As motorcycle enthusiasts, we always want our motorcycles to appear clean and shiny like they just rolled out of a showroom, don’t we? While some of us always manage to find time to keep our beloved machines spick and span, a few others amongst us are not as driven about their two-wheelers’ appearance. Other reasons aside, a perception that cleaning a motorcycle takes a very long time is sometimes the reason why some of us don’t get down to giving our steeds the care they deserve. Cleaning a motorcycle thoroughly requires you to take some time out; some techniques can significantly help you cut down this time. In this article, we share some practical tips to help you keep your motorcycle shiny as new in the least amount of time possible.
Always keep the entire cleaning kit in one place
A large part of the time spent cleaning the bike goes into putting together all the paraphernalia. To avoid the wastage of time, always keep the required things to clean your motorcycle in one place. By doing this, you won't have to go hunting for the equipment every time you wish to clean your motorcycle. To name a few basics, you will need two buckets, a couple of clean rags or pieces of a microfibre cloth, a sponge, auto detergent, toothbrush, chain cleaner/lube and polish.
Get done with the dirtiest parts first
To make the process easier, it is advisable to clean the dirtiest parts first. This will ensure that the accumulated dirt and grime does not splatter after you are done cleaning the rest of the motorcycle. Getting the dirt and grease off of your motorcycle’s chain first is always a smart move. You should use a proper chain cleaner for this process. After getting done with the chain, you should move to other greasy, grimy parts like the engine casing, underbelly, brake discs and suspension.
Wet the motorcycle and let it rest for a while
Wet the motorcycle using a water hose or a bucketful of water. After splashing the motorcycle with clean water, let it rest for a minute or two so that the water can reach all the nooks and crannies and help dissolve the grime to an extent. The time spent letting the moisture do its job loosening the dirt will save you the precious time you would otherwise have spent scraping the dirt off laboriously.
Always wash the bike in the shade
It is advisable to wash your motorcycle in a shaded place so that the water does not dry up quickly and does not leave watermarks in the process. This will save you the extra effort you would otherwise make to re-clean or buff the stain marks, which often appear after you are all done.
Use auto-specific detergent to expedite the cleaning process
Using plain water or a regular detergent to clean your motorcycle is time-consuming to eliminate some stubborn accumulations in places. Using a specialised, auto-specific detergent helps remove the tough grease and dirt with less effort, making the process faster.
One handy tip to save some precious minutes while washing a motorcycle is to start from the top and work your way down. Not following this process often increases the effort as one has to re-clean or wipe the already cleaned parts. The splatter from the top often makes the lower parts dirty again, requiring you to clean them afresh. Go top-down every time, irrespective of the area that you are cleaning. For instance, while cleaning the front end of your motorcycle, always begin cleaning the windshield, moving down to the front wheel while cleaning everything in between in a uniform manner.
Always keep two buckets handy
It is advisable to use two buckets of water to save time. One of the buckets should contain soap water, while the other should be filled with clean water. Dipping the dirty sponge or rag in soapy water over and over again without getting rid of the grime might damage your paint. If you love your motorcycle, you will realise this midway while cleaning your bike and will end up wasting time having to refill the water, possibly more than once. Having a bucket of clean water handy lets, you quickly rinse the sponge and get through with cleaning the bike in one go.
Rinse thoroughly before drying
Once you are done cleaning the bike with soap, rinsing the bike thoroughly will help any remaining soap or dirt to wash away. Don’t rush your way into wiping the surface, as you would probably have to stop midway, noticing those remaining bits of soap and dirt and having to rinse them. Once you have rinsed the bike properly, take a dry chamois or microfibre cloth to dry rub the motorcycle, wiping away the moisture and ensuring no water spots are left.
Choose a fast-apply method for wax and lube
Some methods to wax the surface of a motorcycle or to lube the chain are faster than others. For example, lubing the chain using a spray lubricant is much quicker than applying grease manually. Similarly, even polishes and waxes are available in spray form these days, which allow for more immediate application, a more even spread and better reach into the corners with detachable nozzles. Use a faster application method, and save yourself some time.