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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can detail the crap out of a car (used to be a porter at a Honda dealership) but when it comes to a bike, I feel a little lost for some reason. I wonder about things like getting water in places it should not be or how often do I clean the chain. I could be overthinking it all...

How do some of you detail your bike?
Any parts that you remove to clean separately?
What products do you use?
How often do you detail & what is your routine?
 

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Basic bike washing do's and don'ts...

Do's

- Cover the exhaust outlet with tape or a plastic bag & rubber band.

- Cover the ignition switch with a piece of tape.

- Use a mild soap. Any of the products made for washing cars are fine.

- Use a regular garden hose.

Don'ts

- Pressure washers are a very bad idea, as they will force water past oil seals and into bearings and other parts where you definitely don't want water.

- Using harsh cleaners like aerosol brake cleaners contain solvents that can damage painted surfaces.

- Do not use Armor All, or similar products on motorcycle tires or seat surfaces.



After washing and drying the bike, I'll use Honda Spray Cleaner Polish and microfiber towels for the painted bodywork...



This stuff is great for doing a quick wipe down of the bodywork to remove dust and light road grime when the bike really isn't dirty enough to justify a complete wash job. I only do a complete wash on my CBR250R about 3 times in total during the riding season. My off road bikes get a lot dirtier, and so they get washed far more often than the CBR does.

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For Drive Chain cleaning, Kerosene (or Diesel fuel) and a small plastic bristled brush works well to cut the old chain lube and road crud, followed by wiping off the chain with some rags or paper shop towels. Once the chain is clean and dry, it's ready for a light coating of chain lube...

For chain lubrication you want to use a quality, motorcycle specific chain lube made for O-Ring chains. This is the stuff I use...

 

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What's a simple and appropriate way to prevent swirls?

I get nervous when getting close with or touching the paint...
 

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What's a simple and appropriate way to prevent swirls?

I get nervous when getting close with or touching the paint...
I wouldn't worry about it too much, after all it is a motorcycle and as such it will get the normal scuffs, scratches, and small rock chips that come with the territory. My advise: Ride your bike a lot, get it dirty, and occasionally wash it. Then repeat.

IMO, too many people mistake their motorcycles for some great and rare piece of artwork... above all, motorcycles are meant to be ridden and enjoyed, not kept under a glass case.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it too much, after all it is a motorcycle and as such it will get the normal scuffs, scratches, and small rock chips that come with the territory. My advise: Ride your bike a lot, get it dirty, and occasionally wash it. Then repeat.

IMO, too many people mistake their motorcycles for some great and rare piece of artwork... above all, motorcycles are meant to be ridden and enjoyed, not kept under a glass case.
Definitely hear you on this one. Advice taken.

On a side note, it's easy to get infatuated with the short-lived beauty of the bike after an enjoyable ride... :laugh:

 

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I actually make my own very soft de-greaser, which works well on most areas of the bike, for a once every two week clean. I just turn up the power for it by adding more mentholated spirits if I do a deep clean (during wet season here)

Baking soda- half cup
Meths - half cup
detergent - few drops
then top up with water (I use a 1.5lt bottle with a spray gun head)

make sure you shake really well to get it mixed up. Spray on, leave for about 10 mins, then wash down with your hose. Just rub down with a microfiber cloth and polish up if required

To do the chain get the crud off with the meths pure, scrub with the brush and then spray and wipe down, then a bit of lubrication, bobs your uncle!
 

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I've used Maxima SC1 high gloss after a wash for years. Works fantastic. And yes. I actually own a 300r that I've used it on. Give it a try.........
 

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I actually make my own very soft de-greaser, which works well on most areas of the bike, for a once every two week clean. I just turn up the power for it by adding more mentholated spirits if I do a deep clean (during wet season here)

Baking soda- half cup
Meths - half cup
detergent - few drops
then top up with water (I use a 1.5lt bottle with a spray gun head)

make sure you shake really well to get it mixed up. Spray on, leave for about 10 mins, then wash down with your hose. Just rub down with a microfiber cloth and polish up if required

To do the chain get the crud off with the meths pure, scrub with the brush and then spray and wipe down, then a bit of lubrication, bobs your uncle!
Now that is awesome, and going about it that way you probably save a good amount of money in the long term.
I'll take note of this and use it for when the time comes.
 

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I actually make my own very soft de-greaser, which works well on most areas of the bike, for a once every two week clean. I just turn up the power for it by adding more mentholated spirits if I do a deep clean (during wet season here)

Baking soda- half cup
Meths - half cup
detergent - few drops
then top up with water (I use a 1.5lt bottle with a spray gun head)

make sure you shake really well to get it mixed up. Spray on, leave for about 10 mins, then wash down with your hose. Just rub down with a microfiber cloth and polish up if required

To do the chain get the crud off with the meths pure, scrub with the brush and then spray and wipe down, then a bit of lubrication, bobs your uncle!
I would think that the baking soda might tend to clog up inside the sprayer nozzle. Not sure what you mean by 'mentholated spirits'?... I've never heard of this concoction before.

For chain cleaning (or general parts cleaning), Kerosene or diesel fuel is the best solvent you can use to cut the grime, short of having a Safety-Cleen parts washer tank in your shop.

For general bike (or car) washing, I find that a couple ounces of Turtle Wax Car Wash detergent in a 5 gallon bucket of hot water works great... I prefer to keep things simple and easy, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with some sort of cleaning potion just to try and save a few pennies (or bhats). :laugh:
 

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Gave the bike a wash earlier today... Worked out pretty well.

Speaking of a homemade cleaning potion, I came up with using this... Can anyone guess? :laugh:

 

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I would think that the baking soda might tend to clog up inside the sprayer nozzle. Not sure what you mean by 'mentholated spirits'?... I've never heard of this concoction before.

For chain cleaning (or general parts cleaning), Kerosene or diesel fuel is the best solvent you can use to cut the grime, short of having a Safety-Cleen parts washer tank in your shop.

For general bike (or car) washing, I find that a couple ounces of Turtle Wax Car Wash detergent in a 5 gallon bucket of hot water works great... I prefer to keep things simple and easy, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with some sort of cleaning potion just to try and save a few pennies (or bhats). :laugh:
Saving a few Baht, no, re-inventing the wheel, again no, but finding an effective degreaser...yes.
Did I spell methylated spirits wrong, ****, good job I have you to point it out! ;)
You keep going with what you like and I will keep doing what I like, if that is ok with you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What's a simple and appropriate way to prevent swirls?

I get nervous when getting close with or touching the paint...
In my car detailing experience, noticeable swirls came from a few things; drying a paint finish with a crappy old bath towel (or even a new towel), washing your ride with a regular old sponge, dusting your rid when its really dusty, and using things like car covers or those stupid auto bras. In reality, swirls are inevitable. They are gonna happen after time and repeated washings. All you can do is take proper steps to prolong that inevitable.

I use a good sheepskin wash mit for washing and I use a California Water Blade and a chamois to dry the car. I use microfiber towels to polish and I never use inappropriate amounts of pressure to wash, dry, clay, buff, wax or polish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the info, guys! All good stuff. I know I will come up with my own routine and determine what I like best, but this is a good starting point for sure.
 

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Sorry to thread jack but what would be the most effective way to remove / clean off the stains on the steel exhaust cannister caused from my rubber shoe soles? Anyone else experience this issue?

Not too big of a deal but if it's easy to come off, then I may give it a shot...
 

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Sorry to thread jack but what would be the most effective way to remove / clean off the stains on the steel exhaust cannister caused from my rubber shoe soles? Anyone else experience this issue?

Not too big of a deal but if it's easy to come off, then I may give it a shot...
I would try something like WD-40 on a rag and see if that will cut it... you might want to try using the WD-40 right after a ride when the exhaust is hot.

Can you post a photo of the area that has the stains?
 
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I would try something like WD-40 on a rag and see if that will cut it... you might want to try using the WD-40 right after a ride when the exhaust is hot.

Can you post a photo of the area that has the stains?
There are a couple of stains (one is darker brown)... Some water stains as well, since I didn't give the canister enough time to cool before the wash.

Sun went down, so I took a pic with my flash on in the garage.

 

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Thank you, @MotoMike.

Tried the WD-40 without the exhaust canister being hot, but didn't work. Rode the bike around for 10 min, and then used the WD-40... And the stain came off with some rubbing. Most of the water stains came off too. I'm sure if I repeat the step and try with more effort, it'll help even more. Added an updated image...

 

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