Our paint jobs are on many outstanding bikes that have won awards at Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club annual shows and other venues, including Best of Show & Best of Class in recent years. Typically we strip and sandblast all painted surfaces, repair and fill flaws, prime with 2 part epoxy, followed by a hardened primer surfacer, then we paint with either a 3 stage PPG Deltron for the candies, a two stage, or a single stage urethane with a clear urethane top coat. Our colors in many cases have been matched at PPG’s factory in Ohio for the highest quality color match and durability. In some cases we use House of Kolor products as well.A crucial key to an outstanding paint job that will last is to spend a lot of time and good material on the preparation. Rather than using a high build primer/surfacer which fills quickly, we prefer to use a urethane primer/surfacer that will remain stabile and shrink free for years to come. We also take time to let the initial clear coats dry and gas off before we apply graphics in order to prevent bubbles or flaws appearing under them.
March 22, 2021: Despite the pandemic, the shop continues to be very busy with paint jobs.
We recently took in a complete repair/refinish of a 1986 Suzuki GSXR750. Plastic repair and paint adhesion issues require a different skill set than working with steel. It is more labor intensive. These photos show some of the plastic repair, individual panels, and 4 overall views of the finished bike. Remarkably, 35 years have elapsed since these bikes were released. They looked radically different at their release. Now the integrated design components have stood the test of time, and time has been kind to them. The candy pearl red is breathtakingly expensive but looks fantastic in sunlight. I extend my gratitude to Single Source, my paint supplier in Baldwin, Wisconsin, and especially to Joe, who has been mixing some amazingly consistent perfect matches for many years.
August 19, 2019: The shop has been particularly busy this year with paint jobs.
The first two photos show a freshly painted Norton P11 body set waiting to cure before color sanding and polishing, and the last one is a ‘77 Honda CB 550 we painted candy blue and gold. I really enjoyed the color scheme on this Honda, and the client was as happy as I was.
July 8, 2019: Here are some pics from the 2019 AMCA/VJMC Nationals, which took place last month in St Paul, Minnesota. There were roughly 160 restorations at the show this year. It was a great show.The pics show our booth, the street tracker we flamed, as well as our 1998 Honda VFR Interceptor, which was awarded 'Best 90's Motorcycle'.
June 28, 2017: Check out this entry from Coop's Corner. A nice write-up of the recent VJMC 2017 Show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. We're including this in 'Paint & Awards' since so many awards are handed out for such beautiful bikes.
June 17, 2017: This a body set for a collector in Virginia. It is a true 3-stage candy gold for the '71 XS 1B. Between epoxy primer (one coat), sandable urethane surfacer (two coats), white base coat (two coats), metallic silver mid coat (2 coats), candy gold mid coats (3-6 coats), and urethane top coat (3-4 coats), there are approximately 13-15 coats applied. This is the only way to get a rich and correct finish on the candy finishes.
June 7, 2017: This is a fine restoration for a client in British Columbia. He had been having difficulty finding a automotive paint shop to paint the authentic candy green, which is a 3-stage top coat process. Metallic base coat, translucent candy green built up to match, which can take 5-10 light coats of the candy, finished by several coats of clear. Most auto paint shops use a 2-stage process, which has an opaque color coat followed by a clear coat. That does not allow the deep rich color of a true candy finish. Two stages are quick coverage for collision repair but not a good match for the deep rich original candy finish. There is no "paint code" for a 3-stage candy, because the painter builds the mid candy layer step by step until the correct color depth is achieved.
October 17, 2015: We paint a lot of body sets for Norton Muzzone at Legacy Cycles in Florida (http://legacycycles.net/). These are for a 1970 and a 1971.
tanks for Norton Muzzone
Here's a pic of some recently painted body sets drying in the shop:
Speaking of Norton, we just heard from him. He wrote to say:
Getting prepared for the Orlando Expo. Here is a photo of Lee Mitzel XS-1 (below) and trust me my photography does not do it justice. This to me is the best one I have ever done. Your paint job is just exquisite! No one better in the business. Thanks again you just keep making me look good. Take good care buddy.
April 7, 2014: We have been painting a wide range of antique and vintage bikes recently. Here are a few shots of a '37 Indian Chief which we prepared for a collector who wanted something that had the original styling with a color change to make it unique. It is prepared as all our work is and then painted black single stage urethane, graphics on the tank laid on, then clear coated and color sanded prior to the traditional hand painted pin striping patterns of the original. We thought the simple colors make the styling lines more apparent and flattering. If you like Indians we are happy to paint them for you.
For the last 2 years the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club has combined their annual show with the Viking chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America Nationals held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St Paul, MN. This combined show of 160 bikes over the weekend of June 14, 15, and 16 has been very well received by the motorcycle collector community. The VJMC had judging of the displayed 81 bikes on Saturday June 15 and the AMCA had their judging done on the morning of Sunday June 16. While the VJMC judges pick and award trophies in some 25 categories, the AMCA uses a points system which addresses each bike individually, starting with 100 points and then removing points as deficiencies are identified. An AMCA member must request in advance for permission to submit their bike for judging.
Our 1963 305 Superhawk scored a Junior First with 99/100 points.
We were invited to display our “Calendar Girl” bike at the International Motorcycle Show in January of 2013 at theMinneapolisConvention Center. The bike is a '63 Honda CB 77 Superhawk restored to show quality standard. The bike is called the Calendar Girl bike because it was loaned to the producer of the 2013 Minnesota Motorcycle Pin Up Calendar to be matched with models to create a coquettish retro styled calendar for 2013. The bike made the cover shot and the months of September and November, so of course I bought 10 copies. If you look on the floor next to the front wheel the cover shot is just visible. The whole episode has been a lot of fun. The bike is part of a Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club display that when placed next to the Antique Motorcycle Club of America array created a 120' vista of fine vintage motorcycles. It was a very well attended area in the show, with many times viewers 3 deep at the rail looking, taking photographs, and asking questions.
Over the winter of 2011/12 we refinished a few Honda CL 305 Scramblers for a collector inMinnesota. He wanted to have an example of the model in each color offered. We had PPG match the Honda colors and gloss of silver, red and the dark blue which turned out to match Newfoundland Department of Justice’s official dark blue. We painted an extra set of body work in silver to have spares on hand. Here is what John L. said about the project:
"Hi Mark! Just finished the red 305 and wanted to show you some pictures. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. The paint color is so vibrant - and the chrome, silver and black accents on the bike really make it look quite striking. I don't think the pictures do the bike justice. It looks much better in person. I'll spend a few hours adding fluids and making all the final adjustments before I start it up. I hope to get it going on Saturday if I can. Then.........onto the blue bike. I've put the engine together and mounted it in the frame. It should go together pretty quickly if I can get some time in on it. Done in time for the show? That might be a push. We'll see. John"
We are happy to paint any motorcycle. We have painted an NSU 250 trials bike, one of only 200 made; a BSA Lightning, a Suzuki Rotary that appeared in the May/June issue of Motorcycle Classics, and many others. This month (July 2011) we painted two complete sets of body work for a collector of Kawasaki KZ 900s. Here are a couple of shots:
In July 2011 alone our paint jobs won best in class, second in class, best antique, and best in show.A recent award winner is this ’47 Indian painted in a maroon two stage Deltron Urethane. There are acres of body work on the Indian, but the outcome is quite rich. In this case, the owner was willing and able to do the lion’s share of the stripping, sanding of raw steel, sanding of the urethane primer/surfacer, and color sanding of the Urethane clear. Here are a few photos of that beauty. It took second place at the British Biker Cooperative.
Another bike we recently finished was this 1911 Levis. This “baby” was deeply pitted everywhere and required a great deal of filling and sanding to make it ready for a show quality paint job. The frame alone consisted of 26 individual pieces all finished in black urethane after extensive work in preparation. The sea foam blue and deep chromium green tank was lined and lettered with gold and red by one of our affiliated artisans in the area.