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My '97 :D :D 1500 engine covers were very dull gray. I did a net search for aluminum polishing and found several methods. Since I like riding a whole lot better than cleaning, I used a short cut method that worked well. Not perfect but it looks good.

I took the covers off because I replaced the clutch and they are easier to work on

Clean off the crud with 1500 wet/dry sandpaper (gently, no hard sanding). I use WD40 instead of water to keep the sandpaper clean and wash away the black crud. Now you have a clean, satin finish with very fine scratch marks.
I used Mothers polish, doing a small area at a time, and rubbing hard to eliminate the fine scratches and bring out a high polish look. I rate it about 85% as good as professional job.
Actually, it is recommended you should finish step one with 2000 wet/dry sandpaper (i couldn't find it at the store). The 2000 sandpaper will make it easier to polish.
If you are worried about what the sandpaper will do to the finish (like I was) Try it on the bottom of the engine case. Hope this helps
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