Washing your motorcycle is very important and if you don’t wash your bike regularly and correctly, then you’ll risk damaging its looks and parts. So, washing your motorbike requires more than basic supplies like water, a sponge & detergent. You will also need other detailing products like; body-polish and tire-polish to keep your motorbike looking new and clean for longer. So, below are some of the steps you should follow to thoroughly cleanup your motorcycle.
SECTION-1: Pre-Cleaning Your Motorcycle:
-Leave the bike to cool down: Spraying water over a hot engine is not a good thing because the sudden change in temperature can crack the engine block. So, let your bike cool down before you begin washing it even if you’ve just gone down a wet country road and the bike is caked in mud.
-Gather your cleaning gear: Grab the supplies you’ll need to clean the motorcycle. All of these supplies can be found at your local auto or motorcycle shop and they include: bucket, cleaning-sponge, dry-cloths, Degreaser & WD-40, Old-toothbrush, Auto/motorcycle wax, Bug and tar remover, Chrome-cleaner, water, liquid-soap, etc.
-Begin by cleaning the chain: If your motorcycle has a chain, then consider getting the dirt and grease off of it first. This will prevent grime from splashing all over the rest of your bike while you’re trying to clean it. Use an approved chain degreaser if you can find one & then spray it on the chain to loosen debris. Afterwards, wipe it away with a clean cloth. Note: WD-40 will also work as a solvent to loosen grease and dirt. Lastly, remember to re-apply lubricant to your chain once you are done cleaning your motorcycle.
-Clean the non-chrome engine parts with water & solvent: Before you start on cleaning the body, take care of any other nooks and crannies around the engine area that need special attention. So, dip an old toothbrush in clean, cool water and gently scrub dirt and debris away. Spray WD-40 on the gunk if you need extra help removing it. However, avoid using water around the brake lines and bearings since it can cause corrosion and other problems.
SECTION-2: How To Wash The Motorcycle Body:
-Rinse the motorbike with cool water: This will help loosen any dirt and rinse as much of it away as possible to make the cleaning process easier. However, use a gentle stream of water from a hose because high-pressure sprays can damage the finish, paint or other materials and should be avoided.
-Wash the whole body using a soft sponge or cloth: Dip a sponge or soft-cloth in a bucket of cool water and wipe it all-over the body of your motorcycle. A little elbow grease at this point will help remove additional grime. If you are cleaning your bike to remove salt from it (such as after riding on a winter road), just use water in this way and then skip to waxing it. Using detergents or other cleaners might make the salt problem worse.
-Clean plastic-parts with slightly soapy water: If your motorbike has plastic parts on the body, then use an approved auto detergent. So, add some detergent to a bucket of cool water and wipe the parts with a sponge dipped in the suds.
-Rinse the entire motorcycle: After clearing off all the mud & grime from your bike, grab your hose again and use a gentle spray to wash away the last of the dirt and any traces of suds. You can also dip a clean sponge into clear, cool water and use this to rinse the bike.
-Wipe-off any excess water & let the bike dry: Take a dry microfiber cloth and gently rub down your motorcycle. This will wick away the water left on it so that there won’t be any water spots left as your bike air-dries. Don’t let your motorcycle dry in direct sunlight since it can cause water spots.
-Buff the bike-seat with an approved protectant: Motorcycle seats are made from a variety of materials but vinyl and leather are the most common. Vinyl seats are quite tough, but can fade and crack over time. So, use an approved vinyl protectant to halt these problems. Likewise, leather seats are more delicate but using a leather care cream will help protect them. Protectants for vinyl and leather can be found at any auto or motorcycle supply store. Do not use detergents on leather.
SECTION-3: How To Detail Your Motorcycle:
-Remove any stubborn bug grime: If your motorcycle is caked in bug goo, soak it with a bug and tar remover. After the grime is loosened, use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe it away and another damp one to remove any leftover residue.
-Clean the bike’s aluminium wheels using soapy-water: Most modern bikes have lightweight aluminum wheels. So, use only soapy water and a soft cloth to clean the wheels then rinse with water and wipe with a dry cloth. If your bike has traditional chrome wheels, then use a chrome cleaner instead.
-Use car-wax or motorcycle wax for added body-protection: A good-quality wax can protect the finish of your bike and keep dirt and grime away. So, apply the wax after the rest of your bike is thoroughly cleaned. Follow the directions on your commercial wax spray or rub for best results.
-Spray a high-quality protectant on the bearings: Bearings are one of the most important but delicate parts of a motorcycle. A protective spray will help coat the bearings and keep moisture and dirt at bay.