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How to Clean Your Harley Davidson Chrome

Updated on September 11, 2010

Harley Davidson owners have a lot of pride. Whether you drive a classic Harley Davidson Screamin Eagle or the cheapest of the current range - the Harley Davidson 883 - you can be sure the owners has been polishing the chrome and dusting off the metal at some point.

Of course, it is not always easy to get the finish you desire, especially on older chrome pieces which tarnish over the years of use and weathering. Chrome is a electrolysis procedure to complete and if done properly should not peel off.

There are specific products designs to treat older chrome that has tarnished and these will be best to see before attempting a regular clean yourself, some products are not suitable for chrome due to their own chemical make up, so always check the packaging before purchase.

Clean Chrome Motorcycle Guide

Chrome is an after-finish similar to paint, for it to sit right it needs a clean surface underneath and a protective surface on top. So the first step to a good chrome finish is to clean it. You should do all these on a cool dry day. Shade is good, direct sunlight is bad, garages are also good for this as well as cleaning at dusk or dawn if the other options are not available.

Clean your motorcycle as normal, use a dedicated exterior cleaner for a good result, car cleaning and motorcycle cleaning material is similar, so don't pay over the odds for the manufacturer to delete car and type motorcycle on the front of their cleaning product. Be sure to scrub away any imperfections and remove defects as much as possible, you don't want to be going over Jonny the fly later on.

The next step is to dry it off throughly.  A wet surface doesn't allow us to go the extra length in achieving a perfect finish after cleaning it. Use a chamois leather wipe is best for this job or a synthetic alternative.

Next you will want to polish the surface, make sure you read the bottle on this before going ahead as some polishes are too harsh on chrome. This takes down imperfections at a lower level that can not be felt by hand but can be seen by eye.

Finally coat the chrome with a wax. Use a good quality wax designed for specific use by vehicles (again cars or motorcycles will do).  Then buff away with circular motions to get an awesome shiny finish ready to look fantastic riding along the road.

Cleaning chrome is similar to a good detailing job on usual paint work, just some extra care has to be taken. The more effort you put into each stage the better the final result will be, trust us when we say if you take 12 hours doing this, it will look a lot better than 1 hour.

Need to Remove Rust From Chome?

Want More Harley Davidson?

Are you looking for Harley Davidson gifts? Check out my hub, it has some great suggestions in what you get your loved ones. Or you can go for an easy option and get a Harley Davidson T-Shirt always a winner and worn by all Harley riders, if not a baselayer when riding then a t-shirt for casual use too!

If you want something specific to your bike and want to make it more unique to you, how about customizing with new Harley Davidson decals? Perfect for improving any Harley Davidson!


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