Restoration of wheel rims and spokes

Khapty

XS650 Member
Messages
13
Reaction score
13
Points
3
Location
Karachi
Hello guys. Thanks for all the tips you've been sending. They really help. I'm now looking for advice on how to clean/polish the wheel rims and spokes. Would it be essential to take the spokes out and lace them again after the polishing?
 

5twins

XS650 Guru
Top Contributor
Messages
23,264
Reaction score
19,322
Points
813
Spokes are usually just replaced with new ones, stainless if you don't want them to ever rust again. If the wheel rims are aluminum alloy then yes, they can be cleaned and polished. Yes, the wheel needs to come apart.
 

bosco659

XS650 Guru
Top Contributor
XS650.com Supporter
Messages
1,775
Reaction score
4,054
Points
263
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I did a partial restoration on an old Yamaha enduro a couple of years ago. Spokes were rusted as were the chrome rims. I planned to sell the bike and didn’t want to replace those items (too costly for a dirt bike). I used SS 0000 steel wool to get the worst of the rust off, then used Autosol polish it do the rest of the work. Came up pretty nice. For the spokes I took a 12” long Velcro strap, smeared Autosol on the hook side, wrapped it around the spoke 1-1/2 times and polished each spoke using a back and forth, sawing action.

F8163F9F-8FC3-4939-9266-9E1E1FC0D449.jpeg
F0C81B68-1C1A-4C58-B93A-A3243926D54A.jpeg
 

5twins

XS650 Guru
Top Contributor
Messages
23,264
Reaction score
19,322
Points
813
Original spokes are usually just cad plated and that's not a very durable coating. Aggressive cleaning and polishing will remove it pretty easily, leaving just raw steel that will rust up in no time. Sure, it may come out looking good, but that's not going to last very long.
 

Khapty

XS650 Member
Messages
13
Reaction score
13
Points
3
Location
Karachi
Spokes are usually just replaced with new ones, stainless if you don't want them to ever rust again. If the wheel rims are aluminum alloy then yes, they can be cleaned and polished. Yes, the wheel needs to come apart.
Yes, wheels are aluminium alloy. Will look for new spokes if I can't clean them at all. Nothing available for the bike in this country!
 

Khapty

XS650 Member
Messages
13
Reaction score
13
Points
3
Location
Karachi
Original spokes are usually just cad plated and that's not a very durable coating. Aggressive cleaning and polishing will remove it pretty easily, leaving just raw steel that will rust up in no time. Sure, it may come out looking good, but that's not going to last very long.
I can have a go at this and try to get them Chrome plated locally, otherwise need to import the set of spokes. Thanks
 

Khapty

XS650 Member
Messages
13
Reaction score
13
Points
3
Location
Karachi
Spokes are usually just replaced with new ones, stainless if you don't want them to ever rust again. If the wheel rims are aluminum alloy then yes, they can be cleaned and polished. Yes, the wheel needs to come apart.
The pics look great. Thanks for the tips too. For the long term, it seems I will need to get new spokes. Meanwhile I can clean them just to move forward.
I did a partial restoration on an old Yamaha enduro a couple of years ago. Spokes were rusted as were the chrome rims. I planned to sell the bike and didn’t want to replace those items (too costly for a dirt bike). I used SS 0000 steel wool to get the worst of the rust off, then used Autosol polish it do the rest of the work. Came up pretty nice. For the spokes I took a 12” long Velcro strap, smeared Autosol on the hook side, wrapped it around the spoke 1-1/2 times and polished each spoke using a back and forth, sawing action.

View attachment 205272View attachment 205273
 

toglhot

XS650 Addict
Top Contributor
Messages
370
Reaction score
1,255
Points
143
Location
Adelaide
The stock ally wheels polish up well and look good with stainless spokes. The problem is keeping them looking shiny, very difficult getting you fingers and a rag into the centre of the hub, particularly the rear. I would suggest mounting the hubs on a lathe and truing up the flanges to remove casting flashes. The fins on the rear also have bridges between which should also be removed. The rims will more than likely have a bit of damage from tyre levers and hammers, so you'll probably have a little grinding to do before polishing.
 

Attachments

  • fronthuband disk.jpg
    fronthuband disk.jpg
    227 KB · Views: 49
  • rearhub1.jpg
    rearhub1.jpg
    192.4 KB · Views: 52
  • front 1.jpg
    front 1.jpg
    438.4 KB · Views: 51
  • rear sprocket side 2.jpg
    rear sprocket side 2.jpg
    458.5 KB · Views: 49
  • rear brake side 2.jpg
    rear brake side 2.jpg
    453.3 KB · Views: 47
  • 2 polished rims.jpg
    2 polished rims.jpg
    308.9 KB · Views: 47
  • spoke.jpg
    spoke.jpg
    272.9 KB · Views: 46
  • spokewheels.jpg
    spokewheels.jpg
    56.8 KB · Views: 51

gggGary

Behind the ears too?
Top Contributor
XS650.com Supporter
Messages
27,112
Reaction score
42,216
Points
813
Location
Baraboo, WI, USA
You can clean up the alloy rim wheels plenty nice for a daily rider. Not too bad to maintain especially in an arid area.
These wheels were just "cleaned up", bike had been stored in various sheds for 30 years.
jonie.JPG

That was the Bike I built for Joanie in Texas. Got Madness in trade. ;)
When I started.
jet 005.JPG

77xs (5).JPG
 
Last edited:

46th Georgia

XS650 Junkie
Top Contributor
Messages
599
Reaction score
2,081
Points
243
Location
The Okefenokee Swamp
You can clean up the alloy rim wheels plenty nice for a daily rider. Not too bad to maintain especially in an arid area.
These wheels were just "cleaned up", bike had been stored in various sheds for 30 years.
View attachment 206666
That was the Bike I built for Joanie in Texas. Got Madness in trade. ;)
When I started.
View attachment 206675

View attachment 206673
Hey Gary, I finally made a decision on the wheels and took the cowards way out and found an 18" crud catcher used and a 19" NOS. The rear needs to be stripped of the factory coating so it can be sanded and polished. What's the best way to get that crap off of there?
 

gggGary

Behind the ears too?
Top Contributor
XS650.com Supporter
Messages
27,112
Reaction score
42,216
Points
813
Location
Baraboo, WI, USA
elbow grease.jpg

Just kidding (kinda)
stripper or acetone to soften then abrasive wheels (like scotch bright on a shaft) stay with 320 grit if corrosion isn't real bad, then go to polishing.
 

46th Georgia

XS650 Junkie
Top Contributor
Messages
599
Reaction score
2,081
Points
243
Location
The Okefenokee Swamp
View attachment 208863
Just kidding (kinda)
stripper or acetone to soften then abrasive wheels (like scotch bright on a shaft) stay with 320 grit if corrosion isn't real bad, then go to polishing.
Hey Gary, I got the clear off of the used rear, sanded the corrosion away to a nice finish that is close to the NOS front that I have. As someone who does auto paint for a living, I feel like a real dumbass asking this. I know how hard it is to get paint to stick to aluminum, do you know of any clear that is durable that will adhere? I've used Shark Hide on some hardware on auto restorations and it's not bad but is not very chemical resistant. Any ideas?
 

46th Georgia

XS650 Junkie
Top Contributor
Messages
599
Reaction score
2,081
Points
243
Location
The Okefenokee Swamp
I've never cleared a rim, sorry. But madness has 20 plus year old clear powder coat on front calipers and fork tubes, still looks VERY good.
View attachment 209879
Hey Gary, We talked awhile back about spokes, lacing etc. Well I ended up with 2 aluminum 18"crud catchers and I was wondering who you recommend for stainless steel spokes for my project. I'm not that concerned about the rear as it's an 18" going back to an 18", it's the front that concerns me as obviously they never made a disc brake xs650 with an 18" wheel. Any tips?
 
Top