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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always wanted a motorcycle, but was unable to afford a new one.
So, when a friend of mine "moved up" to a sportster, he offered me a
pretty good deal on the VLX. It was in fine mechanical condition, but
he had neglected the outward appearence and body a bit. I am now
trying to shine and repair/restore it the best i can. I am having a few
issues though with knowing what to use to fix the problems. Below are
some pics of my problem areas. If y'all could take a look and offer up
some opinions on the best way to go about fixing them, it would be
appreciated....ty :D







 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mountain bike mike said:
i'm not much of a metal worker, but i could recommend professional cleaning and powdercoating. blacking-out all those parts would look slick!
i agree completely, and have envisoned the bike with Flat O.D. Green Tanks, fenders, and Side covers, and black powder-coated metal parts, but, as always, money is an issue, and to be completely honest, i have never been very mechanical (although im trying to learn) and dont know if i trust myself to start unbolting engine parts and such :oops:
 

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killer055 said:
I always wanted a motorcycle, but was unable to afford a new one.
So, when a friend of mine "moved up" to a sportster, he offered me a
pretty good deal on the VLX. It was in fine mechanical condition, but
he had neglected the outward appearence and body a bit. I am now
trying to shine and repair/restore it the best i can. I am having a few
issues though with knowing what to use to fix the problems. Below are
some pics of my problem areas. If y'all could take a look and offer up
some opinions on the best way to go about fixing them, it would be
appreciated....ty :D








Hey, for the rims use "never dull". Its polish soaked in wadding that is real easy to use, does wonders on rusty chrome(as long as its not too deep or totally corroded ya know). That side cover looks like the chrome is almost gone and will need to be re chromed to look good. It looks like the clear coat on the forks is all pitted so it would need to be refinished or polished(the forum gurus will tell ya how that works since im not sure). But for starters get that never dull(5 bucks) and go to town on all the chrome. The other parts maybe you can find on eBay off of a wreck, or paint flat black or something. Little here and there should slowly get your ride looking good. Remember detailing is a lengthy process that takes patience, but is well worth the time and effort!
 

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The wheels are gonna be the hardest things to do. Because you have to decide how far you need to take it apart. Like remove/replace the spokes and then paint or powder-coat(tire removal) OR just clean spokes/rims on the bike for example. Gonna be some work here either way. Take a look at the rear hub center as well....lots of crud there....it could interfere with the rear wheel brake operation....just a suggestion.

As for the rust in an unknown area I can't ID...looks like area around the triple tree. Use red "ScotchBrite" pads to remove the surface rust and then use some aluminum foil(and some WD-40) to help cover the affected area. It won't be as shiny, but with a little work you can hide the rust better. or re-paint with silver paint (rattle can).

The front forks and the side covers pictured...well, again a tough job. Do you want the natural color(aluminum) to the forks, side covers??? These pieces have a Poly-urethene coating which must be removed by paint remover/thinner before one can get to the metal finish. Sometimes one can use very fine grit wet/dry sandpaper and water to remove the surface imperfections....sometimes not. Looks like surface stuff(coating cover) to me.

But if your going to repaint/powder-coat these items...they still need to cleaned of oil, dirt, etc. on the surfaces. They still need to taken off the bike for prep and inspection.

Just a few things for you to use or look into.

Bullzeyet
 

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My fork lowers looked worse than that. Get a can of Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish, a bunch of clean rags, and take the front wheel off. Shine it like you're doing your shoes and before long it will shine like it was chrome. Then you can choose to clear coat with something or just leave it as is.

After I did this I went to gas up and go for a ride that night. At the station I run into two guys riding an 85 1100 Shadow and an 83 V45 Magna, and both of them noticed and freaked out at how nice they looked.

It will work on any of the Aluminum parts (sissy bar, bar clamp/triple tree, engine case?) on the bike and make them look incredible.

If you can't tell, I'm sold on the product.

Nevr Dull works well on rust.
 

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Looks like somebody once did a shoddy job at trying to polish those parts up and left it looking brushed. You can start on the aluminum parts with some 220 grit paper and work your way up until it is smooth and then polish the crap out of them. Easiest is to take the parts off and bead blast them then powdercoat. CHroming is more expensive but sound like you want to tone it down anyways.

At some point you are going to have to tear into it or you are going to have to pay someone to do it. Some guy puts these things together somewhere without much education or money on an assembly line. If he can do you so can you. Just take notes if you have to and keep all the bolts either in a bucket or threaded back into the holes they came out of.

Start with that sidecover. If it is like the 1100 Spirit, there is a bolt underneath it and a clip hiding just over the top backside. Rotate that clip up and pull it and voila. Start painting.

Think about getting your own powdercoater. $135 on ebay you can get a decent setup for the garage. Pick up an oven for $50 or less and set it in the garage (mine is on the floor under a desk). The powder is chaep.

Good luck with all that!

Gonz

Gonz
 
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