Frame paint for Commando

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Mar 1, 2007
Hello again. Has anyone used the Dupont Nason Frame and chassis paint on their commando frame. If so with what results?? I purchased several cans of the VHT Rollbar paint to test it and on a sample primed piece of metal I was not impressed at all. It chipped very easily. When I attempted to scratch it with a knife sideways it shattered and scraped off sort of like crystalized paint without any enamel type toughness. I purchased a gallon of the Nason chassis paint and tested it on a piece of primed meta after applying 3 coatsl. It takes it about 4 days to really cure up and at my last test yesterday it was getting pretty hard. It does not chip easily and it is a lot tougher to scratch. It does however have a very high gloss. It is an aalkyd enamel I believe and it is supposed to have great gas and chemical resistance. I am a bit old school and have decided to paint rather than powder coat. I am not looking for a show bike just a good rider. Does anyone know how well this paint holds up over the long run??? If it turns out that it sucks for some reason I will gladly use the gallon to paint my motorcycle trailer--Thanks for any advise and I will follow up once it has fully cured. It is a bit chilly down here and it is taking it a bit longer to dry. By the way it comes ready to shoot and costs only $37.00 US for a gallon. It is hard to get off your hands though like POR 15.
Nason is the low end trademark for DuPont (like our Omni brand). To paint an entire frame, it will probably be cheaper than to buy enough spray cans of VHT anyway.

Their chassis black (422-05) appears to be an acrylic lacquer but according to the MSDS does contain a small amount of alkyd modifier, not an alkyd so I am surprised it has much toughness. This product has no UV inhibitor so if the bike will be exposed to sunlight it will likely chip easily after a couple years. It is not designed as a topcoat. Since you are going to get a spray gun dirty anyway, you might want to use a catalyzed acrylic enamel.

I have a couple spray cans of the VHT product, but haven't used them yet. I am surprised at the lack of toughness though. How long did you let the paint cure before you tested it? Epoxies tend to take several days to achieve complete through cure. What type of primer did you use? Did it chip to the metal or chip down to the primer?

If you're going to shoot the frame with a "gun" I recommend PPG products; they're easy to apply and very durable. For rattle can paint jobs, I've had good luck with PJ1 Fast Black. In fact I painted the fork sliders on an old KZ 1000 using PJ1 Satin Black and did not have any appreciable paint degradation when I sold the bike a year or so later.
VHT Rollbar paint vs Nason

Hello again. Ron- I let the paint dry for about 3 days. The primer I used was dupont. I sanded the metal and cleaned it with acetone then primed it. I then sanded the primer and shot the vht over it. I was surprised at the results. Not what I expected from an epoxy which I thought went on thicker and cured tougher. I have no idea what Norton used on the motor and trannt cradle but I almost had to take a jackhammer to it to get it off and man was it tough. They used the same stuff I think on the battery tray. When I scratched the VHT it it shattered off easily down to and thru the primer if you pressed hard enough :? . I did however only have 2 coats over the primer. Please give it a try yourself and let me know what you think if you don't mind. I did like the color though. It was a nice pleasing low gloss black. Thanks and I think I will just cough up the money and get what you suggested. I can always use the other paints on lesser projects.
I've been doing some testing of paint because I intend to paint the frame of my BMW with spray cans. I tried an anti rust epoxy, but found even after a week it seemed soft and I could scrape it off with a fingernail.
I also tried VHT "brake rotor and caliper paint". I used this on the megaphones of the Norton and got a good result.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to use it on the BM frame now. It's got a good gloss and seems hard and chip resistant. I'm not sure what primer to use since it seems to be intended for bare metal.
I have done a little research into the VHT paint systems. It seems that all or most of their systems are epoxy or epoxy-ester. The adhesion characteristics of epoxies are such that they do not require a primer for properly prepared bare metal surfaces. In fact, best primers for most refinish paints are epoxy systems. If you want to prime, I would use a good epoxy primer.

Why are people having issues with these epoxies being soft? One possible answer is humidity. Humid conditions retard the cure of these types of epoxies. Most of these paints will not cure properly without a thermal cure. Pommie John, VHT recommends the caliper paint be baked 30 minutes at 120 C after air drying to achieve chemical resistance.

In fact, VHT recommends their epoxy all weather paint for chassis. I haven't tried these, but I plan on getting a can and comparing with the roll bar paint.

Incidently they also recommend spraying SP-101 white flameproof inside new chrome headpipes to eliminate chrome discoloration.
Ron L & Paint question

Another question Ron. If I use a catalyzed Enamel Black on the frame and engine cradle how much should I buy. Is a quart enough or will I need more?? HOW many coats of this do I apply?? And lastly should I clearcoat it. I just want it to look good. Not interested in show quality--Thanks again. You have been a great help--Mark C.
A quart should do the frame, cradle, and stands with two coats. Clearcoat is optional, it will give it a little more gloss and depth.

Two coats is minimum, depending on how thick you lay it down, you may need a third coat, but not likely.
Thanks for that info Ron.
Asregards the humidity, here in Brisbane we have very humid conditons for a great deal of the year so that explains why the epoxy paint seems soft.
The caliper paint worked well on my exhausts, so it's probably due to the temperature curing the paint. Maybe it wouldn't be so good on the frame.
I guess I should paint the frame with epoxy , but do it during winter when its drier.
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