Author Topic: Polishing Rims  (Read 5470 times)

Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Polishing Rims
« on: December 15, 2012, 03:57:04 AM »
Polishing Rims

I was recently shown how to polish my rims on my Bandit (rear wheel) and then I polished the front wheel using a modified and I believe easier version of the method.  The following is my version of how to polish bike rims.  I did the GS500 rims using this method.

You will need the following materials, most of which are shown in the photo below.
PVC Tape
Scissors
Roll of Paper Towel
Paint stripper & Brush
Small Container to pour paint stripper into
Dish brush
Rubber Gloves
Mineral Turpentine
Autosol Aluminium Polish and some rags

I would also suggest safety glasses, I wear reading glasses for work like this anyway.


First of all you need to remove the wheel from the bike.  It is best to do this whole process with tyre on as you do need to manhandle the wheel and rest it on the ground.  Far better to do that with tyre on.

Once you have the wheel off and brake disc(s) and/or sprocket drive removed, you should be able tape up the inside rim edge where you are removing the paint up to.  You may need to clean the rim using some of the mineral turpentine.  Example below of rim with tape.  Make sure that when you apply the tape that you do not stretch the tape taut as it will shrink back and pull away from the rim, exposing the area you are trying to mask/hide.


Once you are happy with the application of the tape to the rim, put on the gloves and apply the paint stripper to the rim edge where you are removing the paint.  Work you way around the rim making sure to get an even application of paint stripper.  Only do one side at a time to avoid getting paint stripper on yourself.  With regard to a work platform, you can use a wheelie bin if you do not mind standing.  I found using a small stool so I could kneel more comfortable for my back.

You will begin to see the paint lift and bubble.  Standing the wheel up, use paper towel to wipe away the paint/stripper, use liberal amounts of paper toweling.  Keep working your way around the rim wiping it mostly clean.  At this point you will see areas where the paint stripper did not penetrate.  Apply more paint stripper as required, wait for the paint to bubble and wipe away using the paper towel.  You may need to do this one or two more times.  Using the paint stripper in this way avoids the need to use any other method such as sandpaper.

Once you have done both sides, it is time to rinse the wheel to remove any residual paint stripper.  Wash the wheel using the dish brush and water.  Dry the wheel using paper towel.  Then use the mineral turpentine and paper towel to remove the residual glue from the PVC tape that is on the rim.

Now you can polish the exposed alloy of the rim with the Autosol as per the instructions.  You should then get this result.

Front Wheel



Rear Wheel



On the bike





I think the result is outstanding and it really lift the bike.  Sure it may be a PITA to keep it clean, but I can cope with that.

Offline weedahoe

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 05:52:30 AM »
Very nice! Maybe a good clear coat would help protect it and keep it clean?
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Offline codajastal

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 06:04:19 AM »
WOW
I am not interested in anything you have to say
Don't bother talking to me, I will not answer you

Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 06:17:31 AM »
yeah it does look good, still smiling. :icon_mrgreen:  if anyone in the brisbane area wants to do it, I have all the gear and tools (obviously) and happy for you to come over and do it.  takes roughly 1.5 hours per wheel not rushing it.

where I got the original inspiration from at the Bandit forums, one guy did try clear coating and it went opaque.  the agreed method is to just leave natural and keep up the polish periodically.

Offline MaxP

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 09:41:41 AM »
Good stuff, looks great, thanks for sharing your technique  :thumb:

Offline Tombstones81

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2012, 09:01:01 AM »
very nice!
Yeah its nice and alot easier when the aluminum is painted over from stock like these rims.
Heck, I dont even think buffing them before polishing would give better results. (in a complimenting way)

But if your aluminum is either clear coated, or just Olddd and nasty.
Strip.
Wet sand (I go from 320 to 600 to 1000)
Buffing from black, brown, to white. (the colors in the kit I bought)
Usually do white multiple times.
Then polish.

Heres my recent results this past week on my rear rim.
Prolly go over it again buffing with the white and then polish sometime over the winter.

Before.


After (drum is chrome)


(edit)
yes its the same rim, just had the tire changed after the first day prior to being finished with it.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 09:03:26 AM by Tombstones81 »
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Offline peteGS

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 10:11:32 AM »
They look schmick, good job!

To clear coat, you'd need something good like POR15 glisten PC, but unless your coverage has not even one little pin prick they will tarnish under neath and you'll need to strip the clear to polish them.

I reckon just leave as is and give a quick once over after a bath with Mothers or Autosol or whatever.

This is what I do with my 450 crank case covers and it works a treat.

Again, good job!
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Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 11:35:09 AM »
that wheel looks very hot indeed.  Could alomst use it to solar fry and egg I reckon. :D

Offline mustangGT90210

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 11:37:04 PM »
Oh I just have to do this. That looks amazing! I can't believe they look that good. Makes me kinda think about stripping the entire wheel if I was running around with a show bike
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Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 03:43:02 AM »
LOL, everytime I walk past the GS500, I have to linger and look.  Its so easy and takes so little time and $$$ why wouldn't you do it?  Plus it doesn't detract from the resale. ;)

Offline mustangGT90210

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 06:35:50 PM »
I would think it would add to resale  ;)

May have to paint the wheels black and ditch the yellow though.... Oh darn lol
'93 GS - Clubmans - '04 tank/seat - Custom "slip" on - Airtech fender - Drag Specialties speedometer - GSXR drag bike grips - GSXR pegs - Lunchbox - Re-jet - Sold!

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Offline BockinBboy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2012, 07:33:08 PM »
They do look really good!

Now you just need to get some dynabeads in those tires to get rid of those weights robbing that extra inch of shine they deserve!

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Offline SAFE-T

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 10:39:30 PM »
:)

Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 10:57:12 PM »
I can report if you go riding int he rain, they get filthy and don't look flash. :icon_confused:  oh well an excuse to clean the bike. :icon_mrgreen:

Offline Snake2715

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2012, 01:27:39 AM »
Got a full side shot of before and after by chance?

Thanks for sharing.
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Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2012, 08:21:16 AM »
Had a look and presto, found some, sort of surprised myself.  Now bear in mind the before photos are from about 12 months ago so the bars, mirrors and windshield are either changed or there or not there.  Windshield, may find its way back, but maybe a shorter version to keep the sportier look I am going for.



















Hope that helps.

Offline Snake2715

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2012, 09:39:12 AM »
Hey thanks kind of wraps up the impact, getting that full shot. They look excellent, really. Nicely compliment the bike. I think in the end I prefer the all black look though I may come back to this once I have had my bike longer.
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Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2012, 07:51:09 PM »
Yeah I thought I liked all black and this being the commuter, it is all weather, any conditions riding on it.  With the black I can get away without washing the wheels, but then when I do leave it, it is so much harder.  with the polished, sure its a PITA, but every time I look at it I smile.  I've found an easy way to keep them clean now, just have the wheel spinning, spray on light film of "Mr Sheen" (silicone based furniture polish), then wipe away and polish to a shine.  Leaves a nice coat that makes cleaning easier next time.  Mr Sheen is a staple in the man cave, use it on the paint work, windshields, mirrors, visors (inside and out), helmet, lights, rego plate etc, makes cleaning bug crap off the bike/helmet really easy.

Offline peteGS

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2012, 09:33:24 PM »
Mate she looks good, definitely better with the polished rims!

Now I know what to look for on Waterworks Rd and around the shop here too  :thumb:

Unless of course you're on the Bandit...
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Offline ThatOtherGuy

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Re: Polishing Rims
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2012, 12:18:28 AM »
Bandit has polished rims too. ;)