Cleaning spoked wheels - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Cleaning spoked wheels

Hi everyone,

Anyone have a preferred cleaning stuff for the XT spoked wheels? I assume the gold color is anodized but I can't find anything definite on it. I just want to make sure I don't strip the color or otherwise damage the wheel with the wrong cleaning agent.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 05:45 AM
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Any automotive soap/wash you wish and time. I like the look of spoke wheels and hate to clean them.

I normally runs a soft bristles brush around the rim and face of the spokes. Whatever dirt comes off the spokes is good enough for me. I refuse to clean them individually but thats just me
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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I too got the spoked wheels mostly becuz I like the look, I plan to do proper adventure training and riding but at my level the cast wheels would probably hold up just fine.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 08:20 AM
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So any typical spray on automative rim cleaner will do? I just want to spray and rinse personally.

Two wheelz for realz!
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 09:17 AM
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Getting a long tapered brush can help in cleaning.
A friend got stainless spokes for his BMW and polished to a high degree before installation. They stayed shiny and easy to clean for years.
The chintzy finish on my Honda 500/4 rims came off with the rust and never looked good after that. I was surprised that the spokes took such a beating from grit on the road.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 10:09 AM
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Any automotive wheel cleaner should work fine, as they're formulated not to remove clearcoat or anodizing. But for that matter dishwashing liquid will work pretty well too. Mix it up in a spray bottle, spritz your wheels liberally, brush, and rinse. Like tooth care!

I like using a cheap hand brush, like you'd buy for using on a workbench with a dustpan. Get one with soft bristles and no metal edges. Another easy fix is a good natural bristle paintbrush, preferrably round so it can get into cracks and crevices. I tape duct tape over any metal rim/edge, and use that for general bike cleaning. But I'm one of those guys who only cleans my bike about once a year. When you can't read any of the logos anymore, it's time to clean the thing. Or if the bugs are thick enough to block the headlight beam.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 12:19 PM
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VP Racing cleaner(Or T100 which is much more expensive) from CycleGear and others. Not completely a spray and rinse, but close.

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 12:39 PM
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Tri-sodium-phosphate. Available at Lowe's or Home Depot. Add a half a cup to 2 gallons of hot water. Spray it on and let it soak in. The longer it soaks teh better, so re-apply. Then wash with a brush using the same solution.

It's used by people restoring motorcycle that have many decades of grease and grime caked on and worn in. I'm using it on Mach 3 restoration in a tub with a pump to circulate the water. I let parts soak over night. Works great.

Last edited by richlandrick; 08-07-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webfors View Post
So any typical spray on automative rim cleaner will do? I just want to spray and rinse personally.
There are etching cleaners like Eagle 1 Mag Wheel cleaner that have acid in them to brighten aluminium and/or aluminium alloy wheels. They do hurt stainless but may effect anodize. Pick a wheel cleaner and read the label to see what surfaces its safe to use on.

If you want clean spoke wheels there is no free lunch. Its soap, water & elbow grease. Clean each individual spoke and the entire wheel surface will get you the best results. What really suckes is you go through all this effort and within 3 minutes of the next ride the wheels will be dirty again. This is why I don't invest too much time into deep cleaning spoke wheel. Whatever the brush and water jet from the garden hose remove is good enough for me.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 02:12 PM
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spoke cleaning products

for my 2015 dl650 xt SS spokes, i made the mistake of using a wire brush. that caused rusty spokes. the cleaning products i used to salvage the spokes include all of the following: red 3m scuff pads scotch brite, bronze wool, barkeepers friend, pematex rust disolver gel, 3m coated aluminum oxide 2" width p240 or p400 grit. once i got the spokes shiny and worked out all the scratches caused by the wire brush, I coated them with bioshield t-9 or ACF-50, especially for winter road salts, etc. leave that coating on all winter long. your spokes will look dirty, but they will be protected. spray the whole bike down with ACF-50 in the winter time.

for regular spoke maintenance, i use the red 3m scuff pads and barkeepers friend, and then rinse. the 3m coated aluminum oxide 2" width P400 grit would likely shine the spoke up real good.

cast wheels would be nice, but i hit a block of ice under a bridge once....and i'm not sure the cast would have survived that. happy trails.
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