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Rechrome wheels.

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Nortoncommandoneil, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Nortoncommandoneil


    Jun 9, 2004
    Hi. My Roadster wheels are the original Dunlop rims and need changing or rechroming, there is no pitting in the rims but the chrome plating is thin and discoloured.
    What I would like to gauge from peoples opinion is weather it’s worth saving the rims or changing them, because the cost of replacing the rims with new items seems a lot cheaper than rechroming.

    Thanks for any advice Neil.
  2. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Jul 25, 2009
    By purchasing new you can also go to wider rims to better fit the modern selection of tires.
  3. ashman


    Jul 11, 2010
    Put a set of alloy rims on and you never go back to chrome rims, I replaced the chrome rims back in the 80s with Akront rims and they look as good as the day the went on, my orginal rims were replaced on warranty from lifting chrome and the replacements stared to do the same a few years later and what a differents alloy rims made in the handling so much better in my opinion.

  4. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Dec 28, 2008
    My experience is that re-chroming is more expensive than purchasing new rims. I have been pleased with Central's OE type steel chrome rims which I am about to lace to a Triumph where I hope to preserve/emulate the original appearance of the 1970 TR6R. I like alloys on my Nortons and get them from Buchanan's; I prefer the custom look for the Nortons and go with WM 4 X 18 rear and WM 3 X 19 front.

    I use only modern tires, I like Michelin's, and a large part of that preference is the huge discount I get from my supplier; ' not interested in starting a tire war.

    Your cost(s) in Canada for re-chroming may be less than in the states; I had a BSA tank de-dented and re-chromed for $700 USD, it would have cost considerably more here.
  5. lazyeye6

    lazyeye6 VIP MEMBER

    Feb 28, 2014
    I had an original dunlop rim re-chromed. It was disappointing. For the cost I wish I had
    just bought a new rim.
    But, if you are an authenticate fiend, an OEM Dunlop rim in primo condition, it is awesome find.
  6. texasSlick

    texasSlick VIP MEMBER

    Jan 2, 2013
    If you are a stickler for originality, then rechrome, otherwise go with alloy.

  7. HoveToo


    Jan 1, 2012
    I rebuilt my rear wheel last winter with what was supposed to be a stainless rim from Norvil. It was not stainless because the interior corroded and it was poorly made as I could only get it close to true using the interior bead as the guide. The outside rim was significantly off at the weld site. Norvil did offer to replace it (after I had to prove it wasn't SS by sticking a magnet to it) but by then I'd been running the bike for a while and didn't want to rebuild the wheel again. Learning: make sure whatever rim you choose is a good one.
  8. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    That wouldn't necessarily prove it wasn't some grade of stainless steel.

  9. Interbak


    Jan 21, 2015
    I had the original rims on my P11 rechromed years ago. They still look good, and cost about the same as replacements did at the time. If you go the rechrome route be certain to tell the chrome shop not to polish all the original stampings out, to retain the original details.

  10. kommando


    May 7, 2005
    How good the rechromed rims are will depend on the chromer, some will not touch them due to the spoke holes ripping the polishing wheels apart. The other issue is the internal rust you cannot see inside the rolled edges, the chroming chemicals will get rid of the rust but you can never be sure just how much metal is left as even rust free you cannot see inside the rolled edge.
  11. XTINCT


    Jan 10, 2012
  12. htown16

    htown16 VIP MEMBER

    Apr 29, 2009
    I put a stainless rim I got from Waldridges on the front of my BSA about 10 years ago. Thing still looks brand new.
  13. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    Every wheel I've laced or original I've checked is off a mile at the weld.
    Just ignore the weld and everything 4"+- each side. Get the rest of the rim running within 15 thou EA way and all will be fine.

  14. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Dec 28, 2008
    I had a dealer account with Brown's Plating in Kentucky, Ronny's work was top shelf. He re-chromed a set of OE Dunlop rims for me that came off, and were going back on, a 1967 Royal Enfield, series 1, 750 Interceptor; it cost me a shade under $600 for both, positively beautiful with original markings as good as the day they were originally manufactured; this was about 3 or 4 years ago. As I mentioned earlier in this post, I had a BSA A65 tank re-chromed in Canada for hundreds less than I was quoted by US based platers.

    Alas, Brown's couldn't afford to stay in business with increasing EPA regulations; there may well have been other factors, I can't say. The point is that chroming/re-chroming in the USA has become quite expensive to the point where I check new parts prices before I get chroming work done. And I get it; the waste that is generated is highly toxic, the embodiment of the term "heavy metal"; and to think that as recently as 20 years ago the platers just dumped the goo somewhere on the property, which, then, was legal, if not outright immoral. Even with what is called "proper disposal" procedures the toxic goo still exists and may well come back and haunt future generations, 'don't know.

    Stainless steel and aluminum alloy are the new chrome.

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