How to Clean & Detail your Motorcycle

Keeping your motorcycle clean is an important part of regular motorcycle maintenance.

Getting rid of all the grime and dirt will not only keep your bike looking good, but it will make it easy to perform your routine maintenance and diagnose problems if they arrise.

Before you get started, check out our recommendations for some of the best motorcycle cleaners and degreasers.

How to Wash a Motorcycle

Washing a motorcycle is a little different than washing a car.

Obviously, you can just pull through a car wash – unless you’re looking for a wash and lashing yourself!

You also should avoid spraying down your motorcycle with a hose or pressure washer. This can cause water to get where you don’t want it to.

To clean your motorcycle:

  • Get a bucket of soapy water ready.
  • Use a soft cloth to apply the water and soap to break down the dirt and grime.
  • Use a motorcycle cleaner or degreaser on really dirty spots.
  • Rinse the bike with a pass with water and a cloth.
  • Wash the windshields and fairings.
  • Dry the bike with a clean, soft cloth and an air blower.
  • Clean and lube the motorcycle chain.
  • Finish with a motorcycle wax and polish.

How to Clean Motorcycle Chrome

You’ll clean your chrome parts with the same steps above. However, you’ll definitely want to finish these parts with a chrome-specific motorcycle wax and polish.

This will help the chrome shine and protect it from further grime and damage.

Over time you may need to take some steps to remove rust from your motorcycle’s chrome parts.

How to Clean a Motorcycle Engine

Your motorcycle’s engine is one of the areas that can get the dirtiest – especially on the bottom, in the nooks and crannies, and in between the cooling fins.

The combination of heat, moisture, and picking up all sorts of road grime makes for the perfect commination of nasty.

To clean your motorcycle engine:

  • Do a first pass to remove any loose debris.
  • Apply some degreaser to the remaining grime and allow it to break down.
  • Wipe away with a tooth brush or soft-pick tools.
  • Rinse off the loosened grime and remaining degreaser with water and a rag.
  • Spray with compressed air and dry.
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