Most people who operate their own motorcycle will admit that they don't enjoy riding it while it is dirty. The motorcycle is smaller than your average car, but it does contain many corners and crevices where dirt can accumulate. If you intend to take on the responsibility of washing your motorcycle, there are several things to consider to do it properly.
The first thing to do is to clear an area for the big wash. If you have accessories on the bike that should not be allowed to get wet, such as electronics, you should have them removed or at the least have them covered.
Whether you own a dirt bike or a bike that sticks to the streets, once the sensitive stuff is protected, the pressure hose should come out. Pressure washing is a great tool for getting into areas that would otherwise be unreachable.
Unfortunately, unless you are using a self-serve car wash, you will have to settle for a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle. It is important to avoid direct contact to any rubber connectors with a pressure washer because some of these nozzles can damage them. When you decide to use a pressure hose on your bike, keep the nozzle moving.
Pressure washing may initially take the dirt off, but it certainly isn't all you need. There are many simple cleaning solutions that will not hurt your paint job or leave the leather on your motorcycle with a dull appearance.
In some instances, it might be advisable to use one cleaning solution for the leather and another for the wheels and lower areas of your bike. If you decide to use the same solution for everything, you should be mindful of the fact that many household chemicals could be harmful to the motorcycle, so remember to read your labels.
When the washing is complete, and you have rinsed off all the soap, it is time to think about drying everything down properly. One of the many challenges you will encounter when washing your motorcycle is the amount of hidden areas that are difficult to get to.
Drying can be just as much of a task as washing or hosing it off. A Chamois will be your best choice for the exposed areas, but you need to remove excess water from hidden areas with an air hose, a vacuum cleaner in reverse or even some WD40.
The final stages of washing your motorcycle should include some measure of waxing. It is not advisable to wax your bike after every wash, but with all that chrome, there is no reason you can't keep it shiny. With a soft cloth, pay attention to your mirrors, headlights and tail lights.
Finally, wipe down the inside of your rims and introduce a shine to your tires. Every stage of your wash will help your equipment last longer; however, there is such a thing as doing it too often. Avoid excessive washing by keeping your motorcycle covered and protected from the elements.
While I don’t always like to take my motorcycle out for a wash, I try to do it every few weeks, or more often if I deal with a lot of rain. But, with these basic steps, I am able to get my motorcycle looking clean and shiny again.