I am considering purchase of 2018 Canadian model, present owner tells me the surface was covered with Scotch ceramic coat. at purchase. I have yet to see the cycle as it is 500 miles away and presently Canadian winter like conditions. The owner stores his FJR outdoors in the winter, telling me that it is well covered for the winter conditions (annual snowfall amount of 48cm/18 inch). Summer storage is covered garage, out of sun. My question is regarding the matte Phantom blue paint - durability, surface care, effect of insect impact/splatter on the paint.
Since you asked... This is my opinion and experience.
I own an '18 matte phantom blue. While it looks great when it all detailed up, the matte paint is not something I will do (ever) gain, on anything.
It's all about how you like to keep your bike. Some owners don't care about how the bike looks, and some don't even ever clean the bikes, so in that case it's not a problem. If you like to keep your bike clean and detailed, read on...
The thing about the matte paint is that unlike a clear coated color, when any little thing happens to that paint, there's simply nothing you can do about it. If there's ever any little scratch, rock nicks (lots of those on the f on of the fairing showing white under them), scuffs, road debris or bird shit that gets on the paint and leaves a stain, yes it absorbs stuff, there's absolutely nothing you can do you to that paint except just keep the bike clean. There's no touching up of buffing things off. Even rain leaves stains - I have experienced all of that and have found no solutions even with numerous 'matte paint' marketed cleaners, simply clean it as best you can, and move on - that's what I've done and I simply just do the best I can regarding detailing.
One other thing that I have noticed as well is that the areas on the two sides of the tank that knees are close to when riding are now getting a sheen from the friction. Had I known to expect this I would have purchased some tank pads for the sides.
About the ceramic coating that this fella put on the bike, it would be interesting to see how it protects that paint.
I've been curious about that ceramic coating protection, but I have not received any concrete feedback as to how it works on matte paint, of whether now it would be too late. At one point early on and owning it when I started to realize what was going to happen with this paint, I thought it might not be a bad idea to put a clear coat on it. That's definitely too late now.
If none of that is an issue for you, it's a beautiful color otherwise, and the FJR is a great bike.
It's just that paint...don't let that deter you from owning a great bike