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Clean it or leave it - not a very sexy question!

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by Stephen_Spencer, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Stephen_Spencer

    Stephen_Spencer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Ok, I know, questions about bike cleaning are not very sexy! Fantastic tales of flights and folly are much more interesting right? Well I’m gonna ask it anyway.

    Don’t know about you but my bike is always much faster if it’s clean! Unfortunately, I have had some difficulty cleaning the front of the engine as you can see in the image. My guess is that this is mainly ingrained brake dust and other detritus, as the area is directly behind the front wheel/brake callipers.

    I have tried several cleaners including good quality degreasers, nothing is touching it. Are you guys get this build up and if so, have you had any luck cleaning it.

    Thank

    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

  2. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    The pic does not show detail but that looks like the now removed dirt has chemically etched into the alloy so only removing the top layer of alloy will expose clean alloy.
     
  3. MAK

    MAK

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2018
    I use 3M Scotch bright pads (check Amazon)
    It’s an abrasive pad,
    Use it lightly, it will scratch shiny metal.
    But good on aluminium,
    Remember lightly.
     
  4. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    I use wd-40.

    dry baking soda blast. Buy a cheap open sand blaster but instead use baking soda. Works amazing on aluminum. We use it on engine parts all the time.
     
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  5. Stephen_Spencer

    Stephen_Spencer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Thanks guys, appreciate the feedback. At the moment I am looking for an off the shelf product that may remove the staining, before using anything mechanical. I have tried WD 40 Richard, it has no affect on the staining which appears to be slowly migrating across the front of the engine.

    Difficult to find a product when I don’t really know what the engine surface is that I’m trying to clean. Is it cast aluminium with some painted surface or anodised aluminium? Any further feedback would be appreciated; if not I’ll try the Norton route.

    I have always kept my bikes immaculate so this sort of thing really pisses me off; OTT I know! Of interest I suppose is that this bike has never seen rain! All year riding on the Sunshine Coast of Aus; sorry you UK dwellers, at least you have warm beer!

    Best regards.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  6. Voodooo

    Voodooo VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    I use WD-40 always. Using WD-40 helps fill the pours of the aluminum and prevents corrosion and dirt build up.
    In your case, try wheel cleaner, and make sure the engine is cold not hot or warm.
    I recommend Mothers, Pinnacle or Meguries.

    I know for many cleaning sucks, but I happen to enjoy cleaning my bikes. I do so after each ride. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
     
  7. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Wd-40 and a purple scotch bright cloth. Its cast. Not post processed. It cleans up easy.
     
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  8. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Plus one for the Scotchbrite with WD40. It brings cast alloy up like new.

    A quick eBay check will bring up local suppliers. Don’t just pinch the Missus’ dish washing pads cos A) you’ll get another bollocking and B) proper ones from an engineering supplier are MUCH better.

    You should buy a few so you don’t have to try and keep using one that’s worn out. And buy a few different grades, you might need a courser one to get those stains off, then finer ones to get that nice satin ‘freshly cast’ look.

    Your cases are bare alloy, so you ain’t gonna damage or spoil anything.

    Don’t use them on the highly polished outer covers though, as they’ll mark the highly polished surface. However, really fine ones can be used to turn polished alloy or stainless into a ‘brushed’ finish (it’s what the factory did with the satin finish tanks on the Dominator Naked).
     
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  9. Stephen_Spencer

    Stephen_Spencer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Good advice guys. Picked up a selection of the products mentioned. I’ll give them a crack and see what works.

    I’ll report back over the next few days.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  10. Britfan60

    Britfan60

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    I'm assuming you live in a seaside salty environment like I do. Cleaning is a must. My header bolts a re rusty. I use soft brass and plastic detailing brushes. I've had a little pitting on the fins. Comes off with wire brush...then we and/or s100 anticorrosion.
     
  11. Stephen_Spencer

    Stephen_Spencer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Hi guys. Put a progress update together however the site simply would not upload it. Attached as a screenshot file - hope this works.

    D2D28F17-9E2B-4CF9-82B3-0CBBA83B140D.png
     
  12. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    The baking soda blast works incredibly well. But also incredibly messy. The good news is it isn’t harmful to anything. Unlike sand would be. I keep up on my detailing so perhaps why a light clean with purple works well for me. But before I kept up with engine cleaning I researched and found soda blasting. Worked amazing. Only ever did it once and wasted a lot of baking soda. Lol. It was all over the yard.
     
  13. Deets55

    Deets55 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Baking soda is very alkaline and can burn your eyes and skin, so take precautions. Last time I used it in open air my eyes and face got irritated, even when wearing googles and mask. On a positive note, like Richard mentioned, it looked like Christmas in my back yard when I was done.
     
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