Renovation of a front drum wheel


XS650 Enthusiast
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Paris, France
Hi folks,

I finally found a front wheel for XS with a drum brake, yippee!!!

So, it just arrived, and I had the (unpleasant) surprise to find it chromed.

I'm planning to redo the rim (maybe in 16", but considering the debates we had on this topic here, I'll avoid rekindling the debate...) and I would like to take the opportunity to refurbish the hub's surface.

What would you do in my place? Sanding? Acid treatment? Sandblasting? I'm afraid I won't achieve a flawless result between the fins if I do it by hand...

While we're at it, a stupid question, what are the rubbers for on this front wheel? I thought they were covering vents that you could open to create airflow, but since it's blocked behind the rubbers, I don't quite get the idea anymore...

Le Frenchy.


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Thuuuu !
nope, not at all...

Looking at the pictures on line, looks like an SR500's one....

tell me that it's compatible !!!!
(axis diameter, width...)
Ok mystery solved, it is indeed an SR500's one.

As the SR front fork seems identical to the xs650 (from what i have read around here), I'll install this wheel on my disk fork with the locking bracket.

Remain the question of the cleansing of the chrome...

I've tried with the sand paper but this will take years...

Any idea ? acid ? does is harm the aluminium ?

sand blasting ?

thanks !!!
You are right on the SR500 wheel. That's a pretty cool wheel. We never got it in the United States.
Anyways, you definitely want to sand blast the chrome. It still might take a long time, but that's really the only way in my opinion. Use a very aggressive, sharp, hard media.
Or flat it down as best as possible, then paint the offending item with a suitable primer and then silver paint.
Or maybe silver powder coating ?
Rubbing off the chrome plating is OK if you have a lot of spare time on your hands, otherwise it's not commercially viable.
You'd probably do better buying a better, unplated item, and dumping the original one online, on some unsuspecting buyer
You'd probably do better buying a better, unplated item, and dumping the original one online, on some unsuspecting buyer
TBH this what I've done so far. It's easier to find an unplated part than deal with the removal from chromed aluminum. I've gotten several "chooperized" bikes with chromed engine sidecovers. It doesn't age well, blech.
Selling it to a "chromosexual" is one of the replies given in the Chop Cult thread that I linked to, then buy an un-chromed one, and you'll probably come out ahead money-wise. Problem is, the original poster of this thread has already experimented with removing the chrome.