How to Polish an Aluminum Motorcycle Frame

Written by jessica jones
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If your motorcycle frame isn't as shiny and new as it used to be, you can breathe new life into it by sanding and polishing it yourself. Remove scratches, old lacquer and debris from the frame is the best way to restore your motorcycle. By using different grades of sandpaper and a car buffer, you can transform your motorcycle back into the beauty it once was.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sandpaper #180, #220, #400, #600, #800, #1000
  • Wet/dry sandpaper #1000
  • Paint stripper
  • Car buffer
  • Polishing rag
  • Aluminum polish
  • Dry cloth
  • Dust mask
  • Rubbing compound
  • Clear lacquer (optional)

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  1. 1

    Cover nose and mouth with a dust mask. You will need to use the dust mask while sanding as well. Use paint stripper to remove old lacquer and wax. Use a dry cloth to remove residue before sanding the aluminium frame.

  2. 2

    Purchase different grades of sandpaper at an automotive or hardware store. Start with the lowest grade (#200) sandpaper. This grade is the roughest grade you should use when polishing an aluminium motorcycle grade. Using a circular motion, begin sanding the frame. Remove all scratches on the surface not made by the sandpaper.

  3. 3

    Switch to #400 grade sandpaper and begin sanding the frame. Remove all scratches left by the #200 grade sandpaper. Continue in a circular motion until you have sanded the entire surface. Repeat this action until you reach #1000 grade sandpaper.

  4. 4

    Switch to #1000 grade wet/dry sandpaper only after you sand the frame with #1000 grade sandpaper. Sand in one direction instead of a circular motion. This will remove any tiny scratches without causing new ones.

  5. 5

    Use a car buffer and rubbing compound to polish the aluminium frame. Follow the instructions that come with the car buffer to ensure the job is done correctly. Remove excess rubbing compound using a polishing rag. Apply aluminium polish and use the car buffer to spread the polish on the frame evenly. Remove excess polish using a polishing rag.

Tips and warnings

  • To help keep your motorcycle frame looking shiny, apply a few coats of clear spray lacquer.
  • Always work in a ventilated area to avoid injury to the nose, throat and lungs.
  • Always wear a dust mask while sanding or when using chemicals.

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