plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Black fasteners and hardware on Japanese motorcycles - late '70s to current
Q. What is the black surface finish used on steel fasteners, brackets, and such on Japanese motorcycles from the late '70s to current?
Perhaps I am looking for more than one finish, as some of the older fasteners started off rather semi-gloss black, but turn an olive-greenish color over time, while new ones seem to be closer to a glossy black, and don't have any tendencies to look greenish.
I'm looking to refinish many of these on an old Yamaha DT and Honda CBX.
- Mission Viejo, California, USA
August 12, 2012
A. Hi Barry.
Unless an experienced metal finisher is familiar with those exact motorcycles, you'll probably only get guesses. But zinc or zinc alloy plating of fasteners is very common, and black chromates are fairly popular. So my guess is that the earlier fasteners were zinc plated with a black silver-bearing chromate that discolors over time, and that the newer fasteners are zinc-iron alloy plated with a black chromate that doesn't use silver so it doesn't discolor. Good luck with the refinishing.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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