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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought i had seen this topic somewhere but I haven't found anything in a search.

I'm in the process of overhauling my suspension and have torn down my stock 1098 Showa forks. I will be installing new oil and dust seals, along with 30mm Ohlins cartridges, 9.0N/mm springs and 5wt fork oil. the fork sliders and bushings are still in great shape with no pitting or flaking of the black DLC or teflon coatings.

The upper fork tubes, however have some cosmetic blemishes on the outside. I know this doesn't affect their function, but i'd like to clean them up while I have the forks out for maintenance. There seems to be some pitting or corrosion on the outer fork tubes. I'm not exactly sure what it is. I've scrubbed all the grime out of little ridges but am left with spots I cannot remove. I have attached a picture for reference. You can see more of it on the bottom(right) of the fork tube. It looks white and chalklike. Any suggestions?
 

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I believe the tubes are coated to stop any corrosion but you've most likely got some rock chips that have nicked the finish and let the corrosion happen. Try some metal polish to clean the white areas. Autosol works great.
 

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Not sure what that is, possibly road debris. I'd start with a good cleaning and maybe a little clay bar action. Then use a cloth buffing wheel or an electric drill with polishing attachment.. best to go with a polishing product that is recommended by Showa. Light pressure on the buffing wheel and work the polish into the forks. Continue the process until the fork tubes begin to show results. Replace the buffing wheel with a clean one for the final pass.

The key to buffing is time and patience.. good luck !
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
damn. ok thanks. Yeah i think the tubes are anodized. I'm afraid to make it worse with any abrasives, etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure what that is, possibly road debris. I'd start with a good cleaning and maybe a little clay bar action. Then use a cloth buffing wheel or an electric drill with polishing attachment.. best to go with a polishing product that is recommended by Showa. Light pressure on the buffing wheel and work the polish into the forks. Continue the process until the fork tubes begin to show results. Replace the buffing wheel with a clean one for the final pass.

The key to buffing is time and patience.. good luck !
clay bar! I didn't think of that. I have plenty of it so i'll try that first.
 

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Autosol is very mild. I've used it to take marks off anodizing. It also leaves a protective coating on the now exposed area.
 

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Unfortunately it looks like the anodising has been penetrated by sharp stone chips, and corrosion of the aluminium beneath has started, as noted above.
You probably won't be able to remedy this to any great extent. I would try applying some WD40 and gently rotating the fork outer while you grip it with a green dishes scourer.
Only work in the direction of the machined surface.
You have a lot of scarring though. It looks like you do a lot of miles close behind other bikes. Do they apply salt to the roads where you are? This is a foreign phenomenon to us of course, but might account for what seems to be a particularly serious case.
Take comfort from the fact the forks aren't very visible when the bike is together..

:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Unfortunately it looks like the anodising has been penetrated by sharp stone chips, and corrosion of the aluminium beneath has started, as noted above.
You probably won't be able to remedy this to any great extent. I would try applying some WD40 and gently rotating the fork outer while you grip it with a green dishes scourer.
Only work in the direction of the machined surface.
You have a lot of scarring though. It looks like you do a lot of miles close behind other bikes. Do they apply salt to the roads where you are? This is a foreign phenomenon to us of course, but might account for what seems to be a particularly serious case.
Take comfort from the fact the forks aren't very visible when the bike is together..

:(
Yeah it seems to be the anodizing has been penetrated. clay bar and green dish scourer didn't work. I may just have to live with it. I bought the bike used with these marks. It's just cosmetic but still noticeable. I'll probably just rotate the fork tubes when i reinstall them so they're not as visible.
 

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Yeah it seems to be the anodizing has been penetrated. clay bar and green dish scourer didn't work. I may just have to live with it. I bought the bike used with these marks. It's just cosmetic but still noticeable. I'll probably just rotate the fork tubes when i reinstall them so they're not as visible.
OK. You don't know the history of the bike.

Yes, you can just turn them inwards so they aren't too noticeable.

But you might find a cheap set of fork outers on Ebay in better nick. They need to be straight of course..

That model of forks doesn't hold much value, even though they're pretty good really.

Particularly with what you are doing to them. They will be a high level of suspension on the inside, looking like poop on the outside. I have the 25mm cartridges in stock Ohlins, and they do make the forks feel more supple/sophisticated.

I would advertise on here and see if you can turn up a set of uppers for not much. Worth a look while yours are apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK. You don't know the history of the bike.

Yes, you can just turn them inwards so they aren't too noticeable.

But you might find a cheap set of fork outers on Ebay in better nick. They need to be straight of course..

That model of forks doesn't hold much value, even though they're pretty good really.

Particularly with what you are doing to them. They will be a high level of suspension on the inside, looking like poop on the outside. I have the 25mm cartridges in stock Ohlins, and they do make the forks feel more supple/sophisticated.

I would advertise on here and see if you can turn up a set of uppers for not much. Worth a look while yours are apart.
Yeah I rode the bike this past year in mostly stock condition just to make sure there isn't anything mechanical wrong with the bike and figure out what I feel needs to change for my riding style.

I may go on ebay to look. it's not at the top of my list at the moment since I normally change fork oil annually and they're not difficult to rebuilt.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here's a link to a pair of outer tubes. I've shopped with these guys before and they are trust worthy. They actually have 2 pairs available. I had them in my watch list as I was going to get a pair and have them anodized blue to go on my 848. Still might.

Ducati 848 EVO 1098 1198 2012 Upper Fork Tubes Outer Tube | eBay
Thanks Patrick. It is tempting. I may just have mine cleaned up and reanodized or go cheap and plasti dip the visible portions below the lower triple clamp.
 

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My experience with trying to refinish aluminum with a factory lathe turned finish has been that you'll never match the rest of the part. Your best bet is a mild abrasive on a rotary tool buff wheel. It will get you a 5' finish that will look a little better than when you started. You could hit them with a catalyzed clear coat when you're done for additional protection.

But after spending 10+ hours each refinishing OEM wheels on my S2000 I'm going to side with the guys saying to buy a pair that are in better shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I decided to go the cheapest option and just spray the tubes with plasti dip to see how it'll look. I like it and think I'll keep it for now. Just waiting on new cartridge springs and oil seals from Motowheels. I ordered them on December 29th but I guess they had to order springs from Ohlins so it's taking a while.
 

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Oooh nice!! I like the Plasti-Dip. Goes on easy and if you don't like it, peel it off and try again. Good job.
 
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