but I wonder if a database of the correct finishes Chrome, Cad, Polish, Paint etc and also modern equivalent paint color codes etc for as many parts as possible might be an achievable and usable tool.
Thoughts ? While this is a marvellous idea - it sounds like Nirvana - where do I apply !!
But, the problem here is that someone has to do it. Its a HUGE task ...
I'd comment that I've got several books that approach this idea, perhaps peripherally a bit.
"The Development History of the Triumph xxx model" by J.R. Nelson
And "How to restore your Harley Davidson WLA" by Bruce Palmer.
Now while this 2nd book is obviously not on British Bikes, it goes into tremendous detail on EVERY part in a WLA,
to the tiniest detail. This is a monster book, it must have taken decades to research and write.
Oh that every bike maker and model and year was so well researched and published.
Very very very few folks would be knowledgeable enough to write a book on any model of motorcycle ??
Thats what these forums are for ?
You can ask the question "what finish/colour was the speedo drive on my 1965 xxx bike. ?
And you might get 10 different answers. And they might all be right !!
The NOC are currently revising their info on this for Nortons.
The current listing they have is decades out of date, incomplete and in some cases quite inaccurate.
I'd think it will be A LOT of work to improve it much ...
Duco was only used on some years of cheaper bikes - its nitrocellulose paint.
Its still available in India, and in limited supplies in the UK.
Enamels were widely used on British motorcycles, for many a year.
In tanks which were designed for DIPPING into !!! And then oven baked.
To replicate that these days is quite a limited market.
Modern paints have largely taken over the market.
Powdercoat is also getting some airplay.
Its not exactly the same (PU ?) its melted plastic.
Owners choice .... ??
Nickel ruled the roost for many a year, until approx 1930. (bit earlier for some specific makes)
Anything else on anything prior to that is probably quite wrong.
But that doesn't stop some folks ...
After that it gets trickier. Ask ... ?
May we ask what specific bike(s) you are interested in ?