Hello, Fellas! So last time we talked about the importance using a motorcycle cover to keep it all clean and protected (click here to check the article). However, you need to ride your babe at some point and enjoy her/his company. We decided to publish a How to wash a motorcycle guide to restore your motorcycle like a brand new one after an adventurous ride (or just to keep it clean!).
Here are some of the most important tips that you need to know:
Unmount Any Extra Attachments (Obviously).
Yes, we realize it’s an obvious step. Yet, we need to mention it just in case. Unmount any extra attachments that your motorcycle is loaded with; saddlebags, GPS, external audio system,…etc. We feel sorry for our beloved ADV and touring friends, though. They have a lot of work to do to get ready for the wash.
Cool Down my Friend.
The very first step that you need to follow in our How to Wash a Motorcycle guide is to give your motorbike a break before washing. Seriously, as a rider, you can hear your loud breath once you take off your helmet and can feel your fastened heartbeats. Your motorcycle is not so different.
If you are planning to give your motorcycle a wash, then you have to give it time to cool down (especially after aggressive rides). Feel free to sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring the dirt that is all over your precious partner in crime. You can even take advantage of this cooling time and take multiple pictures to do the before and after thingy.
Exposing a hot engine to cool water is a frank way of telling your motorcycle that you hate it and you are seeking to damage it by every possible means (That’s harsh!).
Choose the Right Timing & Location.
As we mentioned earlier, try to avoid having a bike wash party straight after your ride. You may also consider throwing the party in the afternoon where there is no direct sunlight. Why? Simply, because this will dry out the cleaning detergents before rinsing them off your beloved machine.
Also, our How to Wash a Motorcycle guide cares about you (believe it or not). Washing your bike should be a fun process for both of you. No need to drown in your own sweat during the process.Before washing your babe, make sure it’s in a place with very good drainage, distant from high traffic and of course away from direct sunlight.
After giving her/him some time to cool down. Don’t surprise your babe with a high-pressure water hose (damn, we do think about starting a relationship advice magazine). High-pressure water will damage your electronics and fluid hoses, especially exposed ones as those of the brakes.
We do realize that you may have a lot of mud and dirt stuck on your motorcycle (Cheers to dirt and enduro bikers). However, spend extra effort in cleaning with a medium pressure water hose, rather than spending a fortune (and more effort) fixing your motorcycle.
The same “no pressure” applies to the air. Some riders prefer using pressured air to dry their motorcycles after the wash. It’s preferable to use a soft, clean cloth to dry your babe as it’s safer and you will not get to miss a spot while doing so.
Choose Your Weapons Wisely.
If you need to know how to clean a motorcycle like a pro, then you need to pay attention to this part. It’s recommended to use specified motorcycle cleaning detergents for the party. Don’t just rush and purchase the most expensive and “reputable” one of the shelf.
The perfect cleaner is the one with the suitable PH. By suitable, we mean a PH between six and eight. You don’t want to throw a motorcycle wash party with acidic or alkaline showers. This will definitely ruin your paint and can be dangerously corrosive (to both your hands and the motorcycle).
Also, try to use soft sponges during the wash and soft cloths for drying. Make sure that whatever you are using is completely clean and has no dirt particles over it what so ever. You don’t want scratch marks all over your paintwork.
Using lubricants is essential. But, using lubricants the right way is even more important. Don’t get us wrong WD-40 is an amazing product, but just not for the motorcycle chain lubrication (maybe cleaning even though some riders complain about collecting dirt). We will release another article for this part in specific, explaining how to maintain your motorcycle chain effectively (click here to check it).
Protect Your Machine.
After drying your motorcycle. Feel free to use a bike polish to keep your motorcycle shining and protected. If you have chrome on your babe, then you still got a lot of work to do my friend. We made sure to include this part in our How to Clean a Motorcycle guide as it’s usually overlooked or is thought of as a luxury. Keeping your paint fresh is essential.
We also advise you to cover unprotected parts (engine and transmission) with clear protective layers (using the right sprays) to keep them running safely and clean.
Keep it Running for a While.
You have made a great job. Now, it’s time to lay back, reward yourself with a refreshing drink, turn on your motorcycle for a while and admire your effort. This step is not for reflection purposes only; it’s crucial to make sure that your motorcycle is running perfectly after the bike wash.
Pay close attention to leaks or unusual sounds. Sometimes vapor may show up at your headlights (even though normally it shouldn’t if it’s sealed the right way) but don’t panic. It will go away once you turn on your lights for some time.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind during and after washing your motorcycle.
– Make sure to keep a longer safe breaking distance while riding straight after the bike wash party, as breaks may need some time to get back to their usual performance.
– Using tire cleaning detergents is great, but don’t be so generous while applying them (especially to the contact surface part) as you may experience joyful skids in return. Two Wheelers always appreciate the grip (and pray for it). So take it easy while cornering after a bike wash.
– Don’t apply direct water or air to the exhaust opening.
– Don’t use vinyl or leather cleaner for your motorcycle seat as it will be slippery (you don’t want that).
– Make sure to take an “After Picture” to your motorcycle, upload it on social media and brag about your effort (you deserve this).
Hopefully, our How to clean a motorcycle guide added few useful tips to your knowledge and helped you in throwing better “bike wash” parties for your babes.
As usual, we wish you nothing but joyful and safe rides, full of adrenaline and unforgettable moments. Happy Riding Two Wheelers!