SuperBlack - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Ordered one of the helmet kits in SuperBlack, and so far I'm a bit confused...aside from being a bit more silver looking when reflecting (TapeWorks black reflects back as a gold color), it isn't that much more reflective than TapeWorks' black. In very bright lights like headlights, both look about the same. Both seem to have the same viewing angles of reflectivity.

So why does the SuperBlack come with an extra price surcharge attached? Is the "regular" StreetGlo black alot dimmer?

On the plus side, the kit itself is alot of fun. I got this one, except in SuperBlack to match my gloss black Shoei X-Eleven (and cover-up a few years of dings and scuffs...LOL).

Kevin(aka "CalvinFold")

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 01:45 PM
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Re: SuperBlack

Apparently TapeWorks isn't the only brand that reflects gold. Thanks for posting, I thought it was just the kind that I got:

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SuperBlack

And even then, it depends on the viewing angle. All of this is TapeWorks (lower color is black):

PC800 #1
PC800 #2
PC800 #3
PC800 #4

You can just see the yellow tinge in some shots. In dimmer lights it looks gold, the brighter the light, the more silver/white it becomes.

This one shows the gold/silver effect...look at the bottom middle (floorboards) on my Zuma versus the exact same stripe higher up at a differenting angle:

Zuma #1

Here's the Burgie, Gold + Silver look in evidence:

Redshift #1
Redshift #2

I checked, and the 3M vinyl reflective black I just got from my bus decal guy reflects back gold-to-silver depending on conditions. Dimmer lights or diffuse lights look more Gold and straight-on or high intensity (like car headlights or flash) look really silvery-white (but not as intense as actual silver or white reflective material).

But here's the kicker...the StreetGlo SuperBlack is more consistantly silver (like 3M reflectve vinyl graphics material), which is good, but even it looks gold in really diffuse light.

I'm not trying to dismiss it as a cool product, mostly just dispelling that it is not that big a deal. I suspect if the StreetGlo product is made by 3M that it's simply a technology based on the fancier stuff made for the big boys who do vehicle graphics professionally.

Honestly, unless you care if there is a bit of a "gold look" under some lighting conditions, I'd save the surcharge and get regular black (unless the StreetGlo "regular" is dimmer than the TapeWorks regular, which I don't know for sure). I admit it was worth it for my helmet--much more stealthy. But on the bike in small amounts like pinstriping or small graphics, I wouldn't care.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2008, 02:49 PM
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Re: SuperBlack is different than regular reflective black

I read with interest this post. There are a couple of things that I want to mention about reflectivity
and the images of such.

First of all, most photos showing reflectivity are going to be misleading. You can not tell how
reflective an item is based on the photo. All you can show with a photo is how each material is
relative to another material. Exposure by the flash must be carefully set or every color will over expose.

Plain and simple.. and with NO DOUBT.. black is not as reflective as other colors no matter what brand, ours,
tape works, etc.. black is the least reflective and that's just the plain and simple fact. In any photo where
the black shows up even half as well as any other color, that is an overexposed photo and basically the black
is showing very visible because it is overexposed based on the camera averaging the exposure. To get a correct
photo, you must decrease the flash output 95% or more in typical shots.

In defense of reflective regular black, it has a surprising amount of reflectivity considering it's a black surface. I'd say
any reflection is impressive and in this vein, all reflective black sheeting is impressive. Some blacks may be duller than
others but make no mistake about it, they are all under performers. Go to our pinstripe page here: (yes there is an error on the page which I'll fix, but you can still see
the hand holding the tapes).. Have a look at this closely. We went to great effort to make sure there was no over exposure
so that our customers could get an idea of what is reflective to a high degree. The black tape is the dark one in the middle. If anything,
this picture is excessively hard on the black because it is quite reflective but not when next to the reflective top colors.

Now look at the picture below. This is a strip of regular black (all regular blacks are similar in reflectivity) black laid over a sheet of superblack.
Ignore the colors, this is a reflective reference photo only. The color tone means nothing, just look at the shade difference and decide for yourself if superblack is more reflective and if it is, how many times more reflective is it? 1x 3x 10x?

This is not a sales presentation. It's an educational post because I am concerned that some of you are not clear about what you have
and what it will do for you. Safety is much more than just buying some reflective tape, but reflectivity should be an important part of your
night safety plan and knowing just how reflective you are is paramount to you having a fair shake at safety.

I have reflective black on my own bike, and I've loaded the frame with superblack. And I feel safe, but I know that I am safer by combining other
brighter colors or using all superblack is a better choice.

There is a cost difference. The difference in raw material cost is going to surprise you....

For the cost of 1 square foot of superblack 12" x 12" we can make a 24"x24" block of regular black. That's why it sells for more. And with few
exceptions such as small decals, we do not factor in the real full additional cost on items such as speed stripes or mega flames. The add-in price
of superblack often less than what it actually costs to use that material. Not in all cases, but in many.

I do not want to undermine the value of regular reflective black. It is a better alternative by a long shot over non reflective black as a styling accent. And
while it can be considered the least reflective of all colors, it still has the reflectivity necessary to give you a chance of being seen on a dark road, in the faint light of those remote areas.

I hope I have cleared this up.

Bill Aggie

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SuperBlack

Well after using the Super Black, TapeWorks, and some commercial-grade 3M reflective viny; and staring at it all in the dark over and over for a few weeks (I drive by my Burgman in the dark on my security rounds 4 nights a week...plenty of chances to get real-world results), I wanted to chime-in on the Super Black.

It's only marginally brighter than the regular black TapeWorks product, and dimmer than the commercial product--at straight-on viewing angles.

Note that last part. What I believe is going on is a perceptual thing. The Super Black at oblique angles has the TapeWork product beat and is alot closer to the commercial product.

That is to say, I think the SuperBlack isn't much "brighter" but at off-angles beyond about 15-20°, and especially on curved surfaces, it reflects-back more light than the Tapeworks prouduct, showing more surface area, thus seeming "brighter." Well, in a way it is brighter...surface area is important to being seen...the more that reflects back, the better!

The commercial 3M reflective product is better, but it's thickness limits it's uses. Reflexite is a huge chunk better, but it has an obvious pattern. Solas is by far the best, making Reflexite seem dim, but only coming in white. Solas wins over Reflexite in the same viewing angle department too. Reflexite has a viewing angle a bit higher than all the vinyl products (StreetGlo, TapeWorks, commercial 3M), but not by much. But the Solas reflects at least some light at angles nearly parallel to it's surface.

So this isn't a slight to StreetGlo, I love the helmet graphics I used! But it think it is important to be aware and set proper expectations.

Hope this helps everyone!

Kevin(aka "CalvinFold")

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