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"Restoring gold trim, changing chrome to gold on motorcycle"

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Current question:

November 18, 2021

Q. Hi, first post here, hope I'll do OK.

I have many parts to gold plate on my Harley V ROD.

Some are maybe 2 square feet like clutch cover and stator cover.

The bigger part will be brush plated and smaller parts will be done in a tank. I only have 5 liter tanks.

My main question is, some parts have light scratches, not really deep but you can see them. Should I polish the parts prior to removing the chrome or after when the parts are nickel-plated?

Normally, when I'm brush plating, I like to do small areas, Chrome stripper, activate, and then gold plate.

Thanks for any help, will appreciate it.

Daniel Jeffrey
- Canada Quebec

"Gold Plating Technology"
by Reid & Goldie
from Abe Books

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November 2021

A. Hi Daniel. Plating never covers scratches, so you're right that you'll have to polish them out; after stripping the chrome is probably best. Hopefully you won't have to remove all the nickel plating to get the scratches out.

Luck & Regards,

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

Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

December 28, 2009

I have a 1986 Virago 1100. It has gold trim on some of the metal pieces. These are starting to show there age(flaking and showing the silver underneath). How can I restore these pieces to new without having to replace them?



David Rich
Motorcycle Restorer - Glenville, WV, USA

December 29, 2009

A. David,
If the trim can be removed easily, it can be re-plated in a plating shop that does gold. If it can't be removed easily, it can be brush plated. There are motorcycle restorers that have brush plating kits in their shops, finding one in your area may be challenging however. Some plating shops have brush plating capabilities as well. If the finish is truly gold the "silvery" colored metal is most likely nickel. Good Luck and Happy New Year!

Mark Baker
Fellow Plater - Syracuse, NY, USA

December 31, 2009

Q. Thank you, if it is not gold, do you know what kind of "gold-like" plate it could be. If you would like a picture, I can get you one.

Thanks again,


David Rich [returning]
- Glenville, West Virginia, USA

January , 2010

Hi, David. It probably is gold plating, David. We'd be happy to post a picture of the bike; mail it to mooney@finishing.com.


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

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