Surviving the Winter: Motorcycle Maintenance

Taking a little joy ride wasn’t the only time I spent with my ride last weekend; I also dedicated about 2 hours to some necessary maintenance that I truly despise: polishing aluminum.

20150213_223736Why… -just why on earth do manufacturers sell motorcycles with exposed aluminum!? From the moment I laid eyes on the sultry Speedmaster I was convinced I needed one; if only I would have known what ridiculous maintenance aluminum wheels would be. Normally, I would try to offer some “tips and tricks” regarding motorcycle maintenance, but under the circumstances I’m pretty much doing things the old fashioned way, by hand.

I climbed down into the basement, gathered my can of polish, a 5 gallon bucket, and some 1000 grit wet sand paper. With a little water in a Dixie cup, I flipped over the 5 gallon bucket for a comfy seat where I expected to spend an hour scrubbing and polishing a wheel. Thus far the only shortcuts I have found have been to use a “Mr. Clean” eraser sponge to clean the wheel, then lightly sand the really bad spots with 1000 grit wet sandpaper, then turn on the elbow grease.

Having watched a few YouTube videos I have been debating purchasing a “polishing ball” (or cone) from the local auto parts store in attempt to more efficiently get this job done, however I realize that there is at least one hurdle. I have two tone wheels (naturally…), so it’s critical to avoid the black paint on the inside of the rim with power tools. I have debated masking the paint off before I start that job, hopefully that will work; still, I’m hesitant because it’s flat black paint, it’s not like I can polish off the tape glue.

Certainly I’m not the first guy to go through the pain of polishing two tone wheels; if you have any advice to share, please leave a comment for the benefit of the masses.

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