Whether you own a sports bike, cruiser, or any other motorcycle it doesn’t matter. If you want your motorcycle to be clean and well-maintained without going to commercial washing facilities, you must learn a few things about cleaning a motorcycle. The older motorcyclists know how to take care of their rides, but in our case, sometimes we overdo things, which may not be good for your ride.
That’s why we are bringing you this updated guide of cleaning tips for your motorcycle, which can help you to clean your motorcycle in a systematic way. With this step-by-step guide, you can put these instructions into practice, and I am sure you will be amazed by the results.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s find out an effective way to clean a motorcycle.
How to Clean Your Motorcycle: Step-by-Step
Step 1: What Is Required?
If you are planning to clean your bike, you must make some preparations and take some precautions as well. Because cleaning a bike is not all about a scrub-down with soap and water. There is a process for doing it. And to do it in an effective way you can break the process into stages. The very first thing you require is the list of items you need to wash your motorcycle. So, assemble the following items listed below:
- A bucket
- Soap/liquid detergent or automotive cleaner
- Engine cleaner
- A toothbrush
- Bug or Tar remover
- A brush for wheel cleaning
- Tire cleaner
- Metal polish
- A couple of microfiber rags
- Cotton sponges
- A cotton towel
- A chamois for drying
- Abrasive rags
So now, once you collect these items, make sure that your motorcycle is not heated for a ride. Take some time to ensure it is cool and then start cleaning. Otherwise, cold water will damage the hot engine and pipes.
The reason behind this is simple Physics.
It would be better to let metal parts cool down by themselves. Spraying cold water on hot metals right after a ride is not a smart choice. A sudden change in temperature can damage things, which will cost you even more.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Location
Choosing a suitable location is very important to clean a motorcycle. If you are not using a commercial washing facility and are doing your own cleaning, make sure the place you choose is not too crowded. You need space to move freely. Like some empty backyard or a lawn. In that way, all water and harmful dirt and grease will flow into drains.
It is also important to choose the best time of day. Because, if you are in the middle of the day out in the sun, detergent or automotive cleaner on the surface of your bike will dry in the direct sun before you have a chance to rinse it off.
Believe me, you do want that to happen.
Step 3: Let’s Go! Start Washing
Now, after deciding the best place and time, you can actually start washing your motorcycle.
- First, you need to work on the body parts by rinsing your bike thoroughly with a little cold water to remove dirt. You can also use high pressure to wash your bike. But, make sure to keep some distance because you don’t want to damage vital parts and force water into electronics, which would be harmful to your bike. The high-pressure cleaner can damage instruments, chains, breaks, and vinyl seats. You can also wash by putting warm water in a bucket with mild soap or detergent of a balanced pH scale. Strong detergents could damage the paint of your motorcycle. So, start with a suitable cleansing agent.
- Wash the plastic body parts, wheels, engine, chain, exhaust, swingarm, and screen with a rag dampened with a solution of mild soap and water. Just make sure you have the right sponges and different rags, chamois, and brushes for different areas. Such as not using the same rag that you used to clean the swingarm and matte exhaust pipes to clean the paint and chrome. Once you’ve cleaned your motorcycle with the mild detergent and water solution, then you can go to the specific areas.
- To clean the hard-to-reach areas use an old toothbrush for close cleaning. Use an old toothbrush to get rid of grit and grime in the radiator area, wheels, etc.
- Now it is time to apply the degreaser. Degreaser works well after a jet-wash. Apply the degreaser to non-chrome parts of your motorcycle. A degreaser will help you to remove grime from the chain and the swingarm. To remove grime from the exhaust pipes you can use steel wool.
- To clean the painted parts, you can use a microfiber sponge with warm soapy water, so it won’t scratch the paint. You can rinse the soapy residue with a clean bucket of water later.
- After you have done all the washing, rinse your motorcycle with clean water to remove the residue of detergent/soap left on a motorcycle. It is important to remove this residue; otherwise, it can corrode alloy parts.
- Now leave your bike at least for 5 minutes and take a break. This will allow time for the water to drain and then you can move the bike to a dry spot. But, still, if there is moisture in the hard-to-reach areas, use WD-40 to get rid of it.
- Take a chamois cloth to soak up the moisture from the bike. Wipe over the entire surface to dry any remaining moisture. Wipe the wheels, engine, cables, and check the entire bike to see if you missed anything.
Step 4: Finishing
- Once the bike is dry start your motorcycle engine and check the brakes, headlight, and other instruments. If there is anything wrong, you can repair it at that time, before you go on a ride.
- Now use soft wax on your bike’s painted areas. A good wax adds an extra layer and acts as a sunscreen and protects your bike’s paint. You can also use some quality liquid or a spray. But, make sure only to use an abrasive polish specially made for automobiles or motorcycles.
- When the wax has dried, use a lint-free cloth to buff the wax.
- Similarly, apply Autosol/Brasso to another rag and clean the breaks, foot-pedal, and clutch levers and buff off once dry.
Make sure you use different rags, sponges, and towels for different purposes. And don’t leave any rag or sponge on the ground. Otherwise, it can pick small pieces of grit that can scratch your motorcycle.
And finally, give yourself some credit for your hard work and enjoy the result. Now, take your newly cleaned ride and enjoy your journey.