Return of the Cafe Racers - $5k Cafe Racer – cleaning and polishing

$5k Cafe Racer – cleaning and polishing

I've been spending my nights cleaning parts. The XS650 was filthy with years of grease, oil and dirt covering all the hard to reach areas of the bike. I'm slowing making my way through items I placed to one side for cleaning.At the moment I am working on getting the surface corrosion…


I’ve been spending my nights cleaning parts. The XS650 was filthy with years of grease, oil and dirt covering all the hard to reach areas of the bike. I’m slowing making my way through items I placed to one side for cleaning.

At the moment I am working on getting the surface corrosion (and shit loads of grease) off the rear swing arm. I’m not too fussed about getting everything to a chrome like finish as my other Cafe Racer already has that look (and I can’t be arsed polishing 2 bikes every second week!). I want this bike to be a bit more ruff and ready…to show it’s age and give it a bit of attitude (Rat Bike vs Cafe Racer?).


I cleaned and painted the discs last week. I started by sanding them down to remove all the surface corrosion and dirt. I then masked off the center of each disk and gave them 4 or 5 coats of satin black. The light surface scratches will smooth off after a few days of riding.

I also spent days polishing the triple clamp. I began by stripping the paint off to reveal the wrinkled alloy beneath.


I then took to it with my dremel and a sanding stone to smooth off the seams and get rid of the wrinkles.

Then I swapped to a sanding disc before hand sanding it and finally polishing it up with a steelo pad and some metal polish. I left a few scratches and grooves in to add character but the finish is just like chrome.


I then gave the bolts and caps a couple of coats of satin black to offset the chrome shine.


I’ve also stripped paint off all the brake calipers, scrubbed them down, sanded them smooth and finished them off with a brushed steel look.

A thin clear coat will help protect the against the elements. I also purchased all new braided brakes hoses and new pads. I’m really looking forward to getting the brakes back on the bike as I think it’s going to be a pretty slick looking setup.

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