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Thread: Polished Exhaust

  1. #1
    Tromper's Avatar
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    Polished Exhaust

    Hi folks,
    I guess this is more or less a "How To", but there's really not much to it

    Like all NTs, with a few miles on them, my pipes were looking pretty ugly.

    I finally got tired of looking at them so picked up a kit with an arbor to fit my drill & a couple of buffers.

    The process is pretty simple

    - Put on clothing you don't care about. This is a dirty job.
    - Secure anything loose, tie back hair (if appropriate), button any sleeves, or just remove long sleeves if you don't mind getting dirty.
    - Get eye protection. I'd advise goggles vs. just glasses for this job. Goggles are cheap, eyes are expensive.
    - Get a paper mask or better. This is optional if you really don't like them but it's recommended
    - Get a pad to lie on. This is not a fast process & if you're over 30 you'll feel it after an hour on the cold garage floor.
    -----
    Tools
    I used
    - A corded variable speed drill. They don't run out of juice, & there's no battery to go bad. Cordless is niftier if you have one & will do, but might run out of juice.
    - Low Tack tape to protect the paint on the right side, & anything else you can think of.
    - Simichrome. There are a lot of other compounds, probably some better & quicker, but this is what I had around.
    - 4" flannel buffer
    - 2" flannel buffer
    - Arbor to attach them to the drill.
    - Paper towel or shop rag. - Always have this around.
    --------
    Process.
    - Tape off any painted surfaces you might contact. I didn't do my fender, but it does occur to me that simichrome might soften the paint, so it might not have been a bad idea.
    - Install 4" buffer on drill using the arbor. This will do the bulk of the work.
    - Put simichrome on pipes buff a but with a paper towel or rag (just to get the loose stuff off.
    - Put simichrome on buffer, you can put it on in one spot if you want, but I did put it all the way around normally. DO NOT USE A LOT. Too much works against you at worst, & at best is flung off when you get going.
    - Start drill Slowly, & apply GENTLY to pipe. You do NOT need to press, the compound & the buffer will do the work. If you press hard you'll go flying off the pipe vs. polishing. You can increase the speed to a point, but you want to keep it slow. Think 500-3000 rpm vs. 3000-5000+ rpm.
    - Move it gently back & forth on the section you're working on, with period reapplications of small amounts of your polishing compound. You need less than you think you do.
    - Repeat process until they look good, then get your 2" buffer out & do the small stuff you wanted to get, but couldn't reach with the big buffer.

    Regarding drill arbors.
    The arbors for this are normally have "left handed" threads on the nut that holds the buffer in place. This is to keep it from unscrewing while running your drill "forward". Do Not Reverse your drill. If you do at best the buffer will get loose & not buff. It can get too loose then you end up slipping & the arbor puts a gouge someplace as you lose control of the tool.
    There are ways around this such as using a double nut, but the LH threaded unit was easy & trouble free when running the drill "forward"
    If you have an RH threaded arbor or just use a bolt & a nut as your your arbor etc, then run your drill backwards.

    Before & After shots, & a pic of the tools used can be found in my gallery Here


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    Last edited by Tromper; 04-03-2011 at 11:13 PM.
    2010 NT700 #0002 "Redshift"
    2006 AN650 "Grau Geist"
    2008 Sym HD200 (SWMBO's but I get to play with it)

  2. #2
    DannyJo (Red, #1004) dannyjo's Avatar
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    Looks great, when can you do mine?

  3. #3
    (Threadstarter)
    Tromper's Avatar
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    Next weekend. $500+ supplies. Transportation for your bike to & from Seattle not included.

  4. #4

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    Did your pipes look that bad from normal riding? How many miles?
    They look really good in the after pictures, makes you wonder if it will last.
    Thanks for posting
    Frank

  5. #5
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    Tromper's Avatar
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    The bike had about 7500 on it when I bought it & they already looked that bad. There's a another thread which states it happens pretty quickly.

    From the GB forum I gather if you hit them lightly once a month or so you should be fine.
    The sections with just light discoloration cleared up in a minute or two, so I suspect it's not really bad if you keep on top of it.

    I'll keep an eye on it & if you remind me in a month or two I'll let you know.

    BTW I found this link for what might be a better system. Bear in mind I have not used this system, it just looks nifty, especially the buffer.
    Last edited by Tromper; 04-04-2011 at 12:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Motorcyclist elizilla's Avatar
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    Interesting. Last year, when I had my zero-mile bike in the garage for six weeks before the snow melted and I could get out on it, one of the farkles I did was to coat things with ACF50, on the advice of the UK forum. Perhaps the ACF50 was more excellent than I thought, since I now have almost 15K, including a lot of rain riding, and while my pipes have a few spots, they don't look nearly as bad as your "before" pictures. I guess I should find time to clean it and re-treat it this spring, maintain the protection.
    Katherine
    2012 Yamaha Super T?n?r? with DMC Expedition sidecar

  7. #7
    karl's Avatar
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    Kathrine, can you tell us where you got it?
    Thanks
    Karl
    2010 ABS "Jezabell"

  8. #8
    Motorcyclist elizilla's Avatar
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    I googled and found a shop called Sky Geek that sold it on this side of the pond.

  9. #9
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    Tromper's Avatar
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    Sounds like something to pick up; although I wonder what effect of salt air (My NT was in CA, & now Seattle) may have, if any, in this case.

  10. #10
    banjoboy's Avatar
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    I couldn't find 'simichrome' and used just rubbing compound and I think it didn't have enough abrasiveness to it. However, much of the rust/spots went away, though not perfectly. I used the corded drill and a buffing pad. Not nearly as nice as Trompers, but quite a bit better.

    Terry

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