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Discussion Starter #1
SO….. I wanna polish the wheels….like everything else Aluminum on the bike!!


What are my options? Remove wheel, chuck it up in lathe and sand out the machining marks…then polish with paste to “high luster”? LOL
Slightly reluctant to go to extreme, although want/feel need to polish the wheels.


I had this idea, started with some 1200 grit wet/dry and BY HAND. Need probably 400 grit to start with….lines are deep.


Next Issue is the paint on the inside spokes of the wheel…. Stay off it, or get rid of it?? Later might turn into horror story, I think. Searched and found old post where guys (re) painted the center. May do that.IDK



Feedback guys, anybody done it? All input appreciated. Idea’s/Experience/ Horror stories.

Maybe I'll get a pic here in a bit and post it.....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mark. That thread came up in search, although I didn't take the time to read 15 pages!! LOL. BUT, I did go and read ALL of it. I think I will send him (camo2) a PM.

Everything I have read is someone else doin the polishing for the author of thread. I need to get to the guy actually doin it ;-)

Interesting, your wheel is obviously much different than mine, and rotor is on other side. Did yours have any paint on it originally? I admit, I have never knew much about the T.

Let me go get a pic of mine to post here, just wait a minute!
 

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Thanks Mark. That thread came up in search, although I didn't take the time to read 15 pages!! LOL. BUT, I did go and read ALL of it. I think I will send him (camo2) a PM.

Everything I have read is someone else doin the polishing for the author of thread. I need to get to the guy actually doin it ;-)

Interesting, your wheel is obviously much different than mine, and rotor is on other side. Did yours have any paint on it originally? I admit, I have never knew much about the T.

Let me go get a pic of mine to post here, just wait a minute!
Yep, it sure did. Hope to get the rear wheel done this year of funds allow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here, for future reference.







Forgive me for the water spots on the Chrome....:eek:

 

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My rims (from the factory) are painted in the same spots as your front rim is. Another option would be to get them media blasted beforehand and then polish them up. I, however, prefer to leave that to the professionals!:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, might blast em myself. Then I could polish all of it. Hmmmm. Wonder if it would look good, where the paint is now, smoothed and polished. Last pic kinda shows how it's not really smooth now, therefore NOT ready to polish. It (I assume) needs to be ground down first (easy guys, I'm a machinist).

So, just so I understand...your first pic above of "tire-less" wheel USED TO have paint on the center spokes/hub? If yes, I'm sold on it. That wheel looks Sweet!

How about those castings #'s? I can get rid of them too, heh? Shop should still be able to balance it, right?

I gonna google this a little, maybe do it this weekend......
 

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You will have to take it to 2000 grit to get it to shine and to get all the scratches out of it.If someone will do it for 125 I would be all over it as I bought 200 dollars worth of stuff to Polish Al with and it still takes a LLLLOOOONNNNGGG time to get it right.Unless you are Just Bored let the Pro's do it.BTW Oven Cleaner will take the paint off the rims easily but it makes a mess.
 

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Well, might blast em myself. Then I could polish all of it. Hmmmm. Wonder if it would look good, where the paint is now, smoothed and polished. Last pic kinda shows how it's not really smooth now, therefore NOT ready to polish. It (I assume) needs to be ground down first (easy guys, I'm a machinist).

So, just so I understand...1) your first pic above of "tire-less" wheel USED TO have paint on the center spokes/hub? If yes, I'm sold on it. That wheel looks Sweet!

2) How about those castings #'s? I can get rid of them too, heh? Shop should still be able to balance it, right?

I gonna google this a little, maybe do it this weekend......
1) Painted only along the inside of the spokes.

2) Casting #'s are still there.

Keep in mind that I took mine to a local operation that has a VERY large shop that specializes in aluminum polishing/buffing:

Automated Wheel - Aluminum wheel finishes. Machining, Polish, Buff, Clear and Powder Coat, Painting in Cleveland, Ohio.

And, hard to believe, but there are not many shops in this area (MC or otherwise) that wanted to even touch this project for me...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is a good one Tim, appreciate it.
 

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You will have to take it to 2000 grit to get it to shine and to get all the scratches out of it.If someone will do it for 125 I would be all over it as I bought 200 dollars worth of stuff to Polish Al with and it still takes a LLLLOOOONNNNGGG time to get it right.Unless you are Just Bored let the Pro's do it.BTW Oven Cleaner will take the paint off the rims easily but it makes a mess.
And some oven cleaners will also eat the aluminium if allowed to stay on too long. I would have them glass bead blasted then polish. Too much trouble to polish not to mention how sore your finger's will be at the end of this procedure. I spent a summer polishing aluminium molds and it just downright sucks! So you plan on riding this bike or polishing/cleaning it all the time? I give this a thought before proceeding with this project.
 

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Here I am. Dut, da, daaaaaaaa!

Polishing those wheels is an absolutely bitch. I was happy to give someone $125 to do it. The guy that did mine sanded them down with one of those mouse sanders to get all of the machining lines out of them. Dunno what grit he used. Then he came back over them with a wet sand by hand. After that a dewalt grinder with a buffing wheel on it with two grades of polishing rouge.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Camo2. Didn't get around to sending you message, got tied up on this 83 I run across.

I think I'm gonna wait on the polish job, for now. I still very much want to do it, or send it off for $125,$150, whatever it is. If I could get it done around here for that, well I guess I'd just let the pro's do it.

H13man, I hear ya. Polishing aint really got any FUN in it, just nice results for years to come. I don't really know what to say about "polish it or ride it". I mean, once they are done, well, they just wipe clean. I won't need to really spend any (more) time keeping them clean. I wipe off everything forward facing on the bike EACH day it goes down the road, pledge and microfiber cloth. Believe me, I have done this SO MANY times, I timed it once. In about 15 minutes, I can "go over" ALL of the bike. Maybe because I never let it get (real) dirty. The P.O. chromed ALOT more stuff on this bike than most I have seen, AND I admit I use to hate that it took a few minutes to clean ALL THE FREAKIN INDIANA BUGS OFF IT. It's just part of riding it to me now.

All that said, I could be wrong about this. Am I missing something about maintaining the wheel after polish? Clearcoat help? After all, I think the top of the engine is the only true "polished aluminum" on the bike. All the other parts are actually chromed aluminum.
 

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Thanks Camo2. Didn't get around to sending you message, got tied up on this 83 I run across.

I think I'm gonna wait on the polish job, for now. I still very much want to do it, or send it off for $125,$150, whatever it is. If I could get it done around here for that, well I guess I'd just let the pro's do it.

H13man, I hear ya. Polishing aint really got any FUN in it, just nice results for years to come. I don't really know what to say about "polish it or ride it". I mean, once they are done, well, they just wipe clean. I won't need to really spend any (more) time keeping them clean. I wipe off everything forward facing on the bike EACH day it goes down the road, pledge and microfiber cloth. Believe me, I have done this SO MANY times, I timed it once. In about 15 minutes, I can "go over" ALL of the bike. Maybe because I never let it get (real) dirty. The P.O. chromed ALOT more stuff on this bike than most I have seen, AND I admit I use to hate that it took a few minutes to clean ALL THE FREAKIN INDIANA BUGS OFF IT. It's just part of riding it to me now.

All that said, I could be wrong about this. Am I missing something about maintaining the wheel after polish? Clearcoat help? After all, I think the top of the engine is the only true "polished aluminum" on the bike. All the other parts are actually chromed aluminum.
From Automated Wheel's FAQ:

Q - Are there any advantages to clear coating a wheel over chrome plating it?
A - Both finishes have advantages. Whichever finish is chosen is determined by what the end user is looking for: chrome plating is the high-end version and is considered the elite-looking finish, whereas a polished, buffed and clear coated wheel is an aesthetically attractive and cost effective alternative.
Q – Will the clear coat discolor?
A – No - the acrylic clear coat is formulated with UV absorbers and stabilizers to maintain its clarity. Once cured, the coating does not absorb contaminants that could potentially discolor or cloud the coating.
Q – How durable is the acrylic coating?
A – Our acrylic coating is very durable and should last the life of the product with only minor cosmetic blemishes due to normal road wear and weathering. The coating is able to handle material thermal expansion due to environmental changes and is resistant to most cleaners,
light solvents and gasoline. Note: It is not recommended to use abrasive materials such as metal brushes, sandpapers, and/or abrasive pads, or to hit it directly with a sharp object or harder material, as these may damage the clear coating, exposing the aluminum to environmental elements.
 

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I did not mean to sound snide but pretty wheels will have/should be sparkly all the time and with our sweet IN roads you will be a wipin alot to keep them that way. Alot folk compliment me on how nice my bike looks (stock) and it's lucky to get a wipe down once a month and bath twice a season. I ride about 7000 mi. a season while working 48 + hrs. a week. I guess I like the maintenance free riding the Spirit model offers. Believe it or not this was all considered when I purchased it though I wish I saw/knew about the "T" version before I got the Spirit but it is very good for "I" traveling due to the gearbox being different. You mentioned our IN bugs, I try to keep my forks tubes, windshield, and FF visor clean every day. It's a must.
 

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I've used several aluminum polishes over the years to maintain rims once they have been cleaned up. Mother's, nevr-dull wadding polish, Boms Away as examples. The best by far that I have used is Busch Aluminum Polish. The best place to find it is at larger truck stops. It is a popular product with the big rig drivers. Check it out here: Busch Enterprises, Headquarters for Premium Shine-Zone Products

 

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I did not mean to sound snide but pretty wheels will have/should be sparkly all the time and with our sweet IN roads you will be a wipin alot to keep them that way. Alot folk compliment me on how nice my bike looks (stock) and it's lucky to get a wipe down once a month and bath twice a season. I ride about 7000 mi. a season while working 48 + hrs. a week. I guess I like the maintenance free riding the Spirit model offers. Believe it or not this was all considered when I purchased it though I wish I saw/knew about the "T" version before I got the Spirit but it is very good for "I" traveling due to the gearbox being different. You mentioned our IN bugs, I try to keep my forks tubes, windshield, and FF visor clean every day. It's a must.
I don't think you came of as "snide"...

A little pretentious, maybe, but not snide....:p

And as far as maintaining them does, I did not have them coated. Been using this to polish and keep the shiny stuff shiny and protected:

Master Formula

Does a nice job, too.

The Busch product that Chill posted is also EXCELLENT stuff. Can be found all over the web for sale, but here is the website (with lots of good polishing info, as well):

Busch Enterprises, Headquarters for Premium Shine-Zone Products
 
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