From:Steve Ciccalone
Subject:Paint - Chassis and Wheels
Date:Mon Oct 29 13:14:05 2001

Nobody asked me but.....

In my opinion, any documentation regarding correct paint colors, codes and or schemes referenced from the Henderson Restoral Society should be taken with a grain of salt. This data was largely provided by Otis Spiker who personnally set back correct restoration of all Hendersons for many years with his concoction of "Balboa Blue" which is just about as right as a "football bat". I am fortunate to have several original paint bikes and parts from various years. The blue is so dark that a known true black part/chip must be placed against it to demonstrate that it is in fact not black. I have just finished collaberating with an AMC member, John Pierce for a very good match in modern paint for correct Henderson blue. He can mix it in both single stage urathane and base/clear coat. Anybody interested may want to call him at (603) 942-5610. I also offer as support my 1931 KL previously owned by one John Scharle and featured several years ago in an excellent AMC mag article by Steve Blancard. Although not original paint, Scharle brush painted the bike from several different cans of original paint which he bought in the 30s and 40s from old Henderson dealers. The blue is extremely dark.

Regarding the earlier discussion of original black and or two tone bikes, I have several dealer order telegrams which specify blue bikes with cream (wheel color?)tank panels. As many of you have probably seen in the Hen-Ex news letters (and some sales brochures), KJs were offered in maroon, grass green in 1929 and later sage green in addition to the Hen blue. It is also specified that a tank panel could be ordered at additional cost. There is no mention of black but it stands to reason that a special order was probably permitted if it meant the sale of a bike, particularly as the effects of the Depression were starting to set in. I'll keep looking for an order telegram specifying black.

Now with respect to wheel color I want to offer the following view point. Beginning at least with K model and until the 1926 Deluxe models were introduced, the bikes came with gray wheels with a single dark blue pin stripe on either side of the spokes. The gray, however, appears to be more on a dark khaki shade. I have three Hen wheels, one a 28x3 and the other two on an original paint 1924 Ex and a 1923 Hen. These are 20x3.85 or more correctly the 27x3.5s specified in the catalogs. The early 20s big Exs also specified gray wheels. The cream wheels came out with the 1926 models as stated in an August 1925 annoncement article in Motorcycle and Bicycle Magazine and as far as I can tell were used until the end of production. I have a 1930 sales piece announcing the new 18" wheels which still specifies cream wheels. I have looked high and low for factory proof of black wheels to no avail. If anyone has found that info beyond Spiker's ramblings, or under the catch all of "special order", would you please advise me. I like black wheels better. I have a paint code for the cream which was developed by a very conscientious restorer some years ago. Email me if you want it. Additionally, for your Ace buddies out there, Doug Strange and I compared original Ace and Hen parts and concluded that the Hen blue and cream would be right on the money for Ace as well.

I end with there is no such thing as 100% infallibility for any statement made regarding any antique m/c. I have been accused for many years of operating by the "SWAG" method (Steve's wild as* guess) but this is my best research to date.

Thank you for listening.