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How to Wash a Motorcycle – The Definitive Guide

Motorcycles are a great way to get around, and they can be a lot of fun to ride. However, they also require some regular maintenance to stay running well. One of the most important things you can do for your motorcycle is to keep it clean. In this blog post, we will teach you how to wash your motorcycle like a pro!

Motorcycle washing is a very important chore that should be done regularly. Not only does it help to keep your bike looking clean and new, but it also helps to protect the finish and keep the mechanical parts running smoothly. However, there are some things you should avoid before washing your motorcycle to make the job easier and more effective.

• Don’t use high-pressure water to clean your bike. This can force dirt and debris into the motorcycle’s moving parts, which could lead to damage. Instead, use a bucket or garden hose to gently clean the bike. Be sure to avoid getting water into the motorcycle’s electrical components.

• Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents when washing your bike. These can strip the protective coatings from surfaces on your bike, leaving them vulnerable to corrosion. Warm water and a soap specifically designed for washing motorcycles are usually enough to get the job done.

• Don’t forget to dry your motorcycle after washing. Moisture can cause parts to rust and corrode, leading to expensive repairs down the road. A towel or air blower can do the trick.

• If you’re not comfortable washing your motorcycle yourself, take it to a professional. They’ll have the experience and tools necessary to get the job done right.

Now that you know how to avoid the most common mistakes people make when washing their motorcycles, let’s take a look at how to do it the right way!


motorcycle with soap

Steps on how to clean your motorcycle

Before cleaning your motorcycle gather the necessary supplies. You will need a bucket, car wash soap, a hose with spray nozzle, wax, protectant spray, and a chamois or soft cloth. It is also helpful to have a brush specifically for motorcycles, although you can use an ordinary brush if you don’t have one. You will also want to wear gloves while washing your bike so that you don’t get any dirt or grime on your hands. You can find all of these items at your local automotive store.

After gathering all the supplies. Then, it’s time to start cleaning your motorcycle. The first step is to make sure that the bike is in a stable position. You don’t want it moving around while you’re trying to clean it. If you have a stand or lift use it. If you don’t, place the bike on its kickstand and use a block of wood or something similar to keep it in place.

1. Get your bucket and cleaning solution ready.

If you’re using a garden hose to clean your bike, turn the pressure down low so the water doesn’t blast dirt and debris all over the place. Next, add a few tablespoons of soap to the bucket of water, and use a sponge or brush to scrub down the bike. Focus on areas that tend to get dirty, like the chain, spokes, and under the fenders.

Muc Off 664US Nano-Tech Motorcycle Cleaner, 1 Liter
Muc Off 664US Nano-Tech Motorcycle Cleaner, 1 Liter
  • NANO TECHNOLOGY: State-of-the-art Nano Tech formula breaks down dirt and grime on a molecular level for the ultimate clean.
  • BIODEGRADABLE: Fully biodegradable, alkaline-based formula that is free from acids, solvents and CFCs so that you can clean guilt-free.
  • SAFE ON COMPONENTS: Safe on all surfaces, including carbon fibre, this infamous pink cleaner won’t damage any parts – it’s even disc brake friendly!
  • VARIETY OF SIZES: Available in a 1 Litre spray, 5 Litre bottle and 25 Litre drum – avid riders can amp up the value and do their bit for the planet with our gnarly bigger sizes.
  • SUITABLE FOR ALL BIKES: Whether you’re hitting the tarmac or going rogue off-road, Nano Tech Motorcycle Cleaner is the ultimate post-ride bike wash.
S100 18400A Detail and Wax Aerosol - 10 oz.
S100 18400A Detail and Wax Aerosol - 10 oz.
  • S100 Detail and Wax removes that dust, those spots, and the bug residue
  • Perfect for when your bike isn't really that filthy, maybe just a bit dusty, rain-spotted or covered with bugs
  • It's easy to use, just spray a bit on a soft cloth or onto the bike's surface and rub to a high gloss
  • Pack a can in the saddlebag and you're ready for a dusty road or that surprise rain shower
  • Just think of it as a wash and wax in one
S100 12005L Total Cycle Cleaner Bottle - 1.32 Gallon
S100 12005L Total Cycle Cleaner Bottle - 1.32 Gallon
  • The first spray-on, rinse-off cleaner developed especially for motorcycles, S100 Total Cycle Cleaner creeps in to every nook and cranny of your bike to thoroughly clean it without scrubbing
  • Cleans the entire motorcycle, not just the motor. You can have a sparkling motorcycle in as little as 5 minutes, spend more time riding and less time cleaning
  • Represents the best in cycle care and is safe for all cycle surfaces - paint, chrome, alloy, plastic, rubber, bearings, O-rings and more
  • Non-acid, pH controlled, contains corrosion inhibitors, and is biodegradable
  • Excellent for cleaning marine, lawn and garden equipment, snowmobiles, car and truck engines and more
garden hose motorcycle rinse

2. Wet the motorcycle down with a hose.

It is best to start from the top and work your way down. This will help prevent water spots. If you have a pressure washer, now is the time to use it. Be sure to keep the spray nozzle at least 18 inches away from the motorcycle. Start by washing the bike’s body, then move on to the wheels and tires. If you are using a garden hose, start by spraying the body with water and then move on to the wheels and tires.


How to Wash a Motorcycle Image

3. Dip your sponge in the bucket of soapy water and start washing the motorcycle.

Start at the top and work your way down. Be sure to get all of the dirt and grime off of the bike. Pay special attention to the areas that are difficult to reach, such as the spokes on the wheels and the crevices in between the body panels.

When washing the tank, be sure to not get any soap on the paint or it will start to fade. You can use a microfiber towel instead of your hand if you are worried about scratching up the finish while scrubbing off stubborn dirt and grime.

How to Wash a Motorcycle Image

4. Rinse off the motorcycle with a hose when you’re done washing it.

This will help remove any soap residue and water spots. Now that your motorcycle is clean, it’s time to dry it off. Use a chamois or towel to absorb the water. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, especially around the brakes and other moving parts. Make sure you don’t squirt water onto the bearings. This may cause humidity, which can lead to corrosion.

How to Wash a Motorcycle Image

5. Finishing Touches (Optional)

Now that your motorcycle is clean, you’ll want to make sure it stays looking good. One way to do this is by applying a coat of wax. This will help protect the paint from the elements and keep it looking shiny. Be sure to apply wax in a well-ventilated area, and avoid getting it on the tires or brakes.

You also might want to apply a coat of protectant spray to any plastic or rubber parts, such as the fenders and tires. This will help prevent them from cracking or becoming discolored due to sun exposure. It is best to do this after you have cleaned and dried your motorcycle.

If you have a motorcycle cover, use it. This will help protect your bike from rain and dust while it’s parked outside in between rides or at night when you’re sleeping inside with the windows closed.

Meguiar's MC20206 Motorcycle Liquid Wax
Meguiar's MC20206 Motorcycle Liquid Wax
  • Motorcycle liquid wax removes surface contaminants and blemishes that dull your finish, leaving a brilliant shine and deep gloss
  • Easy-to-use wax is the versatile way to clean, polish and protect your bike’s paint finish in one step
  • Safe and effective on all chrome, body work and glossy paints including clear coats
  • This wax effectively removes fine scratches and swirl marks from your motorcycle’s finish
  • Easy to apply and wipe off for a gleaming bike that’s ready to hit the road
S100 13700W Carnauba Paste Wax - 6.2 oz.
S100 13700W Carnauba Paste Wax - 6.2 oz.
  • Free of abrasives and cleaners and made with a unique blend of carnauba and beeswax
  • You will be amazed at the depth of shine and darkening of dark colored surfaces
  • Eliminates two common annoyances, powdering during rubout and white stain residues on plastics and rubber
  • So easy to apply and remove, it's almost as easy to use as a liquid
  • Use the S100 Shine-enhancing Cleanser before waxing for the ultimate shine
Meguiar's A1214 Cleaner Wax, 11 oz. Paste
Meguiar's A1214 Cleaner Wax, 11 oz. Paste
  • CLEANER WAX: One-step paste wax cleans your paint while you wax
  • HIGH GLOSS SHINE: Rich conditioning oils polish and protect, leaving finish with a high gloss shine
  • SAFE ON ALL GLOSSY FINISHES: Safely and effectively cleans surface contaminants and blemishes from all glossy paint finishes including clear coats and single-stage paint
  • EASE OF USE: Easier to use than traditional carnauba wax
  • VERSATILE APPLICATION: Can be applied by hand or Dual Action Polisher like Meguiar's MT300

Motorcycles need to be washed frequently to protect the finish and keep it looking new. This is especially important in the winter when road salt can cause a lot of damage. However, over-washing your motorcycle can strip away the protective wax and sealant that was applied at the factory, leading to rust and corrosion. Washing your bike too often will also shorten its lifespan. If a motorcycle is washed too often, the finish will begin to wear down. This can lead to damage such as scratches and dents that you did not cause yourself (this is how they happen). The paint on your bike may also become dull if it has been over-washed.

A good rule of thumb is to wash your motorcycle every time you ride it, or at least once a week. Use a gentle car soap and cool water, making sure to avoid getting any soapy residue on the tires or brakes. Rinse thoroughly with clean water before drying off with a soft cloth. You should also wax your motorcycle at least once a year to protect the paint from fading and preserve its shine. Finally, make sure you’re using high-quality cleaning products that are safe for use on motorcycles.

A motorcycle is a unique form of transportation that will always have its place in society, but it also requires special care to keep the bike running smoothly. To help you with this process, we put together some basic tips on how to wash your motorcycle so you can take proper care of your investment and enjoy riding it more often! We hope these steps are helpful to you as well as any other riders who might be reading our blog post about motorcycle detailing. Have fun out there!

How to Wash a Motorcycle Image

Frequently Ask Questions

Is it OK to wash your motorcycle?

Yes, it is generally safe to wash your motorcycle. However, there are some things you should avoid when washing your bike. For example, do not use high-pressure water or a carwash. Instead, use a mild soap and a soft cloth to clean your bike. Be sure to avoid getting water into the engine, brakes, or other vital parts of the motorcycle.

What should you not wash a motorcycle with?

Motorcycles are susceptible to scratches and swirls if not washed with the correct materials. When cleaning a motorcycle, avoid using dish detergent or household cleaners, as these can strip away the protective wax coating on your bike. Instead, use a commercial car shampoo that is designed specifically for motorcycles. This will help keep your bike looking sharp and protect it from the elements.

Is it wrong to wash your bike with water?

The short answer is no; it’s not wrong to wash your bike with water. Water is the best way to clean a motorcycle most of the time. However, you should avoid a few things when washing your bike with water. For example, don’t use high-pressure hoses or harsh chemicals, which can damage your bike’s finish. Instead, opt for a mild soap and soft sponge, and be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.


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