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How to remove rust from motorcycle frame spokes & scooty with remover

34892 Views Feb. 11, 2021, 4:54 p.m.
Old motorcycle with rusted frame and spokes

Problem: "It is a basic problem that I bought a new bike last fall. First bike. I was told storing it outside wouldn't be a problem. After a few months, a lot of rain, and cold temperatures I'm starting to notice rust on the bike. The bottom of the exhaust pipe has some, and a few other pieces like the stand are starting to rust. Not too bad yet."

Solution: Let's start with the basics.

Motorcycle rust removal basics

Rusting is a form of oxidation that occurs when iron reacts with water and oxygen to form hydrated iron(III) oxide, which we see as rust. Iron and steel rust when they come into contact with water and oxygen – both are needed for rusting to occur.

If it is a usual piece of metal, then Electrolysis is probably a way to remove it or try to use Oxalic acid.

Remember, oxidation starts almost immediately after doing rust removal, so you'd have to oil or wax the metal to prevent rust from forming again. If you are talking about humidity and coast (salt), then you're not going to stop rust. Chronic prevention like a weekly spray of WD40 would probably work, but if you live in such an environment, it will eventually start to rust no matter what you do.

At home, you might have even started with using vinegar to remove rust inside of the gas tank, and after a week the results would have been pretty underwhelming. Repeat that again, and the tank would be clean bare metal inside.

Essential toolkit: Steel wool (needs to be 000 as it comes in various grades of coarseness) or Aluminum foil and something to wet them up like water or some oil-based spray.

Removing rust from motorcycle or scooter's frame

Rust on motorcycle frame

You might have recently bought a road bike or scooty on craigslist and have noticed some little rust spots on your motorcycle frame in various spots or this can be your winter project to clean up the frame from all the rust and dirt and what not and want to know some of the best ways to remove it relatively cheaply. You are at the right spot where we will discuss various methods to get the patch of rust out of your frame. Also, don't worry. Nothing's going to break because of rust unless you leave it in a field for 20 years.

If you are concerned about your motorcycle or scooty's inner frames and tubes then keep in mind that tubes are thick, it would need a lot more rust to become a structural problem. The sheet metal on cars rusts a lot faster though. Unless you sandblast them and then painted them (powder coated), you will never truly get rid of them. It would be tough to remove it from the small nooks and crannies, like on the welds with sandpaper.

You can clean the spots up with some steel wool or aluminium foil with a lubricant dab like tri-flo, WD40, or even water as it does wonder versus regular wool or foil. Water? Yes, water works. All you need is to dry it out and apply for some protection.

That said, if you do not care about the look too much, get some good primer paint, sand down the rust as much as you can/care, then paint it. Then it would be best if you went over the base paint it with the real paint and the clearcoat, or use the pre-mixed paint/clear coat over the base. You can have the stock colour mixed at most paint shops, or use some generic colour.

You can even find people been experimenting more with a few techniques like:
Aluminium foil with vinegar - Loosely crumple the Aluminum foil and sprinkle a bit of the vinegar (any, as it is just about a weak acid) on it and go to town. It works well, but you have to wash off the vinegar, or it will keep corroding after you want it to. Also, it's a reasonably pungent smell.

I've also heard things like potatoes, or plain old Coca-cola does wonders for superficial rust. Rub it in there and keep polishing with cola until it's clean.

There might be chances when you have used steel wool to clean the rust areas, but the rust is really solid. In such a case, head down to the auto parts store and grab a bottle of naval jelly. It is a weak acid that will eat the rust quite quickly; then you just wash it off. A bottle costs under $10. The only problem with removing rust is that you will have to apply for some protection or it will just come back. I've seen bare metal parts that I've stripped of flash rust in an hour.

If the frame tends to rust because of the climate you live in, you might want to sand off the rust and spray the area with Rustoleum which contains fish oil and never dries while preventing future rust.

How to remove rust from motorcycle or scooty's spokes

Rust on motorcycle or scooty's frame

What are people using to shine up their spokes without the removal of wheels?

The "buildup" of stuff on the spokes - I don't know if I'd necessarily call it "rust"... but what's the best way to shine them up?

Would you trust spokes with surface-level rust if oiled? How long would you before buying a new wheel?

The answer to all the above questions is Aluminum foil, and yes you can use aluminium foil on chrome pieces. It doesn't matter if it's creased or wadded up because the aluminium is softer than the hard chrome and will not scratch it. But be careful of other aluminium surfaces or paint.

To start with, soak some Aluminum foil with WD40 (or equivalent as discussed above for frame) and scrub it with that. Try to avoid creasing (fold it) the Aluminum foil but keep it wet.

Soaking in WD40 has the benefit of protecting the clean surface until you can get something more substantial on it.

You'll never have a problem or any scuffs or scratches or anything. Just go ahead and keep it wet as it will probably take you a couple of sheets because they break down pretty quickly.

You can also use fine wire wool as it is easier to do things such as the spokes or parts that have nooks and crannies in, as it is easier to stuff it in or wrap it around. But, same as above does add something to keep it wet.

How to prevent rust on motorcycle

To prevent more rust, get a rag. Soak the rag in WD40 or 3 in 1 oil. Wipe down any areas that are bare metal and likely to rust. (not your rotors) The idea is to have a thin film of oil protecting the metal. You can always just wipe it clean in the spring.
Keep this rag away from your brakes, black plastics and rubber.

Though I'd recommend wiping down parts like the exhaust pipe with naval jelly or a similar rust dissolver then just wiping it off instead of using an abrasive, then wiping down the parts with WD40.

With this method a user claims to have not seen any rust on his bikes left out in the rain, 90% of the time uncovered.

Also, if you don't have a cover get one with vents. Keep it thick, durable, lined with a soft heatproof material that's very gentle on paint and vented. That helps to keep good airflow and let the moisture out.

Whenever you wash the bike with soap, dry it first and spray ACF 50 everywhere apart from tyres, brakes and the chain. It leaves a shiny finish on a mostly matte bike, but that will work well. It leaves a barrier against salt and water, and it also eats away at existing rust to remove it.

User's suggestion for prevention

"A good cover that reaches to the ground is a must, and routinely clean/polish your metal parts with something like WD40 or ACF50. If you're putting your bike away wet, dry it off before putting the cover on. If you are concerned about those rusty bolts, you can swap out factory steel bolts with plated ones.

"ACF-50 is pricy, but get a big bottle and a spray gun, and it will last you for years. It is an anti-corrosion spray, spray it on everything except your tyres and your brakes. Works wonders, and, in my opinion, smells delicious when it burns off your exhaust headers."

Best rust remover & preventer for motorcycles

There are multiple options on amazon, but since we don't have any recommendations for them, we are sticking with user rated options.

Evapo-Rust remover

Evapo rust cleaner

Evapo-Rust is a non-toxic rust remover dip for restoring rusty treasures. With Evapo-Rust you can remove rust to bare metal without sanding or scrubbing. Evapo-Rust is the best rust remover available on the market today. It is safe, simple, and easy to use. No need for mixing.

Purchase link

ACF-50 Rust Remover

ACF-50 Rust Remover

Buy a can of ACF50 and spray it on everything except the brakes. Please don't wash the bike until spring or you'll have to reapply it.

User reviews: "Been a long time user of this stuff. It's simply magic pink goo. I give my motorcycle a thorough clean in Autumn and apply ACF50 over all the exposed metal parts and fastening. It stays on all winter as I continue to use the bike every day. Then, once the frosts (and road salting) are passed in spring, the motorcycle gets a chemically clean and - hey - it's back to bright shiny metal again.

It does protect the exposed metal from dirt, salt and generally nasty stuff. Apply sparingly. While it does come in an aerosol, it can be easier to apply to a small 1" paintbrush and then brush on. Larger areas can be covered with a small cloth. Apply evenly and don't let it drip. Keep it off the brake pads and disks. You may need to apply/brush a little more on the most exposed parts (e.g. front forks) from time to time, but that's about it.

Purchase link

WD40 Rust remover

WD 40 Corrosion Inhibitor

Well, WD-40 is a well-known multi-purpose spray and people have relied on it to protect the metal from rust and corrosion for near to half a century. It is like the layer doesn't last long; thus, regular use is required.

Purchase link

Hammerite Paint

Hammerite Paint

These metal paints are specially formulated to form a formidable barrier that resists knocks and scrapes, maintaining a beautiful finish for longer.

Hammerite can also be applied directly onto metal without using a primer and undercoat first.

Purchase link

Rustoleum Rust Remover

Rustoleum rust cleaner

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust. It provides a durable protective coating with excellent resistance to rust, and abrasion, fading, chipping, and dulling. These sprays apply easily, provide excellent coverage and dry fast to a tough attractive finish.

Purchase link

Autosol Polish

Autosol Polish

It safely and efficiently removes oxidation, corrosion, stains, and rust. It produces a brilliant reflective lustre and leaves an invisible protective coating to ensure a long-lasting shine.

Purchase link

rust remover humid oxidation scooty motorcycle frame spokes
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