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How precisely do I wash my bike?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Spud Gun, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. I want to wash my bike, and I am wondering if there are things that I should or shouldn't do. Now, I know that soap, water and a sponge are required. But can I use car wash stuff that has wax in it? Is there bike specific shampoo? Do I wash the engine to remove grime, or just hose it down? There must be something to it as Suzuki sell a washing kit (http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/accessoriesandgear/suzcare/).What tips and tricks do you have that you can share?

    I found this link with some good tips:
  2. Spud,

    Plastic bag over the end of the exhaust (don't want water in there). Don't hose up under the seat (fills up with water). No "cutting type" or wax polishes.

    Get hose - wet bike
    Get bucket - fill with water and car wash
    Wash bike with sponge, scrub chain and wheeel rims
    Hose off, dry with chamois
    Lube chain, check fluids, tyre pressure, etc...
    I take seat off and dry under ('cause water always seems to get inside)
    Takes about 30 minutes
  3. and dont use a high pressure water blaster, they are not very bike friendly. If you are to use one (to comply to water restrictions) dont turn it on, just run the water through it ;)
  4. Or you can just stuff an old rag in there. Gives you more access to wash clean the pipe.
  5. I generally give my bike a "rinse" with water in a bucket and a rag to get rid of all the heavy stuff, then give the bike a once over with either Plexus or Motul's Wash and Wax (full fairing bike so these Plastic cleaners are the go as long as you don't get it on the seats, its a tad slippery).

    All this results to a fair bit of manual effort and about 2 hours of attention but Its a pretty rare thing to find me cleaning anything.

    I still haven't done my chain yet (no paddock stand or centre stand) but I'm told using Turpentine on this works a treat.

    I stand ready to be corrected though.
  6. Car wash is fine but don't use Washing up liquid (I seem to remember it's a bad idea for some reason).

    First thing to do before rinsing is to apply a mild-degreaser to the oily bits (ie, engine covers, swing arm and wheels) as you'll only cover your sponge in grease if you try to scrub it off. The trick here is to use a degreaser that won't dull your paint-work (I haven't found one yet!).

    After degreasesing, follow Jason's directions above...
  7. these questions will produce heaps of different answers...

    me personally I usually take a minimum of 3 hours to clean my bike, much to the hilarity of my non-bike owning mates.
    I use kero on the back wheel to remove the fling off from the chain lube... DON'T use kero on paintwork.... I also think there are other things you shouldn't use it on so I only used on the wheel.

    aside from cleaning the paintwork I also wipe around all the seals of the engine and remove and oil and grim from around there.

    metal polish for the pipes.

    rest is much like Wanderer said
  8. i use kenko degreaser on the chain, but if this is done you must use a wd (i.e. wd40) spray on the chain before lubing it to disperse the water or it'll rust and fcuk your chain quicker than you can say " what the...."
  9. russ,

    been wanting something to clean the fling off from the chain on the back rim - is kero OK for aluminium wheels?
  10. oh yeah, spending at least 2-3 or 4 hours washing the bike with beer to lube the self is the go!
  11. Thank gods someone else asked this question, but since it was raised... should I take the fairings off to clean my bike? I'm not sure how to do that, but I assume there is a screw or something somewhere? I assume it gets grubby in there...
  12. You know, I don't think I have *ever* attempted to clean my bike fully sober.
  13. I have silver aluminium alloy wheels and it has been working a treat with no spots or streaks . I've been told that engine degreasers on aluminium have a tendency to streak it black :cry:

    but having said that, I would do a spot check somewhere not visible.
    in fact I'll stress it: check before applying, I've had zero problems but I'd hate to say yeh it's safe and then have you damage something.

    that advice probably goes with anything vaugely corrosive you put on your bike in places that people will notice.
  14. the more time and effort you spend on the bike... the cleaner it will be. I always remove all fairings whilst cleaning my bikes. but if you are happy for it to just look clean????
  15. Go naked bikes!
  16. go into a pushy (bike) shop and get a bottle of citrus bio degreaser. used to use that on my pushy then on its bigger brother and it works a treat. plus you dont have to worry about getting it in places you shouldnt.

    hasnt destroyed anything on my pushy yet (3years shocks, seals etc) or my motopushy (6ish months) and its a gun at destroying evil old chain lube :)
  17. how the hell do i manage to always end up being the last post or first post on a page hmmmm strange forces at work
  18. Should the chain be washed and lubed with every wash? Is this how its done:
    - Use degreaser on the chain
    - Wash the bike and the chain
    - Dry the bike
    - Oil and lube the chain
  19. I recently switched to using one of those microfibre cleaning mits on the bike, they work surprisingly well without detergent (just water) and all you need to do to clean them is just chuck 'em in the washing machine. Real handy in areas on water restrictions. The real trick though is to make sure you start on the cleaner parts of the bike ie the fairings before moving onto the wheels. They're also fairly effective when they're dry so I usually carry one with me on trips for getting the bugs off my helmet visor and screen. For built up grime on the engine etc I usually just use a cheap can of degreaser followed by a quick hose off, the chain I clean using a toothbrush and kero.
  20. nice tip with the micro fibre cloth

    so you can use kero on the chain? figured it might have a detrimental effect on the o-rings os I haven't used it ... I take it you've had no problems?