018 Triumph Street Twin: Painting the Tire Letters

I’ve always liked the way black tires looked when their raised lettering was painted. There’s just something old-school hot rod-like about raised painted lettering. So I decided to give my 2018 Triumph Street Twin the same treatment – and I like what it looks like. Here’s how I did it.

Painted the raised lettering orange on my 2018 Triumph Street Twin tires

To start, I needed to find permanent markers designed to do what I wanted — paint the raised lettering on my tires. I found just the solution on Amazon.com — and in orange–the color I’ve grown fond of since my first 2011 Triumph Bonneville SE. See the links at the bottom of this post to the multiple colors Tire Ink provides. For about 13 bucks I was able to get the tire letters colored orange — and it came out pretty good – in spite of me not following the 4 simple instructions and having a minor ink explosion on the back tire. NOTE: caution — this stuff is permanent and dries FAST!

Permanent Tire Marker from “Tire Ink”

The marker comes with straightforward instructions in 4 steps:

  1. Clean the tires.
  2. Shake the pen.
  3. Prime the pen.
  4. Paint the lettering.
Four simple instructions

Here’s the process I used:

  1. Step 1 – clean the tires. I didn’t use acetone. I used Dawn dish detergent because it’s really good at removing grease from dishes and pans, so I figured it would remove grease from my tires. Seemed to work very well–just be sure to rinse with water because the Dawn is concentrated and leaves lots of bubbles.
  2. Step 2 – shake the marker. Oops – I managed to forget this step and went directly to Step 3 – prime the pen. You can see from the video that not shaking the pen first caused the prime step to be a little problematic. So — make sure you give your pen a good shake before priming it.
  3. Step 3 – prime the pen. Use the target on the back of the pen’s container (really you can use any hard cardboard surface, but it kind of fun to use the packaging’s target). Press the tip of pen onto the center of the target and press down and let the pen rise up on its own. Continue this process until the color runs smooth.
  4. Step 4 – paint those tire letters man. This step is quite painstaking. It takes lots of patience to pay close attention to detail to ensure you don’t accidentally paint something other than the raised lettering. NOTE *** CAUTION *** this stuff dries permanent F-A-S-T! I painted my lettering in 2 different times of the day. Some early and some later. When I did the lettering later in the day, I forgot to prime the pen on the packaging’s target before trying to paint the lettering. As a result, the paint wouldn’t flow well so, of course, I (while on the tire’s lettering) pushed down on the pen to get the ink to flow. The Result: small explosion of orange color that spewed onto my tire. I tried to clean it off quickly with alcohol, but it tried to fast to get it all off – see the video.

I’m happy with the finished product and really like the way the tires look – both sitting motionless and while the tires are rolling.

2018 Triumph Street Twin with Orange Painted Raised Tire Lettering

Here are links to where I bought the orange Tire Ink TM marker on Amazon along with links to other colors:

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