Chrome plating and water blasting miracles!

1. The first delivery from the water blaster

The first collection of parts arrived back from our local water-blaster and the results are nothing short of stunning. Carl (our friendly water blaster) exceeded our expectations! The hubs, brake plates, head and crank cases are like new. The newly cleaned surfaces have a dull sheen from the blasting. Outer engine cases will still require polishing but the extra expense of the water blasting is well justified.

2. Brake plates after blasting and polishing

The brake plates are pictured after a short polishing session on the edges. It is interesting to note that while the texture of the corrosion is still visible it now becomes part of the "patina" of the old bike. Inspection reveals there is no discernable wear in the axle or brake lever bushings.


3. Chrome!

Pictured is part of the first lot of chrome plated parts. The exhaust header pipe (which snuck into the photo) was purchased new and thus not replated. Generally the parts have come up very well with only a few small blemishes due to very deep corrosion.

4. And more chrome!

Another shot of the chrome delivery. Chrome plating has become one of the major costs of restoration and despite recent developments in low cost spray chromes there still isn't an alternative to the durability of plating.

5. Painting the crankcases

"What?" I hear you say. Yes, here we depart from originality. After having the crankcases waterblasted to a beautiful alloy finish we then mask them up and paint them with etch primer. Once the etch primer has dried we give it a base coat of silver alloy colour and then a top coat of clear 2-pack epoxy. Why do we do this? There is a tendency with two strokes to dribble oil and fuel on the crankcase, collect dirt and generally get filthy very quickly. A highly durable surface like epoxy makes cleaning a simple matter of washing with the hose. Similarly, road grime and the underside of the crankcases can always be showroom clean. The paint is VERY close to the alloy colour and isn't spotted unless you are looking for it - which you are now of course!

6. The painted crankcases

Here is a nice close-up of the painted crankcases. As we indicated, it is almost indistinguishable from unpainted alloy but is SO easy to keep clean. So far, with about six bikes done, none have shown any effects of petrol and all remain wipe clean. The regularly ridden machines have not even shown any stone chips or marks in the paint. Actually, it isn't our original idea. Many Japanese bikes have painted crankcases and polished or chromed outer cases and we thought it was a pretty good idea.