Shine On with these Motorcycle Chrome Polishing Tips

By Fix My Hog

If you don’t know what you’re doing when battling burned rubber, blue chrome, dull spots or scratches, it can be easy to turn a small imperfection into an enormous eyesore. So when you want your motorcycle looking its shining best, it pays to do your chromework! Find out the right ways to put the sparkle back in your cycle by checking out these chrome polishing and maintenance techniques from the experts at Fix My Hog.

How to Remove Burned Rubber

If someone accidentally puts their rubber boot heel or sneaker sole on your exhaust pipe, here are some guidelines to follow:

Try to remove the rubber from the pipe as quickly as possible.
Often you can just wipe soft, fresh rubber away with a clean cloth if you catch it as soon as it happens. Fold the cloth over after each pass so that you don’t smear hot rubber all over the pipe.

Always try any new product on a discreet location of the exhaust like the inner part where the exhaust bracket mounts.

If you’re unable to immediately wipe away the rubber, there are a variety of non-flammable penetrating oils (often contained in cotton wadding) that can clean away staining. If you are unfamiliar with the product you’re using, be sure to test it on an area of the pipe that isn’t exposed.

Remove product residue before starting your motorcycle.

Once you see the stain start to lift from your chrome, wipe the product off with a clean cloth. Product chemicals will bake into the chrome if you don’t wipe them away completely.

NEVER use these methods to remove rubber

  • Razor Blades
  • Brillo or Scotch Bright Pads
  • Reheating surface to soften hard rubber

How to Tackle Blue Chrome

When heat penetrates from the inner wall of your exhaust pipe to the outside chrome surface, your chrome will discolor and turn blue. Here are a few tips to combat blue chrome:

Get product recommendations and try before you buy!
There are a variety of products and tools that can help you rub out some of the bluing, but there’s no need to rush out and buy them all! Talk to people you know and ask for recommendations. If you ask nicely, they may even let you borrow some of their favorite product.

Products that can Help Restore Luster to Blue Chrome:

  • 3-inch orbital buffer with a cutting pad
  • Cutting compound
  • Metal polish
  • Chrome polish
  • Metal sealer

Remove product residue before starting your motorcycle.

Again, if you leave polish on the chrome surface and it gets hot, the chemicals will bake into the chrome, and chances are you’ll be left with a stain.

Understand there is no quick fix for extremely blue chrome.

You’ll unfortunately never be able to return extremely blue chrome back to its original luster. When this happens, the chrome plating itself has literally burned off, and the gold- and blue-colored metal you see is the nickel that’s left in the chrome plating process. In these instances, your options are to live with discoloration or to have your component rechromed.

Did you know…Seeing a lot of bluing in the muffler section of your exhaust may be a sign your motorcycle isn’t tuned properly.

How to Handle Scratches and Dull Spots

If you have a dull spot or happen to use something too aggressive that leaves scratches in your chrome surface, there’s unfortunately no way to polish it out. Polishing will only remove more chrome plating and expose more of the underlayment materials.

In these situations your options are to deal with the damage, replace the chrome component or have the product rechromed. Most times it’s cheaper to buy a replacement chrome component than to remove the chrome component from the motorcycle and having it rechromed.

For more tips on motorcycle chrome polishing, check out this helpful video from Fix My Hog:

To get even more valuable motorcycle maintenance tips, check out these helpful Sturgis Rider® News articles:

Do you have any other great motorcycle chrome polishing tips? Share them in the comments below!

About Fix My Hog
Fix My Hog is dedicated to people who love motorcycles but don’t know what to do with a wrench. The website contains an extensive collection of high-quality Harley-Davidson motorcycle maintenance and repair and videos presented by master HD Technician Bob LaRosa. Learn more about Fix My Hog here.