Cleaning Your Motorcycle

We all remember the thrill of riding a shiny, new bike for the first time, so why not maintain the appearance of your ride with a regular cleaning regime? It can also help keep you safe because you’re more likely to notice potential problems such as leaks, corrosion, worn tyres and loose hoses while you’re cleaning. A well-maintained bike will often sell for a higher price when you decide to part with it too.

MotorCycle Direct has provided the following cleaning tips to help you keep your bike as good as new.

A few Dos and Don’ts

  • Allow your bike engine to cool before cleaning to avoid cracking the engine, damaging the chrome or leaving streaks and spotting on the bodywork
  • Always use cleaning products recommended by your bike’s manufacturer
  • Wash your bike in the shade. Quick drying in the sun can cause spotting and streaking
  • Avoid pressure washers because they can damage the paintwork, electrical connections etc
  • Do not use washing-up liquid because it contains salt and can cause corrosion
  • Remove watches, rings, belts with metal buckles etc. before cleaning to avoid scratching the paintwork

Step 1

  • Start by hosing your bike down (with an ordinary garden hose) from top to bottom to loosen any dirt or bugs that have accumulated. Rinse several times if necessary to soften up any debris before cleaning

Step 2

  • Use your manufacturer’s recommended cleaning agent in line with the instructions. This may be a spray or you may need to add it to a bucket of water
  • Wash your bike from top to bottom using a soft cloth. Sponges can pick up grit or dirt that could scratch your bike.
  • Cleaning mitts or microfibre cloths may be a better option but ensure these are rinsed clean regularly so they remain free of dirt (you could utilise the 2 bucket method to avoid this (one specifically for rinsing))
  • Use brushes to remove stubborn dirt and dust that gathers in wheels or other cracks and crannies. A toothbrush or bottle brush is useful for this
  • Once your bike is thoroughly clean, hose down with clean water until there are no further traces of cleaning products

Step 3

  • Let most of the water run off your bike then dry it thoroughly with a good quality chamois leather or soft microfibre cloth, making sure water isn’t pooling in places that are hard to get to
  • If the water runs off in sheets rather than beading, it could probably do with a polish and/or wax. Use a polish recommended by your manufacturer and follow their instructions for use
  • Treat your saddle and leather accessories with products recommended by your bike’s manufacturer
  • N.B. Keep an eye on the condition of your motorcycle chain and oil if necessary, and remember never to apply any treatment to the tread of your motorcycle tires.


Happy cleaning! We hope you get lots of pleasure and longer lifetime value from your gleaming motorcycle.