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So I am new to the cafe racer world. I am researching and checking out bikes to get. I am thinking about getting a cl350 as a neat little project. Is it against some unspoken law to black out the chrome?? I personally hate chrome but I also dont want to decimate a solid bike. What do you guys think?
 

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If you hate chrome do what you want with them. Who are you building it for, you or those who want to force their opinion on how you should do your thing. I'm not a big fan of chrome either, there is little if any on my bike and the pipes are neither black or chrome.
 

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What is the best method for painting over chrome? On my Jawa the chrome is just falling off in big pieces, and I would just as soon paint some of the bits until good replacements, or rechroming funds are available. I really like patina but some things are ridiculous, like this Jawa.
 

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o1marc you're right I'd be building it for myself. I'm not sure what the best method would be. I've never had a bike that had chrome on it. I'm sure I could figure out a way.
 

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Is it some unspoken rule you must keep chrome? Not really. If you are destroying PERFECT 35-50 year old chrome yeah you are kind of a douche but nothing says you can't find the same part with shitty chrome and paint hat and put it on your bike. The old chrome process is largely gone due to EPA regulation and even new chrome is kind of expensive to get done for small pieces, so perfect old chrome is sought after, if you don't want it someone will pay you for it. Other than that how about you get a facing bike and worry about it then instead of asking navel gazing philosophical question about chrome. Talk about a waste of everyone's time.

why a 350? Couldn't you find a real bike?

jack: if you have big chunks missing I hate to say it but you may be stuck having the chrome stripped, otherwise the broken off edges will show through the paint. You can try to level it off with a grinder but if it is something like your fuel tank, eh.....might just have to suck it up and live with it. You could skim coat it in body filler but if you are going to have it chromed one day that's just more for you to strip later on.
 

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What is the best method for painting over chrome? On my Jawa the chrome is just falling off in big pieces, and I would just as soon paint some of the bits until good replacements, or rechroming funds are available. I really like patina but some things are ridiculous, like this Jawa.
If the old chrome is already cracking off sometimes you can get under it with a home sand blaster. If its an expensive part I wouldn't recommend it bc it can be easy to damage the part trying to strip it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is it some unspoken rule you must keep chrome? Not really. If you are destroying PERFECT 35-50 year old chrome yeah you are kind of a douche but nothing says you can't find the same part with shitty chrome and paint hat and put it on your bike. The old chrome process is largely gone due to EPA regulation and even new chrome is kind of expensive to get done for small pieces, so perfect old chrome is sought after, if you don't want it someone will pay you for it. Other than that how about you get a facing bike and worry about it then instead of asking navel gazing philosophical question about chrome. Talk about a waste of everyone's time.

why a 350? Couldn't you find a real bike?

jack: if you have big chunks missing I hate to say it but you may be stuck having the chrome stripped, otherwise the broken off edges will show through the paint. You can try to level it off with a grinder but if it is something like your fuel tank, eh.....might just have to suck it up and live with it. You could skim coat it in body filler but if you are going to have it chromed one day that's just more for you to strip later on.
Good point. Except you don't need to be a dick about it.
 

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:) lots of good advice mixed with some eye opening truth.
The truth hurts, but, not as much as an ice pick in the eye :rolleyes:
 

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I believe in doing things the correct way. Unfortunately the correct way does not always fit your budget. I would take them to a quality commercial sand blasting outfit, may be hard to find one that actually knows how to blast properly, most don't, or at least my experience shows that. Fortunately the one I use really knows his shit and won't damage your parts. If your chrome is peeling, have it blasted off and then have the pipes Ceramic coated. It will withstand higher temps (2000*) than high temp header paint will and comes in flat, satin, or gloss black as well as a few other colors. The problem you may run into is a bike that is 30-40 years old may have had a lot of water sitting in the pipe rusting it away and when you go to blast off the hardest material on it (the chrome) you may blast holes right through the rusted put pipe.
 
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