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Thread: Best Dirty Bike Wash?

  1. #16
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    Here's a few tried and true techniques.

    http://www.ibmwr.org/clean/

    Robert

  2. #17
    JAMESDUNN
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    There are riders and there are cleaners....

    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    Go to a HD forum for tips on cleaning. Essentially, clean & polish 23 hours for every
    hour riding. Only ride on nice days. Better yet, put the bike in the back of a truck
    and drive it where-ever. Save's alot of polishing time.
    ....read that in one of the "ON" mags. Your post is funny and....contains a lot of truth. I do clean my bikes now and again, but it's not a priority and I kind of appreciate "the rode hard and put up wet" look. When I do clean I spray with "Bike Bright" and rinse. That's pretty much it, with maybe a yearly wax. A bottle of Bike Bright will last a year so; if you're a rural sort buy a couple of bottles next time you are in a metropolis and you'll be good to go for a long spell!

  3. #18
    igofar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Hmmmm....nobody else here just waits until it rains?
    I'm with you, bro'. My '06 LT has never been polished. I've given her maybe three light, sloppy washings in almost 80,000 miles, and she's sexy as ever. Thunderstorms remove bugs. The windscreen and mirrors are all that get regular attention.
    It's been said that one can not see the motorcycle one is riding. I'd like to add the caveat that one can not see that motorcycle if one is riding it hard.
    Last edited by igofar; 03-08-2009 at 03:53 PM. Reason: duplicated signature

  4. #19
    Registered User peterb's Avatar
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    Bike cleaning

    Some time back there was an article or thread somewhere that was very enlightening about bike cleaning. You should, according to it and I have found it works very well, always START by cleaning the lower portion of your bike first.

    I have one bucket for the lower and another for the upper. Into the lower goes, and I just had to go to the garage to see what it is I use, goes anything from Simple Green, to Purple Power, to 407 - and sometimes its a mix of those. I use either Purple Power or BMW M/C Wheel Cleaner [~$20 at the dealer - very good stuff!] on the wheels - they work well at removing the build-up of dirt and grunge. Various brushes help do the work and a kitchen scruber with sponge on one side and soft plastic scratcher on the other can also help.

    I use Purple Power or 407 on the engine and other dirty lower [unpainted] parts - rinsing all frequently. Again, different brushes and scrubber to aid in removal.

    For the top/painted/windshield et al parts of the bike, a new bucket of hot sudsy water [any car wash cleaner from the local auto parts store]. Before wetting the top down I use hydrogen peroxide on the bugs - bubbles them off and doesn't harm the surface. Then I scrub the windshield first with a dedicated car mitt or sponge [last one came from wallyworld and has neat little danglies on it and is soft but cleans well.] Again rinse frequently. I use a long soft brush on the cables, lines, controls as the brush gets down in where bulker items can't.

    Finally a compressor to blow off/out most of the water; towel dry with a microfiber towel and go for a ride to dry out the brakes and get the remaining water out from the hidden recesses - oh WTF - I just like to ride!

    For leather I use Lexol products - also from auto parts stores or cage wash businesses.
    peterb www.ppldma.com

    '07 R1200 RT - LD ride w/ >145+K mi
    '00 1150GS w/ >165+K miles and more to come...

  5. #20
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Some time back there was an article or thread somewhere that was very enlightening about bike cleaning. You should, according to it and I have found it works very well, always START by cleaning the lower portion of your bike first.

    I have one bucket for the lower and another for the upper. Into the lower goes, and I just had to go to the garage to see what it is I use, goes anything from Simple Green, to Purple Power, to 407 - and sometimes its a mix of those. I use either Purple Power or BMW M/C Wheel Cleaner [~$20 at the dealer - very good stuff!] on the wheels - they work well at removing the build-up of dirt and grunge. Various brushes help do the work and a kitchen scruber with sponge on one side and soft plastic scratcher on the other can also help.

    I use Purple Power or 407 on the engine and other dirty lower [unpainted] parts - rinsing all frequently. Again, different brushes and scrubber to aid in removal.

    For the top/painted/windshield et al parts of the bike, a new bucket of hot sudsy water [any car wash cleaner from the local auto parts store]. Before wetting the top down I use hydrogen peroxide on the bugs - bubbles them off and doesn't harm the surface. Then I scrub the windshield first with a dedicated car mitt or sponge [last one came from wallyworld and has neat little danglies on it and is soft but cleans well.] Again rinse frequently. I use a long soft brush on the cables, lines, controls as the brush gets down in where bulker items can't.

    Finally a compressor to blow off/out most of the water; towel dry with a microfiber towel and go for a ride to dry out the brakes and get the remaining water out from the hidden recesses - oh WTF - I just like to ride!

    For leather I use Lexol products - also from auto parts stores or cage wash businesses.
    and ... check out post #12 - good gouge there.

  6. #21
    Bob
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    Clean bugs off headlight lens & ride. Repeat.
    Clean bird poop off seat if neccessary.
    Anything above and beyond is for a rainy day.

  7. #22
    JAMESDUNN
    Guest

    Concur.

    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    Clean bugs off headlight lens & ride. Repeat.
    Clean bird poop off seat if neccessary.
    Anything above and beyond is for a rainy day.
    "Cycle Bright" softens all the bugs so they are easily rinsed off. I want to ride my bike, not worship and pamper it. Maintenance yes; great efforts at cleaning....NO! To each his own, but no special brushes, cloths, towels, and various compounds for me!

  8. #23
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Wax attracts small dust particles that don't wash out of / off the wax very well. So removing the wax once or twice a year doesn't bother me a bit. So using Dawn doesn't bother me a bit.

    I'm positive that the more benign stuff sold for washing gargantuan car hoods, doors, fenders, trunks, and roofs is better for cars. Those surfaces also don't have nearby wheel bearings, engine gaskets, seals, and other sources of oily grime needing to be removed. I have exactly one small front fender, two small side panels, and one gas tank to re-wax on my bike. So I use Dawn. At least twice a year.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  9. #24
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    Bike Soap

    Dawn removes the old wax so if you use it, wax needs to be applied after the bike is dried. Blast all the old dirty off with a good stream of water so when you wash it with a sponge, you don't scratch the surface with the large pieces of dirt. For wax, Zaino which can be ordered on line is, in my opinion, the very best there is. Goes on easily and comes off easier. Your bike will look like it just came off the showroom floor. Again, Dawn removes not only dirt and grease, but also wax.

  10. #25
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    Cycle Wash

    S-100 products are excellent. They make a concentrated spray-on cleaner for wheels and a separate spray-on cleaner for the rest of the bike. I use a soft nylon bristle brush on the wheels and simply hose it off with water.

  11. #26
    mitchell0481
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    Quote Originally Posted by rambrookian View Post
    S-100 products are excellent. They make a concentrated spray-on cleaner for wheels and a separate spray-on cleaner for the rest of the bike. I use a soft nylon bristle brush on the wheels and simply hose it off with water.

    +1

  12. #27
    Seeking Mental Floss
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    S-100, then copious rinse. Dry with leaf blower. Go riding.

  13. #28
    scqtt
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    Go to a HD forum for tips on cleaning. Essentially, clean & polish 23 hours for every
    hour riding. Only ride on nice days. Better yet, put the bike in the back of a truck
    and drive it where-ever. Save's alot of polishing time.


    Easy words from a guy who rides a 23 year old, self proclaimed, rat bike.

  14. #29
    Bob
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    Quote Originally Posted by hlothery View Post
    Dry with leaf blower. Go riding.
    Uh, why not dry-by-ride?

  15. #30
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Here in the Big Bend it rained early last September. Not since. Bugs are rare.

    I just cleaned my bike by blowing the dust off it with an air hose. It isn't polished, but it also isn't dusty anymore.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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