Home /
Search 🔍
the Site

Free personalized metal finishing help!

Chrome discoloration on cycle accessories

(-----) 2007

Q. Several chrome accessories on my motorcycle have begun to get a hazy goldish discolored areas (mainly on flat surfaces)The items are only 12 to 18 months old and have been well taken care of( cleaned / waxed etc.)and the vehicle is garage kept.This discoloration seems to be escalating more rapidly. what can I do to restore the finish and prevent the spread of it?

Jim Bogle
customer - Hillsdale, New Jersey


A. Chrome should not discolor except possibly due to extreme heat (exhaust pipes), Jim. Are you sure these components are actually chrome plated rather than just something shiney?

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. Yes it is chrome, this is the retailers description:
Baron's BAK is the hottest RoadStar accessory on the market. Your bike will rev quicker, pull harder and have a noticeable increase in overall power. Each cover is precision-milled, highly polished and bathed in a show chrome finish. Each BAK comes with a complete Jet Kit for accurate tuning of your carburetor. Kit includes Billet Air Cleaner Assembly with K&N; filter, plus the performance Needle/jet kit consisting of Baron's specially designed titanium adjustable needle, Mikuni main jet, and all necessary hardware. The BAK also includes the PowerCone and the RainCoat. All you need in one convenient package!

Another problem area is the handlebar risers . . . I believe they are chromed steel.

- Hillsdale, New Jersey


A. Jeffrey Holmes suggested on a similar letter that the yellowed areas may lack chrome plating, and the underlying nickel is tarnishing -- this sounds possible. Frequent waxing is the only defense against the yellowing if chrome is missing.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. You are seeing the nickel that was under the chrome. You said the areas of tarnishing seem to be getting larger. You also said you clean and polish your chrome regularly. In some circumstances I have seen parts that were cleaned and polished so much that they rubbed right through the chrome. Good chrome should never need polishing. Just a gentle wash with soapy water or glass cleaner followed by waxing. If you use something that says it is a polish, it will most likely be too abrasive. Every time you polish your part more chrome is removed and more nickel is exposed.
There is the possibility that you may not have gotten good chrome in the first place. Lately I have had more customers bringing me parts that seem to have suffered the same fate. These parts are mass produced which makes them inexpensive but sometimes quality suffers. And, of course, they will never compare to items that are custom plated at a good chrome shop.
If you want parts that are more durable and better looking, take them to a quality custom plating shop that has a good reputation. You will pay more but have fewer regrets down the line.

Frank DeGuire
- St. Louis, Missouri, USA

finishing.com is made possible by ...
this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2022 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA