Let’s learn how to wash your motorcycle… Ok, we get it, this seems like a no-brainer, right? But, after meeting thousands of bikers from all over the world, we’ve learned that there are a lot of tips and tricks to make cleaning your bike easier that many of you don’t know about. So, we’re here to breakdown the process of a basic bike wash.
What to AVOID:
First, it starts with using the right products and knowing what things you should avoid doing.
- We recommend that you NEVER use glass cleaner on your motorcycle. It can lead to damage on your windshield including de-lamination or hazing and offers no protection to your paint.
- Always use a soft material such as microfiber for your cloths and sponges. Avoid use of paper towels and do not use the squeegee brush available for glass car windshields at most gas stations. These are very abrasive and can cause scratches, especially on a plastic windshield.
- When you wash microfiber towels between uses, do not use fabric softener. This can lead to streaking when trying to dry off your motorcycle or applying wax.
- If you drop a towel or wash mitt on the ground, especially if you are not on a clean surface, throw it out and get a new one. Microfiber cloths can pick up small rocks or other debris and can scratch your paint if used.
- Know that leaving bugs or grime on your bike for too long can leave permanent stains in your clear coat. Sometimes these can be buffed out, but not always. The same goes with leaving salt on your bike for those of you who live by the ocean or ride in the winter where they use salt to melt snow. The salt will quickly tarnish the metal.
- Be careful of what products you use on denim finish paint, as it is not meant to be waxed and can easily show streaking left behind from products. We recommend Hunter’s Bug Kutter, as it dissolves bugs while leaving behind a protective coating without using wax or leaving a film or residue.
How to wash properly:
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what not to do, let’s go through the steps of washing your bike from start to finish.
- Gather your supplies. You will want a water source, bucket, wash mitt, plenty of microfiber cloths, as well as Hunter’s Bug Kutter, Wicked Orange, and Ghost Wax (check out Hunter’s Detailing Package for an all-inclusive bike washing kit)
- Spray any parts that have bugs or heavy contamination with Hunter’s Bug Kutter. Usually this includes the windshield, fairing, front of the saddlebags and parts of the motor/pipes. You’ll let the Bug Kutter sit and do its magic while you move onto the next step. We usually recommend leaving Bug Kutter on for around a minute or when the foam starts to drip, but it will NOT hurt to leave it on longer, even if it has time to dry.
- Fill up your bucket with water and Hunter’s Wicked Orange. We recommend using 1.5-2 oz (equal to the size of a standard shot glass) of Wicked Orange per gallon of water. This soap has a built-in wax, so if you have soft water you may have to use less, and vice versa for hard water. You will know it is mixed too heavy if it seems hard to rinse off. If you have denim finish paint, you will want to have the mixture very diluted.
- Spray the bike down. If there is dirt or mud, this is a good time to rinse off as much contamination as possible.
- Grab your wash mitt and start scrubbing down the bike. It’s best to keep the bike wet while washing as this makes bug and grime removal easier.
- Once you’ve washed the whole bike, spray it down to remove all soap.
- You have a couple of options for drying your bike. An easy way to dry it quickly is to use a leaf blower. You can also use microfiber cloths. (If you have denim finish, you will want to completely dry your bike and skip the next step.)
- It is okay if the drying step is not perfect as we have designed Hunter’s Ghost Wax to be used wet or dry. You can saturate a microfiber cloth in Ghost Wax or simply spray it on the bike and wipe it off. You will want to make sure you are following up with a DRY CLOTH, so as not to leave streaks behind (This is very important!)
- Now the best part—stand back and admire all your hard work. There’s nothing better than a shined-up machine. Time to go get it dirty again!
Have more detailing questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!