Tech Tip: Washing your Bike

Words & Pics Shane Booth

Dirty-Bike

This is what we are starting with. My bike has done a days riding in the sand at Coolum in QLD. It’s black sand known for being a little harsh on the bike and can be difficult to clean up.

Dirty-Bike-Engine

dirty-bike-and-soap

To get your bike clean all you need is a good quality detergent like Motul’s Moto Wash, most truck wash detergents will do a good job too. Just be careful with strong detergents to make sure you mix the wash to the recommended ratio so you don’t corrode any parts of the bike. A scotch brite pad will also get some use.

Soap-and-Scotch-brite

I use this type of spray bottle to apply the detergent, it sprays it on easily and you don’t have to refill it every time you wash.

Bung

Before you start the wash put a bung in the muffler, it obviously stops water entering your exhaust and will help your packing last much longer. Even if you are careful you’ll get some water in there without the bung.

Pre-Rinse

I’m not using a pressure cleaner to wash my bike, I actually very rarely do. I find the garden hose with a jet nozzle works fine for anything other than extreme mud. I always start with a quick hose off of the bike to remove as much excess dirt as possible, the more of the chunky stuff you remove the better the soap will work.

Soap-Spray

Now spray the soap on, make sure you totally cover the bike with this stuff.

soaped-2

soaped

Scotch-Brite

Here is where the scotch brute comes into play. Once you have sprayed the soap on then give the frame a scrub with the scotch brite pad. It will remove the black marks that form up where your boots rub. I also give the kickstart, brake pedal, clutch cover and gear shift lever a light scrub too just to bring them up a bit cleaner.

rinse

Now it’s time to rinse all the soap off. If your pre rinse was good enough then you should only have to do this once. Try to get into everywhere on different angles so you don’t miss anything.

Lay-Down

Once it is clean I lay the bike over on the stand and rinse it again. You’ll be surprised at what you missed when you lay the bike over. Once you’re happy with it put it back on the stand and give it one last rinse off.

EZ-Lube

When the bike is back on the stand the first thing I do is hit the chain and sprockets with Motul EZ Lube to disperse water and stop any rust forming between rides.

EZ-Lube-2

I also lube the foot pegs, rear brake clevis, gear shifter tip and kick start with the same stuff. It just keeps everything moving nicely and stop any seizing. I also give the entire engine a light spray to help disperse any water and avoid any corrosion.

shine-and-go

The last step is to spray the plastics with shine & go. This will not only bring the plastics up to a nice shine but it also leaves a coating which will make your bike easier to clean next time.

Shine-And-Go-

When you spray it on it will look like this which isn’t ideal. I always spray everything then go back with a clean rag and wipe off all the excess. Be careful not to get any of this on your brakes.

Clean-Bike

All going well this should be the end result, not too much effort involved in keeping your ride looking good ride after ride.