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HomeMotorcycle PartsMotorcycle Washing Tips: What To Avoid?

Motorcycle Washing Tips: What To Avoid?

After a demanding workweek, nothing is more soothing than going for a long, leisurely ride on your motorcycle. But even the toughest motorcycles suffer a great deal of damage when speeding along a wide road. On your motorcycle, dust, dirt, dead bugs, and other kinds of filth accumulate. While some may view this as only an aesthetic annoyance, seasoned riders are aware that letting that dirt stick to a bike can cause motorcycle parts to rust. For this reason, it’s crucial to clean your motorcycle on a regular basis.

If all of your motorcycle riding is done on paved roads, cleaning a motorcycle is a reasonably easy operation you can accomplish at home. There is undoubtedly a list of Dos and Don’ts when it comes to washing your motorcycle, no matter how easy the procedure may seem. It’s best to become familiar with the process of motorcycle washing because improper motorcycle cleaning might cause you a lot of trouble in the future. 

Preparation is key

tools required for cleaning

Take out your luggage, tank bags, and any accessories—like a GPS—that you don’t want to get wet. Prepare all of your cleaning and cleaning supplies as well. 

What You’ll Need

  • Motorcycle-specific cleaner (found online, at motorcycle shops, and most auto parts stores)
  • Hose with an adjustable spray nozzle
  • Sponge
  • Brushes (stiff and soft versions)
  • Rags
  • Chamois or microfiber cloth
  • Chain lube

How to properly wash your motorcycle 

how to clean bike

Allow the engine to cool.

The hot engine of the motorcycle will dramatically cool down if you spray it with water just after a ride. This is sometimes referred to as “thermal shock,” and it may negatively impact the finish or the metal components of the motorcycle. 

Make the compartment empty.

Your motorcycle might feature a compartment where you store things like emergency supplies, tools, and registration paperwork. Before you start washing your motorcycle, open the cargo area and take everything out to prevent soaking such items.

Waterproof wire connections.

Verify that the cable, hydraulic, and electrical connections on the motorcycle are water- and shock-resistant. The hydraulic braking system, the cable-controlled clutch, and the electrical/ignition system on the motorcycle could be more water-resistant. Electrical signals are disrupted by water. The presence of water in a hydraulic system leads to the rusting of clutch cables, master cylinders, and hard lines. Ensure that these systems’ entry ports for water are shielded. Points of entry, such as the ends of the clutch cable, the brake fluid reservoir, and spark plug boots, need to be covered. To reduce or completely stop water from entering these places, you can cover these entry points with plastic sheets.

Cover up exhaust pipes.

Cleaning your motorcycle may result in water getting into your exhaust system and building up inside the pipework. This water can erode your exhaust from the inside out and lead to early system wear. When cleaning your motorcycle, it’s a good idea to place a rag over the exhaust tip.

Lubricate and clean the chain.

As you’ll be splattering oil and dirt all over your motorcycle while cleaning the chain drive, it makes sense to tackle this task first, as cleaning a motorcycle can get dirty. This is different from what you want to do after cleaning your motorcycle. If not, you’ll need to wash every area where you spilled oil and dirt. After cleaning the chain with a solvent such as a degreaser and a stiff brush, lubricate the chain with chain lubricant.

Rubber fresheners should never be used on tires.

Applying rubber protectants, such as silicone spray, to rubber components, including insulators, vacuum hoses, and rubber fuel lines, is a brilliant idea. Don’t put them on the tires, though. Motorcycles lean into curves differently than vehicles do, and the tread on their tires goes deep into the sidewall of the tire. Rubber protectant on the tire tread can cause the tread to become slick, lose its grip, and send the rider off balance.

Align the solvent with the end product.

A motorcycle is constructed from a variety of materials and finishes, including harsh metals, plastics, and delicate finishes. Have solvents on hand that can thoroughly clean each component without causing any damage. For the engine and drivetrain, you need a degreaser; for the tank and fairings, you want gentle soaps that won’t smear the paint finishes.

Rust cannot be removed with oil.

Particularly after washing your motorcycle, you’ll notice that there is a layer of rust on your brake rotors. In an effort to prevent rust, avoid oiling your brake rotors. Your brake rotors’ normal corrosion doesn’t require attention. Stopping power will be significantly reduced if you oil your brake rotors.

Let the motorcycle air dry completely.

Water on exposed metal causes corrosion; water on painted finishes results in water stains. Dry the motorcycle completely to prevent rust and water stains.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning a Motorcycle

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning a Motorcycle

Use nor Detergent or Car Shampoos 

Never wash your motorcycle using home detergent, car shampoos, or your body wash.  

The materials and paint job are still delicate! Furthermore, harsh chemicals in cleaning products not made exclusively for motorcycles may harm the paint job and other parts of the motorcycle.  

Remain cautious and only use motorcycle shampoo.  

Avoid being mad cleaning

You’ll be all too familiar with dead bugs squashed into your motorcycle if you venture off the beaten track. That is expected. What’s unexpected, though, is how challenging it may be to remove them! 

Proceed with caution and composure when clearing off bugs. Excessive scrubbing can potentially harm the paint finish on the motorcycle. The best course of action is to release the bugs first. We advise applying bug repellent or hot water.

Avoid using a pressure washer

Certain websites claim that you can clean your motorcycle using a pressure washer. Nevertheless, it’s better to err on the side of caution and stay away from it.  

There are two explanations for this: 

  1. You could seriously harm the motorcycle’s components if you approach too closely. 
  2. It swiftly removes deep grime, but a towel will allow for a more complete cleaning. 

So, don’t bother using anything else but your reliable garden hose to hose down your bike. In particular, a stocking on which you can adjust the pressure on. 


The tips mentioned above are crucial to maintain your motorcycle. Followed it through? It’s time to reward yourself and go on for a fantastic ride! You decide how often you wash your motorcycle. Every two weeks is the general rule of thumb. Some, nevertheless, do it once a week. It depends on how you want to go about it, but remember to cool down your motorcycle, and then the rest is your play. 



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