A common misconception exists concerning automotive/motorcycle paint. It is widely held that the color codes found on the ID tags of countless car bodies since the 1930s can be taken to any auto paint jobber and that he can from that number mix a perfectly matching batch of paint. Unfortunately, it isn't usually that simple. In the first place, the paint which manufacturers spray on their motorcycles and vehicles is not available for retail sale. During manufacture, paint technicians from large paint distributors would come to the factory and take samples of finished painted parts to analyze at their facilities. They then formulate replacement paint based on those samples. The jobber hand mixed paint that doesn't always match what the factory sprayed on the vehicle and motorcycles, for a number of reasons. As already emphasized, it isn't the same paint, for one thing. For another, manufacturers have more than one assembly plant in most cases, and samples are usually taken from just one run at one plant. Furthermore, all painted finishes begin degrading, color-wise (and candies such as Honda's 70s finishes the fastest), and this means that the samples taken by the paint jobbers vary considerably from the paint on our vehicles within just a few months. Add to this variables in application technique, humidity and material reduction (how and how much the paint is thinned), and the result is that color matching for repair and restorative purposes is more art than science.
The paint situation with Honda motorcycles is even more complicated. To begin with, as is the case with most motorcycles, after-the-sale paint availability has been spotty at best, with such availability having taken three different forms during the company's history. The first time, during the 60s, a small (about 3 oz.) can of Japanese-labeled touch-up paint (not the original paint use by Honda manufactures); The second time was during the 70s, when American Honda formally endorsed the product of an American aftermarket lubricants company called Lubritech, whose fork oil was specified by Ceriani in its early forks. Lubritech, much the way manufactures do today with cars, attempted to matched the factory paints for most manufacturers during that early (70s) period. The third time was in 1982, the product of the Los Angeles-based paint jobber (who simultaneously sold the same paint direct to the consumer) who matched to Honda's then new automotive-type color code system used today. Within a very short time, the company was sold.
To summarize, there are NO PAINT CODES with which to mix paint for Hondas made before 1982. All available Honda paint is an after-market product that was either closely matched or in known cases, simply sold from stock color by DuPont, PPG or HOK (not even close to Honda OME by today's standards). Even Lubritech's numbers are merely their part numbers, not part of a color code system. Honda didn't use anything we recognize in the U.S. as a standard automotive color code scheme until 1982. From 1982 onward, Honda does use a conventional automotive-like paint code system, however just as in the automotive world, the paints are available only on the aftermarket and some fudging is inevitably required to get a perfect match.
Vintage CT70 Restorations has quickly gained recognition as a leader in the early Honda motorcycle paint industry. Their Honda OME paint matching techniques have produce amazing results by trial and error reproducing the 60's-70's Honda OME colors. Today's urethane system is not the same process and paint used in the early days of Honda. Today’s candies are a 3-stage process that produces a much deeper metallic longer lasting finish. Vintage CT70 Restorations uses only the best available candies products and ChromaBased paints. They custom mix ALL their paint to obtain the proper shade while using the correct metallic flake size and colors in the basecoats.
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Honda's early Paint Codes and History