Your motorcycle is your travel partner, your baby, and one of your most important investments. However, it requires care in order to keep up with the challenges of the road. While maintenance is obviously important, knowing how to properly wash your motorcycle can extend its lifespan and keep it looking great as you cruise the downtown streets of Dallas. If you aren’t sure whether you’re washing your bike correctly or just need a refresher, here’s a guide to help you.
Before you get your hands dirty, prep for the wash by gathering some materials, clearing your work area, and removing motorcycle components that shouldn’t get wet.
You’ll need an extensive list of cleaning supplies to properly wash your bike including:
- A bucket
- Sponges to remove grime without scratching the finish
- Brushes to remove more stubborn dirt on spokes and other surfaces (a toothbrush works great for hard-to-reach areas)
- Motorcycle cleaners
- Several microfiber towels and chamois
Cleaning the Work Area
One thing that many motorcycle experts warn against is washing your bike at any commercial car wash center. Instead, wash it in a relatively clean place that’s free of grime and dirt and away from direct sunlight, since the sun causes soap to dry faster creating soap spots. If you’ve just gone on a ride, let your bike cool down before you wash. When you spray cold water on a hot engine, it can cause significant damage when the metal expands.
Tank bags, luggage, GPS, and other accessories can’t get wet or they’ll need to be replaced. However, you can get distracted and easily ruin one of your cherished items. Always double-check so you don’t make an egregious error.
Wet and Soap
Start by giving your motorcycle a quick spray with the hose or a water bottle and a spritz of cleaner to loosen up the grime. Rinse away the excess and grab your soap, sponge, and bucket. Always start from the top and work your way down so you don’t dirty spots you’ve already done. If your sponge picks up dirt, rinse it out as you go. Use a brush to clean the spokes and remove heavier dirt and debris. Rinse once completed.
Dry and Wax
After washing, dry your motorcycle as soon as possible. Water can settle in certain areas, causing corrosion over time. A chamois or microfiber towel works perfectly for this task. Once that’s done, the final touches are a coat of wax and a quick lube of the chain. Not only will your bike look awesome, but it will drive great as well.
If you can memorize this washing routine and conduct a thorough washing after long rides or every few weeks, your motorcycle will almost certainly look new like the day you bought it. These techniques are easy to tailor to your needs and style, so don’t be afraid to experiment. After that, showcase your shiny new bike at a Cowboys’ tailgate or the Texas State Fair. People will surely take notice.