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✔ Article reviewed by Ethan Orenstein. Bringing motorcycles back from the dead since 2013. Learn More.

How to Remove Rust from Chrome on a Motorcycle

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Over time, it’s inevitable that the chrome parts on your bike are going to flake and rust.

The worse the bike has been stored and cared for, the worse the rust may be.

Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to clean up the rust and restore the appearance of some of your chrome parts.

If you’ve got heavily rusted parts or a rusted out gas tank, check out our guide on electrolysis rust removal.

How to Remove Rust from Motorcycle Chrome

To remove rust from motorcycle chrome:

  1. Clean the parts with degreaser or soap and water to remove all dirt, grime, and debris.
  2. Select either some balled up aluminum foil or soft steel wool. (Optional apply some Diet Coke as you rub away the rust.)
  3. This process will take about 30 minutes depending on how large the rusty area is.
  4. Wipe the area clean.
  5. Apply some chrome polish and protective wax.

This method is best for chrome parts that have minor pitting or smaller spots of rust.

Badly rusted parts where most of the chrome is gone will need to be painted or replatted.

You can help prevent your chrome parts from rusting by keeping them cleaned and polished.

Check out our recommendations for some of the best motorcycle cleaners and polish products.

Why Does Motorcycle Chrome Rust?

Just like all the other parts of your motorcycle, the chrome parts are exposed to the elements.

Things like air, water, fuel, oil, and road debris all combine to rough up the chrome on your bike.

Now, technically, when your motorcycle’s chrome starts to rust, it’s actually the steel underneath the chrome plating that is rusting.

Chrome is a surface coating for the steal.

Cracks and time can wear down the chrome surface, which can cause the steel material under it to begin to rust.

It’s a good idea to clean, polish, and wax the chrome periodically to help prevent it from breaking down and stop your parts from rusting.

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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