Facts on Metal & Chrome Care

Facts on Metal & Chrome Care

There's nothing like the shine of freshly polished chrome. The detailing experts at Autogeek want to help you achieve and maintain that standard for your own bike. It can take a little doing, but with the proper tools and highest quality polishes, it’s not only possible to bring your metal components to a level of perfection – it’s easier than you think.

Note what types of metal are on your motorcycle. While some products can be used for a combination of metals, many metal polishes are specialty products recommended for specific uses. Aluminum can be testy. It likes to tarnish. S100 Total Cycle Finish Restorer is an excellent choice to polish aluminum. This combination product can also be used to polish chrome, black chrome and stainless steel!


Use care when polishing your aluminum surfaces. Many factory and after market aluminum components have protective coatings. If you’re not certain if your aluminum is coated, apply a small amount of polish to the surface and rub. If no black residue appears than the surface is coated. Stop polishing immediately. There are several metal polishes that work safely on coated metals, such as the S100 Total Cycle Finish Restorer or Flitz Metal Polish, Fiberglass & Paint Restorer.


Steel is reasonably simple to polish. Most quality polishes will get the job done on steel, but keep in mind that steel is extremely hard. Hence the phrase ‘strong as steel’.


Chrome is the mother of all motorcycle metals. It’s what gives a motorcycle a blazing, flashy look. The more chrome the better, right? Well, yes, of course. But it’s not just about looks. Chrome is highly functional and resists tarnishing – it also outshines just about any other common-to-motorcycles metal. Strong as it is though, chrome can rust. And rust is the archenemy of all motorcycle enthusiasts. There is nothing more discouraging than pitted chrome on a gorgeous motorcycle. Here’s where you prevent that type of corrosion. Polishing will remove the surface oxidation that feeds rust. It will also buff out any small scratches and blemishes that if left unchecked, become the breeding ground of rust. Wenol Auto & Motorcycle Polish (blue tube) does a really nice job on chrome surfaces. It’s strong enough to remove tough stains, surface oxidation and water spots. Flitz Metal Polish, Fiberglass & Paint Restorer is also an excellent choice. If your motorcycle has heavy oxidation, preclean it prior to polishing with Flitz Aluminum PreClean (this can also be used safely on chrome).

Two other excellent chrome polishes are Blue Job and S100 Polishing Soap. Both of these products are formulated just for shiny chrome surfaces so you can rest assured that your motorcycle is in good hands.

Note: Chromed plastic is not true chrome and it should not be polished. It can be washed and waxed.

Application of Polishes

You can machine or hand polish metals. Use a quality applicator if hand rubbing such as Cobra Microfiber Applicator Pads – lint free and versatile. Wolfgang Finger Pockets work great on hard to reach areas and tight corners. As you apply the metal polish the cloth/pad will begin to show a black residue – which is normal. Wipe clean with a soft lint-free towel such as Cobra Microfiber Detailing Cloth.

If hand polishing isn't for you, get the Mothers PowerBall Mini. This dense foam ball attaches to your electric drill or air tool. The 10 inch extension rod allows you to reach between spokes and into deep set crevices or between components. Apply polish directly to the metal and use the PowerBall Mini to polish the metal to a bright shine. Use a microfiber towel to remove any residue. The foam ball is washable in Cobra Quick Clenz Pad Cleaner and water. Air dry.

Application instructions will vary from one product to another. Read the label carefully before using any product on your motorcycle.


After your motorcycle is properly polished and shiny, use a surface protectant to block out corrosion and contamination. S100 Corrosion Protectant is an easy, spray-on protectant for all the motorcycle's metal surfaces. Some polishes, like Flitz Metal Polish, Fiberglass & Paint Restorer and Wenol Blue, will leave a protective film but it never hurts to increase the protection with S100 Corrosion Protectant.