Let’s start with some pedantry. Although some chrome may look rusty, chrome doesn’t actually rust. What you are seeing is rust from the steel underneath the chrome, where a blemish or chip in the chrome has let in water. Chrome rusts over time, so it may appear a bit dull if the manufacturer’s surface coating has been polished over the years, but it can’t rust like steel, that’s one of the reasons why it is use as
coating. Because chrome is a surface coating, there’s a lot you can do before you admit defeat – it’s not like a solid stainless steel exhaust where you can buff up blemishes until it shines like new. However, if you catch chrome bites early, you can minimize their appearance and prevent them from getting worse.
Why are motorcycles so prone to rusty chrome? clean motorcycle chrome
Because a lot of chrome from a motorcycle is sitting in the breeze and is an easy target for wandering stones to chip and then get drenched in water, whether it’s from wet roads or from a power wash. Road salt makes the situation much worse because it accelerates the oxidation process.
How to remove rust from chrome on your motorcycle, how to remove rust from chrome, remove rust from motorcycle chrome
If there are minor pitting and a bit of rust, you have a chance to salvage the situation. If some chrome comes off, it’s time to move on to step 6). This is the process:
how to remove rust from the chrome of a motorcycle: remove chrome rust
- Give the area a good wash with soap and water. Assess the damage. If there are flakes, go to 4). If not, continue with 2).
- Rub the area with aluminum foil and a little water. Some people are confident of using Coke, but it is actually the aluminum foil that does most of the work by having enough friction to create a bit of heat which then allows a chemical reaction with the aluminum to break down the rust (this appears on used aluminum foil). as a dark layer).
- Rub gently. Foil is smoother than chrome so it shouldn’t scratch the surface, but the idea is to use the chemical reaction to clean the rust, not brute force. If you want to use Coca-Cola (it has some phosphoric acid, so it does something), we recommend Diet Coke, it is less sticky.
- Rinse, clean, and repeat the foil stage on any stubborn bits of sting.
- Use a chrome polish (Autosol makes one) to give the surface a high shine and protect it from further pitting. Don’t forget that the chrome layer is very thin, so using harsh polishes will eventually wear it down. If the surface just needs a polish, a wax polish or glass cleaner is safest.
- If cleaning and polishing has revealed chrome chips or flakes, then that’s the end of the DIY process – you can buy chrome paints, but they are no match for real chrome and used as a touch-up, they look just like what they are : optimistic boasting. So your only options are to remove all the chrome and buff what’s underneath (doable for a footrest guard, less for a fork leg), send the item in for a recline, or buy a new one.
- Because many classic motorcycles need parts chrome plating, there is a thriving industry (ashfordchroming.com is a major player). But environmental regulations mean that it is no longer a cheap option and is often more expensive than buying a replacement part. It all depends on whether you want to keep the original