Danny’s basic bike wash…..Please take a look on Danny’s FaceBook page to keep up to date with his activities…..https://www.facebook.com/groups/590543751569200/
Gone of the days when i used a bucket and sponge and a hose pipe, the cleaning industry and detailing world have moved on a bit since then.
Here’s a few tips I’ve picked up over the years detailing and cleaning bikes.
I hope you guys find it of interest and useful.
Prevention is better than cure
Keeping your enduro bike pristine and like new is far easier to achieve if you do it from day one especially if you purchased your bike from new.
It’s harder to achieve good results if the bike has been previously owned and partly neglected, however great results can still be achieved with a little time, effort and patience and often with basic cleaning know how products, you don’t have to buy all these fancy well marketed expensive products ( believe or not these products can be harmful to your bike ) I will explain a little later below.
If your lucky enough to own a bike stand, elevate your bike onto the stand on flat level ground, if not pushing your bike backwards and forwards to clean your wheels is fine.
Block your exhaust silencer exit, with suitable size plastic bung, also cover and protect your air filter, or just leave it in situ if you plan to remove and clean it afterwards ( but do not start the bike afterwards as this will pull water through into your carb or injection system !! ) those are the two fundamental items to do before cleaning a bike can commence, there may also be some other areas on your bike you may need to pay attention too like covering electrical item but in general these tend to be ok if you use common sense
With your pressure washer pre soak your bike with water all over, the key is not to try and remove all dirt in one go, by pre soaking the bike with water all over and leaving it for a short while for some contact time will allow for the bulk of the mud to come off far better
When using a pressure washer there are a number of important key points
1. By standing closer or further away from your bike whilst jet washing makes a big difference to the contact pressure of water hitting your bike and there are a number of key areas on your bike where it is necessary to apply less water pressure force during the pre wash clean, for example
1. Wheel bearing
2. Fork seals
3. Bottom linkage
4. Handlebar switches
It’s important not to blast these sensitive areas with high pressure water as you can potentially cause yourself problems later on and shorten the life of these important components
Remember the majority of your domestic home pressure washer will give you about 150bar and 7LPM so they are powerful.
Pre wash the underside of your bike ??
So many people forget about pre washing the underside of your bike
This is best achieved by leaning your bike over onto your bike stand on the front fork triple clamp this allows for your bike to lean over very low to the ground allowing excellent access to the bottom of your bike alternatively you can lean your bike at an acute angle against a wall to achieve the same results if you don’t own a stand you then simply carry out the same pre wash procedure as you did before.
Washing your bike ?
Now you have spent the time removing the bulk of the mud with your pressure washer you will be left will a film of dirt all over the bike !
This is where the soap comes in, Best way to apply soap to your bike is by using a device called a foamer that connects to the lance on your pressure washer if you don’t have a foamer you can buy cheap hand held pump sprayer and you can apply the soap manually
Spray your bike all over in a liberal fashion making sure you pay attention to all areas of your bike.
Two important key points !!!
1. Once you have foamed your bike you must leave your bike to stand covered in soap do not wash off immediately !! By leaving the soap on your bike it starts to lift the dirt residue and the dirt partials suspend within the soap particles
Whilst your bike is covered in soap nows the time to clean and wash over your bike with a sponge for the bulk of the flat areas and for detailing all those knocks and crannies a clean new cheap paint brush works well for all those hard to reach areas, also a non scratch small sponge is ideal for wheels, engine, frame and swinging arm etc
You may need to re apply the foam during your cleaning process as it can start to dry out if you are detailing some of the bike areas especially if its a hot day !!
WHAT FOAM DO I USE ??
Plain and simple, you don’t need fancy expensive cleaning products, just a decent wash and wash from your local Walmart is fine. The nice thing about a wash and wax is that they generally tend to be thicker and of a gloopy consistency and foams well through a foamer and sticks to the bike better and does not run off the bike to quick allowing for better cleaning contact time.
WHAT CLEANING PRODUCTS SHOULD I AVOID !!
A number of the well known dirt bike cleaners I have found to be unsuitable for long term use !! Some of the products will give you good cleaning results quickly but some have a high PH value and over a period of time they can dull plastics and dull chrome and alloy ruining the over appearance of your bike.
They are ok for occasional use if you have a bike that’s been neglected, but it’s important to wash with plenty of water afterwards to neutralise the PH VALUE.
THE MAJORITY OF decent WASH AND WAX soaps are kind and have a neutral PH
STEP 4 Rinsing off your bike
Now you have meticulously and thoroughly pre washed and soaped your bike, nows the time to jet wash the bike off, starting at the top of the bike working your way down and around your bike remembering NOT to blast water into those sensitive areas.
REMOVING WATER FROM YOUR BIKE.
I highly recommend a small portable compressor, you can get them for about £100 from your local Walmart shop, by attaching the air pistol that normal come with the compressor you can now remove all water from the bike this will take some time but it’s well worth doing to help prevent corrosion and unwanted water in electrics etc
OK so your bike is now clean and dry I would now highly recommend what I call a top dressing there are two that I swear by !!
1. GT85 in a spray can normally comes in 400 ML can, spray all over your bike including plastics, apart from brakes and tyres !!! You can leave to dry on your bike naturally or wipe over with a cloth. It’s ok to spray on the engine but it will smoke a little on initial start up, but quickly burns off.
GT85 leaves a lovely shine and protective layer all over your bike to help stop corrosion and it’s great to apply before and after rides for maximum protection
It’s also great for dispersing water and protecting electrics
I use GT85 through the summer months mainly, and I find it works very well
2. ACF50 is another great product but very expensive by comparison, in the winter I use GT85 and ACF50 mainly on the bottom of the frame and hard to clean areas during the winter especially if I’m going longer between cleans
By applying either product before a ride helps cleaning the bike greatly afterwards
if you want to treat your plastic just a decent well known wax polish is great suitable for plastics to keep them looking fresh.
YOUR CHAIN !!
Remember to re oil your chain after giving it a clean !!
By cleaning your bike often also helps you spot potential issues and problems that could escalate causing you a right headache !!
Of course there is far more to it than that !! If you want to start removing plastics and detailing the bike from top to bottom properly !!
I do what I call a deep clean on my bike once maybe twice a year where the bike get stripped to pretty much down to frame, engine, forks and wheels !!! Then things get serious regarding detailing, cleaning and polishing and all manner of cleaning products and tools are required and used.
Well that’s about it folks, I hope you have found this of some help and interest.