Your new motorcycle is an investment and you will want to keep it looking its best at all times. Of course, the best way to do so is by regularly giving it a good cleaning. However, unlike a car, you just can’t take it to the nearest washing spot. Instead, it will need to be done by hand with great care taken not to damage the bike at the same time.
Before I set about cleaning my bike, I always remove any jewelry or other items such as a motorcycle jacket that may damage it. I also make sure that I only clean it when it is cool to the touch. Not only can the hot pipe cause burns, waxes and cleaners will act differently on warm parts and could damage the finish. You will also want to gather such items as a bucket, soap, a toothbrush for small areas, a brush to clean the wheels, cotton sponges, soft wash mitt and a chamois towel for drying.
While cleaning your bike, I like to use cleansers specifically made for motorcycles. You can try and save a little bit of money and go with regular detergent, but this won’t work nearly as well and you could wind up damaging the paint job. In addition, be sure to carefully read the instructions on the cleanser and dilute it in a bucket of water. When cleaning, pay extra attention to the nooks and crannies as well as the underside of your bike where dirt and grime can build up. To clean the harder parts of the bike such as the swingarm or exhaust, a degreaser may need to be used. However, take extra care to make sure that it does not come into contact with the paint or chrome as it can damage the finish. In addition, I find it better to use a tire and wheel cleaner in order to get rid of brake dust that can be hard to remove in the wheels. After you have presoaked the bike and used a toothbrush in the small areas and a microfiber sponge on the body, it is time to rinse it. When doing so, be sure to rinse from the top down. In addition, don’t forget about the nooks and crannies where cleaning solution may gather. You will also want to rinse the bike several times as cleaning solution may splash onto another part of the bike and make it hard to remove the spots when drying.
After your bike has been totally rinsed off, dry it immediately using a soft chamois cloth. Never ride the bike around the block to air dry it as water may bake on items such as the engine and exhaust creating spots that will be very hard to clean. When drying the bike, pay attention to places that water will hide such as under the fenders and around the hand controls and make sure that you get all the moisture in these areas.
In order to keep your bike looking like new, you may want to wax the motorcycle if the water does not bead into small droplets. I also like to use such items as a spray finish to give it a new shine. Pay attention to the chrome and polish it to give it a brand new look and use items such as Armor All to clean any leather and keep it looking like new.