Unless you’re a neat freak and love keeping everything you own looking brand new, then you don’t enjoy cleaning. 99% of riders would prefer riding over washing their motorcycle, but keeping it looking showroom quality is a great way to show off to your buddies. Your bike will inevitably catch dirt, dust and a windshield full of bugs – there’s no way around that. The convenient way to fix this build up is to take is to the auto wash or assume that some soap and water will suffice. Once you learn a few proper techniques and find the right products to use on your specific bike, the results will a lot more satisfying. That is why we have put together a few tips on cleaning your motorcycle.
1. Prepare Yourself
Preparation is key for any situation. Before you start anything, make sure to remove everything you don’t want to get wet. This could be your tank bags, GPS, baggage etc… Try and find a spot in the shade to do your cleaning to avoid getting a heat stroke. The sun can also affect the paint and cause spots due to temperature differences. And make sure your engine is cooled off – you don’t want to throw water on a hot engine. Next, you will want to get your cleaning supplies ready. Make sure you have two buckets, one for your washing fluid and the other with fresh water for rinsing. You will also need cotton sponges, washing liquid, degreaser, WD40, metal polish, wax, abrasive rags and a chamois towel for drying. Have separate rags and sponges for different areas of your bike. Don’t clean your seat with a sponge you just used to get rid of some grease elsewhere for obvious reasons. Microfiber cloths are useful for protecting the surfaces, and even a toothbrush can be handy for hard to reach areas.
2. Wash Often, But Not Too Often
Washing your bike often is a great way to discover any growing problems with your vehicle. Whether it be an oil leak, loose parts or anything else that starts to progress, spotting it early can save you from having mechanical problems while out on a long ride. You don’t want to leave dead insects on your paintwork either because they can get difficult to remove later on, and even leave a blotch.
3. Clean With Products, Not Water
Make sure you are using the right cleaning product to make your bike look brand new, and not so much water. Every product has a specific use, so make sure you use them properly. Be wary of household and abrasive cleaners as they can harm the paint or chrome on your bike. A pressure washer can be useful in removing mud and tough grime, but you don’t want to force water into tiny slits where it can cause corrosion. We recommend washing by hand because high pressure washing can direct water at your muffler outlets and electrical parts.
4. Pay Attention To Detail
Once you have finished washing and polishing your motorcycle, you should go over the bike one more time with your microfiber cloth to wipe the cables, clean the engine casings and wheel hubs, and check for any other areas you missed. Pay close attention to your chain and work a solvent-soaked rag along it, removing oil while straightening out any kinks. Don’t forget to lube your chain to increase the lifetime and stop friction.
Use your chamois cloth to dry off your motorcycle, then take it for a slow ride around the block and squeeze the brakes to drain out excess water. Once you’re back, take your bike for a longer spin on the freeway to get the moist in less accessible parts dry.
Have some tips of your own? Let us know in the comment section below!