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Thread: How do you wash your bike on trips?

  1. #16
    RK Ryder
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    Almost every motel I've stayed in will provide you with rags if you ask. I use these only to wipe down the seat and clean the windshield. My panniers are packed with maybe four or five coloured rags. These get used and thrown away as necessary. Sometimes I wash them at motels. I keep a small ShamWow in a sealed bag for my visor. Other than that, rain works well on a trip.

    On a 2008 trip to visit Dog River in Saskatchewan, I discovered when stopped at the provincial Welcome Centre that my boots, the engine guards, the panniers, and of course the fairing, were covered in gigantic, squashed, grasshoppers. Hit rain on the second last day of the trip. The bike looked great when I arrived home.

    Of course in 2007 after sliding out on a Colorado gravel road, I found a self-serve car wash and gently hosed and rinsed down the bike and had another client do the same to me.

    Have a blast on your trip next week!
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  2. #17
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by jacko View Post
    On long trips, usually just use one damp towel from the motel to wipe the RT down - another to dry. Keeps it looking smart.
    I don't want to stir anything up but one of the things that I've been told by motel owner's about motorcycles guests is the use of their towels to clean their motorcycles. The oil and grease is hard to wash out and in many cases they have to throw away the towels.. What I do is carry a micro fiber wash cloth in a zip lock bag in glove compartment (12RT) use at gas stations to soak off bugs from windscreen. At motels use ice tray with plastic liner,warm water. I try to mention at check in so they know I'm not destroying their linen. Many times I've been told that BMW riders are most welcome back and they hate the loud H-D crowd and neither do most of their guests.

    Note: Kevin you wouldn't have time to stop at the Land of Oz rally would you?[/QUOTE]


    OK - Old Dog here willing to learn new tricks. I will ask for cleaning rags at the 6 different motels we will be staying at, but first time I get grief, I'm back to using company linen. We'll see how it goes.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  3. #18
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    [QUOTE= Many times I've been told that BMW riders are most welcome back and they hate the loud H-D crowd and neither do most of their guests.[/QUOTE]
    Yes. And guess what they tell the Harley riders.
    dc

  4. #19
    Registered User Bmandiego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    About to leave (Wednesday) for 7 days out west (Rushmore, Custer, Yellowstone, etc.).

    On long trips, usually just use one damp towel from the motel to wipe the RT down - another to dry. Keeps it looking smart.
    ewwww, I use those for me. Now I have to worry about bug juice on the hotel towels.

  5. #20
    RideTN RideTN's Avatar
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    the motorcycle sport touring association is having their 30th anniversary gathering in avon, co in june. the ski resort that is headquarters provides warm water and all the supplies for bike washing and only bikes are allowed to use the indoor garage during the event. might even wash mine this year.
    Last edited by RideTN; 05-28-2012 at 03:43 AM. Reason: crappy grammar
    RideTN
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    2012 r1200rt

  6. #21
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Bmandiego View Post
    ewwww, I use those for me. Now I have to worry about bug juice on the hotel towels.
    Hey - reality check here.

    You do realize these towels are used by a cross-section of our society bringing everything from acne to STD's to AIDS to the table, right?!

    You've got to have faith in motel commercial laundering.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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  7. #22
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Rain.
    Works for us!

    Though one time I was traveling with a friend who after the fourth day insisted HE was my bike since I wasn't going to

    Warm water in a motel trashcan and rags provided by the motel worked for him.


    Voni
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  8. #23
    Nickname: Droid
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    To me, aside from getting the bugs off the windshield and lights, the road grime is proof you did something with your bike OTHER than polish it! I carry one of those small high performance towels (whatever your call them) for the occasional wipe-down. Either a good rain ride, or the end of the trip is when it gets cleaned and I can recall all the fun had on the ride.

    Just ride it!!

    Then ride it some more!!!

  9. #24
    Raspberry waffles Bob!!! kewlmoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Rain.
    +1 on mother nature. I've also stopped at side of the road car washes held by youth groups. Just make sure no one uses a scratch pad to get things really clean for you
    82 R65LS - gone but not forgotten
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  10. #25
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    When I travel, I do it to ride, not wash the bike. Rain might wash it once or twice.

  11. #26
    George K1200RS GeorgeK1200RS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kewlmoose View Post
    +1 on mother nature. I've also stopped at side of the road car washes held by youth groups. Just make sure no one uses a scratch pad to get things really clean for you


    The cheerleaders washing cars in bathing suits are my favorite...will stop for other groups if the bike needs it.

    Stay with them to make sure they don't tip it over in their enthusiasm!
    George
    R1200RT, K1200RS. Previous K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

  12. #27
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    I'll admit to keeping my bikes as clean as I can while traveling. The primary reason is that cleaning the bike thoroughly is also an inspection, and I can hopefully find potential problems before they become breakdowns. Secondarily, if I am going to work on a bike at all, I'd much rather work on a clean bike.

    On the subject of what to use to clean the bike, I consider it poor form to use perfectly good towels from the motel room. Every motel I've been in has rags available for the asking.
    Dan

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    When I travel, I do it to ride, not wash the bike. Rain might wash it once or twice.
    +1.
    wash it when i get to somewhere that i might be for a few days (my dad's, rally, etc.) to keep it looking good, but inbetween "on the road"- washing is a waste of ridng time.

    any day nice enough to wash the bike is a nice enough day to ride the bike. and rding is why i have one, not so i can show off how purty it is.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  14. #29
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    BMWs look so much better dirty and ridden hard. Washing ruins the 'patina.'

    I clean my visor, top 4 inches of my windshield, and my headlight.

    I wash my bike twice a year usually when I put on new tires.

    The only exception is if I went through something nasty, like a swarm of locusts or heavy road salt. That stuff I wash off.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  15. #30
    Let's go scooterboy's Avatar
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    Keep headlight, tail light and turn signals wiped down. About it.
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    Ride far enough today so you can't come home untill tomorrow. 1998 BMW 1100GS
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