Use "aircraft stripper" and quality auto masking tape. DO NOT USE THE CRAP FROM HOME DEPOT!!! Go to a paint supply store. Do not use sandpaper or wire brushes. Be patient and let the stripper do the work. Don't let the stripper dry. Keep it wet. You will find the aluminum underneath will need very little polishing if you do this. plan on spending 2 hours per wheel.Good luck!
Aircraft stripper burns paint off metal like nobody’s business. It’s also dangerously corrosive and combustible, but hopefully that’s self-evident. I stripped an ’85 600R tank in no time with that crap some years ago.
Question: once the wheels are polished, are they sealed? Aluminum and alloys gradually form very thin layers of aluminum oxide (corrosion or protection, depending on how you look at things) by exposure to the atmosphere. The oxidation inhibits additional corrosion, but still slowly builds up over time. Apparently acidity and alkalinity also play a part, making me wonder what various cleaning products do to the metal surface.
Whatever paints and primers they use on the wheels inhibit corrosion by shielding the raw metal, as you might guess, as does anodizing (creation of an artificial aluminum oxide coating on aluminum). Aluminum tends to “pit” (corrode) when the aluminum oxide coating is disturbed. Look at older aluminum car wheels for an example.
I do not know what aluminum alloy ZX-6R wheels use. Is there a final treatment, do they naturally resist corrosion well, or what?
It sure looks like he did just the lip! Here the deal I just finished mine. You can use the stripper to remove the lips however the center & spokes are powder coated the stripper will do no good there. All you have to do is get like a 200 grit sandpaper and sand of all the black from the powder coat. Try not to hit the lips cause it will create alot more work later on. Then you should go to a 400 grit then a 600 then a 1500 then a 2000. Basically you continue to sand out the scratches from the previous paper. Ex: When you go from a 400 to a 600 pay close att: and you can see the lighter scratches from the 600. Get ALL the scratches from the previous out or you will have to take steps backwards later on trust me. After you finish with the 2000 use the mother's polish. There is a new kind out that cost like $14 compared to the normal $5 but it is well worth it. Its in a black can. As for how long it takes? Your not going to like this part but for both my wheels, and my triple tree the a few other small things it took about a week or about 30-35 hours to do it by hand. I used some air tools to. But once you get to the 600 the tools don't help in fact they make things worse. Oh yeah once you get to the 600 you will get best and quickest results by wet sanding. I'll post a few pics in a day or so. Any ?'s E-mail me
A forum community dedicated to all Kawasaki motorcycles including the ZX-6R, KLR 650, Ninja 250, Ninja 250R, and Vulcan. Come join the discussion about performance, modifications, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more!