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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remember before this site had trouble and had to be redone there was a pretty good frame polishing how to someone did. I checked the how to forum but no luck anyone have a link to it or have the page saved?

1,445 Posts
Note that polished alloy parts like frames to swinging arms to wheels is out as of 2005. Look at the bikes of Suzy & Kwacker being fully painted frames & s/arms with black wheels & you can bet your bottom dollar it will be the same with the '05 bikes of Honda & Yamaha. True it is my assumption,but not to often I am wrong.

i ride sideways
1,525 Posts
HOW TO POLISH YOUR BIKE (The way that worked for me)

Ok..heres how i polished my bike. I was quite pleased with how it turned out so i'll tell you what i did. It worked for me and i was pleased with the results. I decided i would make a write up like this so you guys could all get the info that worked for me (based on the overall good response i got). Feel free to print it out and give it to your friends or whatever. I should note polishing takes time and patience...all these steps worked for me...i was very patient and experimented with MANY methods..and like i said, this is how i did it.


Easy Off Oven Cleaner
Aircraft Paint Remover (if you are stripping the paint from wheels as oven cleaner only strips the anno)
Masking Tape and Duct Tape
Mother's Aluminum Polish


150 (for rough cast section on your bikes frame)


6 or so spiral sewn buffs
4 or so loose sewn buffs


Emery Compound
Tripoli Compound
Green Jeweler's Rouge (bitch to find see your local jeweler)
White Rouge


A semi-high speed drill will do as will a rotating buffer (not the type to wax your car with but the drill type ones)
Utility Knife



Step 1: Remove your side fairings, seat, rear fairings, and gas tank. Basically anything around your polishing area

Step 2: Tape anything that you don't want the anno off of with masking tape or duct tape. Use the newspaper to shield anything from the OC (oven cleaner).

Step 3: Get a couple kitchen sponges and a bucket of water.



Spray the oven cleaner on the metal of your frame to strip the "brushed looking finish" on the metal. This is the anno...the factory put it on to finish the alum.

NOTE: Anywhere the anno is left on your frame it will not polish.

If you are stripping your wheels....which have paint on them....use the aircraft remover. Brush it on with a small brush on the area where the paint is to be stripped.

Now....go inside and relax for an hour. Let the oven cleaner or paint stripper do its thing. The paint stripper may take longer than the OC so give it more time.

Once an hour has passed...come out with your sponge and water. Put on some rubber gloves (OC will bur then SHIT out of you). Take the wet sponge and wipe the OC or stripper off the frame. You will notice spots where the anno is still on.

Dry the surface then rough it up real quick with 220 or 150 (on the rough cast) sand paper. Spray another coat of OC or stripper on and wait about 20-30 min. Come back out and wipe it off with sponge again. You will notice the metal getting a black comes right off with towels and even easier with paper. Look to see if there is anno still on. You MAY need to reapply the OC...based on how it stripped the first 2 times.




1) Make sure the surface is dry.

2) start on the metal with 220 paper if its the smooth part of your frame (ie: the will have seemed smooth already, its the portion of the frame down from the fork neck area half way...the rough cast is very noticeable). Work slowly in a uniform grain with the horizontal. NOT up and down or all over the fucking place. Nice smooth lines.

Note: if its the cast are in for some fun. The pits in it will be HELL to get out. Use the 150 paper. Same motions...just sand all the pits out. Use uniform sanding applying the same pressure. Feel for high and low spots. Don't sand as much in the low spots or you may already be putting waves in your finish. Keep going with 150 till you get all the pits out (or it will look like shit in the end). Then move on to 220 as you would the smooth parts of your frame.

3) When you have sufficiently sanded with 220 (or 150) look at your work... Are the sanding grain lines uniform? Are the lines straight and all in the same grain? If not you need to go back and straighten your lines.

4) start with 400 now...same sanding method...just apply a small amount of moisture in the form of water to the metal. This will help keep your grains cleaner and more uniform. As you sand it will make a grey chalkey paste...its normal. As always when you finish with 400...check your work by wiping the glop of grey crap off and look at your lines.

5) Move on with wet sanding to 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000.
As always...when finished with each..check your grain and look for gouges or scratches. When you finish with 2000 you are ready to polish.


1) Ok...take your buffing tool (drill or buffer *not car type*) and install a spiral sewn buff with the madrel..crank her down nice and tight.

2) Take your first compound Emery (area of much controversy but it worked for me) which is in the form of a stick..and press it lightly against the spinning buff on the drill to apply the compound. Don't apply too much or you will get a residue.

3) Take your wheel and lightly apply it to the metal. You want heat..but not too much. Don't press hard or it will skip around and cause waves in your work. Slowly...keep it in contact with the metal (they way i buffed was actually perpendicular to my grain of sanding and i moved the drill with the grain...thus the wheel spins down on the grains of sanding to smooth them out and i move the drill back and forth wioth the grain to cover the area).

4) Look at your will begin to polish. Keep going till your whole work area is polished uniformly at this stage (your not done yet...still have a ways to go).

Note: Your buff will become gunked with comound and metal and will turn hard and grey. To revive it..take the utility knife and CAREFULLY hold it with the edge against the buffs will spinning it on the will clean the buff. Throw the buff away when it can't be cleaned.

Note: I also used a seperate buff for each comound...just how i did it. Don't know if it would make a difference. BUT..if you are going to use the same buff clean it before applying the next compound.

5) Once you are uniformly polished with the Emery...switch or clean your buff and apply the tripoli compound. Tripoli will make an even brighter polish than emery (still not done). Once again...look at the metal is more uniformly polished? If so..move on to your Rouges....

Note: Before you start with the rouges..clean your work with Mothers to get the residual Emery and Tripoli compounds off. Just wipe it on till it turns grey...wait like 2 min. and buff it off.


6) Pull your spiral sewn buff off and pop on a LOOSE SEWN BUFF. Rouges are lighter finishing compunds and in turn need lighter more gentle buffs.

7) apply the green jeweler's rouge lightly to your buff. Its very fine.

8) Now apply you buff to the metal as you did before. This time though...use lighter slower motions...this will REALLY bring out the shine. Gently hold the spin buff on the metal and travel back and forth. For example. Hold your drill parallel with your bike. Like point the fron towards the front wheel and back towards the rear. Hold the wheel so it spins against the metal on the frame. Keep will still notice some fine scratches just keep buffing till you minimize them.

9) Change your buff or clean it and lightly apply White Rouge to the buff....if you uise too much it will cause residue. When you buff with the white rouge on the loose sewn buff go VERY slowly and GENTLY. This is the finest compound you will takes the finest scratches out. Once again buff till it shines...only this time...go for glory. Buff till shes chrome...this is the last step (i have heard of blue rouge but never used it). Buff till its clear and scratchless (cloudless). Buff till all the rouge residue comes off and you get a luster.

Making it last:

When your polish becomes smudged or oiled up...just polish it with Mother's. If need becomes clouded..don't be afraid to go over it again with White Rouge on a Loose Sewn

Well thats it......i am spent. I guess the rest of the thread you can ask me questions or what not and i'll try to help. If i forgot any steps call me on it and i will edit it in. Like i said...polishing takes time and patience. This method worked for me and this is how i did my bike.

356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome tutorial exactly what I was looking for.... only one thing where are the pics of your polished frames?

i ride sideways
1,525 Posts
ah, ive never polished anything before, but i was thinking about it so i copied this from the old sbn board. sorry bout not sayin it earlier, but im not the original writer of that tutorial
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