You might be wondering, “How often should I wash my motorcycle?” The answer to that depends. Washing a motorcycle might seem like a simple and basic chore, one that’s a lot like washing a car. However, it is different. Cars feature extra protection that guard them against high-pressure hoses and potent detergents. Motorcycles are a bit more delicate, and this means that they require more cautious care. When you wash a motorcycle properly, it will save you time and money since you’ll be keeping your bike maintained.
Can I Power Wash My Motorcycle?
Another common question when it comes to cleaning bikes is, “Can I power wash my motorcycle?” While it’s tempting to think about just grabbing your power washer to spray down your bike, fight the urge. If you accidentally blasted a stream of water at your motorcycle’s fork seals, chain, electrical connectors or wheel bearings, you could compromise seals or cause inadvertent damage. To keep your bike safe, it’s best to wash it by hand. That way, you can look over your motorcycle thoroughly for structural or connection issues, the kind that’s easy to miss when you’re riding it.
How Often Should I Wash My Motorcycle?
You might also be asking yourself, “How often should I wash my motorcycle?” Most motorcycle owners can get away with washing their bikes about once a month, but it depends on how often you ride it and the conditions that you ride it in. If you wash your motorcycle too frequently, you could be washing away important lubricants. On the other hand, if you don’t wash it often enough, then you might miss leaks or damage that’s occurred to parts of your bike. Anytime you take a ride that leaves your bike dirty, wash it as soon as you can.
What Are the Best Motorcycle Washing Supplies?
Exactly what are the best motorcycle washing supplies? Along with sponges and cloths, be sure to purchase a cleanser that’s designed for motorcycles. Plenty of options are available at motorcycle shops and many auto parts stores. You’ll want your garden hose to have an adjustable spray nozzle as well. Also, make sure that you have some chain lubricant to restore the amount that it will lose while being washed.
Gather Your Motorcycle Washing Supplies
What are the best motorcycle washing supplies? Before you get started washing your motorcycle, make sure that you have everything you need. The last thing that you want is to get your bike ready for a good cleaning and then realize that you’re missing an important product or two. Don’t use car washing detergent to clean your motorcycle. Instead, purchase a product formulated for bikes. When it’s time to wash your bike, you’ll want to touch it as little as possible. For the moments that you need to scrub something off it, you’ll want to have the best materials for the job. What materials are safe to use? We recommend:
- Specialty brushes
- Flannel material or soft cloths
- Microfiber cloths
Sponges are the ideal product for getting rid of sticky debris without causing damage to your bike’s finish. When using sponges, make sure that dirt pieces don’t become attached to the sponge. If this happens, the dirt can mar the paint. Use specialty brushes for hard-to-reach areas like spoke wheels and other bike areas that can withstand some scrubbing. Use brushes sparingly and only after trying other ways to remove dirt. Flannel and soft cloths are great for removing the water from your bike following a wash, while chamois are perfect for getting rid of stubborn water spots. Take a microfiber cloth to your bike when you’re ready to apply a detailing spray. Microfiber captures any remaining lint or dust.
Before you douse your bike in suds and water, make sure that your motorcycle is cool. If the engine is hot when you wash it, then it will experience thermal shock. Also, hot metal causes molecules to expand. If cold water were to come into contact with the hot metal on your bike, then it may become damaged. Don’t wash your bike in direct sun. Doing this makes the soap dry too fast, increasing the possibility of water spots and streaks.
Block your bike’s exhaust. You can purchase rubber plugs for this purpose or just use an old rag. Plugging the exhaust will prevent excess water from collecting in it.
After spraying your bike down with water to moisten it, spritz it with a spray cleaner. A motorcycle cleaner will loosen up any dried bugs, dirt or other unpleasant remains that have become attached to your bike from riding down the highway. A motorcycle spray might even eliminate most of the schmutz that’s collected on it before you have to start scrubbing. Generally speaking, the less scrubbing you can do, the better. When you scrub, you’re more likely to scratch the surface of your motorcycle due to your cleaning tool collecting small pieces of dirt or debris. Give the cleanser time to work. Then, rinse it off using regular hose pressure.
The next step is to soap up your bike. Begin at the top and work down. If your sponge collects dirt or grime, then rinse it or change sponges before continuing. Be sure to change the soapy water after a few rinses because dirt and debris will gather at the bottom of your bucket. Avoid scrubbing your bike’s brakes and chain because they feature lubrication that you’ll want to maintain for them to operate properly.
Rinse the soap from your bike and then dry it. Be sure to dry your motorcycle thoroughly to prevent corrosion and damage. If you have a leaf or a snow blower that you can use to dry it fast, then use it. You should also add more lubrication to the motorcycle chain.
Washing your motorcycle is an important maintenance task. When you do it properly, you’ll be able to spot small issues with your bike before they become big ones. It also prevents damage from corrosive road salts and other kinds of grimy build-up.