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If you had a classic Superbike that needed some cosmetic restoration/paintwork to return it to it's original OEM condition (or better), who would you have do the work? Location is irrelevant, as long as it's in the US.
 

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Find a good paint/body shop in your area that is recommended.
I used to build show cars, and specialized in paint and body (was ASE and I-CAR certified).

Before taking the panels there, first ask yourself if you want a restoration, or a "better than new" finish. Some of the determining factors are....

1. Paint quality.

A "better than new" finish opens the options not only for color changes, but also involves clearcoat texture. Although these bikes have relatively smoothe clearcoat from the factory, they do have some orange peel/texture. Ask yourself if you want an original finish, or a deep, glossy, wet look. You will need to tell the painter which you prefer, otherwise, he or she will clear it without much concern for texture, and will adjust his or her gun and technique to try to replicate the factory texture.

2. Do you want the graphics "buried" under clear coat?

While there is nothing like a deep, glossy paint finish that has been buried under a ton of clear, this is not correct, per factory OEM. On the 748/916 and newer bikes, for example, the graphics are clear coated over, but not buried. This means you can still see and feel the difference in thickness where the graphics rest.

Note that these tips are for an all over repaint. If you are only repainting a few pieces, you will want to match the graphics, as well as the texture of the clear. Also note that for a transitionless color match, all adjacent panels will need to be refinished, to allow for basecoat blending. Basically, the painter will blend the base on all adjacent panels so that your eye cannot detect any color variances, then reclear the entire panel. Often times on a motorcycle, this means an entire repaint, anyway, as there really is not much real estate to blend onto.

Questions to ask your paint technician.

1. Do you use solventborne or waterborne paints?

While waterborne paints are the latest thing (mostly because of limiting EPA and OSHA requirements), older Ducatis will have solvent based paint (possibly new Ducatis, as well). While it is perfectly acceptable to use waterborne finishes on a bike with original solventborne paint, the colors can be a little more difficult to match up perfectly, especially when dealing with metallics that tend to lay down differently in waterborne paints, than they do with solventborne. Still, a waterborne paint is thinner, and in more ways superior, to solventborne paints. Again, if this is a custom or all over paint job, this is not an issue.

2. What paints do you use?

Always go with a shop that uses a quality, name brand paint, such as House of Kolor, DuPont, Sherwin-Williams, BASF, etc. These paints will have a much better quality and color control, and will carry a lifetime warranty, if correctly applied from a certified paint technician. Note that House of Kolors only makes custom paints, and does not make any OEM colors. If you are looking for an original Ducati (or any other factory brand) paint finish, you will not be able to use HoK. I personally used DuPont Chroma series for all of my factory finishes.

3. Do you stand behind your work?

While this may seem a bit insulting, as a customer, you have a right to know. Simply ask the tech or body shop what their guarantee/warranted is. Most places will warranty their work for life. Combine that with a lifetime warranty from the paint manufacturer, and you have peace of mind in knowing that anything that could fail on the paint will be covered free of charge, for as long as you own the bike.

4. Look for the ASE or I-CAR Gold Star certification. Likewise, research reviews on your local body shop.

5. Can you digitize the factory paint?

Many shops are set up where they can digitize the paint for a color match.... all they need are a few square inches of paneling to digitize, and they have a formula showing exactly how much of each color to add, to make a correct color match. If not, then they will have ot do a few let-down/spray out panels to compare color and metamerism, for a good color match. Again, this is for a blend only, and is not necessary for an entire repaint.

Lastly, you will need to know if any part has been repainted before. ASE (body refinishing) states that a factory paint job can be simply sanded to achieve a mechanical bite, then repainted over the factory finish, however, a repaint must be sanded off before additional paint is to be applied. On a 2-stage (base and clear) paint job, the paint is not to exceed 25mil paint thickness, 35mil for a tri-stage pearls, flakes, candy, etc.) Note: "mil thickness" is not short for millimeters. You do not have a one inch thick paint job on your bike. ?


One other note: If the shop does a spray out pannel, I would ask if I could keep that as well. Often times the paint shop will just let you have it, and is pretty cool to have around, in case you ever need to repaint the bike or parts of the bike again. Furthermore, se if you can get a printout of the paint formula, for your records. Stick it in your build book. It will be nice to have for your records, and you can reference it the next time you need to have paint done.
 

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Matt
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Finding a good painter is like finding a good doctor, except it’s more important :)

I’d recommend Artistimo in Wisconsin. Jason’s a top notch painter and a great guy.
 

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You forgot two things.
Previous repairs possibly will need rework on plastic Ducati parts. Ducati plastic doesn’t repair well.
ANY repaired plastic SHOULD be finished on the inside of the part to LOOK EXACTLY AS THE ORIGINAL PART WAS FINISHED. Something car painters NEVER do. This is the ONLY way a TRUE restoration is done. Don’t have a heart attack when the quote is far higher than expected.
 

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You forgot two things.
Previous repairs possibly will need rework on plastic Ducati parts. Ducati plastic doesn’t repair well.
ANY repaired plastic SHOULD be finished on the inside of the part to LOOK EXACTLY AS THE ORIGINAL PART WAS FINISHED. Something car painters NEVER do. This is the ONLY way a TRUE restoration is done. Don’t have a heart attack when the quote is far higher than expected.

True, provided body repairs are required. I can show you a nightmare "repair" job, personally.
 

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How NOT to repair a front fairing! 20190717_182301_1563402298875.jpg

Yup, seat cowl looks legit. ?‍♂
20190717_182416_1563402332417.jpg

But at least the guy used strands of carbon fiber, which is lighter than fiberglass (which is still the absolute "wrongest" way to fix this!) I suppose that makes this a 748L Superleggera? ???

20190717_182343_1563402437572.jpg

(Note: The wiring is not his doing, but mine. I installed a sequential taillight, and wanted to do a factory style wiring harness that utilizes the OEM connector. This means that I had to run an additional wire to the signal wires, which I will be running into the taillight harness, for a 100% OEM appearance, all while maintaining "plug-and-play" capabilities.)

I will be replacing the nose section, as they are readily available, and cheap enough. I will also be changing out the tail section to a monoposto, so the biposto seat cowl will not be a concern for me.
 

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I had Sean @ CCRBike.com do the paint and repair on my 998R panels. I had the side panels repaired and resprayed and cleared, nose brought back up to OEM, mirrors repaired and refinished and a Corsa Garage tail painted like OEM. I also had some other DP carbon parts refinished to get them glossy and wet looking again. Everything turned out super nice; I've attached a picture of one of the repaired areas on the right side panel at the clutch. I also have a pic of the bike in the sun; the only thing missing from that one is the tail since it just showed up last night.

It definitely took a lot of time to get everything done but I'm thrilled with it. Only downside is that I'm scared to ride it now...
 

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Ducati paint was never “wet look”. Thick yes but not Harley show bike. The biggest giveaway to superbike monoposto tail is the tape line under the number board strip on the tail. Most, if not all, painters can’t or won’t do it as per the factory which has a line or paint edge and some air pockets visible under stripe. Decals are another thing. Very few suppliers can get the colors correct. Buying TRUE period correct decal from www. is more a miss than hit affair. I’ve just done a RGV Pepsi that the customer bought his own decals from .........To say they were garbage is an understatement.
I refuse to finish a job with any decals that aren’t correct. Reason is that a spectator will never ask how much was the job but ask who painted it. It’s just a thing I have.
 

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Ducati paint was never “wet look”. Thick yes but not Harley show bike. The biggest giveaway to superbike monoposto tail is the tape line under the number board strip on the tail. Most, if not all, painters can’t or won’t do it as per the factory which has a line or paint edge and some air pockets visible under stripe. Decals are another thing. Very few suppliers can get the colors correct. Buying TRUE period correct decal from www. is more a miss than hit affair. I’ve just done a RGV Pepsi that the customer bought his own decals from .........To say they were garbage is an understatement.
I refuse to finish a job with any decals that aren’t correct. Reason is that a spectator will never ask how much was the job but ask who painted it. It’s just a thing I have.
Correct. As I stated, such a finish is the decision of the owner, if he or she wants a "wet," or OEM finish. And while the stripe is clear coated over, there is a visible edge in the clearcoat that can be felt as well as seen. I had discussed this in my original response. And while I have no reason to doubt you on the tail section number plate stripe, I do know that my 1997 monoposto does not have any bubbles in it, only the hard clear line. Mind you, mine (as all 1997's were intended to, if I am not mistaken) was originally a biposto converted to a monoposto from either Ducati or the dealership, so that may be the reason for this. If I am not mistaken, all 1997's were to be bipostos, however, dealers already had taken orders for some monos, so Ducati fulfilled these orders, either by dealership conversions, or factory monopostos. Do not take this as the gospel, as this is only what I have been told, but I do know that mine was in fact a factory or dealer monoposto conversion, and has no air bubbles in the stripe.
 
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