Make it Shine!
Some people just love to melt away the hours of their day cleaning and polishing their bikes. One of them is our pal Carlos who details motorcycles for a living. He can take the biggest dirtball of a bike and make it look better than when it left the assembly line. When it came time to clean the Lonely King from all the work we have put in on it in the past issues, we hit up Carlos for his top 10 detail tips.
1.Let The Bike Cool Off Completely Before Cleaning
Spraying cold water or cleaners on a hot motorcycle can leave permanent spots on machined or plated parts or possibly crack your engine heads.
2.Remove All Ancillary Parts From The Bike
Pull off the seat, side covers, saddlebags, cup holders or anything else easily removed, so you can get into the tight spots with no difficulty.
3.Remove All Rings, Bracelets, Wallet Chains And Other Items
There is nothing worse than accidentally scratching your bike when trying to clean it. Also rings can get caught on a multitude of edges and injury can occur.
4.Use Good Quality Terrycloth And Micofiber Towels
Use the more porous terrycloth towels for the plated and chromed parts, and the microfiber cloths for the easily scratched or swirled painted and powdercoated finishes.
5.The Kitchen Is Your Friend
A kitchen scrub brush, non-scratching SOS pads and Scotch Brite sponges, as well as toothbrushes are great utensils to clean bikes with.
6.Find Good Quality Cleaners And Stick With Them
Though there are many good cleaners on the market, some of them when mixed can cause corrosion, dry out paint, and cause chalking. We prefer the bike cleaning kits like the ones Meguiar's and Wizards makes.
7.Pre-Soak Before Total Wash
Use a mild degreaser and hot water on the parts of the bike that really need it such as wheels and bug-covered front fairings. Wash the other parts with warm soapy water.
8.Buy A Bike Lift Already
Bike lifts are cheap insurance. Trying to move an 800-pound bike around with wet and slippery hands can have negative and catastrophic results. We like the Pitbull and Craftsman lifts.
9.Blow It Dry
Use an air compressor, shop vac or hair dryer to blow all the water out of the stubborn nooks and crannies before starting the bike. This water, if not removed, can play hell with the electrical system.
10. Wax On, Wax off
Don't be afraid to wax your bike; it's not the mess it used to be. Many companies have an easy way to keep a nice coat on your bike. We have used Eagle One Wax as U Dry and Turtle Wax Liquid Paste Wax with great results.