Motorcycle Washing Tips
Sure, having two beautiful girls in white (and wet) T-shirts and bikini with a sponge and with foam all over, could be a good start. But since it’s not a package that you can buy on your first visit at the local shop, it’s time to stop dreaming, get straight to business and learn how to properly wash your bike... yourselves. Trust us when we say... the pleasure is much more intense during the process and after you’re done as well.
Whether it’s a cruiser or a sports bike, every rider knows that washing a motorcycle is a very different task than washing a car. Motorcycles feature a variety of surface materials that should be treated differently, such as paint, plastic, chrome, leather, and rubber, altogether on a much smaller area. There also plenty of other hard to reach small areas that need to be cleaned and dried thoroughly, so it’s very important to know the basics when performing a wash.
Most importantly, you must let the engine cool down before washing the bike, as it can cause a lot of damage or actually crack your engine, and this is something that you wouldn’t like to happen... Meanwhile, prepare yourself. This means to take off your watch, rings and other jewelry. Not because they could be damaged, but they could scratch your bike. Belts and jackets with metal parts attached should also be removed. If you are a woman, you can remove everything else as well...
The Washing Kit
After you’re done strippin’ yourself, it’s time to get all that you need for the washing process you’re about to start. This should include:
- soft, clean cloths, some for washing and some for drying and polishing
- special wheel cleaner
- leather conditioner for the saddle and any other leather accessories
- clean sponges
- motorcycle cleaning solution (soap or liquid detergent could be an alternative)
- a bucket for mixing solutions
- a brush for wheel cleaning
- oil and grease cleaner
- gloves, if you want to keep your hands clean
Apply the cleaning solution and use the sponge to clean the paint and plastic areas of the bike. Now rinse it off with a gentle stream of water from a hose, or by pouring water from the bucket. A cleaning brush is best for dirtier metal areas, and a long bristled brush for trickier spots, which are harder to reach. Using a degreaser, scrub the motorcycle’s hard parts, like the swingarm or the exhaust pipes, carefully and individually with a rough rag. Clean the tires with rubber cleaner and a sponge.
When you’re finished, dry the bike using micro fiber cloths, as they are less likely than cotton to leave any residue behind. Chains should be degreased and lubricated after drying. When it’s all done, take your bike for a short ride around the block, as it will eliminate any water that got into the exhaust.
What to Avoid
It is for the best to wash your motorcycle in a shadowed place, as the sun can create temperature differentials that harm paint and allow water to leave spots. And you don’t want that to happen... Moreover, high pressure sprays are also bad for your bike, as they can damage its paint and allow corrosion to form on other components. Remember! It is far better to wash a spot as many times as necessary than to rub the area hard and end up with no shine in the paint, dulled chrome or visible scratches.
comments written so far
Simichrome polish works great on chrome and metal.
Mother's wax is great for painted parts.