Detailing your motorcycle is a crucial part of taking care of it. Regular motorcycle detailing keeps your bike looking its best, performing its best, and keeps your resale value high. Another bonus benefit to regular motorcycle detailing is that it can expose any potential mechanical problems that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of detailing your motorcycle.
Step One: Pre-Wash Your Motorcycle
The first step in motorcycle detailing is rinsing your vehicle thoroughly. Using a garden hose, spray down your bike from top to bottom, ensuring to get all the lower sections completely rinsed off. This helps to remove any large pieces of dirt and debris from your motorcycle, preventing any scratches from occurring when using a cloth.
Next, use a sheep’s skin wash mitt or a high-quality microfiber cloth and some automotive or motorcycle-specific detergent to gently wash the surfaces of your motorcycle. After you’ve done that, rinse all soap off the bike with your hose. You should avoid using harsh soaps like dish soaps unless your bike is extremely greasy.
A waterless wash option is another effective method of prewashing your motorcycle if it’s not incredibly dirty. For this, use a microfiber towel and a waterless wash solution. Simply wet the surface of your motorcycle with the solution and wipe dry with the cloth, being sure to turn and switch to clean cloths frequently to avoid micro-marring that might happen to soft paint.
Step Two: Washing Your Wheels
You should wash the wheels and spokes of your motorcycle separately from the body because they’re made of different materials. Using a mild tire cleaner and some soap, wash your wheels to remove any oils that may be on your tires or any road film. Once your tires are clean and dry, polish and wax your rims. Use a fine chrome polish to polish your chrome, then apply wax to help protect the shine. You can use aluminum polish for uncoated aluminum. Coated aluminum can be treated like the pain on your motorcycle, lightly polished and waxed.
Step Three: Washing Your Controls and Dash
There are several electrical components to your motorcycle’s dash that you want to avoid getting wet, but you still have to clean it. Use a cleaner that provides UV protection for the plastic components to clean your dash and protect it. You can also use this on your plexiglass windshield.
Step Four: Clean Your Engine
The next step in motorcycle detailing is properly cleaning the engine. Depending on how dirty your engine is, you can do a quick once over with bike soap and a soft bristle brush or you may need a tough degreaser. No matter which method you choose, you should keep the engine cool and in the shade while cleaning it. Follow the instructions for your engine-specific cleaning compounds closely and carefully. These highly corrosive compounds could damage the paint, leather, chrome, or cloth on your motorcycle.
Step Five: Polish Your Chrome
Just like with your dashboard and controls, you should polish the chrome of your motorcycle in a shaded area in a non-humid environment. It’s typically a good rule of thumb to polish your chrome twice with a break in between which you can use to finish another step in the process. Once you finish polishing, apply a coat of wax to extend the life of your polishing efforts.
Step Six: Treating the Leather
There are several different types of leather that can be on your motorcycle: coated leather, natural aniline leather, and even high-quality vinyl that feels like leather, all of which require different care. As a general rule, you can clean and protect your seats by using a non-slick protectant to keep it looking new for longer.
Step Seven: Rinse Thoroughly
If possible, you should use the softest water available to you, making sure to absorb any and all excess water to avoid leaving residue or spots from forming. Rinsing is an important step, as leaving soap behind can damage the paint.
Step Eight: Drying Your Motorcycle
Dry your motorcycle with a microfiber cloth thoroughly. For shortened drying time, you can use a dryer and a microfiber cloth to remove all excess water. You have to dry your motorcycle thoroughly to ensure no spots form, thus ruining all your work motorcycle detailing.
Step Nine: Applying Paint Sealant
You have to treat the paint on your motorcycle slightly different than you would the paint on your car. Depending on the paint’s condition, this may involve applying a coat of wax or paint sealant after a light claying and polishing or may require machine compound before polishing and waxing if you’ve neglected your paint.
Finding Motorcycle Detailing Nearby
Motorcycle detailing can be a lot of work and require a lot of patience. If you aren’t up for the task, call Mobile Detailing Pros to make an appointment to detail your motorcycle with the best motorcycle detailing nearby. Our expert detailers handle each and every vehicle with care.
We hope this article has helped guide you through motorcycle detailing at home. If this seems like too much of an undertaking for you, make an appointment with Mobile Detailing Pros and save yourself the hassle.