Owning a motorcycle is a pleasurable enjoyment for some people. For others it's purely hard work and labor. But for the majority of motorcycle owners, educating themselves on how to clean a motorcycle is an high-priority task.
Maintaining their bike's veneer is a priority because let's admit it, the only reason why we choose a cruiser is how cool their appearance makes us look and the absolute thrill of riding a shiny, new bike for the first time. It can also help keep you guarded because you’re more likely to be aware of problems such as leaks, corrosion, and worn tires while you’re cleaning.
Be ready to arm yourself with a large quantity of soft terry-cloth towels! You might be tempted to get modern clear-coats that does a great job of resisting acid rain, UV damage but using anything but a very soft towel will eventually scratch your bike. And please keep this in mind, any towel or other cleaning, polishing or waxing instrument that gets dropped on the ground should not be used until it is totally cleaned as tiny rocks or pebbles might be trapped inside which would damage your finish if you use it. Other tools recommended are a standard kitchen scrub brush, toothbrushes, paintbrushes with soft bristles, sandpaper, cotton swabs and perhaps a scouring pad. A bucket and a hose should round up your tools.
Start with a thorough prewash to rinse away grit and loosen and soften bug carcasses. Add soap to dissolve other substances (grease, sap, etc.) clinging to the surface. A lot of people use household soaps to clean their vehicles. There are issues to these products for your vehicles. First, they usually take off existing wax (but if you intend to rewax then it should not be a problem). Secondly, some dish and other household soaps can corrode aluminium which is definitely not a good look. Finally, dish soap tends to dry out paint. We also prefer a good nozzle on a hose to a pressure washer. If you use a pressure washer, do so with care or if you have the experience. The pressure can blast water past seals which can rust some of your bike parts. Bikes that have been pressure-washed usually have rusty axles because the water has emanated past the wheel-bearing seals. Keep pressure sprays away from hydraulic brake and clutch components to avoid tainting the fluid. Pressure spray should also be kept off of electrical parts, instruments, gas caps and chains. The list of parts you need to avoid is so long that pressure washers really just does not work very well, most often.
Dry it Off
Before you polish or wax, your bike should be completely dry. If this is just a basic clean-up operation, you might want to try a wax-and-dry product which applies a light wax while you wipe the bike dry. You can choose from a variety of drying methods. A chamois does a good job of drying without streaks, but these may strip away some of the original waxes. That soft towel doesn't soak up water quite as aggressively but it will probably be much more gentler on your veneer. Some people like to use an air compressor to blow water out of the crevices, which is quick and effective. Unfortunately many compressor tanks have oil or dirty moisture in them. You can opt for a hair dryer too!
When your bike is finally clean and dry, look your paint job over and run your fingers across them. If you neither see nor feel any deformity, go ahead and apply wax! If the paint has lost its sheen or has a flaw, you will need to polish it or apply some other surface treatment before you wax which may require some elbow grease, but if you choose and apply the products properly, you can get a finish that is as good as new. And here's the part where the soft towels come in handy, cut or fold them into small squares, and switch to a fresh surface whenever the one you are using gets dirty.
Your bike totally needs wax for that ultra sheen and style. Apply wax to any visible surface. On hidden surfaces, a protectant offers equal or better protection. No matter which wax you're going to use, the idea is that it gives your paint a clear layer that adds sheen, protects the paint, and is less likely to let dirt and other unattractive elements stick to it. Removing excess wax can be the bigger part of the job, especially if it has creeped into the nooks and crevices. This is easiest if it is still fresh and hasn't hardened. Excess wax isn't a problem if it's out of sight, though, it could just work as a thicker barricade to corrosion.