How to approach washing your motorcycle
Washing your motorcycle is different than washing your car. Virtually all of your motorcycle’s mechanical running gear is exposed, including the switchgear and controls. You’ll want to clean everything from the engine to wheels, saddle to brakes, and the colorful paint and chrome that makes your motorcycle beautiful. In short, your bike has many different surfaces that require special care, and many nooks and crannies to clean.
Before getting out the hose and bucket filled with suds, there are some things to do to prep your motorcycle for a wash. Get some cling wrap from your kitchen and gently cover the following areas on your motorcycle so they don’t get damaged by water exposure or flooding:
- Exhaust and air intake
- Upsweep mufflers
- Exposed permanent air filter
You can remove accumulated dirt, depending on its type and location, more easily by pre-soaking.
- Paint and fairings: Dried bugs are a culprit here. Cover this area with a water-dampened-terrycloth towel to soften the debris so you can wipe it away without too much work after the soak.
- Wheels and engine cases: Brake dust, chain lube, oil, and road tar on these areas can be pre-soaked with cleaners like Simple Green or moto-specific bike cleaners.
- Chains: If you have a chain drive motorcycle, pre-soak time is a great time to apply chain cleaner on your chain.
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