to answer the questions about polishing after the fact- I just use occasional swipes of Blue Magic to get the shine back up. All of the black oxidation just wipes off of the bike and can be easily cleaned off with a rag, and it's not abrasive enough to harm decals.
Polishing around welds and cable guides is easy, for me, the hardest part was stripping those areas. I ended up using a wire brush (brass) and even more paint stripper to get them clean, then wet sanded/polished them. Lots of details in the thread I linked to a few posts up.
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Thread: Let's see your raw aluminium!
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