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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to keep my tank & tail piece bare metal, but doesn't want to have to coat them with WD-40 once a week to keep rust off, or any other extreme measures like that. If I clearcoat them to protect them, I feel they will lose the appearance of bare metal and look glossy instead. Is there anything I can coat them with that will maintain the appearance of bare steel but protect the parts from rust?

Thanks!
 

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Do a few coats of clear on it, and sand it down to keep with the metallic look. That's what I've done and seen done on cars that people want to keep the rust on (for character) and it looks pretty good imho
 

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Nickle plate them. Caswell has a kit for about $100 that you just drop the part in and wait XX min per micron of plating. They also have a chrome solution (Krome) that is nickle based and 4 times stronger than chrome (can use it to plate metal lathe HSS tools and drills)
 

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Clear powder coat. Similar to what is used on aluminum wheels.
Clear powdercoat is not clear. I tried this on my last projest I was NOT happy with the results. It was gray not clear.
 

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I'll have to test the clear powder. I think you got a bad batch because the stuff I've got is meant to go over other colors (the 2 stage almost chrome for instance) I'll try to get time to experiment this weekend and post pics. I know the translucent gold turns out nice but is very picky about thickness consistency for the color.
 

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I currently have a bare metal tank and it has not at all rusted over the past 2 months. What I did was grab a really good metal polish/wax and gave it a good workout with this stuff. My tank is not polished, it retains a bare metal look, but this stuff worked wonders. Came in an aerosol can...wax/polish.
 

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I'm doing basically the same as fatcaaat, using a heavy dose of some old Blue Coral wax on my bare metal tank. I have to admit the bike has been in the garage since I waxed it, so there hasn't been any real test, but I feel that even if I get a little surface rust, it's no big deal to take some rubbing compound and remove it, then rewax. I decided not to fight any battles with clearcoat peeling off, turning yellow, chipping, or whatever, so am trying this route, at least for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I currently have a bare metal tank and it has not at all rusted over the past 2 months. What I did was grab a really good metal polish/wax and gave it a good workout with this stuff. My tank is not polished, it retains a bare metal look, but this stuff worked wonders. Came in an aerosol can...wax/polish.
That sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. Do you remember the make/model of the product?
 

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That sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. Do you remember the make/model of the product?
Stuff using oil - it never fully dries and gets everywhere. If you go for the waxed look expect to have a really shiny crotch and you'll have to keep polishing out the rust, eventually you'll lose motivation and the rust will eat in too far to be polished out.

I would 100% reccommend going for the Penetrol route. They used it to keep the bare metal look on spitfired in WWII. So you KNOW it's going to last.
Not to mention, if you want the rusty look it also halts rusting and keeps the rusty look without ruining the colour. I have used penetrol on my KZ400 Brat for years now and it hasn't had to be reapplied once. I keep it on the battery box, handlebars and tank to give it that rugged look.

It's cheap, easy to find and really easy to apply too! Just brush it on, leave it to dry and it comes up smooth as the surface underneath it with no deformities or brush marks at all.

Here's a link about how to use it and what the finished product will look like.

Preserve the Beauty of Raw or Rusted Steel & Iron Surfaces : Obey the Bot
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Stuff using oil - it never fully dries and gets everywhere. If you go for the waxed look expect to have a really shiny crotch and you'll have to keep polishing out the rust, eventually you'll lose motivation and the rust will eat in too far to be polished out.

I would 100% reccommend going for the Penetrol route. They used it to keep the bare metal look on spitfired in WWII. So you KNOW it's going to last.
Not to mention, if you want the rusty look it also halts rusting and keeps the rusty look without ruining the colour. I have used penetrol on my KZ400 Brat for years now and it hasn't had to be reapplied once. I keep it on the battery box, handlebars and tank to give it that rugged look.

It's cheap, easy to find and really easy to apply too! Just brush it on, leave it to dry and it comes up smooth as the surface underneath it with no deformities or brush marks at all.

Here's a link about how to use it and what the finished product will look like.

Preserve the Beauty of Raw or Rusted Steel & Iron Surfaces : Obey the Bot
Brilliant info, thank you very much! I will try that, it sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.
And you think I should only need to apply it once?
 

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Im going to try the penetrol method, shorty. hopefully within the next week or so.
 

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Brilliant info, thank you very much! I will try that, it sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.
And you think I should only need to apply it once?
The best way would be to apply a couple of coats to ensure you have the steel completely covered. Then if you want a really shiny glossy finish a few coats of clearcoat wouldn't go astray.

The penetrol isn't meant to be sanded, but is just used generally as a sealer and primer which effectively stops rust. I've seen people use it to prep a glass carving before painting it! So to get a perfect surface you'll have to just apply it smoothly with a fine bristled brush, then clearcoat straight over the top of it before wetsanding and buffing.

:)

All the best!

-Sm
 

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As an experiment I coated some new steel hinges with various paints and other stuff and left them outside on a fence (still there). Clear coat very effective against rust - more effective than primer, gloss paint, primer+gloss paint, etc.
 
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