Motorcycle Wash

 

For motorcycle enthusiasts, motorcycles do more than just getting them from point A to point B. They are practically an extension of their personality and sometime represent a substantial investment.

Even though it may sound simple, the upkeep and cleaning of a motorcycle is more complicated than it may seem. Just like with any piece of machinery, there are certain things you need to keep in mind when taking care of your motorcycle. Often, even with the best of intentions, riders tend to overlook certain aspects. This may result in damage to their motorcycles and its parts.   

 

To make sure your motorcycle stays in top shape, here is a list you should go through when washing your motorcycle:

Wax Regularly - Make sure that you don’t forget to wax regularly. Wax preserves lacquer and stops water from seeping into crevices, holes and gaps where metal parts are at a risk of rusting.

Chain Care – Every part of the motorcycle needs care, but when it comes to the chain, you need to be extra careful. It is crucial to remove all kinds of dirt from the chain, especially grit that gets stuck. Ignoring this somewhat simple instruction could cause infiltration of the links and increase friction, resulting in grinding. In addition to cleaning, it is important to lube your chain regularly. This will help in reducing friction, preventing corrosion and increasing its life.

Don’t Ignore the Rubber - Rubber pipes and hoses will depreciate and crack with time, if not tended properly. Even though this is something you cannot completely avoid, you can prolong their life by cleaning them properly. When dirt is removed from these pipes, pores open up in the rubber, which allow flexibilisers to diffuse and the rubber to harden rapidly.

Don’t Take Metal Damage Lightly - Clean all metal parts regularly. Any dirt deposited on the bike’s body, especially wet dirt, can lead to corrosion. In addition, be wary of insects. Even though they don’t cause large scale corrosion, they can scar surfaces, thanks to their ability to leave behind an aggressively reacting mixture of enzymes and amino acids.

Don’t Go Overboard with Protective Sprays - While anti-corrosion spray may work wonders on metal, be careful not to over use them. You need to be careful about the areas you spray it on, since it is not meant for any part of the bike that gets hot and can burn. Avoid the exhaust and headers as the spray will most likely leave a black streak of burnt oil on them. Focus more on the screw heads, fasteners and any other parts prone to oxidization.

Don’t Put Your Bike Away While It’s Wet - After a ride, don’t put a wet and warm motorbike into a completely shut-off garage. Steam is released when the bike is wet and the engine is hot. This causes excessive moisture, creating perfect conditions for rusting. Therefore dry your bike completely before putting it away in an enclosed space.

Don’t Dry by Driving - If you’ve just washed your bike and intend to dry it off, driving it around the block wouldn’t be a wise move at all. This will lead to the engine and exhaust heating up before all the water has blown off and cause “baked on” spots on the bike’s body that would be difficult to wipe off. What you can use is a leaf blower. If you don’t have one, then simply dry your bike with a soft cloth, like chamois towel.

Washing Your Motorcycle

Don’t Use Strong Chemicals – Use the Right Ones - The trick to cleaning your bike is to find a cleaning agent that is strong enough to remove dirt, but also mild enough to not cause damage. Some cleaning agents can react with the surface, causing the paint and metal to dull and rubber parts to crack. Be very careful with degreasing – read the instructions carefully and remove the de-greaser after the time specified in the instruction manual. Also, bear in mind that household cleaners should never be used to clean the bike.  

Don’t Spray on the Controls - This is one mistake that could cause serious injury. Never use any cleaner (spray or polish) on the hand controls, brakes, feet controls, treaded portion of your tires and seat. Instead, use specific cleaners for these parts, like wiping leather seats with a leather cleaner.

Don’t Ignore the Tar Spots – Your motorcycle can easily pick up tar from a recently laid road. It can be extremely difficult to remove because of its oil-based nature. Make sure you don’t let it sit on your bike for long. If you’re having trouble cleaning it with a common cleaning product, use a chain cleaner. After removing the tar, apply a layer of wax to preserve the lacquer.

 

Once you are done with cleaning, just grab your helmet and jacket, and you’re ready to hit the road with your bike looking its best. A small suggestion would be to carry a soft rag with you after washing your bike. This is to wipe off any stains you may incur during your ride.

Note: After washing your bike, the tires and brakes may still be wet. As a result, you might not be able to obtain maximum traction or grip immediately. So be sure to ride slow right after you have washed and dried your motorcycle

Do you have any more suggestions? Share them in your comments.