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Jeeez Phil, I hate to think how many hours you must have spent on that polishing.

How about posting a wee article on how you went about it, what materials and compounds you used and how long it took? :confused:

.........Hang on a minute, did you not have this bike up for sale recently?

59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Polished Benelli TRE

The bike was/is for sale, if it gets the right price. Otherwise, I shall keep it!

Although the results are looking pretty good now, I wouldn't recommend doing it - it's taken me way over 200 hours to do and several hundred pounds in materials and equipment too.

Apart from the wheels which I had sandblasted, the other coatings I stripped myself. Most of it was anodised so I had to get some special chemicals to strip that off. Some of it was painted (clutch cover, for example) so I did that with paint stripper - good stuff though, not something you could get at B&Q!

I actually got the strippers in a polishing kit from ChromeFX on It cost about £150 by the time I had it shipped from the States. The kit came with some course polishing compound. I put that on an electric drill with a mop and use that to get rid of any marks. Then rubbed the compound marks out with P320 wet and dry, and then removing those scratches out with P400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, and 2000. Then used a fine finishing polish on a mop to get it to a chrome like finish...

However, it is only when I got to shining the piece up that any scratches become obvious and unsightly. It is also extremely difficult and time consuming to rub down in the nooks and crannies. I ended up doing the parts two or three times (going through all the wet and dry stages and polishing again) to get a half decent result. And then there'd be a few areas that still looked crap so I had to blend those in using the same process.

I also purchased some green and blue polishing soaps and more mops of various sizes, and this seemed to do a pretty good job too, but I found to get a chrome like finish you really have to do the wet and dry stages as well!

I also did a lot of research into buying a polishing machine. Some places recommended getting one with an rpm of 600 as anything higher would just eat through the ally. But these machines were prohibitively expensive (£2000), so I looked into converting a bench grinder with a typical rpm of about 3000. No luck there either, and I eventually just bought a cheap one for under £20, which turned out to do the job pretty well. As soon as you hold the piece against the mop, the revs slow down loads so it didn't cut too deep in the end. In fact, on the larger pieces the grinder didn't have enough juice and kept stopping while I was polishing or it just smeared black polish all over the surface of the piece. Which was a total pain as I had to clean that off with acetone before having another attempt.

It was a lot of trial and error using a combination of all of the above techniques on each piece. Some bits also polished up easier and better than others. The small pieces were quite easy (read 12 hours on a footpeg! And another 20 on a footpeg bracket!). But the bigger bits like the swing arm or cast frame and wheels are much harder to polish up.

I'm not happy with these large pieces yet and will have to do them over again to get them 'chrome'.

It also requires a buff once a month as the ally starts to dull pretty quickly too.
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