The lovely people at LDMotorcycles recently approached me to review some OptiGlanz metal downpipe polish. I took one look at my dirty, discoloured and pretty rough stainless downpipes and said “Yeah, alright then!”
My Fazer has some Motad stainless steel pipes I put on about 1.5 years ago, however my daily commute in all weathers has taken it’s toll. They’re still structurally sound, but cosmetically looking a bit shabby. Discoloured, covered with ingrained crud and are splattered with spots of solid burnt on crap. Definitely in need of some TLC.
To best judge the performance of the OptiGlanz cleaner I put it up against some Autosol. Not the pile cream, but the defacto metal polish. The plan was to give all the down pipes an initial soapy water wash (Simoniz Car Wash) with cloth mitt. Then two downpipes would be treated with OptiGlanz, the other two with AutoSol.
Here is the state of the downpipes before I started out:
This cleaner comes in a 250ml spray bottle, with a nozzle that switches between wide and narrow spray. It’s pretty caustic stuff, so gloves are recommended, although it isn’t supposed to damage paintwork, it is advisable to protect your paintwork to be on the safe side. Application is just a case of spraying on, leave for 3 mins, then rinse off. However, for some of the tougher bits I repeated the application, then used a soft cloth and some elbow grease to remove the last bits of burnt on crud.
This metal polish comes in a 75ml tube. Application is a case of squiring some on a soft cloth then giving your pipes a good rub down (oo-err!) Then you apply some more and polish more, then polish more, and more, and even more and then that one spot is looking a bit better. You get the idea. After spending half an hour of polishing two of the downpipes the tedium was definitely setting in, and still nowhere near as good looking as the first two OptiGlanz’d pipes. It was difficult to get at the nooks and crannies in the welds and polish onto awkward to reach parts near the headers.
As you can see from the above comparison photos, both products made quite an improvement to what I started out with. However it was very clear the AutoSol just wasn’t removing all the discolouring and required a lot more effort and time. Neither was it sorting the awkward bits, no matter how much I threaded my polishing cloth around them. You can see in the photos below that the OptiGlanz did a great job of cleaning the crud around the weld joints and right up near the headers. Although the middle two pipes had some particularly ingrained staining and will probably need a third application of OptiGlanz and some scrubbing to remove.
The OptiGlanz did a superb job compared to the AutoSol, definitely no doubting that review freebie or not. It was so much easier and quicker to apply, with better results almost instantly.
However, the tube of AutoSol cost me £6 in Halfords and I used about a quarter of the tube on two pipes. The OptiGlanz retails for about £25 and I reckon I used about a third of the bottle on two applications on two pipes. So, not cheap stuff. Worth it? Probably, once you factor in the results and the time you save, especially if your pipes are particularly bad or discoloured.