Vulcan 900 custom wheel flaking - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Vulcan 900 custom wheel flaking

Hi everyone, just got my vulcan last weekend and noticed the front rim's paint seems to be flaking off. When I press on them, they are hard. I would think if they were flaking they would be soft and easy to rub off/remove. My question is if anyone has experienced or seen this on their wheels ? Or what can I do to fix it.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 07:38 PM
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Have not ever heard of it with the Custom wheels.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 08:48 PM
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You're in Florida, reason enough. Coastal is worst but salt in the air is state wide, causes paint to bubble and flake and chrome to do the same.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Any other florida riders experience this?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonF View Post
Hi everyone, just got my vulcan last weekend and noticed the front rim's paint seems to be flaking off. When I press on them, they are hard. I would think if they were flaking they would be soft and easy to rub off/remove. My question is if anyone has experienced or seen this on their wheels ? Or what can I do to fix it.
You could get them powdercoated relatively cheap. I did both of mine for $150. That would solve the problem.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, cheapest I've found for powder coating is $125 a wheel. Anyone know how to take wheels off? I have alot of experience with car wheels but bike wheels are alien to me. Don't even know how to jack it up or where to start with taking the wheel off.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:37 PM
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You could get them powdercoated relatively cheap. I did both of mine for $150. That would solve the problem.
Did you pull the bearings? I've always heard that the seals and grease will not take the curing heat of the oven.

As for Florida, the bike I bought was an ex-Orlando bike. While the wheels were trashed in the accident it was in, the rear pulley has bad flaking. Luckily the replacement rear wheel I bought had a pulley. When I get a chance I'll post a photo. Salt air on aluminum is deadly and even though the stock wheels are probably powder coated it's not as impermeable as one would hope. Even chrome on aluminum does not hold up to salt air corrosion and will also bubble and pit.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 10:41 PM
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South Florida? Yea salt. I saw a nice bike down in corpus that was starting to yield to the salt air. The guy said he washes it all the time to try to keep it clean. I asked do you use hot water? He said yes. I explained to him that hot water accelerates the salt damage.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 07:33 AM
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Looks like someone has possibly done the wheels in the past. Small beading under the paint surface is an indication of surface corrosion under the paint. This is most normally caused from dissimilar metal corrosion. Someone probably used a steel brush to remove old paint. This will embed micro bits of steel into the aluminum/alloy causing dissimilar metal corrosion.

When removing or prepping a surface it is best to use a fiber product such as scotchbrite or sandpaper. But you must use them at a low speed if using a power wheel. Using them at high speed it heats the metal. This will slightly change the molecular structure on the surface of the metal. This will accelerate the corrosion process, especially in aluminum. Back in the 1970's the military didn't understand why treated areas on aircraft seemed to result in accelerated corrosion. They discovered the reason was the use of high speed pneumatic tools causing high heat and changing the molecular structure.

$125 dollars a wheel may sound expensive. But if they aren't prepped properly and then applied properly you'll end up with the same problem in the future. The best way to prep them is with a quality sand blaster which isn't cheap. Then powder coated and baked, which is also not cheap. Best method is to do it right.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 08:06 AM
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Of course I should add that because you live in Florida, salt air is always a never ending battle. Salt is acidic and will destroy a surface over time exposing the metal underneath to develop corrosion. If I were able to do a microscopic examination of your corrosion I could determine better just what is going on with your wheels. However, the damage is already done.

In the future; Flushing with water will remove the salt. But this is something you would have to do religiously if it were the only strategy you used. If exposed to salt air and only rinsed/flushed once a week the salt will do microscopic damage which compounds over time.

Applying temporary protective coatings such as wax is a good way to combat the effects of salt air damage. It's easy to apply nowadays with the quick detail products on the market.

I strongly suggest you inspect all of your exposed electrical connections. This includes any splices that aren't environmental types. Current is already a catalyst for corrosion. Add salt to it and you'll have accelerated corrosion!

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