Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2008

Finding RAL Code

Q: I have a 2003 Indian Chief motorcycle and am trying to match the color for a custom helmet made in England. They need an RAL Code number. The only number I have is from Dupont. "L2093HL". Dupont was no help. It is called "Volcanic Red"
Any ideas?

A: Unfortunately, you might not find an RAL number, since the RAL system doesn't cover all colors in the universe of colors. In fact, I venture to say that most motorcycles are made to colors that have been designed by marketing teams, and do not have any relationship to the RAL system. This especially applies if it is a metallic color. For that reason the DuPont representative might have a legitimate problem in being able to give you an RAL equivalent ... there simply might not be one.

One solution is to get a sample of DuPont's L2093HL paint and send either the wet paint or a dry sample to the vendor in England. Alternatively, take your motorcycle to a laboratory that has color and gloss measurement instruments and ask them to give you the numerical values of the color and gloss level. Even then, there is no guarantee that they will be able to exactly match the DuPont color. If you send the sample to Danny Pasquale at, he should be able to characterize the color for you in a manner that will be helpful for a paint supplier in England to match it.

By far the easiest solution is to ask the manufacturer in England to simply purchase the DuPont paint and use it on the helmet. At least that way you will get what you want.


Ron Joseph

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