This time of the year in the Northeast of the US of A, the roads see a lot of cinders and salt in an effort to battle the elements and keep the snow at bay. But on the first warm day the bikes come out and a lot of riders cure their cabin fever by hitting the roads. But at the end of the ride the bike is covered with filthy road grime and corrosive road treatments. You may be temped to stop by the car wash and blast the bike of with the high powered sprayer, but you may do more harm than good. High-pressure sprayers can damage bike parts, which are more vulnerable and exposed than cars parts are.
So park the bike out in the driveway and give your ride and old fashioned washing with a soap bucket and some sponges and really get all of those hard to reach places. To keep your bike looking new, you must pay attention to the little details.
Be sure you find a shady spot to wash (and dry) your bike, since the sun will allow water to leave spots and streaks.You will need:
• S100 Cleaner Gift Pack (Gift pack includes 1/2 liter of s100 Cleaner, Detailer & Wax, Finish Restorer, Corrosion Protectant, a sponge and a Super Absorbent Towel)
• A bucket of warm water
• A garden hose to rinse the bike off
• Bug and tar remover
• Degreaser and/or engine cleaner
• A toothbrush
• A brush for wheel cleaning
• Wheel cleaner
• A variety of soft cotton rags
• S100 Polish Detailing Set
Dead bugs and brake dust are the curse to every motorcyclist, but using the right tools will get them off your ride easier than you think.
Bug and tar removers work surprisingly well, and some people also use WD40 for this duty. Don’t scrub too hard into the paint when loosening bugs, and be sure not to use the same sponge for other cleaning duties. Sometimes a hot wet towel is required to sit on the part you are trying to clean to let the bugs loosen up before trying to scrub them off.
Use oven cleaner to remove boot marks from chrome exhaust pipes, but extra care must be taken to keep strong cleaners away from painted and plastic parts. Spray some on a rag and set the treated rag on the burnt on boot mark. It will wipe off in 20 minutes.
A toothbrush will get hard to reach places and so will cotton swabs. Apply degreaser on the tip for non-chrome engine parts, and oil and grime will disappear.
Wheels can be difficult to clean, and a stiff brush is usually the best way scrub off brake dust and dirt off of a cast wheel. Apply a wheel cleaner first and let it settle before scrubbing it off. Chrome wheels will require specific cleaners, so be aware of your wheel’s finish before purchasing a cleaner.
Rinse the soapy residue off with a gentle stream of water from a hose, or by pouring water from the bucket.
With your bike still parked in the shade, use a chamois cloth to soak up the moisture from the paint. The chamois will keep the finish from getting scratched, and prevent streaks and spots from accumulating.
The best way to dry your bike without taking back out on the dirty streets is to use a Metro Air Force Blaster SideKick Motorcycle Dryer. Designed to thoroughly dry a full-size road bike in minutes, the SideKick features a powerful 1.3 HP motor that pumps out 18,000 feet-per-minute of warm (25-30 degrees above ambient) filtered air. A very handy devise!
Got a bike with a black engine that just isn’t so black anymore?
S100 Engine Brightener can take a tired, greyed-out engine and make it look almost factory-new again! Just clean the engine and dry, then spray on the temperature stable S100 Engine Brightener. Use the handy misting spray nozzle (an industry exclusive) to get into the cooling fins and crannies without over-applying. That factory black look comes back and lasts for miles and miles and holds up to a bunch of washes, too. Friends will think you replaced the engine!