I paint bikes for people all the time. The answer to "how much does it cost" is simple:
- how bad is the current paint? Does it need to be stripped off, or can it be covered over?
- how bad is the surface rust?
- how bad are the scratches?
- does it have tank emblems that come right off, or those little Suzuki stickers that are clearcoated over?
Preparation labor can be as high as 90% of the cost of a paint job. Someone will have to look at it to know how much prep there is going to be.
Then there are materials:
- what type of paint do you want? Some paint is $20 a quart, some is $200 a quart. Some will need a top coat, some will not. Some need a chemical catalyst, some do not. Some need a mid stage as well as a top coat. This adds cost for materials as well as labor.
- depending on the depth of the scratches, the amount of rust, and the type of paint, it may need one of several types of primer, or primer-surfacer, or primer filler, or etching primer, and you may or may not need a primer sealer, or a sealer, or an adhesion promoter. Some of these are $20 a quart, others are $100 a quart. Some require a little labor for spraying, some require a lot of labor between coats to level the metal below it.
I have painted cruisers for $300, and I have painted cruisers for $3000. So you need to go around to different paint shops, have them look at the bike, discuss what you are wanting with them, and see what they will charge you. All will cut you a price break for taking the bike apart and just bringing them the sheetmetal, but some will refuse to paint the bike if you do any of the prep or bodywork yourself. Count me as one of those shops. I would have no idea if you did it right, what prep materials you used, if you properly cleaned & degreased each part, if you touched the part with your hands and then sanded body oil from your fingers down into the paint/ primer, or any of a dozen other variables that can cause the new paint to not stick correctly and last as long as it should, and I am not going to risk my reputation on a paint job that may not come out right or last as long as it should because of something I have no control over.
Some shops will spray for you even if you do all the prep, but not give you any kind of warranty. Some places won't car if you do the prep yourself of not. Some will encourage you to do the prep, because they do not want to do anything but spray it and get on to the next job as quickly as possible.
Oh, Earl Shibe is out of business, and Maaco hates motorcycles, as they take too long to 'assembly line spray' compared to a car. As they are all independently owned and operated, each one is different, and if they are slow they might want to do it. But most will quote you a high price or just refuse to do it.