When I ride I always wear jeans and I'm noticing that where my knees hug the tank the flat black paint job is starting to wear off.
Does anyone know if this is a manufactures defect or is it common for the 2010 SE? I know I can buy some touch up paint from www.colorrite.com
but I'd rather not go through the hassle if this is something that should be covered under warranty.
I'm in the paint business and am a factory rep for DuPont Performance Coatings / Automotive Finishes. My first question is - What do you mean by rubbing off? The paint used on these bikes is very durable and would be hard to rub off from simply rubbing against your jeans. Are you seeing some glossy areas where your knees / thighs rub against it? Or are you actually getting scratches from the rubbing?
If you're seeing shiny or glossy spots where your jeans rub the tank, this is normal (maybe not what you want to see, but normal). Matte or flat finishes have an additive in them that when cured causes the gloss level to go dull. Unfortunately, rubbing theses finishes restores the gloss and nothing short of repainting them can return it to a low gloss. Your jeans rubbing against the tank is acting like a buffer / polisher and shining it up.
There is an old timers trick you can try that I'm not sure I like, but will restore the appearance of the flat finish in those areas. Go to an auto paint store and get a 3M White Scotch Brite Pad. Make sure it is white, not gold, not gray, not red - these are too coarse. Take the white pad and rub it lightly on those areas of the tank that are now shiny until they dull out again.
There are two reasons I don't know if I like this trick. First - what you are actually doing is putting very fine scratches in the finish which, by changing the way light reflects off the surface, will give you a flat appearance. It also probably won't look exactly like the areas that are still flat around these spots. Second - you will have to keep doing it every so often because your knees will keep buffing those spots.
You could do this trick and then put mylar clear vinyl in those spots, but I'm not sure you'll like how that looks either.
If it is actually rubbing the finish off in these areas its undoubtedly a defect. It would take a lot to rub through the paint. If this is the case you'll see a ring around these spots where you've broken through the flat clear to the basecoat below.
Can you send me a digital photo of it so I can have a looksey?
I hope this has been some help.