The frames are steel from what I understand. But you can chrome aluminum as I have chromed by grill vents next to the airbox cover. I also will be selling these chrome very soon!.
I was also going to chrome my frame as everything else is chrome this winter. I was going to buy a new frame but Harley will not sell one becase of vin#'s and you have to chop off your old snout if you had to order one that was in a wreck or something.
But yep it can be done but labor is bad to r and r the frame from what i heard. My local dealer quoted me $2500.00. I also just bought another bike a Paul Yaffe Original Roadster that I pick up saturday in AZ so my V-rod may not be long for this world. I hate to sell it but got almost 27K wrapped up in it with all the goodies done to it.
As a consideration on your frame chroming project, I suggest that you not mess around with the welds and be sure that the chemicals used will not weaken the frame structure and create a very dangerous situation.
By the way, my initial reaction to the dealers labor quote is that it is about double what it should be. Maybe he doesn't really want to do it.
I'm half Polish so it takes me a little longer to get it!I figure I've learned what Not to Do!
Being Single has help with the "He's who die's with the most toy's" game.I figure i'm about ready to settle down.I heard having Kid's is pretty cool?That's another way to spend my Money!LOL........
Getting back to the chroming frame thing.The V-rod frame is Over engineered.Inless your Playing Evil Knevil wheeling and jumping your V-rod .I doubt the "slight losing of strength" from the chemical bath will bother it much?Maybe one our members is a Metalurgist"spelling?"and can give us a scientific break down?
I remember from an engineering class that chrome plating can cause a condition called "hydrogen embrittlement" where the plating reacts with the base metal and fatigues it, like heat treating without quenching would do. It may affect welded areas differently.
I would not chrome the frame without further investigating, unless it was a show bike and ridden very little. my $.02 to the nickel conversation.
I was thinking the same thing on chroming the frame as my Buell had a silver frame like the rod. The frame strength will be fine as I beat the Buell for 14,000 miles (mostly with the front end in the air) and the frame is fine. It was hell for the plater to remove the factory powder coat and had to hand scrap all the welds.