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How to remove rust from a motorcycle

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Eliminar óxido moto

When we buy a motorcycle that is a few years old, it is more than likely that it shows the ravages of age, such as dirt, rust or dullness. Our experience in removing rust has made us try multiple methods to remove rust from a motorcycle, and we will tell you about them here.

To this day I don’t think I have found the perfect solution to eliminate this unwanted admirer. I’ve tried almost everything. Rust is one of those things that everyone knows their own foolproof technique for removing it. It’s like hiccups, they can give you a scare, drink backwards, count to a hundred, stop breathing… but surely you will continue to have hiccups until you forget that you have it.

Remove rust with Coca Cola

Who has not heard that Coca-Cola is the best remedy to remove rust? Indeed, Coca-Cola, as it contains phosphoric acid , removes part of the rust from metal parts, but it is by no means a panacea against rust. Partly to try such a miraculous remedy and partly because of the curiosity that this urban legend aroused in me, the truth is that it was the first thing I did. I bought two bottles because it had rust to bore… But I ended up drinking half.

This was the result with Coca-Cola : although it can be seen that some pieces have recovered their color, there was still a lot of rust to remove.

Remove rust with vinegar

Investigating a little more I discovered and found that vinegar , as it contains acetic acid , also removes rust, and it did so more effectively than Coca-Cola. Vinegar has another particularity that makes it a good remedy: in a mother’s pantry it can always be found at a more than affordable price.

Remove rust with chemicals

For larger pieces I used more abrasive industrial products  with amazing results. The problem was that when they were left out in the open, they would rust again in a few days. I suppose that the product, in addition to removing rust, removed the protective layer of the metal and made it rust faster. However, we can fix this with a coat of clear varnish after the process. One of the most effective products I tried was oxalic acid.

For rougher surfaces or with nooks and crannies, at Donkey Motorbikes we explain how to make a scouring pad to clean your bike.

What is the best remedy against rust?

Now yes, I am going to tell you what is the method that we use to remove rust from our motorcycles.

Our best ally in the fight against rust is lullaby or steel wool, with its inseparable ally, the 3 in 1.

remove rust motorcycle

Indeed, this combination produces unbeatable results when it comes to removing rust from a motorcycle. The process is the following:

1. We apply a good layer of 3 in 1. We always use WD40 but any lubricant will do. Its function is to soften the oxide layer to be removed, as well as lubricate the area to avoid scratches.

2. We rub hard and above all with great patience the area we want to clean. If they are not very delicate areas, we use a normal steel lullaby, like the kitchen ones. For delicate metals, such as the exhaust, we use triple zero steel wool , much finer, to avoid scratches.

I admit that on occasions, when fatigue overwhelms me, or when the pieces are small and inaccessible, I ask for help from my invaluable Dremel (which I use for everything), and which acts as steel wool.

dremel to restore

3. We clean the piece well.

4. We apply Autosol with a cotton cloth. With this we guarantee protection against oxidation, in addition to giving an intense shine.

Remove rust from a motorcycle

It was a shame to discover this method when I had spent days and days leaving my hands with abrasive products. To this day I wake up every night with the big toe on my right hand asleep, every night, and always the same finger. Surely this has a more accurate medical explanation, but I attribute it to the amount of product my hands absorbed those days. There had to be some consequence…

remove rust indicator

If after having removed the rust from your motorcycle you want to polish the metal parts , go through this other entry.

We've written a motorcycle mechanics book!
I tell you, in words everyone can understand, how each part of your bike works and how to repair it.

Basic Motorcycle mechanics book

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