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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bike does not go out in the rain and I've only been caught out and had to ride home on wet roads a few times. How critical is washing the entire bike with soap and water?

(I should add that I wipe down the bike with McGuiars' Quick Detailer and a towel after each day's riding. However, there are areas that you can't get to with a towel and spray cleaner.)
 

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I wash regularly but am careful as to where the water goes. I use the hose and just a bit of water with a light spray. DO NOT USE DISHWASHING SOAP, use a car wash solution from any part store or wal-mart. The harsh chemicals in dish soap will dull the clearcoat and make your baby look sad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
spok said:
....DO NOT USE DISHWASHING SOAP....
I'm with ya there. I use McGuiars' Soft Gel car wash on the car and wouldn't use anything less on the bike. I find that the McGuiars products work well together and even use their Step 3 Carnuba wax on the bike.

Checked out your website. Nicely done. Man, things really look lush and green there in WA.
 

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I don't use water or soap of any kind. Go to your local dealer and pick up a can of cleaning spray. I'm not sure what the different dealers call it. Honda, yamaha, and kawasaki might be all different names. As the dealer, they will know what your talking about.

This stuff is great. All you do is spray it lightly on the area you want to clean. Let it set for a minute. Then take a tough paper towl and wipe it away. Always use the clean side of the towl for new suraces because you'll just smear old dirt. I even used it on my back rim where there was a build up of grease and dirt that water and soap can't even touch. This will also make your bike shine like it was just waxed.
 

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re

i really don't wash my bikes much either

usually just hand wipe everything with windex,except the paint
 

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I have only been using soft towels to wipe things down and one very nifty little item that really works well is a swiffer. You can buy it at Wal Mart. I use this to gently wipe fine dust away as the bike sits in the garage. It has a soft sleeve that slides onto an easy to hold handle and you can get into tight areas to wips dirt n dust away.





My last ride out was just before the snow flew and the roads had chemical de-icer on them so there was a fine mist on the bike after my last ride. This stuff just smears when you try and wipe it off so whenever the weather turns warm (no time soon I'm sure) I intend to do a wash job to get the grime off. When riding through the summer months the only washing I do is the windshield and that is done carefully.
 

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Neo said:
Checked out your website. Nicely done. Man, things really look lush and green there in WA.
Thanks Neo, I have to give all the credit to my daughter...she's the puter wiz in the family.
 

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Where spok lives the ducks wear wet suits. :)

Nice site spok....I just took a peek also. ;)
 

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whistle clean said:
Where spok lives the ducks wear wet suits. :)

Nice site spok....I just took a peek also. ;)
We all wear wet suits around here during the rainy season...
 

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spok said:
The harsh chemicals in dish soap will dull the clearcoat and make your baby look sad.
it doesnt hurt the paint/clearcoat one ounce. what it does do is strip the wax that you have previously applied.
as for me , i use the blue car wash soap from walmart (whereever ya find it) and sponges/brush's etc. i use purple power on my rims/frame/swingarm etc. but DO NOT LET IT SIT ON PAINT FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME or you will stain the paint.
i feel bad since i havent been able to wash my bike since i bought here. i will be able to soon since i bought a house and will be in by feb. then i can detail the cars/bike like i used to at my dads house. :grin:
 

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Ok my 2 cent's worth dishwashing soap not good,car washsoap ok but any soap that you use will start to take off the wax.As far as cleaning the bike i guess it all depends on how dirty it is.If its realy dirty you may need some soap & water (car wash brand) or light water from gardon hose.Use a sponge or a soft diaper to wash with.All ways in the shade and make sure to dry well or you might get water spots.If its not that dirty use a quick deatailer spay to wipe then wax.If your in a hurry the can kaw. brand spray works good .I allways use it on the chrome to get bugs off and on the rims.Allways use soft rags (diapers work great) not paper towels when cleaning.Everyone paid good $$$ for there bike keep it clean it looks better -last longer and helps the resale value. :)
 

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The problem with using soap and water and washing it like a car is that a motorcycle has fasteners and other exposed metal bits that are more likely to oxydize if you get them wet. Since 1998, the only time my bikes get wet is if I'm riding in the rain or if I'm drunk enough at a party to show off by riding my motorcycle into someone's swimming pool.
My sad experience with Honda's Superhawk made a lifetime Honda-hater out of me, but I still really like the Honda cleaner spray. It works like a champ and leaves some kind of UV protection. I like it ever better than Plexus and it's all I use to clean our bikes anymore. Probably about $7.00 a can at any Honda dealer.
-CCinC

 

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I have to disagree with those who don't wash their bikes and think it's okay. First, there's no way you're able to wipe the WHOLE bike, I mean every single nut, bracket, corner, knob etc. (of course, everybody isn't that specific). There will be contaminants left all over the bike, believe or not, want it or not. And believe me Calamarichris, on humid weather water will soak into the dirt that was left behind causing corrosion. When rinsing clean surfaces, water just vaporizes or dribbles off the bike. Remember though, when washing with water, to use microwipes (Meguiar's) or 100% cotton towels drying up the bike and possibly compressed air where you can't reach (careful with that).

Second, spraying something on the paint where all the sand, dust and other contaminants are still there and wiping that mixture with a cloth, is just pure insanity (sorry :) ). Even if you turn the towel before every stroke, there will be scratches left on the surface. Even if you don't see them right after, they will be visible on closer examination (again, everybody isn't that specific). Using high quality microwipes might save you from these marks, but flowing water is still better.

This is what I do:

I wash the bike once a week (more often if needed). I pull it out from the garage and take a quick look if anything unusual appears on the bike (looking mostly for leaks, because they won't be visible after the washing - nothing unusual so far). I start with spraying a tall oil based detergent concentrate (is to be mixed depending on how dirty the surface is - in my case 200:1), which is made by Pineline and is a very nature friendly detergent. It's very effective, yet doesn't strip the wax. Anyway, I let it stay there as long as it takes to spray the whole bike and rinse it off with cold water. Now I have clean surface from dust and sand, but I still take a clean bucket with CarLake wax shampoo and water. I wash the bike all over (even the goat belly :grin: ) and it gives me great satisfaction when all I see is a clean sponge. The shampoo I used contains carnauba wax and the surface will look very wet when finished. I dry the bike with a chammy, but would prefer a microwipe instead. Even so, the bike still looks like it came from the dealer. No scrathes, scuff marks, paint dulling...nothing. Even closer inspection makes people think it's a new bike.

I wax the paint when the water doesn't make pearls on the surface. The paint is still shiny, but this is what I'm used to. And I don't mind taking extra care of my bike. When winterizing the bike in October, I developed a habit to spray every metal part (not the brake rotors) with CRC (a bit like WD-40, not as powerful) and let it stay there for the winter. Every spring I then wash it away and the bike will be spotless, no dirt whatsoever. Also every little rubber hose or part won't become brittle during storage. And no problems with rusted bolts and fasteners either.
 

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Pressure washer, turned way down where it only really sprays a mist. Useing RO water does the trick very well. (I have access to a pressure washer thats always filled up with RO water.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to all for your input.

I guess the crux of my question is about those hard-to-reach areas (and there are a lot of 'em on a sportbike like mine with all that bodywork). I do use a detailer spray after each day's riding, but I've been wondering about all those places where my hand doesn't fit. Should I use a garden hose (and possibly a hose-attached car wash concentrate) to spray those areas? I mean, there are plenty of places that you don't (normally) wash a car with soap and water i.e. the undercarriage, wheel wells, etc.
 

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Neo said:
Thanks to all for your input.

I guess the crux of my question is about those hard-to-reach areas (and there are a lot of 'em on a sportbike like mine with all that bodywork). I do use a detailer spray after each day's riding, but I've been wondering about all those places where my hand doesn't fit. Should I use a garden hose (and possibly a hose-attached car wash concentrate) to spray those areas? I mean, there are plenty of places that you don't (normally) wash a car with soap and water i.e. the undercarriage, wheel wells, etc.
In those areas I do the same thing with the pressure sprayer and the RO water but I spray some very mild degreaser over the areas. it does a decent enough job.
 

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I like the pressure washer also. What is RO water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
brian said:
I like the pressure washer also. What is RO water?
My guess is that he's referring to water that has been purified through the Reverse Osmosis process. RO is the best method for removing impurities from water according to a friend of mine who is a civil engineer.

Hey, Freakinout, isn't that rather expensive stuff to just spray on a bike?
 

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Yep....RO = Reverse Osmosis....just like how much of our tax payers $$$ are spent. :shock:
 

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Strictly VN 1600 said:
I have to disagree with those who don't wash their bikes and think it's okay. First, there's no way you're able to wipe the WHOLE bike, I mean every single nut, bracket, corner, knob etc. (of course, everybody isn't that specific)...contaminants....
 
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