How to clean your motorcycle

bike

Remember the first time you took your machine out of the showroom? The smooth and shiny surface with no dirt, stains and of course that brilliant performance. Over the course of time, the roads leave their mark and you enthusiastically get about cleaning it. After a regular ride, have you noticed how cleaning your bike improves its performance and gives your machine that vivid look?

The roads in Nepal are dusty, dirty and have crazy potholes everywhere. It gets worse in monsoon and rainy seasons as all of it turns into a muddy mess. When the dirt and mud get onto the bike, it increases the weight of the bike which interferes in the smooth running of the machine and causes a loss of performance due to the mud getting into the drive chains, disc pads, and other crucial parts.

Motorcycles have less surface and bodywork area. With small places in between the engine, it's hard to clean all the parts of a bike efficiently.

Things required to clean your bike.

Before beginning, ensure that your bike is stationary for a while and all the components are cool. Please be careful so as to not use regular detergent, shampoo or any petroleum products like petrol or diesel as they can harm the paint of your bike. Make sure you use a fresh microfiber cloth to clean your bike as rags, towels or any other cloth can easily cause scratches on painted surfaces, making them lose their shiny coat. Following is a list of things you should have before beginning.

  • Bucket and ample amount of water or high-pressure cleaner.
  • Auto detergent
  • Clean Sponge
  • A couple of clean and dry pair of chamois or microfiber cloth
  • WD- 40 or similar de-greasing solution
  • Chain Cleaner (If available)
  • Two old toothbrushes to clean tight places
  • Chain Lube
  • Wax and other detailing products.

Starting off

First and foremost, get the dirt and grease off the chain. To do this, get your motorcycle to rest on its paddock or center stand and put the gear on neutral. Roll the wheel slowly and apply WD- 40 or degreasing spray throughout the chain. Next, clean it with an old toothbrush (chain cleaner preferred) including the chains’ sides as well as the chain sprockets. Water the bike to loosen the dirt or debris. If you have a pressure cleaner, you can put gentle pressure on the bodyworks and concentrate more on areas that attract dirt such as the mudguard and the bike, its sides along with the bottom of the engine. After the bike is wet, use an old toothbrush to clean around the tight places in the engine area. Ensure that pressure is not used while removing the dirt as it may remove paint in the engine area. If there is stubborn dirt, use the degreasing spray. Once the engine area is clean, move on to the wheels and other tight places.

Body

Rinse the motorcycle with cool water. Make sure to rinse starting from the top of the bike and slowly go down. After you have rinsed the upper body part, go directly to the mudguard as it will have a lot of dirt under it. If you are using a pressure cleaner or hose, make sure the pressure is gentle and the spray isn’t concentrated. Be careful not to pressure wash in wired areas or fuse box. Use any auto detergent shampoo and mix the solution with water in a bucket. Dip the sponge or microfiber cloth in the painted bodyworks starting from the top of the bike. Make sure you have a separate cloth for non- painted surfaces as dirt stuck on it can damage painted surfaces.

Rinse as soon as you are done and make sure that the shampoo solution doesn’t dry or sit idle for a long time. Once it has been washed away, use a clean dry chamois or microfiber cloth to wipe away remaining water. Make sure the water is all dried up to avoid stains. Also, wait for the water to dry up as a wet bike is more likely to attract dirt and leave stains.

After Wash

After you have removed all dirt, lubricate the chain with proper chain lube. After lubricating the chain, apply detailing products on all painted bodyworks surface. Avoid applying on the seat, handlebar controls, brake levers, gear levers, and tires, as it will make those surfaces slippery.
Make sure to not use dirty water or cloths. Also, if your motorcycle has only attracted a little dust, simply wipe it away with a microfiber cloth. Likewise, do not keep your motorcycle under direct sunlight for long as it may oxidize your paint.