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Discussion Starter #1
We have given the aftermarket companies quite a bit of money, especially Kuryakyn. We wash our bike frequently (almost weekly), use 0000 steel wool and metal polish. On the other hand after just over a year, 11,000 miles and about 2-3 days a week of being parked near the salt air of the ocean for a normal work day we are already having some chrome flaking off.

I was watching a show on the history channel and they were showing how to make stainless steel. I know that we don't get so much as a spot on our silverware. I know that Stainless steel does not shine as brightly as chrome but I was wondering if it would still be a better alternative for motorcycle accessories? If not stainless steel than maybe something else other than powder coating?

It should be noticed that none of the Honda Chrome has any problems...yet.
 

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I would prefer stainless over chrome. Not sure everybody would.

2W
 

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I could be wrong be Stainless Steel would be ten times heavier where as the chrome pieces are plastic with chrome on them. Bike is heavy enough now...add all that SS on it and you will never get it on the center stand.:shock:
 

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I agree! Would enjoy the quality!
 

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SS

I have had SS wheel rings on the Impala for 15 years now. I hardly have to touch them, no rust ever and they don't seem any heavier than chrome rings and they are plenty shiny. :thumbup:
 

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Who washes their bike weekly? I've had mine a month and the only thing I've washed is cat foot prints off her seat. :shrug:
 

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Why not stainless steel instead of chrome?

The same reason why the painted parts are plastic-To save weight.
Can you imagine how heavy the bike would be if there was no plastic on it..

More of the real reason is you can make some nicer looking parts from injection molding than out of stamped SS.

Yes SS can be polished to have a near chrome shine as well.
 

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With stainless steel, the thing I'm most thankful for is the exhaust systems. Almost all newer cars and trucks have it and I haven't had to put on a new exhaust in my last 4 vehicles. The old steel ones would rust out in 2 years here in Michigan.

I agree that weight would probably be the biggest reason we don't see it more often.
 

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You have obviously never worked SS. It is a bear compared to mild steel, brass, aluminum, etc. It can be stamped, but forming it is much harder. Much of the "chrome" that is added to a GL1800 is chromed plastic. Forming SS to the shapes that plastic can be molded or formed into would be much costlier.

An aside: Recently, brushed SS kitchen appliances have been in vogue. Ten years from now, folks will say that they are "dated".
 

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I hope the 0000 steel wool is for the wheels only and the metal polish is not being used on the plated plastic:eek:4:
Living in salt air is bad for chrome, as I'm sure you know.
Kury chrome seems not to be very durable on their racks, nor the floor boards.

Windex on the chrome, wiped w/micro fiber towels. Sincce "big brother" took care of us, chrome is not as durable any more. One of the reasons some is coming from countries with no EPA rules.I have not used any typw of chrome polish(to abrasive)for years.
 

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I do not think he was talking about the chromed plastic. From I have read the chromed plastic is not the problem, it is their chromed metal products. Stainless would be heavy. Luckily I am not into all the chrome yet.
 

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I would think its the weight and cost thing that stops it
Stainless Steel and ordinary Steel have almost exactly the same density. Many chrome parts on the GL, like tubular trunk racks, muffler shrouds, etc., are steel parts.

Cost is the real issue. The lower cost Stainless Steels have a tendency to harden as they are worked which limits how much drawing, forming, and stamping can be performed. Stainless Steel takes more effort and care to form or machine so the manufacturing costs are higher.

For certain parts that do not require a high degree of forming Stainless Steel would be a good choice and not too outrageously expensive. For example, there is an outfit selling tubular trunk racks for the GL on E-Bay that are made from Stainless Steel tubing.
 

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The cost of SS would kill the idea quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good feedback and thanks for the reply.

I learned early on how to tell shiny plastic chrome (i.e. engine covers and the front fender behind the shocks) from the real stuff (i.e. the crash bars). The only thing I'm not sure of is the risers on the trunk rack (the nice looking although all too common Kuryakyn Rack).

I did notice a tiny rust spot on one of the chrome crash tubes and did some cleaning with the steel wool so it is good for now; at least it is not flaking like the Kury parts.

I agree that faux plastic chrome parts are best left as is. It's the real metal parts with a chrome coat that I'm concerned about. Floor boards and luggage racks need to be metal to bear the load.

I know that the Kury floorboards are already pretty heavy and I can't imagine them being much heavier if they were SS (BTW we have both rider and passenger floorboards). I'm wondering if it is just plain old pot metal behind the (flaking) chrome? Kury seems to put a great deal of research into making parts fit onto the Goldwing and they all look good originally but at some point I will probably have to take everything off and powder coat the parts unless someone has a better idea.

BTW - I enjoy cleaning the bike. Radio playing in the garage, talking with the neighbors, it is a good way to spend a day after a ride. Our van is 9 years old and 80K miles and still looks new. I'm hopeing the Goldwing will look that well in 8 more years.
 

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I'm hopeing the Goldwing will look that well in 8 more years.
It's all how well you take care of it. If you take the time and wash the bike every week after riding it and never let the road grime and brake dust sit on the bike for any length of time then the chrome, paint and the overall bike will look good for a long time. I'm told quite often that my 8 year old 2003 model looks brand new.
 

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I have the same colour 2003 (Jupiter Orange) and it too looks like new. The original owner did normal maintenance including keeping it clean. There is something about that colour that's "in your face". I hope to keep this bike for many more years, so age doesn't factor much into the equation.

Had a trucker call out the other day to one of his buddies.."did you see that dazzle bike go by"..hehe

Love it or hate it, that orange definately makes a statement....needless to say I love it
 

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After our first long trip my wife decided she wanted pax foot pegs. She didn't like the Kuryakin style. I designed a set for her that she could stretch her legs out on. I made the prototypes from regular steel to her specs. After it was the way she wanted I made the new ones from stainless. They look great, do what she wants and require no maintenance.
BUT, they are very, very labor intensive. If the plastic parts were stamped ss the bike would be so heavy and expensive we wouldn't even know what a wing was. None of us could afford one. The material is hard to work as someone mentioned before.
Go online and price raw steel, aluminum and stainless. You'll figure it out.
 
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