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Old 08-18-2019, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Fairfield, CA USA
Posts: 45
Two items:

Gold plating: Contact Eric at Kustom Krome Gold Plating in Texas at Eric does gold plating over base metal, gold over chrome, and gold powder coating. Each has a different price point and appearance. Depends on how picky you are and how much you're willing to spend. Let him know you heard about him on the XS11 forum as I'm hoping he'll end up being a good source for those fixing up their Midnight Specials. Here is an example of his work with a lower airbox cover:

Black chrome: Yamaha did an oil polished finish over black chrome which is really hard to duplicate. Most MS pipes I've seen, including my own, have formed white blotches, stains, and other ugly spots. Rust is a different animal and can't be fixed by what I learned below.

Most black chrome finishes out there are more of a grey, not black, so a crappy match. Also, stripping and re-chroming a muffler is a challenge as the material in the muffler can deteriorate and contaminate their tanks. Almost all that I have contacted have declined for this reason. I have several MS's and was surprised to learn that one can bring the black chrome finish back through polishing. I got the idea from other threads on the web where people mentioned polishing in passing without details. I played with hand polishing (a waste of time), and machine polishing. What I settled on was using a cone shaped buffing tool on a drill and using the "brown" hard polishing compound available at many stores. Load up the buffing cone and run the cone around the pipe at low to medium speeds. Don't sit on one area as you can remove the finish. Just keep this up all over the header or muffler. You can achieve excellent results. Though the finish will not be 100% like brand new, you can get 90%+ for just a few $. It goes faster if the pipes are off the bike though you can do a quicky in place. Here are pix of the compound and the first pipe I did in place to see if this worked. Subsequent to these pix I have removed the pipes to do it right.

Clearly I would prefer to find someone who can duplicate what Yamaha did and I will keep looking, but as a 90%+ solution, the above has worked well.

78 XS1100E touring
78 XS1100E stock
80 XS1100LG Midnight Special
83 XV920MK Midnight Special
83 XJ750MK Midnight Special
97 FLH
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