Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to clean & care for your custom motorcycle

From the beautiful paint, the shiny chrome, studded leather bags, and many other accessories, there’s a lot to love about your motorcycle, but after a day cruising open highways, it’s easy for your custom bike to get grimy. Just as you took pride in building your bike, take pride in your custom motorcycle care. Be careful how you clean your bike. If you clean it improperly, it can damage it and ruin those attractive features that made you select it in the first place.

There are some easy ways to clean your motorcycle easier and faster without damage. If you have just come in from a cruise on your bike, you need to let the engine cool down before you wash it. You can cause streaking, chrome damage, and spotting. This can crack your engine. Give the pipes and engine time to cool down. You can take a good look at it to see if there are any loose hoses, leaks, wearing tires, and any other areas that may need attention once everything is cool enough. You can do this while you are waiting for the motorcycle to cool. After that, you can gather some cleaning supplies.

Motorcycle Cleaning Products That You Will Need 
carb cleaner kit

  • Gather some soft, clean cloths. You will use some cloths for washing. The other cloths will be used for polishing and drying. A dirty rag can leave scratches. You can even buy wash mitts to use. Clean sponges are also good for a softer touch on chrome and paint jobs. 
  • Buy a carb cleaner kit
  • For wheels, buy S100 Total Cycle Wheel Cleaner
  • For any leather parts like the saddle, buy a leather conditioner. 
  • Cleaning solution needs to be used as well. Sometimes cleaners can get on the chrome, saddle, and paint. Don’t use products that are not going to cause problems with discoloring the finish.
  • A bucket is a great way to keep cleaning solutions close and handy while working in the garage. 
  • Water – whether using a bucket or a water hose, make sure you’re setting up your bike for cleaning near water. 

Motorcycle Cleaning Part 1 

Remove your rings, watch, or any other accessories before you start cleaning your motorcycle. These products can scratch your bike. Take off any jackets, belts or any other metal objects that may cause scratches. Now, you can begin washing your motorcycle. Your bike should already be cooled down. Prepare the cleaning solution according to body specifications.

Hose down the areas very gently from top to bottom. If there is heavy dirt and bugs on the fenders, hose it down gently. This will let the dirt pre-soak to loosen it. Hose again to rinse off any loose debris.

You can start at the top and then go to the bottom. Use a wash mitt or a clean cloth and wash gently. You should change the cloth if it becomes soiled. If you use a sponge, make sure there is no debris in the pores of the sponge. This can also cause scratches.

Motorcycle Cleaning Part 2 

  • Rinse the motorcycle from top to bottom. 
  • Check every place that dirt can hide. 
  • Use a soft rag and a wheel cleaner. 

Motorcycle Cleaning Part 3 

  • Look for spots that water tends to pool when the motorcycle is drying. 
  • Try to maintain your leather. Don’t use the same cleaning solution for your chrome on your leather. 

A clean bike is much easier to maintain and makes for a better ride. It also makes it easier to spot any leaks or problems with your gear. After you finish cleaning and everything has completely dried, treat your chain (if it is recommended for model and age of motorcycle). You can shine and clean your tires with a tire treatment as well.

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