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kgb
14th May 2006, 04:43
How about a section on cleaning these beasts. Without breaking the bank, anyone care to share cleaning tips, products, and tools used in washing the bike.

I prefer the household approach. Products used in house cleaning. As an example did you know that HD's spray polish is actually the same product as Pledge furniture polish. Friends have used it for years and have saved a fortune compared to the pricey HD product.

I guess the reason why i'm writing this is because maybe someone out there can tell me how to clean my bike without leaving a pound of flesh in all the cracks and crevisses.

Anyway I think this could be a great place where we could share cleaning tips.

LESS DIRT MEANS BETTER AERODYNAMICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CaptEvo
14th May 2006, 05:07
I could use a little clarification on this subject myself. Especially about using a hose and washing the bike. I've heard dont get water on the seat....put plastic over it so water doesnt get into the electrical stuff???? Dont get the cables wet..dont get the gauges wet....it rides in the rain no? I need the "real" deal....I dont care about special polishes and crap. Can I hose it down, wash it up...and hose if off? :D

XLFREAK
14th May 2006, 05:55
wash my bike? isnt a sportster a dirtbike?

Hexxor_Siaxxon
14th May 2006, 06:12
The only thing I have been told is don't wash a hot motor. But if it rains isn't the motor going to get wet? I know guys who just go to the car wash. Remove their windshield and leather bags and hose it down.
Hex

Jimbo999
14th May 2006, 06:27
I haven't washed my ride in 4 years and it looks brand new.
This stuff is pricey but a 40oz bottle lasts me a season and I'm a clean freak.

http://waterless-wash.com/

I do spray blast my mag wheels but that's it.

Check my Gallery for proof.

jaxs1984
14th May 2006, 08:11
I have my bike over a year and personally washed it once and then again it got washed when I had it in the dealer. Oh yeah and it rained a couple of time :)

Takingabreak
14th May 2006, 09:38
Hi all.

I tried to post this earlier, but was rudely interrupted by that weekly shut down thing(Again!:censor ).

But I digress.......

Ok, I am more then happy to share my wash techniques with you.

I start with a cold bike, you should never wash a hot bike, cold water on hot engine parts can cause metal contraction, leading to metal fatigue and gasket failure, so let her cool down at least four hours or more.

Next, i remove the seat and saddle bags. Not that they can't get wet, it's just that they can take quite a long time to dry. So remove and set aside.

I then soak down the bike with simple green. S-100 is made by simple green and it works the same as S-100, at like 1/2 the price, but either will work.
If you have a greasy spot, use an old(Not the wife's) toothbrush to work the cleaner in.
Then rinse with a garden hose, avoid high pressure hoses, this can force water were you don't want it.(Like passed gaskets and into electrical connectors)
This is when I use a clean terry cloth and a bucket with car wash mixed in(Maguires car wash) and wash the bikes sheet metal, tires and rims and all over.
The reason I pre-wash with the simple green is to do the heavy greasy cleaning first, and i do not use a cloth then as to avoid rubbing dirt into the paint. (It can scratch the sh!t out of clear coat)
Now we do the final rinse. grab a clean towel and dry off, then push the bike over to a shady spot.
At this point I use my shop vac with the hose on the outlet side to blow the bike dry.
Doing this pushes the water out of its hiding spots, then finish towel drying.
Once you are at this point, clean the seat(And other leather parts you removed) with Lexol leather cleaner/protector.

At this point, you can either put her back together, or wax and polish.
I have used a product by Maguires call spray detailer, it is a spray light duty wax. If you wax regularly, then this spray will extend your time between waxing.

One last thing, you may have noticed i said nothing about tire dressings/armorall on the tires, the reason why is that it is a bad Idea to use anything that will shine tires.
Motorcycle tire get replace to often to worry about the sidewalls drying out.
That shiny stuff will act like oil on a tire, first time you lean into a turn could be the time the bike shoots out from under you, not good.

jettech777
14th May 2006, 10:44
1gal. carwash soap Costco about $6.00, 1gal. simple green degreaser about $6.00 from Costco, 1 large bag of micro-fiber polishing cloths about $7.00, you guessed it from Costco. This is everything I need and I figure it will last for years. Optional item ATV jack Sears $89.00 $79.00 on sale.

clarkg1124
14th May 2006, 12:06
I use a 1:10 mixture of Dawn and water in an old Windex bottle to soak the heavy stuff(bugs,mainly) and wipe it off with a dry shop towel.Afterward,a fresh coat of Meguiar's wax.Total clean up time is about thirty minutes.
Clark

darth
14th May 2006, 12:12
Start with a cool bike, not hot (all Sportster are cool :tour )
Wet the bike (with a hose :p )
Spray it down with S100
A little S100 dilluted in a bucket with a sponge for tough spots
Rinse Well
Rinse Well
Did I mention Rinse Well! (S100 leaves a hazy film if it dries on)
Towel dry
Hit is with a leafblower (well, don't actually "hit" it... ;) )
Dry off any remaining areas
Take a picture (it's not clean often :D )
Wax it or get lazy and go for a ride (that's me most of the time)

As for the cables, just keep them lubricated on a regular basis and you won't have issues.
The only harm from getting the seat wet is the big wet spot on your :censor from the wet foam for a day or so!
Taking the saddlebags off helps get all the spots around the shocks, rear wheel, and belt guard.

merc
14th May 2006, 12:46
I could use a little clarification on this subject myself. Especially about using a hose and washing the bike. I've heard dont get water on the seat....put plastic over it so water doesnt get into the electrical stuff???? Dont get the cables wet..dont get the gauges wet....it rides in the rain no? I need the "real" deal....I dont care about special polishes and crap. Can I hose it down, wash it up...and hose if off? :D

Hell man-if you don't get water on it then your not washing it, are ya?
Just think about it. If you want to wash it-wash it. and don't worry about what not to get wet or use.
The things I don't do is to use that armor all stuff on the tires or the seat. I don't want my tires to be oily (that's bad) and I don't like my ass slippin all over the place.
I will usually just wash it with a car wash soap and sponge. this gets it nice and soapy then hose it off. Then a wax and some chrome polish and then ride and get it dirty again.
You will be surprised how fast it will go with a fresh wax job. Man the whole bike is slippery and slides right through the wind.

jhawkr
14th May 2006, 15:57
I start with a cold bike. I spray the bike off with a power washer. Then I use Meguires car wash soap in a buck of hot water applied with a soft brush. I use some mag wheel cleaner on the wheels. Then, I blast it with the power washer again. Finally, I take my leaf blower and blow-dry the entire bike. I usually add another coat of Meguires NXT synthetic polymer "wax" to painted surfaces. (You can build up coats with it.) I use microfiber polishing cloths. A little Mother's Chrome Polish for any touch ups to the chome that's needed.

Start to finish, it takes about an hour.

gusotto
14th May 2006, 16:17
Keep any high pressure water AWAY from the seals on the axles.
You can force water in past the seals and you'll just have to replace them sooner than you ever expected.

mikeLI_77
14th May 2006, 16:37
MR. clean car wash system works good on the bikes. I usually use the rinse setting for everything. First wet the bike with it on the rinse setting (the other settings I think are a little to strong) then put the soap setting on suds it up wash it, rinse it off really good and then blast the remaining water off with a leaf blower. Then you could take it for a 5-10 minute ride to make sure it's dry if you want to.

XLFREAK
14th May 2006, 16:47
Ride bike to car wash. Place bike in stall. Go purchase tokens. Open can of Coke. Check for coolness of bike. Sip Coke. Admire new BMW 320i in next stall. Sip Coke. Check bike temp. Place tokens in slot. Select "tire cleaner" and aim wand at bike. Soak wheels and tires. Soak engine and all really dirty areas of bike. Lightly spray entire bike. Sip Coke. Let bike sit for two minutes. Sip Coke. Buy another Coke. Rinse bike. Now rinse bike some more. Sip Coke. Roll bike out of stall, into shade. Wipe painted areas to help drying process. Finish Coke. Blow dry bike at 60mph. Wax painted areas with good paste wax. Dash inside before rain starts! Drink beer. Watch football. Any questions?

kgb
14th May 2006, 16:49
nice ride mike.
I wonder if we should not make this a sticky and keep it up to date. I don't know how to do this though.
There seems to be a lot of interest on the subject.
Anyone have special brushes or other tools to get into those nasty little knuckle buster areas. (Pics are always good)

Anyhow guys, keep up the dialog. I think this thread could be a real interest to many riders.

Thanks for your input.

glau13
14th May 2006, 16:53
I thought regular dishwashing soap strips wax off the paint. I heard the same thing about simple green.

xena
14th May 2006, 17:22
I'll make it a sticky if you guys wish. If Bert thinks
it's not holding enough interest at any point, he can
unstick it.

CaptEvo
14th May 2006, 19:12
I haven't washed my ride in 4 years and it looks brand new.
This stuff is pricey but a 40oz bottle lasts me a season and I'm a clean freak.
http://waterless-wash.com/

Thats what I'm talkin' about:D No fuss, no muss.

Hexxor_Siaxxon
14th May 2006, 19:29
In between washings I use Wham Bam Polish and Protectant. It's one of those waterless cleaners that works petty good. Would like to try the Mr clean kit to avoid water spots.
Hex

XLFREAK
14th May 2006, 19:45
Thats what I'm talkin' about:D No fuss, no muss.
I've washed mine once since I bought it but that was to get the salt off it from my winter rides. Other than that I use KIT Bike Clean and finish it off with KIT Bike Shine. Its a two step process, costs about 6 bucks a bottle, and the stuff work great. The cleaner will literally melt the bugs off your front end area that gets pelted all the time. I just spray the whole bike down, extra heavy on the bug ridden parts, and while the bugs are soaking I start wiping down the rear sections with a soft cloth. By the time you have the bike wiped down the bugs are ready for removal. Just wipe them off with your cloth. This stuff removes all the water spots from rain riding and comes out very clean. Then redo the process with the KIT Shine and wipe her down again. I'm pretty anal about keeping it clean so it never gets real dirty. I would suggest however, if its caked with dirt to wash it off first with soap and water to avoid scratching the finish with the dirt.

Jimbo999
14th May 2006, 19:52
Thats what I'm talkin' about:D No fuss, no muss.

My ride is kind'a old too and it helps cover up some scratches. Has renewed
that New look to the finnish as well. I don't wann'a brag here but between
Friday and Saturday this week, I got three compliments on what a nice looking bike I have. 1- RV guy at Wal-Mart, 1- Ice delivery truck guy and 1- At the Post Office.

http://waterless-wash.com/

See my chest puffing out ??????

:banana :banana :banana :banana :banana

blueglide88
14th May 2006, 23:17
Since everybody has been talking about washing, I'll give you mt tip for drying your bike. I use a shop vac. Yes......my shop vac turns into a leaf blower. If you have a leaf blower, that's the way to go. You simply blow dry your bike. I learned this from watching the Harley guys clean and wash thier demo bikes at Sturgis every day. They used S-100 then blow dried the bikes. It works great, and you get the moisture out from tiny areas that would otherwise drip and cause stains.

Lone Wolf in Canada
15th May 2006, 03:53
Don't use dish soap! It's too harsh for the paint.
Don't use pressure washer directly into the axle seals or steering post seals, it will wear them out.
Be careful the leaf blower doesn't take in and blow out airborne sand and pelt your bike.
Use car wash soap as its made for metal and paint and not as harsh on your finish. Don't use windex or ammonia based cleaner on your lexan windshields.
If your windshield is really buggy, soak a cotton cloth or (if at Tim Horton's) soak papertowels in warm water and drape over the windshield for 5 minutes. This will soften the bugs little bones / legs and when you wipe them won't scratch your screen.
I wash mine with a hose or pressure washer quickly then I've bought cheap cotton hand towels about 28"X15" at the dollar store and use two to dry my bike, Then after I use about 8 of these hand towels I wash them all like normal towels and they're ready again. Occasionally I use Harley Glaze and Sealant. You may use this on lexan windshields, chrome, and paint. Its a good product and really brings out the paint colour of your scoot. Your entire bike feels silky smooth for a several washes after this. Your windshield will resist bugs with the Glaze product on it.
Hope this helps.

loki03xlh
15th May 2006, 04:21
1. Take off windshield and fork bag.
2. Put windshield on tailgate of truck and spray bug remover on windshield.
3. Place old, wet towel on top of windshield while washing rest of bike to help get rid of bugs (less scrubbing required).
4. Wash bike with car wash soap. I use turtle wax brand, whatever you like will do.
5. I use one microfiber sponge for painted surfaces, different one for all the rest. Different colors, easier to tell apart.
6. Rinse bike.
7. Wash spoke front wheel with cone shaped brush bought from wal-mart for 3 bucks. Wash read solid wheel with regular sponge.
8. Rinse bike again.
9. Lean bike over each direction to remove sanding water from engine areas.
10. Dry bike with chamois.
11. Wipe down chrome with microfiber cloth.
12. Remove towel from windshield, wash , and install on bike.
13. go for a ride and get dirty again.

About 3-4 times a year I wax bike with Turtle Wax premium paste wax, and use harley glaze on chrome. I've had the same bottle of glaze for 3 years, same wax for a year. I use the wax on my truck too, so I'm sure one container would last years if only used on bike. I believe that its more important what you use to apply cleaners and waxes than what the actual brand of cleaners and waxes are. I use microfiber clothes to wipe things down, to remove wax, and to wash ( I bought two microfiber covered sponges
that are different colors.) I spend maybe 10-15 bucks in cleaners and applicators a year. I think anymore is overkill.

Lee-Bro
15th May 2006, 04:25
I worked (very briefly) for a friend at his HD dealership back in the late 90's - something they carried & I order it by the case now for getting bug guts and easy on the paint/chrome is Quick Clean from Clean Cycle Products.
www DOT cleancycle DOT com (the system won't let me post the addy)

This isn't a substitute for a traditional cleaning but it's great for great touchups.

Also, I'll add this - you should NEVER pressure wash your bike...I know some of you are saying "that makes sense" but believe it or not some people don't know that the force of pressure washers is strong enough to force water into the diff't engine compartments, primary & tranny. ESPECIALLY if you have a leaking gasket - I can't tell you how many times I saw watered down primary oil or motor oil at the dealership. We'd always ask them how or where they washed their bikes..most of them would eventually fess up about using the local do-it-yourself pressure washing bays.

tprJJ49707
15th May 2006, 14:11
I remember a post awhile back on how to avoid 'swirling' scratches in clear coat when rubbing/buffing wax...does anyone recall this?

cphilip
15th May 2006, 20:27
I use Palmolive cause it keeps my hands so nice and soft...

Cateman
15th May 2006, 20:34
I use the new NXT wax from meguiars. It really makes the black shine!!!

greanmeany1
15th May 2006, 20:40
I Keep Water And Soap Off My Bike. Hand Cleaning Only. I Am Luckey Here In So Cal. Only Got Caught One Time In The Rain ,and Bugs Are A Small Problem. So I Use Honda Spray Cleaner Aqnd Polish On The Fancy Parts And Cheep Pledge On The Rest Of The Bike. My Bike Is Better Than New.

XLFREAK
16th May 2006, 19:17
And I know all you guys use Pledge on your shields? And helmet shields. Better than Rain-X, etc...we use it on the airplane windshields! Water beads, plus, it hides a lot of little scratches.

mikeLI_77
16th May 2006, 22:39
I Keep Water And Soap Off My Bike. Hand Cleaning Only. I Am Luckey Here In So Cal. Only Got Caught One Time In The Rain ,and Bugs Are A Small Problem. So I Use Honda Spray Cleaner Aqnd Polish On The Fancy Parts And Cheep Pledge On The Rest Of The Bike. My Bike Is Better Than New.

I've done the same before as well. They both work good. A friend of mine told me about the pledge and I thought he was crazy when he told me about it but he showed me on his bike and it worked good. Only thing he told me is it sometimes attracts the bees. That honda cleaner and polish works great as well.

Albie1200
16th May 2006, 22:54
I also like to run the bike shortly after washing to get it up to temp. Then any remaining water hidden is those tight spots that shop vac didn't get well evaporate decreasing the chance of rust.

chrishajer
16th May 2006, 23:07
Wash? Saddlebags?? Windshields??? Chrome???? Wax?????

I too thought they were dirt bikes

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/653/medium/KIF_2091.JPG

CROW
18th May 2006, 21:50
Cycle Bright to wash the bike. S-100 Engine Brightener to kee engine looking good.

jhawkr
20th May 2006, 16:06
"Also, I'll add this - you should NEVER pressure wash your bike.."


My Harley dealer pressure washes and dries your bike after service before you leave. I use a wide fan and I don't get too close. The engine area really doesn't get very dirty on my bike. I'm more interested in blasting away brake dust and grime on the rims, spokes, belt guards and getting bugs off the front forks and windshield. If you stick a 2200 psi pressure spray an inch away from your engine you probably deserve water in your oil! A little common sense goes a long way....

lonerider
21st May 2006, 18:33
I've gotten my bike washing down to a science. 15 total minutes. First of all I don't ride in the rain nor do I ride shortly afterward as to avoid all puddles that can splash up into the nooks and crannys, plus I keep her covered in a shed to keep most of the dirt off of her. I also use MR.Clean car wash and I use it as directed-rinse cycle first(on a cool bike in the shade)to wet the bike-then apply the soap on ALL surfaces-then using a soft mitt I wipe her down from top to bottom-then rinse again -lastly rinse using the ionized rinse cycle and finally I dry her with the motorcycle jet blaster(MUCH better than a leaf blower or wet/dry vac-I tried both). Then a light buff with a soft cloth and she looks like new.

jlcrss
21st May 2006, 19:16
I use Wizards spary and wash in the pink bottle that comes in the HD store. I don't use water unless there is gravel or large particles. On the chrome I use Mother's chrome polish. It comes in a red bottle and is a blue liquid.

chuckp
29th May 2006, 23:45
Wait... we're supposed to WASH these things?

chrishajer
30th May 2006, 00:05
Wait... we're supposed to WASH these things?
Nope, it was a trick question.

--Chris

kgb
31st May 2006, 19:11
I love my bike and I love my wife, but I love'm even more when they're clean. My only problem is, why do I have to wash her bike. It's hard to wash two sporty's and not rub mine a bit more than hers. Mind you, When they're done, they look very hot.

Gone
5th June 2006, 21:39
Very similar to my routine except I have an electric leaf blower to blow-dry my bike - works like it was made for it!!!

Cal

Snuffy
5th June 2006, 22:30
After a good washing using mild soap about once every 2 months I use good old fashioned BLUE windex. Windex will make the chrome shine like a new baby's butt, doesn't bother or stain rubber, aluminium, or the paint. Wipe it down once a week and you are good. Every once in awhile put a little wax and buff out the light stuff in the paint. Old cotton socks, t-shirts and even underwear go in my rag bin, as long as its soft cotton

chrishajer
7th June 2006, 23:46
I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but Harley-Davidson has an official procedure for washing your bike:

http://a1276.g.akamai.net/7/1276/734/bd949ee108b623/resource.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Media/images/Content/Headline/Wrenching_Department/hdr_giveyourbikeabath.gif

http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/Wrenching_Department/clean_your_bike.jsp?locale=en_US

FWIW :p

--Chris

gymrat523
15th June 2006, 13:41
only thing I don't see mentioned is I put my bike on the jack a couple time a year so I can sit and spin the wheels while I clean them, hardly ever wash the bike but the wheels can get bad.

chrishajer
16th June 2006, 03:01
Especially the rear, on the side with the brake disc. That brake dust, when it gets wet (even just from humidity), is corrosive, and HD will not warranty pitting in aluminum or chrome wheels.

--Chris

cgp-1200R
18th June 2006, 14:08
Especially the rear, on the side with the brake disc. That brake dust, when it gets wet (even just from humidity), is corrosive, and HD will not warranty pitting in aluminum or chrome wheels.

--Chris

i wish they would find / use a material that was not corrosive.

chrishajer
18th June 2006, 16:31
There's always going to be some metal there, whether from the pads or the rotors, even if you use organic pads. The best advice I can give is to keep the wheels sealed with a wax of some sort, and clean them often. That dust is hell on the finish, and HD does NOT warranty corrosion damage. They call it a "maintenance issue." Something to be aware of.

--Chris

bsporty
18th June 2006, 16:54
I could use a little clarification on this subject myself. Especially about using a hose and washing the bike. I've heard dont get water on the seat....put plastic over it so water doesnt get into the electrical stuff???? Dont get the cables wet..dont get the gauges wet....it rides in the rain no? I need the "real" deal....I dont care about special polishes and crap. Can I hose it down, wash it up...and hose if off? :D
Do you own a nifty little soaker upper called the absorber.It is a water spots nightmare.love it.I set it on my seat so the seat stays dry then i use it to dry the bike.I have no shade spot to wash in so I do buy the harley sun wash,for about $4 its worth it for my baby.Then I finish her up with THE BEST WAX EVER MADE!Its called Wizards shine master.www.wizardsproducts.com (About $14 for 16 fl.oz.)It leaves no dust .gotta use it with a microfiber towel.(walmart bout $4) I just used it on my bf BRAND NEW Buell and you could notice a difference in the shine.It has weather proof UV protection.I could go on and on about it.Anyways all the chrome gets Mothers chrome polish and aluminum too.I have used just about every product out there.I was the girl in the body shop.What did you think they let me start out working on the cars?I was the detailer.Now I dont mind so much, my vehicles are always clean and shiny!Hope this helps!

chrishajer
18th June 2006, 17:11
I could use a little clarification on this subject myself. Especially about using a hose and washing the bike. I've heard dont get water on the seat....put plastic over it so water doesnt get into the electrical stuff???? Dont get the cables wet..dont get the gauges wet....it rides in the rain no? I need the "real" deal....I dont care about special polishes and crap. Can I hose it down, wash it up...and hose if off? :D
Yes, you can hose it down, wash it, hose it off. Using a pressure washer or compressed air means you have to be careful around certain things (gauges, bearings) but you can't hurt anything with a garden hose.

I have never covered any electrical components to keep them from getting wet. If you have a leather seat, you might want to cover that, because it will take a long time to dry out, but that's just uncomfortable, it doesn't hurt the seat. Water certainly won't hurt a stock seat cover.

Be careful when you ride after cleaning the bike. Make sure the brakes are dry or stopping power will be reduced. It's best to take it easy right after washing the bike to make sure things work as expected.

--Chris

cgp-1200R
18th June 2006, 19:44
just got done, wow that s100 really cleaned that black engine. i was very skeptical.

and the leaf blower worked great, got 90 % of the water.

Sojourner
8th July 2006, 05:13
Man, some of you are working at this way to hard. It may be sacrilege to say this but I use a can of Honda Cleaner. This product cleans and waxes at the same time, and so far I have not found anything that works better. It takes maybe 15 minutes and if done regularly will keep your bike looking great. I use Plexus on the windshield. If its any consolation I plan to try the Harley equivalent once my can of Honda cleaner runs out.

rcliffor
11th July 2006, 23:40
Just cleaned my bike today. Did a quick water wash since it was mostly just dusty and used my leaf blower to dry. Tried the Eagle One Nanowax...worked great! The shine is really cool. Used Mothers aluminum metal polish on the wheels and other metal parts. It works o.k. but seems to take a lot of elbow grease to really remove the grime, particularly on the wheels. Don't know if anyone mentioned it recently but a motorcycle lift is needed to adequately clean/polish the wheels.....also helps save your back.

Kentucky
19th July 2006, 23:13
Anybody that lives in bug country use Pam on their windshield? We've used it on our dirt toys for years and it seems to work well on the Sporty windshield too. They got some huge bugs here in Kentucky...

bunny32
10th August 2006, 11:30
Gooday, I have never washed my 04883C and never will, nor any other bike for that matter. Why? So many nooks and crannies in a bike, and so much to rust e.g. wheel rims, with all the blind spoke holes, waiting to trap water under where it rusts through your chrome. No way!
I vacuum the bike after a long run e.g. 1000-8000kms, brush out any heavy soiling, clean the chrome with kerosene or WD40 and paper towel...lots of towel, and Mr Sheen for the paintwork. That's what the HD dealers use downunder. My bike looks like new and it's been round Australiua, and no rust anywhere!

milmat1
12th August 2006, 14:46
I vacuum the bike after a long run e.g. 1000-8000kms, brush out any heavy soiling, clean the chrome with kerosene or WD40 and paper towel...lots of towel, and Mr Sheen for the paintwork. That's what the HD dealers use downunder. My bike looks like new and it's been round Australiua, and no rust anywhere!


There must be something wrong with the air down there !!!


Blackhawk motorcycle cleaner !! Cleans everything from sheetmetal, engines, even glass. Squirt it on wipe it off !!

Now who was tha that made the remark about dirt bike? :boxing :boxing

bunny32
15th August 2006, 02:28
There must be something wrong with the air down there !!!


Blackhawk motorcycle cleaner !! Cleans everything from sheetmetal, engines, even glass. Squirt it on wipe it off !!

Now who was tha that made the remark about dirt bike? :boxing :boxing


There sure is Milmat1...it's damned dry! If it ever rains, we all pull off the road till it stops.

Fork
3rd September 2006, 22:13
Tried the Eagle One Nanowax...worked great! The shine is really cool.

Today I used the Eagle One Bucket Free Car Wash and the Nano Wax. It was very quick and very easy to use. The bike looks great!

Gone
5th September 2006, 00:58
WOW some folks really make things harder than it has to be!!!

klinesamuel
5th September 2006, 17:57
I use the Mr clean car wash system. It takes about 10 minutes to wash the entire bike and since the rinse water is filtered I leave the bike air dry. No Spots!

Sam

klinesamuel
5th September 2006, 18:12
For getting bugs off the windshield I take one of those free towels the hotels give you :D. Take the towel and soak it in water then drape it over the windshield. This will re-hydrate the bug guts and make it very easy to remove them without chemicals.

Sam

kballowe
6th September 2006, 19:33
I use 100% cotton or microfiber cloth on paint for washing and drying. I feel like a chamois has a tendency to hold dirt and grit, especially after you use it 49 times.

An ugly sponge works well on wheels with Amour-All all wheel cleaner in the gray bottle at Wally-World. Just melts off the brake dust and also cleans up spokes it they aren't too bad. Mostly spray, wait a minute or two, and rinse. Scrub a little for the really cruddy ones.

The Mr. Clean car wash system is nice for a spot-free wash and if your bike isn't too dirty.

Touch-up? Windex for chrome and Meguires premium liquid wax for paint (no dust residue), or Meguires quick-detailer........ Kit wax (clearcoat safe version) certainly removes waterspots better than the Meguires but leaves a tiny bit of wax dust.

I agree with someone else that stated that S100 leaves streaks. I even tried diluting it 50/50 with water and still got the streaks. Must be doing something wrong.

Drying? I take it for a ride..... although I LIKE that idea of using a leaf blower.......

paulriva
8th September 2006, 00:14
Man.. just wash the damm thing like you would anything else ... then dry it and wax it if you want.. and go for a ride to dry the rest of the wet spots !!!!

AeroSport
8th September 2006, 00:36
Man!!! you're supposed to wash these things. I always thought it was the dirt and grime that kept stuff from vibrating off. Guess I'll have to re-examine my philosophy.

Kentucky
9th September 2006, 09:54
One last thing, you may have noticed i said nothing about tire dressings/armorall on the tires, the reason why is that it is a bad Idea to use anything that will shine tires. Motorcycle tire get replace to often to worry about the sidewalls drying out. That shiny stuff will act like oil on a tire, first time you lean into a turn could be the time the bike shoots out from under you, not good.


I use Armorall and have for years with no problems at all. The reason for this is simple. When you use Armorall on bike tires you have to soak the tire before you wash it. Let it soak in good. Wait 5 minutes and you wash it off. The tire stays black and there's no problems in the twisties....

Rubble11
13th September 2006, 22:16
I just use carwash, windex for chrome

bunny32
14th September 2006, 04:04
I use Armorall and have for years with no problems at all. The reason for this is simple. When you use Armorall on bike tires you have to soak the tire before you wash it. Let it soak in good. Wait 5 minutes and you wash it off. The tire stays black and there's no problems in the twisties....


Hey Kentucky, I've been using Armourall on classic bike tyres for years, and people always tell me I'm crazy....till I point out that classic bikes often have old hard tyres, that slide easy, and it pays to restore some flex, by going over the sidewalls, and inside the tread. I'll be tempted to try it on the tread now, following your technique. Thanks 4 the idea. Rex

Argos
22nd September 2006, 20:06
I use cotton cloth, for the paint and chromes, and... for everything!

I wash it from head to toe (or from mirror to taillight) with water and soup (no special one) then dry it, and wax it with a spray wax. for metal and chrome I use whatever brand they are using for shinning metals at my mom´s house... it take´s me like 2 hours... but man, is it worth it!!!!

I don´t remove the seat, just try no to drown it on water, I hose everything else, from electric cables to the buttons etc. no prblem.

washing the bike is like running, it clears yer head!! like to do it on sunday mornings... then ride and blind the bystanders with the shine!! :D

dirkdigler
22nd September 2006, 20:28
If you live near the ocean you have to keep a good coat of wax on the chrome. If not its rust city. Windex is the worstproduct to use on chrome. It has amonia and acid in it which will eat at the chrome. My brother in law works for dupont and has proved this. NUFINISH according to him is one of the best waxes on the market. Cheap and easy to wipe off. I use it on my bosses 6 million dollar yacht and it works great!

jrazo
26th September 2006, 02:03
I wash it from head to toe (or from mirror to taillight) with water and soup (no special one) then dry it...

So you are saying chicken noodle works just as well as tomato?:roflblack

Seriously, I use Meguires Gold class car wash and Zymol wax. The car wash alone really "softens" the finish and leaves it really smooth, but the Zymol really adds a pro quality shine and only needs to be applied about 2-3 times a year (if that.) I have also used the "wax as you dry" products on my bike as well as my car and truck, works pretty good and Meguires quick detail is good for a quick shine on a clean, but maybe a little dusty body. I use the quick detail on the gas tank and fenders before a ride, you just mist it on and wipe it off with a soft cloth.

Kentucky
26th September 2006, 03:05
So you are saying chicken noodle works just as well as tomato?:roflblack

Seriously, I use Meguires Gold class car wash and Zymol wax. The car wash alone really "softens" the finish and leaves it really smooth, but the Zymol really adds a pro quality shine and only needs to be applied about 2-3 times a year (if that.) I have also used the "wax as you dry" products on my bike as well as my car and truck, works pretty good and Meguires quick detail is good for a quick shine on a clean, but maybe a little dusty body. I use the quick detail on the gas tank and fenders before a ride, you just mist it on and wipe it off with a soft cloth.

Meguires makes a good quality middle of the road base wax and the Zymol you're using isn't the same product as their old paste wax. I think it's important to note that soap is not soap. Quality car soap has conditioners in it that are not available in dish soap from the kitchen and I know plenty of folks that use mom's dish soap to clean both their vehicles be they cages or bikes. I use Meguires as a base and seal it with S100. From time to time I use Zbest and a microfiber towel to bring out the rich Smokey Gold/Vivid Black color of my cages and bikes. I carry a small travel bottle of Inferno for the rides....... Either way, keeping that bike waxed up will only help preserve the finish on that rolling piece of artwork you have sunk your life savings into....

sportyblue
26th September 2006, 05:52
Wash..... dry....shine. Ride Ride Ride Ride Wash.....dry....shine. Ride Ride Ride Ride. Keep it pretty simple. Wax twice a year. Chrome cleaner extra if needed on pipes. All products are HD except for the chrome cleaner and get that at Napa or other stores. Melted boot on pipes.....extra time involved.

Argos
26th September 2006, 14:58
[QUOTE=jrazo]So you are saying chicken noodle works just as well as tomato?:roflblack

:frownthre Hehehe, I meant Soap... :doh

cigarman
18th October 2006, 14:07
Well, I don't know what type of "wax" you use on your bike (and I have tried every one listed here) , but as a Corvette owner ('89 Red 'vert; 6-speed, all original with 40K) I was made aware of one of the greatest "waxes" on the market and would not think of using anything else on my vehicles.

It is called Zaino and available only at carshows and on the web http://www.zainostore.com

It is a 2 step process, easy to use and produces a fabulous shine. Prices are reasonable for the stuff. I Check it out.

BTW, the way to remove old wax is to use Dawn dishwashing liquid. It will strip it immediately. The Zaino brothers recommend it as a pre-app routine.

Gone
22nd October 2006, 01:47
Just thought I'd drop my $.02 for your leather seat I'd recommend cleaning just as you would the rest of your cycle, but when you wax the rest of your cycle take the seat off and use some saddle oil. (available at most farm supply stores). I recommend ones with the lanoline, silicone additives. It will keep your seat water resistant, but still supple so you won't develop cracks/tears. Take good care of leather and it will last you a lifetime.

If you have some old leather that has graying and looks worn out (like old saddle bags), you can add some life back to it with some black kiwi shoe polish. The dye in it will change the gray back to black, the wax will help with the shine durability. Apply with a rag, then use shoe brush. Re-apply if necessary. Then use some saddle oil, let soak for an evening, and wipe off excess in the morning, wait till noon for it to completly dry.

Drew1200c
25th October 2006, 05:05
oops, came home from daytona I was kinda tired so I only let it sit for 2 hours before I drove it over to the coin car wash. I pop off the seat wash it down, then drive it back home and hit it with the leaf blower. I then used some of that quick spray wet wax and polished it with a few microfiber towels, and armor all leather wipes for the seat, looks good fast and easy.

rvguy
26th October 2006, 21:25
Wash..... dry....shine. Ride Ride Ride Ride Wash.....dry....shine. Ride Ride Ride Ride. Keep it pretty simple. Wax twice a year. Chrome cleaner extra if needed on pipes. All products are HD except for the chrome cleaner and get that at Napa or other stores. Melted boot on pipes.....extra time involved.

Melted boot on pipes. Someone please tell me how to get the melted rubber off my pipes so I have clean pipes the next time I melt my boot on them. :doh

ja28226
3rd November 2006, 22:06
For tires try Dupont 303. It is NOT Silicon based (like Armor-All and Son of a Gun) . It sunscreen for rubber and vynil(sp??).
It is sometimes hard to find, try an outdoor outfitter that sells kayaks and canoes.

fealingood
15th November 2006, 03:04
MR. clean car wash system works good on the bikes. I usually use the rinse setting for everything. First wet the bike with it on the rinse setting (the other settings I think are a little to strong) then put the soap setting on suds it up wash it, rinse it off really good and then blast the remaining water off with a leaf blower. Then you could take it for a 5-10 minute ride to make sure it's dry if you want to.
I do it pretty much like this, the Mr. Clean is really nice to keep the water spots away. Before I got the Mr. clean it took alot of time to get rid of all the water spots. The filter will last about 4 washings, which I use for the final rinse. Sometimes I blow dry it sometimes I don't. After its all dry, take honda polish or 1 of the others (hogspit, sg-forget the #) and spray the whole bike down, except the tire, belt and brake rotors. I then wipe it off with a terry cloth through the day as time allows. Also, I tried harley glaze on the engine and if it gets on the black wrinkle paint it won't come off, but shoot some honda spray on it and its gone. I spray engine and everything, gets in all the cracks.

MakuaKane
2nd December 2006, 08:39
Melted boot on pipes. Someone please tell me how to get the melted rubber off my pipes so I have clean pipes the next time I melt my boot on them. :doh

Regular chrome polish and some elbow grease should do well for small marks. I've also used acetone without any ill effects.

HOGDADDY
3rd December 2006, 02:11
I wash my bike Meguiar's gold wash and use their wax also after I chamois and air-dry at lowered pressure (I have Ingersol Rand air compressor w/80 gal. tank in garage :) ).

Fuzzy
10th December 2006, 03:44
I didn't read all the posts so, y'all have a heart if I am repeating stuff. I spray it all with s100.........hose it off with water and blow the whole works off with the air compressor. About half the time, I get out the wax and the beers but, whatever the combo, it looks good.

Gone
10th December 2006, 04:14
Shop vacs work well for drying too, using the crevice tool to speed air delivery. Just make sure the hose does not have trash inside, or keep a spare hose on hand.

kledhead
10th December 2006, 04:35
Melted boot on pipes. Someone please tell me how to get the melted rubber off my pipes so I have clean pipes the next time I melt my boot on them. :doh
Someone else posed this question recently. Easy Off oven cleaner works. Heat up the pipes,spray it on,and give it a few minutes to eat in. Depending on how bad it is will determine how much elbow grease will be needed.Make sure you cover everything else with a rag to catch any overspray. Easy Off will ruin alum parts-learned this the hard way! Try it, itll work.

nationwide
10th December 2006, 12:58
Isn't this very subject why God made Hooter's Girls and High School Cheerleaders???

They always are having fundraisers. I let them wash my bike! :D

Uh... stay away from the carb with that high pressure hose there missy!!!

sportin_2007
19th December 2006, 03:21
Some great info and techniques on cleaning. I've used soap and water with a good old garden hose a few times sincebuying my bike. I haven't waxed it yet, but will give it a light cut and polish with Mirror Glaze before I wax it here this month. Then it's parked for the winter. Unless it gets warm again that is.

Velocetti
1st January 2007, 17:21
Hi Gang - considering the problems folks have discussed in another thread, with rear axles seizing, it would appear that we should be pretty careful with pressure washing ... maybe stick to a genteel sprinkle. I have found that the Mr. Clean spray gun to be pretty good.
Brian

milmat1
1st January 2007, 17:55
Lather Rinse Repeat !!! Dry with leaf blower !!

Gone
1st January 2007, 19:25
Hi Gang - considering the problems folks have discussed in another thread, with rear axles seizing, it would appear that we should be pretty careful with pressure washing ... maybe stick to a genteel sprinkle. I have found that the Mr. Clean spray gun to be pretty good.
Brian


Switch to sealed bearings when the originals give up.

Kentucky
1st January 2007, 20:39
I have washed mine after riding in the rain but it's not washed very often as it isn't allowed to get dirty in the first place. I have zero problems with brake dust because the carbon/Kevlar pads leave no dust. If you flip the bike upside down the belly is just as clean as the top. I have a strong dislike for dirt and the bike gets cleaned down after every ride including the days I may be out on the road so a 2,000 miles trip has no affect on it looking any different than when it left the garage. I wash my dirt toys but the Sporty gets massaged softly and quite often with the best products I can find.......

Expat
4th January 2007, 01:18
At the moment, and I hope permanently I am being good, and keeping it covered.... I don't have a garage, and then giving her a little rinse to dislodge the dust, without soap, she aint had a chance to get dirty. Then on with polish to the fenders and tank and Bat and Oil cases plus pipes and handlebars, the rest gets S100 recoates until the weather improves.

This is one lucky lady, my last ride got very regular maintainance mechanically, but almost never saw a wash sponge or polish.

I had the only bike in town with spiders wearing riding goggles that could hold on at 90mph... :-)

scottgearman
6th January 2007, 12:53
Hey Guys,
My best discovery so far is the " Mr Clean AutoDry CarWash System"
Wash your bike as usual and then RINSE it with this gizmo. It filters all the minerals out of the water so there are NO waterspots.... you don't need to chamois at all..... Just let it drip dry in the driveway and it really is spotless.

Every minute you save cleaning is another minute riding

blacksunshine
9th January 2007, 04:53
I wash Too much, I can't stand a finger print on it! for some reason it's allways showtime or no time for me

Gary7
9th January 2007, 05:21
I tried Pledge on my bike today and I was really surprised at how well it worked. Obviously, if your bike is really dirty, soap and water is the way to go. But for a quick clean up when all of you've got is light dirt and dust, Pledge does the trick.

Gone
9th January 2007, 06:15
How about a section on cleaning these beasts. Without breaking the bank, anyone care to share cleaning tips, products, and tools used in washing the bike.
I prefer the household approach. Products used in house cleaning. As an example did you know that HD's spray polish is actually the same product as Pledge furniture polish. Friends have used it for years and have saved a fortune compared to the pricey HD product.
I guess the reason why i'm writing this is because maybe someone out there can tell me how to clean my bike without leaving a pound of flesh in all the cracks and crevisses.
Anyway I think this could be a great place where we could share cleaning tips.
LESS DIRT MEANS BETTER AERODYNAMICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pledge does not contain wax. While it may offer slight protection against the elements, you would be better off with any of the spray waxes available at a bazzillion retailers. A good selection of brushes to get into all the creviced areas such as wheels and cylinders is a labor saver too.

rshute4
9th January 2007, 06:38
Mequiers Quick Detailer is the shizzle! it lifts the dirt, and shines like a MOFO!!!!!! even better on chrome! 5 minutes and it looks like a show bike!

superwarden
9th January 2007, 13:20
My two cents worth.....I don't like to scrub bugs, so I take my wife's bath towel, lay it over the windshield and soak the towel with water and let stand while I wash the rest of the bike. The bugs just wipe off. Works well with bugs on other parts as well, use the wife's hand towel....

AK

Expat
9th January 2007, 19:00
My two cents worth.....I don't like to scrub bugs, so I take my wife's bath towel, lay it over the windshield and soak the towel with water and let stand while I wash the rest of the bike. The bugs just wipe off. Works well with bugs on other parts as well, use the wife's hand towel....

AK


I hope beloved hasn't figured out how to log to this site, or you are SOooo dead.:rolleyes:

Coasty
21st January 2007, 13:11
How about a section on cleaning these beasts. Without breaking the bank, anyone care to share cleaning tips, products, and tools used in washing the bike.

I prefer the household approach. Products used in house cleaning. As an example did you know that HD's spray polish is actually the same product as Pledge furniture polish. Friends have used it for years and have saved a fortune compared to the pricey HD product.

I guess the reason why i'm writing this is because maybe someone out there can tell me how to clean my bike without leaving a pound of flesh in all the cracks and crevisses.

Anyway I think this could be a great place where we could share cleaning tips.

LESS DIRT MEANS BETTER AERODYNAMICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For about 20 years I have been using Murphy's Oil Soap, soft cloth, and after I wipe the bike with Murphay's I imediately dry with terry cloth towel.

szunker
22nd January 2007, 01:25
Hi,

Here is my 2 cents on the topic. I use "mister clean" full strength out of a spray bottle then rinse it off with a garden hose, it costs less then $2 a quart and works great, and "bombs away" on the rims. If you have a plastic windshield "plexus" works awsome cleans bugs, tar and fills in the small scratches so it will look like new when you are done.

rshute4
22nd January 2007, 02:23
I used the Turtle Wax chrome polish today since it was raining, and in doing so the rain stopped and the sun came out... When i was done the chrome had a DEEP shine, and it really cleaned and shined up the "polished aluminum" on the hand levers, foot controls, and front forks! :clap - As SOON as i was done the rain started again... :censor :censor :censor :censor

vicks44
22nd January 2007, 03:05
I use cloth diapers to remove wax and use them for nothing else, then wash and dry after each use. I use brite one pro wax on the chrome, paint and powdercoat, the stuff is pricey but works great. On the aluminium and billett its White diamonds metal polish this stuff makes aluminium look like chrome with very little effort.

OldFenderGuy
24th January 2007, 18:53
I don't like to waste a bunch of time keeping any of my bikes looking good, so I keep it 'fast and simple'... ;)

http://dogsdoom.com/PI/1200-s100.jpg

http://dogsdoom.com/PI/airforceblaster.jpg

angel1200
24th January 2007, 20:29
Meguiars Gold Class car wash shampoo and conditioner.
Blow dry with leaf blower and use microfiber towels to finish drying.
Meguiars Scratch X. {Fine scratch and swirl remover}
Meguiars Mirror Glaze detailing clay. {Mild}
Meguairs Show Car Glaze {Polish} #7
Meguairs Gold Class clear coat paste car wax. {1 coat or 2 if I see an area I maybe didn't get good the first time.}
Finish off with Meguiars Mirror Glaze Final Inspection #34 It's also great for quick clean-ups between washings removing fingerprints, dust, bugs, water spots, and even fine scratches. I also use it on my rims to help keep them clean and shiny. I keep it and microfiber towels handy.

Meguiars Gold class rich leather cleaner/conditioner for the seat. It cleans and protects and works well thus far. It does say test for color fastness. Hasn't been a problem with mine. I still have a stock 2 up seat but have a new LePera on order.

I don't take the windshield off. But I do soap down a big hand towel {dish towel size or small bath towel size} with the Meguires shampoo and let it sit on the windshield while I'm washing the bike. Usually by the time I'm ready to rinse the stuff on the windshield is loose enough to spray right off. Dry and finish it off with a bit of Pledge.

I use a lot of microfiber towels. They are color coded. White ones, blue ones and pinkish/reddish ones. I don't use a towel more than once when cleaning the bike. I'm careful to make sure none ever touch the ground. Because dirt can become quickly embedded in the fibers and then they are useless for vehicle/motorcycle cleaning. Only wash microfiber towels with liquid laundry detergent. Because the powdered ones can leave grains embedded in the towels as well. I never use paper towels as they have rough fibers that can leave fine scratches.

I'm a penny pincher at heart. In most purchases I'm really frugal. But to me the Sportster is a big investment. I'm not going to cut corners on cleaning it. Though I don't buy into that whole Harley cleaning product line either. I got a small starter set at one time but it wasn't as good as some other cleaning products out there. By the same token I realize not everyone is as obsessive about cleaning their bike {and car} as I am. I only do the thorough cleaning 2 or 3 times a year. This usually takes 3 to 4 hours.

For inbetween cleanings I'll just wash with Meguires Gold Class Shampoo. Dry off with blower and microfiber towels. And do a quick touch up with the Quick Detailer. This usually takes 30 minutes or less.

Price? Shop around for best prices online. I started with a few items and they accumulated over time. To replenish items is probably less than $10/year. {I didn't have to buy anything this past year.} I often get comments about how clean my bike looks. Sometimes I even get ribbed asking if I spend more time cleaning than riding.

As a side note? I've tried the Mr. Clean auto cleaning thing. I wasn't impressed with the results. Hard water can be a factor and even with the filter and chemicals that it uses it would still leave spots on my bike and my car.

I haven't tried Zanio's. From what I understood it was a bit more labor intensive than the Meguires. It also seemed a bit pricier. Though I do understand it is a great product.

Something I didn't see mentioned yet was the clear coat. It's important to remember that whatever one chooses to make sure it's compatible with the clear coat.

l1lmonsta23
26th January 2007, 17:56
i'm a freak, but i try not to let it get too dirty.....aside from that, i never use water, might be cause i'm too lazy to dry it, i use mothers aluminum metal polish on ALL the metal, yup, chrome too......and i actually use it on the painted frame......then i just use a spray wax/cleaner on the tins, followed by some nice zymol wax........say what you want, but people comment on how clean my bike is very often..........oh, and i hook up my compressor and spray some simple green in those tough to reach spots, and just blow it out, spray again, blow it out again....i keep doing this till it's clean enough

Hot Rod Sporty
30th January 2007, 20:59
I'm a true believer in the S-100 stuff. I've tried simple green, and it leaves behind bugs, tar and stuff that the S-100 takes off. I've never had to touch/scrub it to wash anything off using S-100. It just lifts everything off so when I rinse it, it's clean. They also make it in an aerosol spray can that makes it come out like "scrubbing bubbles". Costs about 6 bucks per can. One can per wash. A bit pricey, but I think it's worth it not having to scrub.
YOU DEFINITELY HAVE TO RINSE IT VERY WELL. I'VE EXPERIENCED THE 'HAZE' WHEN I DIDN'T RINSE IT WELL ENOUGH.
I only wash it after it has cooled down for 30-45 minutes. I do remove my seat to keep from getting my buttocks wet. I bought one of those Air Force blasters that works like a charm, except that it blows water from the cracks onto the surfaces I've just dried, leaving water streaks. If I go to the carwash, where they don't have electric outlets, giving it a quick dry with a chamois works well on the surface stuff, and then I take it out and go about 70 mph for a few minutes, and it blows the water out of most of the cracks. If I want it to really shine, and not have any water streaks/spots I'll use the S-100 Detail and Wax after it's dry, using only clean microfiber cloths to apply and remove. I only wash my microfiber cloths together with nothing else in the washer or dryer to keep them lint free. When I do this, people always ask me if I just bought it!

Gone
16th February 2007, 06:57
I use the S1oo that harley sells on all the shiney stuff even the windshield..I also like the honda brand of waterless cleaner the best..About $7.95 a can...Last about 30 days..Quick and easy which I like cause I ride 15K miles a year..

traveler
26th February 2007, 09:47
Here's how I do it!

Go to car wash. Wash under the fenders and motor and drivetrain off. Ride her home. Spray the front of it down with glass cleaner, and then wipe the bugs off with a shop rag. Then spray it down with Harley-Davidson or Honda polish then use a very soft terry cloth towel, and start from the top and work my way down. polish it in, then buff with a dry terry cloth towel. the chrome rims and pipes etc. get a little never-dull and polish, then buff with clean towel! I use the polish, and buff the frame, swingarm etc. the bike still looks new and it's a 2005! I ride it alot and clean it all the time! Perfect opportunity to check for loose bolts, re-torque bolts, etc.

Joe

pitpndlm
21st March 2007, 00:57
1) Wash/ dry in the sun. Can cause hard water spotting at least which on paint most polishes will take care of, but on open pore metals (aluminum) can give some spots that are a real pain in the arse to cure.

2) Not wax after using dawn or any other dish soap. These are designed to remove grease, oil, wax, etc and leave you bike finish defenseless. It is ok to use, but be careful. Truthfully cheap car wash isnt much and it is much safer.

3) Dont let any type of soap dry on the bike. Ever. This can cause streaking and a whole litany of finish problems.

4) Use any type of engine cleaner-degreaser that does not expressly state that is ok to use on aluminum. Some contain acids that will "whiten" alunimum in a way that is virtually impossible to get off.

5) Basically use common sense. Dont use oven cleaner on those dirty cooling fins on the heads. Dont laugh, I've seen it done. Sigh. Dont clean your windshield with steel wool. ETC,ETC.

6) Ride the damn thing! Im as anal as any other out there. But remember it was made to be ridden, not waxed!

Ken

Rascal
21st March 2007, 01:15
I wash mine off at home with a garden hose, when the bike's motor is cold. Then I use Turtle Zip wax in lukewarm water in a bucket and a soft rag to hand wash it, rinse it off afterwards with the hose again. I use a small brush and simple green on my wheels, then rinse off. I use an electric leaf blower to dry the bike. I wipe everything down with Turtle spray wax and a terry cloth type rag. I use Mink Oil to clean/protect my seat, toolbag, and sissy bar pad and bag. Use Turtle wax chrome polish about every third time. Yeah, I'm big on Turtle Wax products, works for me.

hikerbiker
21st March 2007, 02:24
I wash as said by everyone then dry it with the blaster ( warm air )
comes out great no streaks....

Ranger Bob
4th April 2007, 03:05
Over the years I've acquired many used bikes in varying condions of clean and filthy. Usually orphan bikes with years of neglect and/or sitting around with low mileage and usage. Then I get them up to my standard military spec 'ready-for-inspection'.

Be forewarned, I'm known to be a bargain hunter and like to pick up nice, low-mile, sad-looking, neglected classic machines for an outrageous bargain.

-- First-Time Cleaning Of A Used or Neglected Machine --
-OR-
Zen & The Sacrareligous Way To Clean/Polish An Older Motorcycle


I start with a good wash & dry. Followed up with a liberal application of spray-on Gunk degreaser to engine, driveline (except chain), and most other metal parts. Hose & dry. Next I get out a 1" paint brush (used for nothing else or new) and brush on liberal application of Naval Jell and hose again.

When dry, I apply a liberal application of WD-40 to all bare metal parts and let it soak for a while. This does a great job of cleaning up oxidation on exposed, un-plated, metal parts. Let this set for a while to soak in, then hose & let dry again. I like the 'ride-dry' technique so I can check mechanical workings out further.

I also use the spray household cleaners like 409, Mr. Clean, or whatever to get anything remaining. Especially under the fenders and everything on the bottom of the engine & frame. Then a quick once-over with Windex or good glass cleaner. Whatever I'm using on my windows, computer screens, tv, etc at the moment.

Then comes the tedious part; polishing metal. Two products not mentioned here that I use are Brasso and then Simichrome tube paste plus a lot of elbow-grease. Suprised that with all the military vets here that no one uses Brasso. I've also found that Simonize Chrome Polish seems to work almost equally well as the above on bare metal, too. Pretty cheap, too.

With that we are now almost show-ready, then out comes the wax. I don't have a favorite brand, partly because a can lasts so long. By the time I need a new one, all the choices of premium waxes at the auto parts store have change. I just grab a top-shelf best-choice name-brand that offers the most promises at a decent price. One can seems to last 5-10 years and I keep a liberal coating of it on all paint, metal and chrome. Oh yes, I also wax the glass. Especially mirrors. Makes the glass much easier to wipe clean in bad weather.

Then a liberal coating of Armor-All (old days) or Mcguyers (Now) to seat, rubber, plastic and all non-metal parts. Leather is a different story under a different thread.

At this point it only takes about 15-30 minutes for maintenance 'touch ups' twice a year to wax and Armor-All/McGuire non-metal.

Then I try to keep it clean all the time. This is easy after the initial chore. Per the previous suggestions of avoiding puddles, bad weather, etc.

From there on out, cleaning & polishing is a piece-of-cake. Only a little fun-to-be-had on inclement weather days when I don't want to ride or there's nothing good on TV. For me, there's something 'zendish' about relaxing while making my polshed parts even more shiny.

At this stage, it's just a matter of improvement. After many years of military spit-polish, my attitude is that "You can never be too good-looking or too shiny".

Of course, I'm single, retired, can't ride as much as I'd like, and try not to get banal about it except once every 2-4 years.

Regards,
Bob G

BTW, when folks engage me on the street with my bike, they always ask "What year is that?" To which I reply "1988" and their reply is almost universal; "Wow, it sure is clean." I like that :smoke

rvguy
4th April 2007, 04:49
1gal. carwash soap Costco about $6.00, 1gal. simple green degreaser about $6.00 from Costco, 1 large bag of micro-fiber polishing cloths about $7.00, you guessed it from Costco. This is everything I need and I figure it will last for years. Optional item ATV jack Sears $89.00 $79.00 on sale.

Don't forget the fuzzy mitten. Microfiber rules. Leaf blower to pre-dry.

racerwill
4th April 2007, 05:12
I just wash mine with Turtle Zip wax/ wash...... scrub it and hose it off...... dry with a towel and compressed air......I'll wax it 2 or 3 times a year and I'll spend about 2 minutes every time before I ride with some Windex and paper towels......

always looks good

Ww

Bruce
26th April 2007, 00:51
Take my simple green to the car wash ,take the seat off and go at it. Towel dry, drive at 85 for one mile to the house. towel dry again, wax about once a month with turtle wax and mothers metal polish, looks great.

biknut
26th April 2007, 01:25
I use a bucket of water with some car wash soap and a sponge. First hose down your bike without using a lot of pressure. Then sponge the paint and chrome. If it starts drying off before you're through just hose it some more. If you have really dirty or greasy spots use a paper towel and WD40 or electric contact cleaner. After you've wiped everything with the sponge, rinse the whole bike with the hose. I try not to spray the seat or instruments very much. Definitely don't spray the wheel bearings.

Then you have to wipe every square inch of the bike with a towel. This process if what really cleans the bike and makes it shine. Doing this also keeps you in close contact with everything on your bike so you can tell if anything is getting loose of broken. There's really no shortcut, you just have to work at it.

After this you can wax the paint if you want. I can wash and wax my Sportster in less than an hour and a half. 1 hour if I hurry. My Road King takes 3 or 4 hours. It's a royal pain in the ass.

jettech777
28th April 2007, 20:48
I found that Monster ScreenClean (the stuff I use to clean my LCD screen) works pretty well on my windshield if it's not to filthy. Its non-alchahol and non-amonia.

Jimbo999
28th April 2007, 21:04
Just a repost from a year ago because I believe in this stuff.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
I haven't washed my ride in 4 years and it looks brand new.
(Not bad for a 19 year old bike)
This stuff is pricey but a 40oz bottle lasts me a season and I'm a clean freak.

http://waterless-wash.com/

I do spray blast my mag wheels but that's it.

Check my Gallery for proof.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

It woks as advertised.
The engine, chrome, cases, grips, leather, cables, pegs, tires, rims,
forks, frame, mud guard, head light.......even my helmet & face shield.

$40 isn't too much to pay for an all purpose cleaner/polisher that's so easy
to use.

AND.....No, I have no ties to DWG. I'm just a happy customer.

:tour

khaskins
29th April 2007, 16:51
MR. clean car wash system works good on the bikes.

I bought this system and I love it. It filters the rinse water for a towel-less dry without spots. I also bought a small blower from the indy shop to get the water out of the hidden places. I start the whole process by spraying on a wheel cleaner and rinsing it off.

Spend 30 minutes and done

jsibur
1st May 2007, 17:22
I like to use Shaklee basic H, about 1 tablespoon in a bucket of water. It's a good deal since you can use it to clean everything around the house, it's environmental friendly and it leaves a nice shine.

Velocetti
2nd May 2007, 15:17
I have heard some pretty negative things about using pressure washers to clean motorcycles. Since most of my experience is vintage, much of it with Lucas electrics I can readily imagine water messing up the electrics. I have also heard about damage to paint etc. But I have also been told that the water and electrical issue doesn't really apply to modern bikes and that damage to paint isn't much of a problem either. What do you folks think? If using a pressure washer, what sort of cleaning fluid, wax etc.?
Brian

averagewhiteboy
24th July 2007, 06:38
Sorry, but I'm a novice at this... How do you remove the seat? I've got an 883R with the extended seat. I'm a big time clean freak, and was surprised that after a few rides the thing is still totally brand new looking... I think my shield on my helmet it dirtier. haha

Cameron
24th July 2007, 06:51
Garden Hose, bucket with dishwashing soap, rag and "shine as you dry"
Oh! Almost forgot, some sort of degreaser cause my bike leaks abit of oil.
Piece of .......(word/s of your choice)

It s going to get dirty on my next ride anyway.

Cameron, 05 XL 883 SS (standard stock)

wwiz
31st July 2007, 22:33
I washed mine yesterday when I was out doing about 75 or 80 came over a hill, hit a hail storm, then a 6 mi hard rain storm, thought the lightning was going to dry it, but dang had to ride it till it was dry!
Seriously, I use the hose, the ol'lady's dish soap, a natural sponge, wet everything with a spray nozzle, soap everything (including seat) rinse, and blow dry, either with the compressor or riding it.
Bikes are made to get wet (if not they would be a cage!)

Hoppy1313
3rd August 2007, 09:27
I normally start at the car wash. I use the high pressure on the wheels and lower part of the frame. I only live 2 miles from the nearest car wash, so, I ride the bike home to finish the cleaning. I use a good quality car wash (several have been mentioned). I take the seat, backrest/luggage rack, and windshield off so I can clean the areas that are covered/blocked by those items. Although I used the car wash for the wheels, I still wash them. I rinse the bike very thoroughly, then get out the leaf blower to "blow dry" the bike. This also reduces spotting and makes the final part fairly easy to accomplish. I put wax on the painted surfaces and I wipe the chrome down with alcohol. Yes, I said alcohol. I was talking to one of the dealership repairman. The dealer here cleans the bike after servicing and before giving it back to the owner. I asked what their secret was for bikes with a lot of chrome (and mine has a lot of chrome). He told me they wipe them down with alcohol. Makes sense. Alcohol takes the water spots off the chrome and doesn't leave a residue. Do not use alcohol on the painted surfaces; just the chrome. Put everything back on the bike, go to the local watering hole, and listen to the compliments. By the way, don't use paper towels (or any paper product) on your windshield (or any other parts). Paper is made from wood particles and tends to scratch over time. The only thing I use a paper towel for is to wipe the dipstick when checking the oil.

cantolina
3rd August 2007, 09:46
I normally start at the car wash. I use the high pressure on the wheels and lower part of the frame. I only live 2 miles from the nearest car wash, so, I ride the bike home to finish the cleaning. I use a good quality car wash (several have been mentioned). I take the seat, backrest/luggage rack, and windshield off so I can clean the areas that are covered/blocked by those items. Although I used the car wash for the wheels, I still wash them. I rinse the bike very thoroughly, then get out the leaf blower to "blow dry" the bike. This also reduces spotting and makes the final part fairly easy to accomplish. I put wax on the painted surfaces and I wipe the chrome down with alcohol. Yes, I said alcohol. I was talking to one of the dealership repairman. The dealer here cleans the bike after servicing and before giving it back to the owner. I asked what their secret was for bikes with a lot of chrome (and mine has a lot of chrome). He told me they wipe them down with alcohol. Makes sense. Alcohol takes the water spots off the chrome and doesn't leave a residue. Do not use alcohol on the painted surfaces; just the chrome. Put everything back on the bike, go to the local watering hole, and listen to the compliments. By the way, don't use paper towels (or any paper product) on your windshield (or any other parts). Paper is made from wood particles and tends to scratch over time. The only thing I use a paper towel for is to wipe the dipstick when checking the oil.

Alcohol or windex.......works great..

cantolina
3rd August 2007, 09:52
I have heard some pretty negative things about using pressure washers to clean motorcycles. Since most of my experience is vintage, much of it with Lucas electrics I can readily imagine water messing up the electrics. I have also heard about damage to paint etc. But I have also been told that the water and electrical issue doesn't really apply to modern bikes and that damage to paint isn't much of a problem either. What do you folks think? If using a pressure washer, what sort of cleaning fluid, wax etc.?
Brian

Surely there are some issues with excessive water pressure and newer electrical systems....
(http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=70840)
Paint....not so much.......as long as its not a true "pressure wash"

I like a light shower on my bike, but I have an older bike....

alblues
24th August 2007, 00:43
I Use Mr Cleans Car Wash Kit It Work Well And Drys By It Self
Good Stuff Mr Clean Car Wash Kit

dewjantim
2nd September 2007, 23:40
Soak bike in S100 cleaner. Rub bugs and heavy grime/grease with a sponge. Spray off bike. Use a car or motorcycle specific soap and suds up entire motorcycle with soft cloth or sponge. Rinse very thoroughly. Dry body parts with chamois and engine , exhaust, frame, carb, etc with soft cloth. Hose down all aluminum (engine included) with armor all. Use armor all on the seat (I hold on with my hands and feet, not my ass), all rubber hoses and tires, being careful not to get it on the tread. Wipe off excess armor all from engine and other parts. Wax if necessary,about once per month, and in between waxes use Honda Spray Cleaner and Polish. Use Eagle One Chrome Polish or Never Dull on all chrome. Now your machine will shine like a spanked baby's butt. Why spray the engine with Armor All , you ask? It will keep a new engine looking new and shiny. Eventually it will work into the pores of an old engine and lift the dirt and grime making it look new again also. The Honda cleaner and wax will leave a thick film of wax on your paint which will even protect it from gasoline. If gas is on it for any period of time it will turn yellow, but it will wipe off with a wet cloth and a little elbow grease. Then just respray. Really good stuff......Dew.

mray55
6th September 2007, 01:42
Well however you wash your bike is fine. But let me tell you about wax. Or in this case ICE by Turtle wax. I have been a Mothers fan for years on both my bikes and Cars. However the film it leaves on rubber or plastic is a pain to remove we have all dealt with it. But this new Ice Doesn't leave any film on any thing. But man does it shine. Protects aganst bugs and Gas just wipe them bugs off and gas just spray it down with water. I put a coat on about every 2 weeks or so I ride alot so I wash my bike alot too. After most rides a simple shot of water and a quick dry does the trick. even after a driving rain and the road grit you get just sprays off if you don't let it dry on your ride.

Have fun and keep them between the ditches!!

htown16
21st September 2007, 16:56
My 2004 1200R has a white residue on the rough part of the spokes of the cast rear wheel. Any ideas on how to remove it?

rdgzoe
21st September 2007, 17:30
Bike Bright is the best.

weboskall
26th September 2007, 18:40
Ok...I dont wash my bike but it is very clean! Its waxed a few times a year and the shine is better than new. What do you fellows recommend for cleaning the engine. The engine is the light grey and I took my first long distance ride and now its filthy.

1. What do you use to clean the engine block?
2. What do you use to clean the rims? (That rear rim is a bitch to clean.)

Everything else on my bike is purrrrty!

lefty141
24th October 2007, 21:19
Dont buy them from the bike shop you can buy 8 of them from the local wall mart for 4 bucks. I use the method of as little moisture as necesary and short of the chrome which is not really chrome spoke front wheel I am very happy I cant keep the spokes clean to save my life any one have any suggestions.

ufaf
1st November 2007, 05:39
I use a soft cloth and Mr. Cleans car wash system. It has a rinse feature that allows the bike to dry spotless. So, I wash my bike, rinse it and put it in the garage. The next morning I wipe it down with ka-boom cleaner. Process works great.

JayFL459
4th November 2007, 01:39
Check the Latest Ads for the closest Bikini Gals Car Wash specials take along 6 pack and sit relax and watch them work...

Gone
28th November 2007, 22:03
Hi i clean my Bike once a week, and its still look new after 5 years

Gone
28th November 2007, 22:04
i live in England where its rain a lot

Coasty
16th December 2007, 14:08
This could be as bad as an oil thread. I never use a hose or power washer, I use Murphys Oil soap one quarter cup to one gallon, use a soft cloth wrung out damp wipe on and then immediately towel off. I have been using this method for over 30 years and makes everything so purdy.

Expat
16th December 2007, 17:11
i live in England where its rain a lot

But NOT just after they put the salt down....:doh

Billsxl1200c
31st January 2008, 03:55
Check the Latest Ads for the closest Bikini Gals Car Wash specials take along 6 pack and sit relax and watch them work...

I did that once (minus the beer), the wife was not amused! My "out" was that it was for charity. She was not impressed or amused with my answer. :doh

1200sportycustom
5th April 2008, 00:26
I have got some white stuff on my black engine block and it is hard to get off... any tips?

steelworker
5th April 2008, 00:36
I'm always sceptical about claims of miracle cleaning products, but I picked up some S100 bike cleaner cheap at an autojumble (it's normally pretty expensive) and it does exactly what it says on the bottle. It brought my engine cases up like new. When this runs out, I'll definitely buy more, even if I have to pay full price.

1200sportycustom
5th April 2008, 00:46
i am sold on the s100 but i need some thing different for the engine

roksngr
2nd May 2008, 21:36
I never use a hose on my bike. If you don't get it dry, it will rust .
I always use a spray cleaner/wax and use microfiber cloth. Works just great.

MacAttack
2nd May 2008, 22:35
Melted boot on pipes. Someone please tell me how to get the melted rubber off my pipes so I have clean pipes the next time I melt my boot on them. :doh

Magic Eraser. It's the only thing that really works.

shadecorp
2nd May 2008, 23:07
:usa2<powmia:usa2

My Son uses the Mr. Clean system on His shiny black FLHTC.

I use the spray and wipe on my Sporty.

:luvsport:usaflag:xlrocks

Cheddarhead
27th June 2008, 17:55
I Keep Water And Soap Off My Bike. Hand Cleaning Only. I Am Luckey Here In So Cal. Only Got Caught One Time In The Rain ,and Bugs Are A Small Problem. So I Use Honda Spray Cleaner Aqnd Polish On The Fancy Parts And Cheep Pledge On The Rest Of The Bike. My Bike Is Better Than New.

Honda spray cleaner? Hey now... :frownthre

glau13
19th July 2008, 21:01
I have the stock black wheels on my bike. I like my bike clean, but I really hate cleaning the wheels. It's a real PITA. I was cleaning my bike at my girlfriend's and she was so nice to point out that my wheels were dirty. So I now need to clean them. She had some S100 and it worked great. It even got the black junk out the the spots in the clearcoat that's pitted due to my laziness. Now they look pretty good. I guess I'll have to get my own S100 or come to my girlfriends to clean it. :D

doxbike
20th July 2008, 02:54
Any good ideas to clean the rubber nubs on the Kuryakyn Iso grips? I changed the levers to black, but my fingers still are getting black from the grips:doh

racerwill
20th July 2008, 03:20
I use the little(1750 psi) pressure washer a lot..... that does a good job on my bike..... zip wash/wax on the shiny stull rinse and dry...... windex shines the chrome pretty good.......I'll spend about 30 min then I just gotta ride it again......

this was yesterday Fri 7-18-08 about 125 miles into the day.....still looks pretty good.
http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/friday.jpg

Ww

TRILL
2nd August 2008, 05:27
I use a pressure washer but am very careful wit hit, I clean my spoke rim with the harley brush, use walmart car wash soap... does wonders :) then I hit up the chrome with some mothers chrome polish

hallma1
31st August 2008, 06:00
I use the same general sequence.

Start with a cold bike.
Spray the metal with Simple Green.
Hose off.
Wash with a reputable automobile soap, water, and cotton cloth or mitt. Rinse.
Blow dry. I use an electric leaf blower (note: never use compressed air...any rust, dirt, small metal bits, etc. can be like sandblasting your scoot).
Complete the drying process with one of those synthetic drying cloths.
Use Flitz or some other metal polish to touch up shiny parts as needed.
Wax as needed.
Don't forget your leather.

While I'm not one of those bikers that spends more time washing than riding, I have learned that it's easier to keep it clean than to spend an entire weekend scrubbing off a season's worth of grunge.

flameryder
9th September 2008, 09:41
I have been waxing and detailing for fifty years, (yea, I'm that old) and the very best all around wax and protectant for paint, chrome, plastic, rubber windshield, you name it, is Protect-ALL. Easy on, easy off. You can get it at Walmart, RV supply section.

Hopper
9th September 2008, 10:44
I use WD40 a lot. It is a nice gentle degreaser that seems to dissolve all manner of crud yet does not attack paint or alloy etc. Gets chain gunge off painted wheels safely, bugs off glossy paintwork etc. Brings chrome up real nice. Cleans the engine good.

And I swear by Mothers aluminum polish for cases, handlebar switches, etc etc.

Other than that its just dishwashing detergent (hand not machine) and hot water and whatever car polish/wax is around.

TrixR4Kids
27th October 2008, 04:32
I just got the bike (10/15/2008) and I am trying some new stuff out. With my Corvette's I am a die hard Zaino user. Don't have the Vette any longer and my Zaino is pretty much out. I am trying out Turtle Wax Ice paste since it doesn't leave any white powder. The guy I bought the bike from pretty much didn't wax it so last week I spent a few hours on it cleaning her thoroughly.

Initial slow water wash with Mequiar's car wash. Used small rags, sponges and Q-tips. Blow dry with leaf blower. Finished with microfiber towels. Went to work on all the chrome with never dull. Polished with microfiber towels. Put the first coat of Ice on and it did a good job of covering up the white residue on the engine case from when he waxed it. Didn't get a opportunity last week to really hit the rims good. Did that today, never dull, then Ice. Turned out nice.

I don't know how well the Ice will hold up but until I get some extra money it's gonna have to suffice till I get some more Zaino. Doesn't seem to have the depth I like, no residue is a bonus though.

FrankBlack
2nd December 2008, 23:48
But NOT just after they put the salt down....:doh

How true. I live in Facist Britain where they insist on covering everything in salt, which I discovered eats into alloy casings within a day. Nasty. As I use my bikes all year round I spend a lot of time cleaning - it's not neurotic, it's just essential if you are an all-year motorcyclist riding throughout the winter.

Any good ideas to clean the rubber nubs on the Kuryakyn Iso grips? I changed the levers to black, but my fingers still are getting black from the grips:doh

I use silicone spray on rubber parts. It works a treat and gives that 'like new' look as well as being a really good cleaner. You can use it on tyre walls, as long as you carefully avoid the tread obviously.

Anyway, I read all 16 pages of this thread and I want to know what people use to clean and protect flat paint. I just bought a Nightster with 'denim' finish paint. I've heard that we shouldn't wax it, just wash it and the dealer told me it 'wears in' like denim, thus the name silver denim/ black denim etc. Not sure what wearing in means or looks like.

Corrosion protection

On 'normal' paint I use carnauba wax to polish. I use ACF-50 on all metal and powdercoated finishes to protect against corrosion - it neutralises salt apparently. I use Lanocote on high corrosion areas such as exposed nuts, threads etc. On chrome, I use anything that will seal it once polished e.g. carnauba wax and/ or Motrex Clean & Protect (recommended by Triumph). Silicone spray for rubber and plastic. Silicone Dielectric grease to protect electrical connections against corrosion.

Gone
3rd December 2008, 02:22
And I know all you guys use Pledge on your shields? And helmet shields. Better than Rain-X, etc...we use it on the airplane windshields! Water beads, plus, it hides a lot of little scratches.

I did not know that. I will try it!:banadanc:banana

Hrdcore4lfe89
22nd January 2009, 02:17
How true. I live in Facist Britain where they insist on covering everything in salt, which I discovered eats into alloy casings within a day. Nasty. As I use my bikes all year round I spend a lot of time cleaning - it's not neurotic, it's just essential if you are an all-year motorcyclist riding throughout the winter.



I use silicone spray on rubber parts. It works a treat and gives that 'like new' look as well as being a really good cleaner. You can use it on tyre walls, as long as you carefully avoid the tread obviously.

Anyway, I read all 16 pages of this thread and I want to know what people use to clean and protect flat paint. I just bought a Nightster with 'denim' finish paint. I've heard that we shouldn't wax it, just wash it and the dealer told me it 'wears in' like denim, thus the name silver denim/ black denim etc. Not sure what wearing in means or looks like.

Corrosion protection

On 'normal' paint I use carnauba wax to polish. I use ACF-50 on all metal and powdercoated finishes to protect against corrosion - it neutralises salt apparently. I use Lanocote on high corrosion areas such as exposed nuts, threads etc. On chrome, I use anything that will seal it once polished e.g. carnauba wax and/ or Motrex Clean & Protect (recommended by Triumph). Silicone spray for rubber and plastic. Silicone Dielectric grease to protect electrical connections against corrosion.

Denim paint is best cleaned with windex!

lostinafog
28th January 2009, 05:31
only got one thing to add..

i hate scrubbin bugs, i use Nev-R-Dull on the forks and head light (yes, polish the glass) and the handle bars and the bugs dont stick as bad. it leaves a light coat of rubbin oil on the surface and the bugs usually wash right off

034cracker
12th February 2009, 16:25
I have taken my bike to the car wash before. It worked to get it clean but you also have to remember that it's reclaimed water and smells like ass sometimes! So now I usually hose her down at home, the whole bike! I push a clean rag in the intake and wash away. The weather pack in your electrical connectors is enough to keep water out....that is why you can ride in the rain with no worries.

One question I do have is how to shine the front wheel spokes mine are discolored and rough to the touch. I bought the bike used and they were in this condition. I have thought of maybe spraying cocacola on them and letting them set for awhile then I think about the sticky mess.

wrckdvr
16th March 2009, 03:03
I rarely wash mine with a hose my best cleaning comes with a roll of paper towels and a bottle of windex. Be sure to get the blue shop towels from a auto parts store and ammonia free windex it works better. I pull my sportster in my apartment and go to work. You have to accept it can be a all evening project. Especially if you wax and if you do I recommend Mequires. Step 2 and step 3. Just remember that the sole purpose of step 3 which is your wax is to seal step 2 which is polish. The more you do step 2 the deeper the shine. Overall just take your time I like to start at the front and work my way back. Either way go slow and be thorough and I guarantee you will be happy!

flameryder
16th March 2009, 03:55
PROTECTALL, does it ALL.

Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.
John3:3-5
Rev.20:11-5
Rev.21:4-8

Afries
17th March 2009, 03:49
I agree with the last guy Pre-wash with plain water. A couple drops of dish soap and a soft towel. The best thing to get road tar and bugs off of crome is Mr Clean's Magic Erasure. I wouldn't use it on the paint but It hasn't harmed my bike's chrome and I've been doing it for 4 years now. Vegas gets dusty, I wash my bike all the time. The leaf blower will save you tons of time too. Maybe I'm lazy but come on guys its a freakin bike. Guys that baby their bikes make me laugh. Scratches and nicks give your bike character.

BGunter
24th April 2009, 03:08
Need advice on saving rims. My 05 sportster's rims are wrecked. Person who owned it before me did not take care of them. The smooth aluminum has black spots on it and the rough part of the rim is almost solid black. There are also areas that are a cloudy white.

Which way do I go?

Fine grit sandpaper, metal polish, buy new one's????

Coasty
25th April 2009, 12:08
Need advice on saving rims. My 05 sportster's rims are wrecked. Person who owned it before me did not take care of them. The smooth aluminum has black spots on it and the rough part of the rim is almost solid black. There are also areas that are a cloudy white.

Which way do I go?

Fine grit sandpaper, metal polish, buy new one's????

Well, that all depends on time, effort and the rim condition and deep pockets.

There are many oprions:

Power wire brush- use stainless steel only to prevent steel from contaminating the aluminum- use something fine- then paint or polish.

I have a hand held blaster which I use either glass beads, walnut shells or corn cobb this works the best and fastest.

In either case when nice and clean you can either repaint, clear coat or just polish the rims. Unless you come a cross a used set in good condition you will need deep pockets.

DunderFrank
25th April 2009, 12:54
Here Is one for you guys
I have graphite lead Marks on my gray Engine casing from
a #2 Pencil. I have tried an eraser (naturally) and some soft scrub
nuthing
does anyone have any suggestions?

bsporty
25th April 2009, 13:12
Well I gotta wash 3 bikes, 2 mud trucks and 2 daily drivers....here is my tips...
- if possiable wash in the shade.If you dont have a shady area then wash early morning or evening.
-Stop being cheap and go get yourself and Absorber.They cost about $10.00.They are machine washable and a great tool for all your rides not just your bike.
-I place the absorber on the seat and rinse the bike.
-Meguires makes a great soap.Always make sure you rinse all your cleaning tools before you even put them into the bucket.I use a wash mit and for bugs I use a bug sponge.Youve seem them.They have a fishnet looking surrounding a sponge.They work great.
-I always do the bike top to bottom and do the wheels last.
-soap her up and rinse her off.
-then I use the absorber to dry the bike.
-I LOVE the Meguires NXT wax.Its pricey yes but a little goes a long way.I even wax my wheels and other chrome.Keeps everything clean longer.The wheels on my truck are alum. so after doing all that polishing the wax keeps em shiny.
Microfibers towels are your friend.

merc
25th April 2009, 13:12
I usually say I am going to wash it and wax it.
Then I look at and say Fxxx it and get on it and go for another ride.

Old driller
25th April 2009, 13:54
I just use Turtle Wax car wash, micro fiber rags and mitt. (washed after every use) and a few times a year Turtle Wax Ice Detail Spray. I don't like using a paste polish because IMHO anytime you start the "rub on rub off" you take a chance of rub on a speck of sand, salt, booger anything. Kind of hard for that stuff to get inside a sealed bottle. Now with that being said, if the day is to nice I'm also likely to just say F. it, I'll wash it tomorrow and go for a ride.

W1cked-J
1st May 2009, 15:25
I get out the pressure washer (using the lowest setting) and get the bike all wet, apply some S100 and let it sit for a few min and then rinse with the pressure washer. I then go back over the bike looking for any bugs that didn't get blasted off :p and clean those up. Then dry, wax and sometimes detail spray. I am pretty anal about cleaning my bike, with so much chrome I want the damn thing to shine all the time so it will get washed several times a week...

Golvannon
5th May 2009, 17:15
I wash mine once or twice a week...I use a thing called bio-kleen. Just spray the bike with water, then the kleen, then wash it of with water and dry the bike.
I use spray polish on the chrome and wax on the paint....

Golvannon
5th May 2009, 17:16
I use a thing called bio-kleen about 2x a week...

jndusek
27th May 2009, 01:37
Only thing I use on my bike is Pledge and a microfiber cloth. Bugs melt off, no swirl marks and it shines like a diamond! Also dust doesn't stick, it slides off, much easier to keep clean. Pledge makes pre moistened wipes that I keep with my bike to take care of any mishaps.

Golvannon
27th May 2009, 11:23
hmm, micofibre cloths eh? Never thought of that.....

Does anyone use the HD brand cleaning stuff? IS the chrome cleaner any good?

steelworker
28th May 2009, 09:33
I was reading a mate's classic car magazine ("Octane") recently, and, despite all the beautiful and extremely expensive motors pictured there, the thing that I kept going back to - because I couldn't quite believe it - was an advert for "Swiss Vax (http://www.swissvax.co.uk/products/wax-products.asp)" cleaning and waxing products. They were advertising a car wax for a price of £335.00 a tub :eek:

If you check out their website, you'll find that this is not even their most expensive product. There's anothe wax priced at £500 per 200ml tub, and a "limited edition" wax for £1,500 per 200ml tub. :frownthre

I don't know if this really is the best wax in the world, and I'm never going to find out, but for that price it FN better be! The phrase "more money than sense" springs to mind...

badblu97
3rd August 2009, 00:47
So if I have the cast aluminum wheels, and they are not too bad dirty, whats the best thing to clean them? the polished part i know I can polish out, but the cast part, I cant find a damn thing to clean them, especially the rear wheel. Ive read Bike bright....any tips?

Greenpiglet
3rd August 2009, 01:36
First I mix 3:1 water:white vinegar and use a dishrag to wipe down EVERYTHING except the paint. Then I use a micro fiber cloth and Captain Richard's Best (www.captainrichardsbest.com) to wipe down the paint. Done, then the compliments come.

AsSeenOnTV
3rd August 2009, 02:00
I hose my rims and then softly scrub them with an s.o.s. pad, then I rinse off the entire bike and use a micro fiber cloth to dry it off. I just get what I see, I don't care about all stuff ya can't see when you're doing 60. Once in a while I will put some leather treatment on the seat and backrest, and some mothers wax on the paint job. Works for me.

DogBunny
15th August 2009, 18:07
First I mix 3:1 water:white vinegar and use a dishrag to wipe down EVERYTHING except the paint. Then I use a micro fiber cloth and Captain Richard's Best (www.captainrichardsbest.com) to wipe down the paint. Done, then the compliments come.Tried the vinegar, I am now a convert. Mixed it in a spray bottle, wiped it off with microfiber cloths. Worked fine for me on the various paints and powder coats too.

Only thing it is ill-suited for is rubber, such as my grips and anything you might have dipped in Plasti-coat.

oldncrzy
16th October 2009, 21:02
I have always used turtle brand Zip car wash. Waxes and cleans in one step. Easy. I went to a dealer during an open house and what were they using in the wash bucket? Harley soap? nope. You guessed it. So I think it must be ok.

mike14_07
22nd October 2009, 01:08
i just use meguirars quick detailer, and every once and awhile amor all quick detailer with wax, works great and its quick, on the engine i just use a degreaser, diluted with water in a spay bottle. o and i blow off the bike with a air blower on the air compressor.

NKGMAN
16th December 2009, 14:00
Wait... we're supposed to WASH these things?

I know ha???? The I dont ride in the (wah wah wah ) rain crowd. U gotta be kidding me. When I'm in my house and it's raining. I #1 put on my rain gear.#2 walk out to the garage. #3 open the the garage door, #4 start the bike up,#5 get on, #6 then drive off.

dohc91gli
20th July 2010, 20:24
This reminds me... I really should wash up... :tour:rolleyes:

frank b
31st August 2010, 18:51
I use Eagle One all wheel and tire cleaner on my bikes. I get it at AutoZone for under $5. I'll use it to clean the wheels on the car which will use 1/4 of the bottle, then I'll refill with water to dilute it just a bit.
I live on a gravel road so the bike is always dusty. I just spray off the dust with the hose, then spray the Eagle One on EVERYTHING. Let sit a minute or two but don't let it dry, rub the bad spots like where the bugs build up, then rinse well. then i use the blow feature on my shop vacuum to blow dry it. One bottle is good for at least two washes.
It's made to be used on rubber, bare aluminum, chrome, plastic, etc. All the things that the bike is made from.
I also use it to detail the engines in my cars after using dish soap to cut the oil and grime.

MikeLightnin
31st August 2010, 19:56
I don't do anything fancy. I was it like I'd wash a regular vehicle. However, I use 3M Imperial Hand Glaze to get it polished and 3M Swirl Remover-Dark to get any fine scratches out...but that is on an "as-needed" basis.

whatitstrue
3rd September 2010, 14:37
I just wash it with a hose a wash cloth and a bucket. Been doing it this way for years, no problems and i spray eveything and then dry with a soft towel fast and simple. washing your bike dosent have to be a choir.

Just washed her this morning took about 20 mins.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/00328.JPG

VIC04XL883C
13th November 2010, 02:18
I just wash it with a hose a wash cloth and a bucket. Been doing it this way for years, no problems and i spray eveything and then dry with a soft towel fast and simple. washing your bike dosent have to be a choir.

Just washed her this morning took about 20 mins.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/00328.JPG

Yes I do this too.
I rather spend my time on the road than on the drive way :tour

jharback
13th November 2010, 03:12
Yes I do this too.
I rather spend my time on the road than on the drive way :tour

I don't know why everyone thinks that if you keep your bike clean that you spend more time cleaning than riding. My bike is almost always fairly clean. But, it's because I quickly wipe it down each day I ride it (takes about 3-5 minutes) and then I thoroughly clean it about every 3-4 weeks (takes a little over an hour) I put 10-12 thousand miles a year on my bike so it's not that I don't ride it much.

Rock
13th November 2010, 06:08
I have found a fast, quick way to get an outstandingly clean bike. I wipe it down with Pledge cloths and then buff it with a soft dry rag. Cleans everything from chrome to windscreens, mirrors and speedos all in just a few minutes.

Bob99
13th November 2010, 07:14
I have found a fast, quick way to get an outstandingly clean bike. I wipe it down with Pledge cloths and then buff it with a soft dry rag. Cleans everything from chrome to windscreens, mirrors and speedos all in just a few minutes.

I use a similar product called Protect All. It's a spray and wipe product that cleans and polishes all surfaces of the bike. A couple of independent dealers around here use it to clean the bikes in their shops, so I gave it a try. I love this stuff.

whatitstrue
13th November 2010, 15:47
I use a similar product called Protect All. It's a spray and wipe product that cleans and polishes all surfaces of the bike. A couple of independent dealers around here use it to clean the bikes in their shops, so I gave it a try. I love this stuff.

Im going to have to back Bob99 up on this one. I tried "Protcect All" on bobs recomendation and I have to say I love the stuff. I've always been a spray and go type of guy but this stuff is great. It also seems to stay cleaner longer in between cleanings. I'm sure I'll still use the hose... Just not as often. Which means more time for riding.

kslrr
19th November 2010, 20:00
I have recently found that Resolve Laundry Stain Remover does a great job of dissolving greasey road grim. To finish the job I use metal polish on all smooth alluminum parts and front rim (standard crome), Meguiars Cleaner Paste Wax (item A1214 on Megyuiars web site) on the paint and certain crome parts (not pipes) and HD Bug Remover on my Memphis Shade windshield.

cherrycolacrow
19th November 2010, 21:49
WD-40 seems to work on everything, turns my engine/handlebars/mirrors back to black, takes all the dirt of the chrome and frame.
It doesnt hurt rubber or vinyl, dont mess up electricity... only parts i dont put it on are brakes, tires, grips and saddle.
Before wd-40 i clean my aluminium wheels with some aluminium polish.

http://www.wd-40.com/

Rubber Duck
17th January 2011, 16:43
There really isn't a product out there that is bad, be it household or HD specific. The real issue is the technique. If you are worried about the electrical or certain areas, just be more careful.

Have a cheap toothbrush available for engine areas and small spaces, and always rinse promptly after cleaning anything. I find it helpful to clean one area at a time to be able to rinse it right away. If you try to clean the whole bike at one, at some point some of the soap product will dry leaving a film.

Simple Green is great for grease and is much cheaper than the authentic HD products. Also use Terri Cloths try to stay away from old "dried" out towels as they tend to be too rough and could potentially leave scratches etc...

1STONE
17th January 2011, 17:13
truth be told everyone washes there bike different - my big twin borther never used water, he used s wet sponge, HD specific cleaning solution & 1 space at a time, it's never seen water thou, me on the other hand - I use simple green diluted like the bottle says, start from the top with a good soft mit & sudsy water washing tank, fenders & rinse, then air blow it dry then touch up the chrome as needed & wipe down the wheels - everyone tells me it shines up nice, I usually quick carnuba wax it 2-3 times over the summer & that only takes about an hour, I have never sat there & rubbed my chrome with polish - I guess I have better things to do.....

CowboyVFWRA
28th January 2011, 03:01
I use a glass cleaner that I happen to have around after being screwed by an automotive glass company I used to work for. Amazing how that stuff just happened to appear in my garage in bulk...:rolleyes::dunno
Its a foam spray, alcohol based(read No ammonia ) takes care of bugs, the grime on the paint, chrome, plastic/rubber bits, does a real bang up job.
I only do this before a funeral escort. other than that, its a dirt bike. :Shower

03anniverserysporty
10th February 2011, 00:03
i get mine clean the easy way . i ride it SHE washes it .. ok now for the truth lolol hose it down car wash soap . same as i use for my truck , wash mit and get it soapy rinse well and leaf blower dry . shady spot wax polish it up . i just use water for seat as i do not care to fly off it because the leather cleaner did such a good job dont ask me how i know that part i will denie it, then go for a quick cruz to get any extra water i missed blown off and then have a beer ..and some neverdull for the chrome if it needs it rinse after using it

Lone Rider
1st April 2011, 02:06
My Harley dealer jusr started carring this stuff

http://www.xlfotos.info/zp-core/i.php?a=lonerider&i=petcock-033.jpg&cw=&ch=&q=100&s=595

pretty good shine

http://www.xlfotos.info/zp-core/i.php?a=lonerider&i=petcock-026.jpg&cw=&ch=&q=100&s=595

http://www.xlfotos.info/zp-core/i.php?a=lonerider&i=petcock-024.jpg&cw=&ch=&q=100&s=595

http://www.xlfotos.info/zp-core/i.php?a=lonerider&i=petcock-022.jpg&cw=&ch=&q=100&s=595

otroym
10th April 2011, 20:13
I just 3 hours yesterday thoroughly cleaning my 883R. Dawn dish soap and water mix for an hour, I rode ALOT when there was still salt on the roads, wanted to make sure got all that off. Then just some cheap Turtle Wax to shine it all up. I'll do it again in a month or so.

E65841
26th April 2011, 10:54
here's one tip. for rags to wash and dry or wipe bike down, I buy cloth baby diapers.

psychodad1961
26th April 2011, 11:35
Try this after washing:
One teaspoonful of Jet-Dry (the stuff you put in "the hole" in the dishwasher door) to a bucket of clear water. Use a microfiber cloth to rinse the bike with this solution. No water spots!

redi2ride
26th April 2011, 15:06
ummm. I run down to the self serve car wash. cover the seat with a grocerie bag. When I use the spray I stand back a bit so it saturates the bike not blast it. The foaming brush is next. I let the foam sit for about 1-2 min. Spray it off. use the spottless rinse. dry rag all the obvious spots off and go for a 90 MPH ride....CLEAN!!

mlan12
26th April 2011, 15:27
One more +1 with Bob99. I have used Protect All for about three years. Very happy with this product.

VEEROD
26th April 2011, 15:32
2 yrs and 10,000 mi and the Iron has never been washed. I have wiped it down regularly.

Old Goat Ninja
26th April 2011, 15:39
Washed mine for the first time a month or so ago. Didn't seem all that dirty, but it was nice outside and I couldn't ride, so I washed it. I sprayed motor/rims/swingarm/etc with Simple Green. Let it sit for a bit (not long at all) then rinsed off. Then washed tank/quarter fairing/fenders like I would a car. Car wash in a bucket of a water and rags. Then dried. Holy Sheet!!! I had no idea how clean my sporty could be lol.... Simple Green made motor and rims sooo clean. I literally had no idea they could be that clean.

Pirate9687
19th May 2011, 03:19
if you wash a bike when the rotors are hot they will instantly warp..along with a lot of other things..

egadd
27th June 2011, 00:00
if you wash a bike when the rotors are hot they will instantly warp..along with a lot of other things..

rotors would have to be pretty frickin hot for that to happen... just saying

Gohot
3rd July 2011, 12:32
I'v used 'Purple Stuff' and the like before, and it would leave streaks and basically etche marks and stuff......no good, too strong on aluminum, finally I got Gunk Citrus and found that it cut the oil stains and didn't harm the finish. It's a tale of caution when you get to cleaning your bike, a lot of trial and error, and the error can get costly or downright corrosive. White Vinigar is a usefull cleaner with a lot of 'clean' to it, but it's acidic, so again watch where and what you use it on. And then there rubbing alchahol for other stuff like cases. 'Harley's 'Pig Spit' is a good product for 'wrinkle paint'

Gohot
8th July 2011, 11:59
Whats the verdict on using Westleys Bleachwhite on the tires...? I know it works well on the tires, no question there, but how is it on Aluminun Spoked Wheels?? Does it stain or leave blemishes?

turkishxl883
8th July 2011, 12:53
no matter what you do you will ruin your clothes :) thats why i hate cleaning sporty,even my dogs can clean themselfs,why not my sporty :)

Bob99
8th July 2011, 15:32
Try this after washing:
One teaspoonful of Jet-Dry (the stuff you put in "the hole" in the dishwasher door) to a bucket of clear water. Use a microfiber cloth to rinse the bike with this solution. No water spots!

I'm intrigued by this Jet-Dry for my car. So are you saying we wash our car as we normally would, rinse it with water, and then wipe the car down with a mixture of Jet-Dry and water? So there's no need to towel dry? Is it safe for the the wax and paint? Sorry about all the questions.

kelleydamailman
8th July 2011, 22:40
Start with a cool bike, not hot (all Sportster are cool :tour )
Wet the bike (with a hose :p )
Spray it down with S100
A little S100 dilluted in a bucket with a sponge for tough spots
Rinse Well
Rinse Well
Did I mention Rinse Well! (S100 leaves a hazy film if it dries on)
Towel dry
Hit is with a leafblower (well, don't actually "hit" it... ;) )
Dry off any remaining areas
Take a picture (it's not clean often :D )
Wax it or get lazy and go for a ride (that's me most of the time)

As for the cables, just keep them lubricated on a regular basis and you won't have issues.
The only harm from getting the seat wet is the big wet spot on your :censor from the wet foam for a day or so!
Taking the saddlebags off helps get all the spots around the shocks, rear wheel, and belt guard.

Lone Rider
9th July 2011, 00:11
I'm intrigued by this Jet-Dry for my car. So are you saying we wash our car as we normally would, rinse it with water, and then wipe the car down with a mixture of Jet-Dry and water? So there's no need to towel dry? Is it safe for the the wax and paint? Sorry about all the questions.

You can also do a final rinse with distilled water, no impurities no hard water spots.

jb7
30th July 2011, 01:27
Anybody have a way to remove the specks of rubber from my drive belt that are melted on to the chrome exhaust? Someone said to try the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, but that didn't break them loose. Don't want to scratch up the Rinehart's getting the rubber off.

Bicster
30th July 2011, 02:07
I havent read the whole thread as its 22 pages long but heres my two penneth worth.

Microfibre cloths are the way forward, forget that chamois leather for drying the bike, if the microfibre cloth is new I find it best to wet it it warm water them wring it out before taking it to the bike as it absorbs the water instead of pusing it around then, these things are like water hoovers they really are!

Using too much polish/wax is a big no no, use very small ammounts on your cloth and work in well in small circular motions until the wax/polish turns translucent. Leave for a minute or two and use a microfibre cloth to buff it up. Work on small areas at a time like half a fuel tank at most.

Never allow cloths/sponges to contact the floor as dirt will become trapped in the weave of the cloth or in the sponge and will scratch your paint.

Clay bars are great, they get rid of tar, baked on insects, tree sap and everything else not even visible to leave you with a glass smooth surface on which to apply your polish/wax.

For protection against corrosion I cant think of a better product to use than ACF50, the US Navy use it on their jets to prevent corrosion due to sea water. Works like a dream, it even stops any corrosion that is forming dead in its tracks.

Id love to know the best way to clean the spokes on my 21" laced front wheel though as a good technique has eluded me thus far.

RGlaz
30th July 2011, 02:42
I use the P21 products. orange smell gets the dirt off without scrubbing. The wheel gel works wonders on spokes and cleans the tires nicely. Microfilber on the painted surfaces. I use a metro air blower to get the water out of the nooks and crannies. I buyt this stuff by the gallon as I use it on the cars also... Never has it attacked the metals on my 30 year old german air cooled classic. Sprayed on bug jerky it disolves it nicely. DONT use in the sun.. rinse well.

Dirk Diggler
13th August 2011, 05:00
Normally I just wash mine with the detailing supplies at my shop, but today I stopped at a self-serv carwash and cleaned it up. I avoided using the high pressure, rather just let the water flow out slower on everything except the wheels. The foamy brush works great to scrub off the bottom of the frame and reached into areas that I don't normally get with a wash mitt.

I might do this more often. It worked well. I bought one of these disposable synthetic chamois out of the vending machine at the carwash to dry it off. It was basically a thick paper towel, but it worked pretty decent. The rest of it, I just let it steam off idling while I dried the large areas and chrome, and riding it air-dried the rest of it.

The whole process cost me about 7 bucks in quarters, including the "chamois".


To answer the question about chrome: I've always just used #00 steel wool on mine to remove rust, corrosion, and foreign substances. It's fine enough that it won't scratch, but aggressive enough to get the job done quickly. Otherwise I use a product called Ouator (pronounced "water") on my polished aluminum levers, triple tree, etc. It's an impregnated cotton wadding, and you just tear off a piece and rub till it turns black. Buff off the residue with a cloth, and it'll look like chrome. Eagle One's Nevr-Dull is a similar (and cheaper) product, but doesn't work as well or as quickly... Ouator is hard to find, but well worth it if you can.

Pirate9687
19th August 2011, 02:54
What do you nightster/iron guys or anyone w/ those rubber fork boots use to keep them black and prevent them from fading?

Dirk Diggler
23rd August 2011, 04:02
What do you nightster/iron guys or anyone w/ those rubber fork boots use to keep them black and prevent them from fading?

Meguiar's Endurance tire shine gel will work great. It doesn't have a lot of silicone in it, and won't drip or sling off anything. It won't "brown" the rubber like water-based silicone dressings do either. Apply it, and leave it set overnight, then take a soft cloth and buff off any excess. Waiting a half a day or better seems to let the product soak in and set up better than wiping off the excess right away like the instructions say to do.

Little_Dave
13th October 2011, 19:51
I wash mine when she's ready for the MOT in June; that's it till next MOT. However, I will wash off lighty with a hose if covered in cow dung from the country roads around where I live.

dmay
13th October 2011, 21:02
Hello to all, I personally dont spray water on mine...I dont let it get dirty enough. I only use detailer mist spray & wax the tins. Keeps the bike from getting wet. I guess call me a little particular. If I get caught in the rain then maybe a light spray, but always use detailing spray.

LuckyThirteen08
13th October 2011, 21:36
Best way to wash a sportster is by riding it in the rain and allowing it to air dry.You can wear a rain coat but ever tried driving your harley with a bike cover still on it?

screamnXL
29th October 2011, 00:34
usin 'Never Dull" on all the chrome peices works great also!

Gcram399
29th October 2011, 00:50
I wash it with Turtle Wax Car Wash with a sponge on the tins and chrome and a soft round brush on the wheels, then I rinse it off well. After the wash I immediately use my air nozzle on the compressor to blow it off from top to bottom.
Black bike, no spots.

Lone Rider
4th November 2011, 21:00
Just purchased the Harley cleaner polish stuff works great foams up like scrubbing bubbles but leaves a nice slick finish.

Pringles21
5th November 2011, 03:18
I use simple green diluted with about 8 oz of water in a 32oz bottle on the rims and engine. I let it soak in for about 5 min then I rinse it all off. Then I use car wash soap in a bucket and use a mitt and cover everything and then rinse it all off. Dry it and apply the dollar store lemon pledge stuff on the tins and chrome. It shines.

The Whammer
27th November 2011, 01:36
usin 'Never Dull" on all the chrome peices works great also!

+1 Never dull is some great stuff. I use windex on a rag for just dust removal leaves a nice shine(non ammonia only).

dugg883
1st February 2012, 18:07
so all the guys using pledge.. you just spray it on and wipe it off..everywhere??

whatitstrue
1st February 2012, 18:09
so all the guys using pledge.. you just spray it on and wipe it off..everywhere??

I dont use pledge but I wouldnt recomened putting it on the tires. :laugh

Probably everywhere else would be ok... might be carefull how much you put on the seat aswell? :laugh

dugg883
1st February 2012, 18:22
I dont use pledge but I wouldnt recomened putting it on the tires. :laugh

Probably everywhere else would be ok... might be carefull how much you put on the seat aswell? :laugh

:laugh I wouldnt either. but i was more curious of it on the paint you know

whatitstrue
1st February 2012, 19:08
:laugh I wouldnt either. but i was more curious of it on the paint you know

Im not sure, I dont think it would hurt? I know people use it on chrome and plastic bits. Hopefully someone else has a better answer.

Bob99
1st February 2012, 19:39
Here's a recent thread entitled: LEMON PLEDGE... Let the rants begin.

http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=1353295&highlight=Pledge

Pringles21
1st February 2012, 20:37
Yeah just use it on the tins and chrome. Do NOT use it on the seat at all. It makes it way too slippery. A buddy of mine used it on his seat and he had to get it cleaned up because his @$$ was sliding off all the time with pledge :doh. Dont use on the tires, its like spilling dot 5 brake fluid on the tires, its makes em slippery. Long live Pledge, there's also a non wax version, stay away from that one it wont make your bike shine.

pjchops
4th February 2012, 14:23
Keep a fresh coat of wax on the tins (takes 5 minutes) and wipe down the bike and rims (I have laced wheels) regularly with a soft cloth, I usually do this every time I ride, I spray my motor and wheels once a year with Simple Green...I've never taken a hose to my bikes and they look like showroom condition...I had a salesman at Harley dealer tell me all you need to keep a bike clean is a bottle of Windex and a pile of rags and believe me it works....I've done it!

grmeyers
21st February 2012, 19:52
what do you use to get rid of rust around the spokes close to the rims?

vindog
21st February 2012, 20:17
Back in 1972 I was first introduced to what I believe is the very best "Polishing Paste" on the market... At the time I had just gotten my learner's permit (motorcycle) and I bought my first bike- a 1971 Yamaha 350 R5B. For a little 350 two stroke it was quick and handled like dream...

In those days even little bikes had lots of chrome and polished casings. Spoked wheels, fenders, chain guard, mirrors- all brilliant chrome. My bike always looked good and the product I used was Happich "Simichrome Polish"! (product #390050)

It had been years since I saw it anywhere and when I walked into Kevin's Cycles in Norton,MA and saw a box in with the other waxes and polishing compounds, I couldn't resist! It was like hearing an old song from the early seventies. (the polish was calling me!)

I was in a hurry to get home and put a tiny dab on a clean rag and attack all the oxidized parts on my XLC...

It was pure joy, first wiping it on and then wiping it off and polishing the metal parts to an incredible luster!

The chrome radiated and the aluminum shined like chrome! Did the entire bike on less than 1/4 of a 1.76 OZ./50 gram tube. With the cap on the tube measures 4.5" long by 1.25" wide.

Stuff is made in Germany and imported by: Competition Chemicals, Inc., Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126 PH: (641) 648-5121

Incredible stuff! Find some, use some, you'll love it! It boasts on the box "The Outstanding Metal Polish" and it truly is! - Vinnie

dugg883
24th February 2012, 13:31
In those days even little bikes had lots of chrome and polished casings. Spoked wheels, fenders, chain guard, mirrors- all brilliant chrome. My bike always looked good and the product I used was Happich "Simichrome Polish"! (product #390050)

It had been years since I saw it anywhere and when I walked into Kevin's Cycles in Norton,MA and saw a box in with the other waxes and polishing compounds, I couldn't resist! It was like hearing an old song from the early seventies. (the polish was calling me!)

I was in a hurry to get home and put a tiny dab on a clean rag and attack all the oxidized parts on my XLC...

It was pure joy, first wiping it on and then wiping it off and polishing the metal parts to an incredible luster!

The chrome radiated and the aluminum shined like chrome! Did the entire bike on less than 1/4 of a 1.76 OZ./50 gram tube. With the cap on the tube measures 4.5" long by 1.25" wide.

Stuff is made in Germany and imported by: Competition Chemicals, Inc., Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126 PH: (641) 648-5121

Incredible stuff! Find some, use some, you'll love it! It boasts on the box "The Outstanding Metal Polish" and it truly is! - Vinnie

most of the aluminum on my bike is dull and ive been looking for a cheap and easy fix. maybe ill try to find this stuff

dugg883
8th March 2012, 01:22
the simichrome polish is no joke. worked great on cleaning up my dull aluminum thanks vindog

EL in NH
8th March 2012, 01:28
I can still smell it like it was yesterday...Krauts have all the good chemical shit for their bikes and cars...The have have an aluminum cleaner that work on textured surfaces like an unpainted brake caliper and such..wipe on wipe off.. i could not believe my eyes...the german who demonstrated it said "we call it mothers milk"..and then he laughed..it did look like milk...i'd kill for a can of that
Back in 1972 I was first introduced to what I believe is the very best "Polishing Paste" on the market... At the time I had just gotten my learner's permit (motorcycle) and I bought my first bike- a 1971 Yamaha 350 R5B. For a little 350 two stroke it was quick and handled like dream...

In those days even little bikes had lots of chrome and polished casings. Spoked wheels, fenders, chain guard, mirrors- all brilliant chrome. My bike always looked good and the product I used was Happich "Simichrome Polish"! (product #390050)

It had been years since I saw it anywhere and when I walked into Kevin's Cycles in Norton,MA and saw a box in with the other waxes and polishing compounds, I couldn't resist! It was like hearing an old song from the early seventies. (the polish was calling me!)

I was in a hurry to get home and put a tiny dab on a clean rag and attack all the oxidized parts on my XLC...

It was pure joy, first wiping it on and then wiping it off and polishing the metal parts to an incredible luster!

The chrome radiated and the aluminum shined like chrome! Did the entire bike on less than 1/4 of a 1.76 OZ./50 gram tube. With the cap on the tube measures 4.5" long by 1.25" wide.

Stuff is made in Germany and imported by: Competition Chemicals, Inc., Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126 PH: (641) 648-5121

Incredible stuff! Find some, use some, you'll love it! It boasts on the box "The Outstanding Metal Polish" and it truly is! - Vinnie

dcharding
8th March 2012, 02:46
Another + for SimiChrome. Best stuff in the world for Al. Ace hardware lists it on their web site, and some retails have it on the shelf.

vindog
8th March 2012, 02:53
I should have bought stock in it before I started recommending it! Glad you all like the stuff.

Guzzi850
28th March 2012, 01:55
S-100, works great

dave1200R
2nd May 2012, 00:30
wet a rag with it and wipe the whole bike down. it's also the trick to keeping the frame and engine as clean as new.

Aces
10th May 2012, 06:42
i'm lazy doing it.

shabalaihui
4th June 2012, 14:31
I have slotted 6 spokes wheel, polished aluminum and textured black surface, can I use 3M car aluminum rim cleaner to spray on this kind of mixed surface? will it damage textured surface?

oupa
3rd July 2012, 10:41
LESS DIRT MEANS BETTER AERODYNAMICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Didn't the myth busters disprove that?:laugh While a clean bike is an anomoly under my butt, I do like the spray on / hose off chrome wheel cleaners. Otherwise my laced wheels would never be remotely clean. I bought a bottle of "mother's" brand on sale at auto zone a couple weeks ago for like four bucks.

shooterj2003
26th July 2012, 16:07
ALRIGHT,HERE GOES,
you can't go to the carwash cold right?while it might be a little contracting to put water on hot metal engines of cars and trucks and bikes can take it,otherwise we would not be able to run into a rain or snow storm some times we might have ford a storm caused creek or puddle,so wash it with a good spray of water and don't stress about it.s-100 and water ,some vehicles have parts that are suseptable but most bikes can take it.Toyota landcruiser's[the old fj's] for instance ,one of thier few problems is the stock exhaust manifold is cast iron and made too thin they are almost alway's cracked,so four wheeler's who are luckyenough to have one buy aftermarket headers,similar to bike exhausts just more pipes wallah! no more problems .water in the oily stuff inside the engine! no good!if you happen to go in deep water[up to the cases]as soon as you can change oil ,you don't much have to worry otherwise bikes are fairly waterproof.combustion chambers actually like a LITTLE water when running,it cleans em'up ,you ever notice if you ride in the rain an engine runs really good?If you don't like the idea of cold water,buy a steam jenny!

SportyLou
27th July 2012, 23:32
S-100, works great

x2 Never have an issue getting anything off with that stuff..

ridinfool
28th July 2012, 02:34
Simichrome may be good stuff, but for 26 bucks a can :rolleyes: I'd use good ol Brasso for my chrome...it did the job on my military badges and does a great job on my chrome...you can get a bottle for about 3 bucks..:tour

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