The best ways to clean rust off of motorcycle spoke wheels

Updated March 23, 2017

Dealing with rust and other contaminants is one of the most challenging aspects of motorcycle maintenance, and depending on what type of wheels you have on your bike it can turn into a frustrating endeavour. If you're noticing a rust build-up on the spokes of your wheels, taking care of the issue only requires the right chemicals and a little bit of elbow grease.

Assess the Wheels

Motorcycle wheels come in a wide variety of materials. Your wheels may be made of chrome, alloy or stainless steel. Additionally, many wheels have been painted to match the bike. If you want to clean the rust without damaging your wheels, you'll need to identify what they're made of and what sort of surface they have before beginning.

Clean the Wheels

In most cases, a gentle wheel polish will be all it takes to get rid of the rust showing on your wheels. Apply a small bit of chrome polish to a clean rag or towel and scrub the rusted spots on your spokes vigorously until the rust begins to break up and fall away. If this isn't working, you may need to upgrade to a speciality compound such as Permatex Rust Treatment, but be aware this may damage chrome or painted wheels.

Follow Up

After the wheels have been scrubbed with polish or rust treatment, go back over them with a clean towel and rub all of the polish and other chemicals off. This will give them a beautiful shine and will help to make sure you've removed as much of the chemical as possible to prevent possible damage. Once the rust has been cleaned, be sure to clean your wheels with a gentle polish each time you wash your motorcycle.

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