The color and finish of motorcycles differ vastly from model to model and make to make. The two notable paint finishes are – matte and glossy.
Of course, you and I are going to have our preferences. Which paint color (did I say I owned a Matte Marvel Blue – Honda Unicorn long back?), which finish, what kind of look – not only for aesthetics but also for maintenance.
So, glossy vs matte finish paint, which is better for motorcycles?
Glossy finish paints are more durable since they have more microns, depth, and thickness. The glossy finish is also easy to clean and scratches can be removed easily.
However, matte paint provides better finishing on edges and has a large variety of options.
That’s the gist. For a long answer with the pros and cons of each of these finishes – let’s dig in.
Glossy Finish Paint
Glossy finish paints, as the name suggests, are shiny color paints.
The motorcycles painted using a glossy finish are going to have shiny paint surfaces.
Glossy finish paints are more durable since they have more microns, depth, and thickness. The glossy finish is also easy to clean and scratches can be removed easily
First, the main advantage is – the scratches on the glossy paint surface can be removed easily.
Any scratches on the paint surfaces on the motorcycle (especially on the fuel tank) can be removed by using a scratch remover or buffing or using Teflon.
This is a distinct advantage of glossy finish paint since scratches on matte paints are difficult to remove.
Second, glossy finish paint usually has more microns, depth, and thickness than matte finish paint.
In other words, the thickness is higher in a glossy finish.
How is that useful though?
If there is a dent on the motorcycle surface, the paint won’t crack and come out to show the component material.
The color or paint would remain intact.
And most of the time, the paint actually makes the small dents invisible, unless you look at the dent carefully.
Another advantage of such a thick layer of glossy paint finish is – even if you don’t take care of the motorcycle paint, i.e., not parking on shades, not maintaining the color, etc., the color won’t fade away easily.
Third, gloss paint is easy to clean.
All you need is a cloth and you can use it to remove the dirt on the painted components of your motorcycle.
Even aesthetically, gloss paint is pleasing to the eye. As long as the motorcycle manufacturers are not using whacky colors, the glossy paint finish provides a pleasing aesthetics to your motorcycle.
The biggest downside of glossy finish paint is that it attracts dirt easily.
If you ride in a dusty area, the dust and dirt accumulate on the surface and make the painted components look shabby.
You constantly need to clean the paint with water or a microfiber cloth.
Next, although scratches are easily removable on glossy paint, they are highly visible during the time they stay. The scratches are visible even from a distance.
So, the maintenance is easy, but till the time you clean the scratches, it looks bad on the bike.
Lastly, glossy finish paint doesn’t age well.
As your motorcycle gets older, the swills and the webbings from the cleaning become highly visible on the painted surfaces.
As a result, these swills and webbings make the color paint look unclean.
Here is the summarized version of the pros and cons of glossy finished paints.
- scratches on the paint surface can be removed easily.
- has more microns, depth, and thickness
- color won’t fade away easily.
- easy to clean.
- attracts dirt easily
- swills and the webbings from the cleaning become highly visible on the painted surfaces.
Matte Finish Paint
Matte finish paints are used when smooth finishing is required on the edges with the color spread evenly.
Matte finish also provides a large variety of options for both the manufacturer and the rider if going for repainting the components.
First, the main advantage is scratches on matte color paint are not easily visible.
Unlike a glossy finish, where you need to constantly clean the scratches, the matte color does not require much maintenance. The scratches are not easily visible.
Second, the matte color finish provides a large variety of options.
For the manufacturer as well as the rider if going for repainting.
The various options like matte black finish, carbon black finish, etc. give a large collection of paint finishes to choose from for painting and repainting.
Third, the webbings and swills formed from cleaning the motorcycle paint with a cloth will not be visible in matte finish paints.
As a result, even if the motorcycle has become old, the paint still looks fresh since these webbing and swills are not visible in a matte finish.
Lastly, matte finish paint provides smooth painting on the edges with color spread evenly.
The matte finish paint covers the curvy places and the edges really well with minimal imperfections. The overall fit and finish on intricate and complicated components will be really smooth when painted with a matte color finish.
The main disadvantage of matte finish paint is that scratches cannot be removed easily from the paint.
The scratches are not visible, but they won’t get removed and are always present on the surface.
Especially the on-surface major scratches cannot be removed. Buffing is also not possible. Even if you carry on with buffing, the finish will no longer remain matte finish, but it will end up as a glossy finish.
Since dents or scratches cannot be removed on matte finish paints, some riders use new paint on the scratched parts. But, this makes it even worse as the newly coated paint will look distinctive from the pre-existing paint.
The next disadvantage, matte finish paint does not have the thickness or depth that a glossy finish paint has.
In other words, matte finish paint has fewer microns when compared to glossy finish paint.
The consequence of such low paint depth and thickness is the paint gets removed whenever the scratches or dents are deep. The paint removal will make the motorcycle look really ugly. So, you always need to look out for deep scratches and dents if you have a matte paint finish.
Lastly, any type of oil, smudge, or grease spilled will leave a highly visible mark on matte finish paint surfaces. As a result, you constantly need to clean the motorcycle if there is any spillage of oil and grease on the painted components.
Here is the summarized version of the pros and cons of matte-finished paints.
- scratches on matte color paint are not easily visible.
- provides a large variety of options for both the manufacturer and the rider if going for repainting
- webbing and swills formed from cleaning the motorcycle paint with a cloth will not be visible
- provides smooth finishing on edges with color spread evenly
- scratches cannot be removed easily from the paint.
- does not have high thickness or depth
- any type of oil, smudge, or grease spilled will leave a highly visible mark
While glossy finish paint is considered to be durable due to its thickness and depth, matte comes with a different set of color and finishing options.
Both these paint finishes have their advantages and disadvantages.
But personally, for motorcycles, I would prefer a glossy finish.
Which one would you choose for your motorcycle?
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