The Six Step Guide To Wash A Motorcycle

April 18th, 2022 by Adam Luehrs

Some motorcyclists use their bikes exclusively, for work, recreation, vacation, errands, etc. Other riders are weekend enthusiasts, escaping to the open road as a refuge from the cubicle. Whatever the intensity of use, a motorcycle performs better and lives longer if it is cleaned of dirt and debris on a consistent and thorough basis. Weather, road conditions, and miles covered all affect the appearance and functionality of the bike when the day is done. Allowing deposits of rubble, gravel, mud, and water to adhere to surfaces, and obstruct moving parts, will assuredly shorten the road life of the vehicle.




Step #1: Wait Until the Cool of Day

Washing early in the mornings or at twilight is better than doing so when the sun shines more intensely. Why? The cleaning agent you use is likely to dry on the bike before thorough rinsing. In addition, any impurities in the water are activated by the sun’s heat and will leave residual spots that resist easy removal. This is also why the motorcycle should be cooled down before a cleansing.


Step #2: Assemble the Supplies before Beginning

Bikes can be of simple construction or be extremely sophisticated. The degree of complexity will play a role in what supplies are required. At the most elementary level, you will need soap, water, brushes, sponges, cloths and a good leather conditioner. The soap or detergent ought to be more benign than aggressive, IE. more alkaline than acidic, to protect the surfaces.


Step #3: Work from Dirtiest to Less Dirty

The consensus rules that a motorcycle’s chain is the grimiest and nastiest component to be tackled. At the same time, it demands the most delicate treatment given its construction. Soft brushes and specialized cleaners are in order for chains to be cleansed of foreign matter. Once completed, this task will make the remainder of the cleaning quick and easy.




Step #4: Go Gently

Your motorcycle may have proven itself to be a tough road warrior, but it needs tender, loving care at bath time. This applies to the whole machine, not just the chain. Moreover, it applies to every application, not just the soap. Cloths, sponges and brushes should all be soft while scrubbing motion should contain the minimal elbow grease necessary to remove the dirt. You do not want to re-paint after each cleaning.


Step #5: Rinse Only with Clean Water

You might ask: “Does this really have to be said?” Yes. Sanitary water will not leave harmful films and residues like water that is less pristine. In fact, the gross left over in impure water is known to be a corrosive agent to alloys and can similarly diminish other materials that make up the motorcycle. Whatever the source of water, make sure it is clean when it hits the bike. Also, avoid power washing as the water could impact bearings, wiring and other sensitive areas.


Step 6: Dry as Gently as You Wash

Again, preserving the exterior and paint is an important factor when washing and drying. Wiping it down with a microfiber cloth is one manner in which the surfaces are left intact. Another is the application of compressed air. A leaf blower or hand vacuum also dry effectively.


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