Cleaning Your Motorcycle Well

To wash your rims the first thing we need to do is fill the bucket with water and add dish soap. The reason for dish soap is that it will cut through the grease left on the rims.

Using a brush, scrub the rims until they are clean; then rinse them off with clean water. Spray a glass cleaner in an even coat on the rims and wipe it off in a circular pattern with a rag.

As you wipe make sure to keep turning the cloth over and over so the wet side is never used more than once. If you have a lot of chrome it may take once to wipe it clean and a second spray and buffing action to shine it up.

To wash the drive chain, remove the guard from your bike, if it is equipped with one. The chain guard is usually attached to the bike with two bolts near the front of the chain, and with two bolts near the back axle of the bike.

Spray your bike’s drive chain with kerosene or WD-40. Make sure to coat it fully.

Remember to cover the inside and between each link. Putting the bike on a bike rack will allow you to raise the rear tire off the ground so you can have easy access to all parts of it.

Scrub it down with a steel wire brush that you can buy at any hardware or automotive store. Scrub it as closely as possible.

The new lubricant will not stick if there are particles of dirt and grease left on the chain. Keep a bucket of clean water nearby so you can rinse the brush out when it becomes covered in debris.

Rinse it thoroughly with clean water and allow it time to dry completely. Apply a liberal coating of wax or lube to the entire chain once it’s dry.

Make sure to coat the entire chain, including between each link. You can buy lube or chain at any automotive store or motorcycle dealership.

To wash the windshield, purchase a microfiber cloth to wash and a window cleaning solution. You may want to go down to the local bike dealer and see what they recommend and sell.

If you prefer a commercial product you may want to try a product that is a protectant and a polish. It is multipurpose; you can use it on your helmet shield, goggle, and sunglasses as well.

You might also want to try it on your tail lights and headlamp. Homemade solutions are to be tried with extreme caution.

The only fairly safe homemade concoction is water and vinegar. This works well if all you want to do is wash off a light film of grime and oil.

Spray or apply degreaser liberally to the wheels, engine area and the chain. Let the degreaser soak into the grease so it’s easier to remove.

Wipe the degreaser off with a clean rag. Use the rag to wash the chain drive as well as under the suspension.

Apply more degreaser as necessary to wash these problem areas. Mix the soap and water according to package directions.

Choose a soap suitable for the finish on your motorcycle. Get a sponge wet in the soapy water.

Wash the motorcycle from top to bottom with the soapy water. Get into all the tight spots to wash them as well.

You can pour water onto the motorcycle rather than hose it down to rinse it. You may need hot water to remove the remains of the grease and the degreaser.

Let the motorcycle dry for a few minutes, then move it to a dry spot. Use a clean dry chamois to dry the entire motorcycle.

Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to help dry the hard to reach spots. Apply any waxes you like to your motorcycle body parts.

Buff them off with a soft rag. Apply lube to the chain and put metal polish on the metal parts of the motorcycle.

Tom Selwick has worked in the auto industry for over 25 years and has written hundreds of articles about detailing cars, and he recommends Las Vegas car detailing for the best detailing in the business.

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Tom Selwick

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