Motorcycle Cleaning Guide

Motorcycle Cleaning Guide
I’ve seen a lot of questions either on the subreddit or on the discord on how best to clean your bike. I’m going to go over a few different methodologies for cleaning the bike, however they all have one thing in common and that’s keeping your bike looking good!

Some things to note

Chain Cleaning

Cleaning the chain should be done regularly and if you want to include it in your cleaning what you should do is clean the chain first then lube it at the end.
 

Matte Paint on Bikes

Do NOT use any products with Wax instead use the suggested items in the products list
 

Applying ACF50

ACF Should be applied after you’ve applied the wax to your bike so usually towards the end once the bike is dry. To do this I recommend the spray bottle as the aerosol is frankly terrible. 
To apply the ACF spray onto the desired part and then wipe it off with a dedicated micro fibre cloth. Avoid contact with the brakes where possible however if you do get ACF on the brakes it’s not the end of the world buy some brake cleaner to get it off which is paint and brake safe
 

Using a Pressure Washer

Don’t be an idiot and make sure the pressure washer isn’t on a HIGH pressure setting. And avoid getting it too close to electrical components and places like the wheel bearings.
 

No Access to a Hose/Low Budget

So this is a very basic set of cleaning items and really you only need a few things but bare in mind for heavily dirty bikes this won’t work as well as some of the more expensive options below

What you’ll need

 

Let’s start

  1. To begin we’re going to start high and work our way down we have several microfibres so we’ll split those in between the areas DO NOT USE THE SAME MICROFIBRE YOU USED ON THE LOWER PARTS OF THE BIKE ON THE PAINT WORK
  2. Spray the cleaner onto the paint work and with a CLEAN microfibre start to wipe it away
  3. Let’s spray down the lower half of the bike being careful not to get any on the brake discs leave the spray for a few seconds and start to wipe it away repeat this until you’ve finished the lower/non paintwork parts of the bike
  4. Finally let’s get those wheels clean so for this we’ve picked WD40 but a degreaser will also work (this is far easier with the rear wheel and front lifted but can be done without). Get a decent amount of WD40 on the wheel and start to wipe it off again with a microfibre if your wheels are very dirty a degreaser will work better but this should clean most wheels if you can’t get to all the wheel move the bike back and forwards until it’s all clean.
  5. There you go your bike is clean this is really the simplest way of cleaning your bike but by far one of the least effective

 

No Access to a Hose

This is the best thing if you don’t have a hose but does take a fair bit longer and cost more than the previous method

What you’ll need

 

Let’s start

  1. Put a decent squirt of Wash and Wax into a bucket and fill it up with cold water and fill the other up with cold water. This will be your rinse bucket.
  2. We have 2 wash mitts one will be for paintwork and higher up on the bike and the other will be for lower down under the tail etc
  3. So pick up the wash mitt and start going i tend to work from the top down this means that the crud from the lower half of the bike can’t get to the top
  4. When washing the bike ensure the mitt is always suddy. To rinse the mitt, put it into the water bucket then into the soapy bucket. DO NOT GO FROM BIKE TO SOAPY WATER
  5. Keep going until you’re happy the bike is clean ensuring you use the different mitts for the correct parts of the bike this will reduces swirls and any risk to damaging the paint
  6. To clean the wheels we’ve picked WD40 but a degreaser will also work (this is far easier with the rear wheel and front lifted but can be done without). Get a decent amount of WD40 on the wheel and start to wipe it off again with a microfibre if your wheels are very dirty a degreaser will work better but this should clean most wheels if you can’t get to all the wheel move the bike back and forwards until it’s all clean.
  7. Now let’s dry the bike! You may find this easier with the bike on it’s side stand rather than on a paddock stand. Get the drying towel and work from top to bottom and get as much water off as possible. This will also let you go over the bike and look for any leftover dirt which can then be cleaned off. You can help with this by storing the bike on the side stand. The water should fall out by itself.
  8. Finally let’s get the bike waxed. This’ll protect the paint work and give it a shine. Spray the wax on to the paint work and use a clean microfibre to work it into the paint then use a different cloth to buff it off repeat this over any paint work you want to protect

Access to a Hose

What you’ll need

 

Let’s start

  1. To Start get the SDOC Gel cleaner and spray the bike (the bike should be dry) with it all over get in to all the areas where dirt can build up so rear shock wheels etc
  2. On the dirtier areas use the brush to agitate the dirtier areas this will get the dirt off the bike and it’ll hose down easier
  3. After a 15 minute wait, hose the bike down!
  4. Put a decent squirt of Wash and Wax into a bucket and fill it up with cold water and fill the other up with cold water. This will be your rinse bucket.
  5. We have 2 wash mitts one will be for paintwork and higher up on the bike and the other will be for lower down under the tail etc
  6. So pick up the wash mitt and start going i tend to work from the top down this means that the crud from the lower half of the bike can’t get to the top
  7. When washing the bike ensure the mitt is always suddy. To rinse the mitt, put it into the water bucket then into the soapy bucket. DO NOT GO FROM BIKE TO SOAPY WATER
  8. Keep going until you’re happy the bike is clean ensuring you use the different mitts for the correct parts of the bike this will reduces swirls and any risk to damaging the paint
  9. To clean the wheels we’ve picked WD40 but a degreaser will also work (this is far easier with the rear wheel and front lifted but can be done without). Get a decent amount of WD40 on the wheel and start to wipe it off again with a microfibre if your wheels are very dirty a degreaser will work better but this should clean most wheels if you can’t get to all the wheel move the bike back and forwards until it’s all clean.
  10. Now let’s dry the bike! You may find this easier with the bike on it’s side stand rather than on a paddock stand. Get the drying towel and work from top to bottom and get as much water off as possible. This will also let you go over the bike and look for any leftover dirt which can then be cleaned off. You can help with this by storing the bike on the side stand. The water should fall out by itself.
  11. Finally let’s get the bike waxed. This’ll protect the paint work and give it a shine. Spray the wax on to the paint work and use a clean microfibre to work it into the paint then use a different cloth to buff it off repeat this over any paint work you want to protect

 

Access to a Pressure Washer (My Favourite)

You’ll want a snow foam lance for your pressure washer otherwise just do what the method above says. This is how i clean my bikes bare a few differences but they may be seen as excessive

What you’ll need

 

Let’s start

  1. Get your snow foam ready, follow the instructions on the back to ensure you have the right ratio (with this you may find the snow foam doesn’t come out correctly if that’s the case you’ll want the lance)
  2. Once you have the lance ready, spray the bike down with just water first then use the snow foam lance and just go for it! 
  3. Leave the snow foam for a few minutes then rinse it off you can do this multiple times or just do this for a quick wash as well.
  4. Put a decent squirt of Wash and Wax into a bucket and fill it up with cold water and fill the other up with cold water. This will be your rinse bucket.
  5. We have 2 wash mitts one will be for paintwork and higher up on the bike and the other will be for lower down under the tail etc
  6. So pick up the wash mitt and start going i tend to work from the top down this means that the crud from the lower half of the bike can’t get to the top
  7. When washing the bike ensure the mitt is always suddy. To rinse the mitt, put it into the water bucket then into the soapy bucket. DO NOT GO FROM BIKE TO SOAPY WATER
  8. Keep going until you’re happy the bike is clean ensuring you use the different mitts for the correct parts of the bike this will reduces swirls and any risk to damaging the paint
  9. To clean the wheels we’ve picked WD40 but a degreaser will also work (this is far easier with the rear wheel and front lifted but can be done without). Get a decent amount of WD40 on the wheel and start to wipe it off again with a microfibre if your wheels are very dirty a degreaser will work better but this should clean most wheels if you can’t get to all the wheel move the bike back and forwards until it’s all clean.
  10. Now let’s dry the bike! You may find this easier with the bike on it’s side stand rather than on a paddock stand. Get the drying towel and work from top to bottom and get as much water off as possible. This will also let you go over the bike and look for any leftover dirt which can then be cleaned off. You can help with this by storing the bike on the side stand. The water should fall out by itself.
  11. Finally let’s get the bike waxed. This’ll protect the paint work and give it a shine. Spray the wax on to the paint work and use a clean microfibre to work it into the paint then use a different cloth to buff it off repeat this over any paint work you want to protect

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