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MOTORCYCLE POLISHING 101 CLASS IS IN SESSION!

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  • MOTORCYCLE POLISHING 101 CLASS IS IN SESSION!

    Hey all.....This is a tutorial I put up a few months back on a motorcycle website when I polished motorcycle frames under the name SYCORACING (Yes, I'm SYCO)! Of course, now I've started a respectable company called NAUTISHINE! But I hope you enjoy this little tutorial.

    *Beware, I think it does have some profanity*

    Just wanted to put this little tutorial up for those of you who've always wanted to polish your own junk, but are to damned cheap to bring it to me..(cheap bastards!).

    Anyway, class is in session, so shut the f*** up and maybe you'll learn something! BTW before I start, I'd like to say that this is the way SYCO does it...if you other polishing gurus have a better way, by all means jump in and constructively ADD to it, and don't criticize! Start your own damned polishing thread if you're gonna rag on me. Anyway, here goes!

    First lets start with the tools you'll need.
    1)Orbital sander (NOT for the newbie!). These are very unforgiving and tend to remove too much if you're not careful.
    2)Palm Sander (your new best friend)
    3)Assorted Grit Sandpapers
    4)Pneumatic Polishing Tools (grinder,polisher)
    5)Assorted Polishing Wheels
    6)Assorted Polishing Compounds(emery,tripoli,rouge,white)
    7)Easy Off oven cleaner
    Assorted rags and towels
    9)Dishwashing detergent (not pictured)
    10)Safety equipment (goggles,mask,gloves,etc)
    11)Liquor...lots and lots of liquor!
    *Note:I use a bench grinder with the different wheels to polish the bike instead of the air tools, but thats because I'm strong and massive! HA!
    12)And of course, a compressor!


    *Quick lesson: There are two portions of the frame. The tubular aluminum section (In layman's terms:the one by your knees while riding), and the cast aluminum section (the section under your ass while riding). The cast section is difficult to get smooth and shiny, so prepare yourself for battle!

    Prepare the frame by removing all the stickers and **** and masking off any portion that won't get polished.


    With that done, we'll begin by removing the anodizing from the tubular portion. This is the very hard protective coating that simply cannot be removed by sanding.For that you'll need the Easy Off oven cleaner.

    Spray liberally on the frame, being mindful of overspray. This stuff is quite destructive to paint,plastics and other metals (polished or otherwise). When you finish, let it sit for about 20 minutes. Go have a drink....and when you come back, it should look like its been sitting next to the Titanic for 20 years. Don't panic (yet).

  • #2
    The mess you've just created will come off fairly easy using a non-metallic hard-bristled brush.


    Now comes the fun part! Take the orbital Sander (or if you're new and/or inexperienced) please use the Palm Sander with a 100-150 grit and start the excrutiatingly tedious process of smoothing down the aluminum. Using the Palm Sander will be slower, but safer. Here, I use the random orbital air sander.


    As you see, using the Orbital Sander remove a lot of stock material, but leaves swirls and lots of em! These swirls were produced with a 120 grit orbital sanding disk.


    If you DID use an orbital sander even after being warned, then start to panic because you've already f*cked up! I should kick you out of class right now! But wait...because you've left some unsightly and deep swirl marks, we'll move onto the Palm Sander to help smooth things out.


    With the Palm Sander, you'll have to go through MANY different grits in order to attain a smooth finish! I go from 150 grit all the way to 600 grit on the sander. At 600 grit, the frame should be smooooooooooth!

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    • #3
      Now that your frame is relatively smooth, you need to make it SMOOTHER! HEY, NO EATING IN CLASS!!! Ok so, now we wet sand the frame. Instead of using just plain ole water, I use a dishwashing detergent with a metal polisher in it, mixed with water.


      Then start to wet sand it using 800 grit to 1000 grit


      This is a REALLY messy portion of the job. In the end, you'll be left with a stained frame, but will wipe off easily when you're done.



      OK CLASS...ITS BREAK TIME!!! DRINK UP!!

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      • #4
        Ok, bottles down class. Now its time to move to the Polishing Compound wheels. What, you thought you were done?! Heh, the nerve! Please note that this is the dirtiest part of the job, so it should coincide with the week you're scheduled to shower.

        I start with the black emery compound using a laminated sisal wheel. Its the toughest wheel and strongest grit compound.


        If you did it right (which you probably didn't because you fail at everything!), YOU should look like Al Joleson, and your frame should start to shine a little more.


        Afterwards, make sure you remove all the black emery residue so as NOT to contaminate the next wheel/compound. In this case the next combo is the Canton wheel with the brown Tripoli compound.


        When you finish with the Tripoli compound, you should be as dirty as a frenchman and your frame shoud start looking as though you actually know what your doing.


        HEY IT'S BREAK TIME AGAIN! Who's got the 7-up?

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        • #5
          By now your bike should be looking good, or you should be too drunk to care! Either way I'll be sleeping good tonight, 12-step!

          The next wheel/compound combo you'll be hitting it with is the Spiral Sewn wheel and the Rouge compound. Remember to wipe off the frame so as not to contaminate the rouge compound. *Useless trivia: Contrary to popular belief, you don't include the word "rouge" with every freaking compound, ya dope! "Rouge" means RED in that disgusting french language!


          The Rouge makes it looks SWEET!


          Hey, nobody told you to celebrate just yet ya jerkoff! Sit down! You have one more wheel left! Wipe down the frame one more time and get to work with the Loose Muslin wheel and the White compound. If you DIDN'T screw up, this should be the last wheel you use on your frame! BUT, you probably DID screw up along the way, LOSER!


          At this point, you can either stand back and praise your well-done job, or grab your 9mm and ventilate your head!


          *Note, if you DID screw up (ie you see small waves on your frame, its just not shiny enough, you STILL see swirl marks, etc., I hate to say it, but you'll have to repeat the steps from the Palm Sanding onward until you get it right. see? You SHOULD HAVE brought it to SYCORACING! But don't sweat it though, it takes LOTS of practice, patience AND soap!!! You'll get it right eventually.

          CLASS DISMISSED!!! GO OUT AND CELEBRATE! Hey, has anyone seen my tumbler?

          Now go in and take a shower frenchy!

          To view photos of my beautiful motorcycle, visit www.sycoracing.sportbiker.com

          Comment


          • #6
            That has got to be the funniest thing I have read on here yet!!! lol

            And.....it seems as crazy as this guy seems to be......he knows what he is doing, and he is right, be careful with that orbital, can be your best friend or worst enemy..

            good job Syco

            Comment


            • #7


              Thanks brother. I've been polishing motorcycle frames for quite some time now. I've just now moved onto polishing Nautical metals and Antiques with my new company called NautiShine (website will be up soon). I'll still do bikes if someone requests it nicely though.

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              • #8
                Some piece of work :O)

                Thanks for all the effort you put into your post. It's one of the best I've seen, and I'm sure will be appreciated by all. Keep up the good work!

                What ever you do, don't spill the VO on the bike...unless you're in the sticker removal process. LOL
                Jake

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                • #9
                  great post! what do yo use to seal the aluminum ?

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                  • #10
                    Don't even bother getting the inside of the motor mount "holes". As long as it looks uniform and not half way strip and polished and half way anodized.

                    And no, I don't recommend sealing (laquering) a motorcycle frame.

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                    • #11
                      Why the dishsoap? and about the orbital ,,absolutely,,,BE CAREFUL,,I've ripped my knuckles from the lobe many times ,sanding dump boxes
                      We Dazzle With Brilliance

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                      • #12
                        what would you seal fork tubes or rims with?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shine
                          what would you seal fork tubes or rims with?
                          I DON'T, so therefore I DON'T know what to seal them with without f*cking everything up.

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                          • #14
                            HEY,DON'T BE A MEAN DRUNK!(LOL)just trying to avoid repolishing every season! when i do something i like to do it right , from start to finish.
                            p.s. HURRICANE IS BETTER THAN 7&7 WHEN POLISHING!!!!

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                            • #15
                              A good coat with GOOD Carnuba wax will keep that shine intact. Just gotta keep the stuff waxed. Make it part of your normal maintenance routine and it's no big deal.

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