Main Motorcycle: 1971 Bonneville
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Columbus, OH
Other Motorcycle: 1962 T100SS
Extra Motorcycle: 1972 TR6R
I think the only way to actually fully remove it is to reverse the electrolytic (not sure if that's the right word) process that put it (all three layers) on there in the first place. I had a bunch of bits that I wanted to unchrome, some of which were in decent shape and some of which were flaking badly. I got quotes from a plater to strip them, and someone recommended a Caswell kit that could have done it. Both were more expensive than I could manage.
If you're just painting them then roughing them up first with a grinder to get down into the copper, and then smoothing back to something like maybe 100-grit before using the self-etching primer should be fine (just be wary of the dust). Especially if you don't need to worry about matching sheen, painting over old chrome might be the best bet.
My guess is that even with a badly flaking part, anything still stuck on after you grind off the flakes is probably stuck well enough to stay put. And I'm dubious about the wire wheel - that would get the flakes but probably nothing else.
But, again, if you've got a plater you already like, it might be worth getting a quote on stripping. I was quoted $200 for brake plate, side covers, air boxes, and fork sliders. Depending on the size of your overall budget, that might not be too bad.
Last edited by therabbithole; 10-25-2012 at 10:01 AM.