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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Nah... not really. :)

Call me old school, (well... because I am :D) but I just like the way the bike looks with polished rims. I had read all I could find on how to accomplish this, but there was never a complete DIY thread on how to do this on a 08 250R, so... here it is.

First, I could not find the paint stripper recommended by the numerous threads on the subject (aircraft stripper), so I purchased some stuff from my local NAPA dealer. Guy said it was strong, so I took his word for it.





I tried it on a small spot on the rear rim just to make sure it would work as I had read where some of the strippers out there was just plain junk. After putting a drop of the stuff on the rim and waiting about 15-20 minutes, this is what I found. gadzooks! it works really well.





So, I gathered up the rest of my supplies... denatured alcohol to clean the rims...





some blue masking tape...





some stripping gloves (sold right next to the steel wool at walmart), a paper cup, and some 1" junky paint brushes from home depot (97cents each). I was looking for brushes that had no paint on them so the stripper would not end up eating the brush or handle. I have also heard not to use foam type applicators as they will melt from the stripper. :p





Got the bike up on stands and took the front fender off as a precaution. 6 screws to remove the fender... two on each side and two more on the upper back portion.







wipe the wheel with the denatured alcohol where you are going to be laying the tape down. I had washed the bike a few days prior just make sure everything was clean when doing this. I was going to strip everything off right up to the bumpy portion in the middle portion of the rim.






there has been some debate as to whether you need to tape up the center portion. Some will tell you it's powder coated and the stripper will not eat the center portion and others said the stripper ate right through it. I wasn't about to take chances and elected to tape up the center section... and it's a good thing I did. The stripper will eat the paint on the center section of the wheels on a 08 250R. Ask me how I know! :( more about that later.


Next, lay the tape on the line you are going to use as your cut line. I learned from working in a paint shop in my younger years that working with smaller tape to do fine work is a lot easier to do first, then apply the thicker tape over that so you don't need to be as precise... so, I laid some 3/4" blue painters masking tape down then finished up with some 2" masking tape to protect the spokes from paint stripper. As a footnote, I would not recommend using blue tape as I found it to not stick very well at the edges and allowed stripper to seep under the edges. I would try using regular brown/tan type masking tape instead. I never had leakage problems with that type in the past...should have learned from my own experience. :mad: also, buy a name brand tape. I bought 3M thinking I was safe, but found out otherwise. In their defense, it was more likely using the wrong product for the application.







do both wheels and you're set.



Pour some stripper into the paper cup (stuff looks like thick gel)...



Check the temp... stripper works better in warm climates. It was a nice 75 degrees, so it was a go.



okay... time to get down to business... starting in the next post.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Put on the gloves, turn on a fan (this stuff stinks.. use in a well ventilated area), if you have it and apply the stripper to the rim carefully with the 1" brush. Another footnote... apply liberally. The thicker you can get it on there without dripping the better. I didn't put enough on there the first time and I had to go back and touch things up a a few times to get all of the paint off that I wanted. also be sure to get some in between the tire and rim. The stripper won't hurt the tire and you can get it stripped nice and clean all down in there.





Do both wheels and apply liberally.






Wait for 20-30 minutes and rinse the eaten off paint with water. Not all of the paint will come off so use steel wool to scrub whatever is left.




look closely and you can see some paint still left right at the cut line.





here is what it looks like after you go over it with the steel wool and some running water.



before...




after...



is it perfect?? no. The stripper worked it's way under the tape line and some of the paint came off from the bumpy center section. I plan to go back with some gloss black paint and touch it up with a small paint brush. Also, the aluminum rim is rough right now and I have plans to polish it up to a mirror finish at a later date. (hmmm another DIY thread???) Then, down the line when it's time to change tires, I will strip the paint off where the tire meets the rim...though that may not be needed and I am planning to clear coat the bare aluminum when the tires are off.

Is this for everybody??? ... most likely not. I did it cause I like the polished aluminum wheel, old school look, especially on the kawi green. I don't care for the black wheels and I think the polished rims makes the bike clook cleaner. I'm happy, that's all that really matters. :D Many thanks to scootyscootscot for doing this to his son's green bike. Once I saw that bike, I knew I had to do this to mine.

Some better pictures to come once everything is cleaned up.

edit- this is what the wheel looks like all cleaned up and in some better light.







 

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Very nice. Another sweet DIY. I would give you rep but it wont let me:(
 

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There is actually a big thread about this in How To Section (iirc), with lots of pics and tips on how to do this. I'm not really sure on why in would be different to do on a 250 than any other bike, but there seems to be a separate thread for every other mod. and accessory on the 08 250r anyway. So I guess this fits. Anyway, the wheels look good. I polished mine last summer. Good luck keeping them clean. It's a bitch.
 

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Another nice job, Kelly. Is that it for the polishing, or are you going to polish the heel guards too? I think the polished heel guards Scooty did complement the wheels nicely.
 

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:plusone:
Another great DIY from KKIM. I was trying to decide on polishing or red powder coating for my red ninja for a little something different. Now's it's time for some shotty photoshop to see which I like...that is...unless someone's good at it and wants to help out:D I'm more than happy to send a pic to use.
Anywho...great write up (especially the warnings...I'd have used the blue tape)
---------------
InkDragon
 

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The stripper won't hurt the tire and you can get it stripped nice and clean all down in there.
When your dad taught you that Rubber will protect you with Strippers... I don't think those are the type of strippers he was talking about... ;)

Serious side note: Are you sure that is safe to touch tires?
 

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When your dad taught you that Rubber will protect you with Strippers... I don't think those are the type of strippers he was talking about... ;)

Serious side note: Are you sure that is safe to touch tires?

When I polished my wheels, I layed the painters tape on the tire as close to the edge of the wheels as possible. Then I just did my best to keep it off the tire. Finally, what ever did end up the tire, I wiped of w/a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water while I was wiping off the stripper and paint. The stripper doesn't take long to work (you will see the paint bubble up), so just don't leave it on there any longer than you need to. On a side note, do this job on a hot day, if possible. The stripper will work much better in the hot sun.
 

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When I polished my wheels, I layed the painters tape on the tire as close to the edge of the wheels as possible. Then I just did my best to keep it off the tire. Finally, what ever did end up the tire, I wiped of w/a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water while I was wiping off the stripper and paint. The stripper doesn't take long to work (you will see the paint bubble up), so just don't leave it on there any longer than you need to. On a side note, do this job on a hot day, if possible. The stripper will work much better in the hot sun.
Yeah -- now that I think about it... When you work with corrosives you usually wear some sort of rubberized gloves... So Touching the tire should be okay...

This is good info...
 

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not my taste. i've always thought that the polished lip on these wheels makes them look 80's style and not really match up well with the new styling of the bike. props though for good pictures and write up :D
 

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Looks good man....I'm gonna have a friend test it out then I might do it on mine :)
 
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