Stock colour of a 1978 special.

I bought a black 1978 XS650E from the widow of a late forum member (@robinc) but the fuel tank was rusty and the side covers were rough as well, so I thought I would re-paint it in the stock green colour. Try as I might, I could not find any colour code or formulation for the stock Yamaha "Spruce Metallic Green" colour - although as has been said, it sure looks like a typical British Racing Green (BRG) which has appeared on many cars over the years. In fact, I had owned a 1994 Mazda MX5 Miata in that colour and the Mazda paint code is "HU" - which any paint shop should be able to replicate.

However, an amazingly generous forum member (@Gordon in nc) sent me an NOS Spruce Metallic Green sidecover which I took to our local autobody supply place for matching. They have a special colour-measurement camera system which can analyze the paint on an existing part and then match it using a library of paint sample - OR - it can print out the formula of paint shades which must be mixed to replicate the OEM part. This was all done at no cost to me - while I stood at the counter and waited - quite incredible.

It turns out that the ‘78E Yamaha Spruce Green is an exact match for a 1970s Opel (German General Motors) colour called "Ranger Green" - Code 33U - and so they mixed me up a can of U-Spray while I waited. It cost ~$30 CAD (about $4.56 USD at the present rate of exchange).


Before I returned the side cover to @Gordon, I tested the U-spray can of Opel Code 33U Ranger Green against his OEM side cover and it was, indeed, an excellent match. My plan was to do the paint job myself using spray cans and then a two-part (i.e. 2K) clear coat over top. Here is the label on the U-spray can:

Opel Ranger Green.jpg

When forum member @Jim offered to do a real paint job for me, I jumped at the chance and had the body shop place mix-up a quart of the same colour paint and I sent the whole shebang to Jim - and here is the result:

Petes Betty Tank.png

Sidecovers_Betty - DONE.jpg

...and it looks even more beautiful in-person than in the photos. I haven't yet assembled the bike with the newly painted tins - but it will be a stunner I'm sure.

One final note - for a superb paint job, speak with @Jim - he is an "artiste".


Thanks for the heads up on the paint code Pete are the gold pinstripes hand painted?

Nope - I supplied them to Jim who applied them before the clear coat. The complete decal kit for the 1978 E-model cost $99.00 USD (about $4250 CAD at the current rate of exchange - I splurged ;)).

As Marty says, you can obtain just about any XS650 decal or striping package at quite reasonable cost - or decals for most other vintage bikes - from a place in London, Ontario called Diablo Cycle. I have dealt with them as have many others and they are good to work with. They ship globally and they also have replica emblems which are really quite beautiful (I have seen them at the shop in London).

Here is their website: Diablo Cycle


I'm thinking most of the BRG's are a touch yellowish, that Yammie green is slightly blue.
Oh yes, there are variations of it. Just about every sprots car that's been painted in a nominal BRG is subtly different, no matter the origin. If I drop some coin on BRG I'll just go with a dark forest green and slap some gold on it. Close enough for culchie work.