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Old 13-05-2018, 07:43 PM   #1
FarmerD
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Motorbike Detailing

Hello Guys,

I am in need of your help with Detailing motorbikes, I have just bought myself a motorbike and my dad has one, Hes always kept it in the garage and uses some spray that you simply spray on and wipe off leaves a shine but he only does 100 miles a year if that.

I have lots of dead flies, dust and some tar but i also have lots of chrome. I don't want to do the same as my dad as i don't want to scratch the paintwork.

Please could you tell me your process and what products you use in which order.

I don't want to ruin the paintwork, plastics, chrome etc as i know some cleaners are strong chemicals. I would like something that will leave a glass like finish then have some type of protective coating / repellent.I have a plastic screen so if there is anything i can use on that as well as the chrome engine casings and exhaust, Engine itself and getting in the fins to clean that up.

Sorry if it seems like a silly long question but i don't want to get it wrong and i really want the hole of the bike to shine (Bike shows in summer)

Thank you in advance
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Old 14-05-2018, 12:33 AM   #2
benjcarter
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Mate,

There's loads of guides on this site that will help you out - just do a search and read through some threads. Sounds like your Dad is using a waterless wash or quick detailer.

In short though if you don't want to scratch the paint/metal work there are a few factors/steps to complete;

- You'll need to do as much decontamination as possible before you touch the paintwork, you'll need a pressure washer (ideally) and chemicals for this. Start by washing the bike down getting rid of as much loose dirt as you can with the pressure washer.

- Spray the bike over, usually the lower regions, with a good degreaser/traffic film remover, a few examples Auto Finesse Citrus Power, Koch Chemie Green Star (cheap and effective, dont forget to dilute the product). I wouldn't spray these on your seat but each to their own. Let them dwell to break down dirt/grime then re-rinse with the jet wash.

- If you have a snow foam lance then use that to snow foam the bike to aid further grime removal. Let it dwell then rinse. You could go around the bike with a detailing brush whilst the foam is working and get all the nooks and crannies that you wont be able to reach with a wash mit. Just be careful and choose a good detailing brush (valet pro detailing brushes would be a good place to start and wont cost a lot or detailing factory burshes if you're feeling flush and/or have recently remortgaged). If you don't snow foam the bike you can still go around with detailing brushes but be more careful of trapped dirt/grit - it will cause scratches if you drag it across the paint or metal work. You could use a spray APC (All purpose cleaner) in a foaming sprayer or spray bottle with a foaming head (super cheap and effective) and the detailing brushes if lieu of snow foam for the nooks and crannies.

- Power wash the snow foam off (if you've used it). If not, doesnt matter. Get a couple of buckets (grit guards optional but recommended). Fill one with a good quality car shampoo and water (tons of shampoos out there - most recent ones I've used are Angelwax and Bilt Hamber) and the other bucket with clean water. Use a good quality microfiber wash mit or wool mit (again loads out there).

- Use the shampoo bucket to load up the wash mit and wash a section at a time, straight lines or a best as, nice and soapy for loads of lubrication (will help release trapped dirt and stop it dragging across the paint). After each section rinse the mit in the clean water bucket and check that no dirt is trapped in your wash mit. Return the clean wash mit to the shapoo bucket and repeat the process until the bike is clean.

- Rinse down and dry with forced air if you have it (compressor / reverse cycle vacuum / pet dryer) or decent quality microfiber towels.

- Once dry you can assess the bike. Water will hide a multitude of sins - so best dry before you inspect. If you're not happy repeat the wash process until you are.

- Tar / fallout (iron particles) / bugs can be removed with Tar / Fallout / Bug removers. Most brands do their own versions of these and they are generally safe to use. Both generally benefit from some dwell time (avoide using them in full sun or on a hot panel). You can wipe/agitate to aid removal of tar/fallout. Don't let them dry on your paint/wheels/metalwork though and thoroughly rinse once you're done.

- If you're feeling brave you could use a clay mit and lubricant to go over the bike which should remove yet more dirt/tar/fallout. Just follow the instructions with the mit, take your time, rinse the mit regularly and dont use too much pressure or you might mar the paintwork.

- If the bike has scratches then you've a couple of options. You can machine polish the bike (I'm not going into that here - there are great guides on this forum). You could hand polish the bike with mild polishing creams (will take an age and you're arms will hurt long before you've removed even the lightest of scratches) or you could hand polish with a filler/resin based polish to hide or mask light scratches and marks (Autoglym Super Resin Polish, Auto Finesse Ultra Glaze, Britemax Blackmax to name a few), they'll do a great job and give great shine. Good for bringing up the colour as well.

- Use a light metal polish to bring up Chrome parts (britemax metal twins are excellent but a little pricey if you'll only use them once).

- Finish off with a wax, spray sealant or quick detailer of your choice. The worlds your oyster here with tons to choose from and many different variations on a theme such as combined waxes and sealants, organic or inorganic etc etc. Generally go with a wax for a warmer, richer finish, a spray sealant for a generally longer lasting, clinical or sharp finish or a quick detailer for instant shine, usually quite warm and glossy (wont last long).

The above is just a very simple guide, and does not in any way cover the myriad options available to you. Obviously I don't know what kit you have and don't have. Please don't take it as gospel - i'm tired and this was supposed to be a quick guide The amount of products out there to choose from is staggering these days, but you could always start with Autoglym from your local Halfords / Motorfactors and go from there. Another option is to choose one of the many wonderful companies who support this forum and will supply your every need for bike cleaning/care, often with introductory offers.

I would not recommend;
-Cleaning with a sponge
-Drying with a leather or squeegy blade
-Any form of dragging dirt across dry paint or metal work
-Household/Industrial chemicals not designed for vehicles. These occasionally have their place, but i'd stick with car cleaning products to start.

Take your time and enjoy the process. Oh, and put pics up of the finished result
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Old 14-05-2018, 02:53 AM   #3
linuxrob
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Had to say, be careful with the power washer. can push water into wheel, steering head, rear suspension links and swing arm bearings plus chain, also electrical connections. Other than that treat it as you would a car.

and yes some pics please

rob
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Old 14-05-2018, 04:33 AM   #4
macca666
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Remember you need to treat a bike differently than a car which I think the above guide mainly refers to.

You need to be careful snowfoaming there's mixed opinions on this for a bike as it has so many exposed parts. I'd also be wary using compressed air again you need to be careful you're not forcing water into any exposed parts (as opposed to away from with a car)

Also the majority of bike paint is a lot thinner than on a car!
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Old 14-05-2018, 11:18 AM   #5
Coupe25
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Detailed my bike yesterday. I did:

One bucket wash (it was just dusty)
Dry with towel
Autoglym Metal Polish on all chrome and metal as well as the wheels
APC on bits of trim and hard to reach areas
Panel wipe on plastic panels and tank
Fusso 99.

Heres a pic, this was before I applied the Fusso but had almost done cleaning.

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Old 14-05-2018, 02:47 PM   #6
benjcarter
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FarmerD

I wouldn't worry too much about using a pressure washer. Obviously care is needed, as is common sense - I didn't want to go into detail regarding pressure washing as I haven't with other parts of the guide, as it was only a quick guide. I would not treat it differently from a car - it needs care and thought, just as a car cleaning does. Consider an engine bay detail - sensitive parts require taping up and avoiding with the jet from a pressure washer, the rest is fine if you use the jet at a distance. If it's a commercial pressure washer you're using you can often reduce the pressure to that of a domestic machine or lower still.

Do it at your own risk but a domestic pressure washer does not put out enough pressure to damage paintwork etc, particularly if done from a distance. A lot of people are scared of using pressure washers for fear of causing damage, yet I've never seen any evidence of it - I've never experienced damage in the hundreds of vehicles I have valeted and on my own bikes. A sensible approach will see you right.

As stated in other posts keep away from electronics around the handlebars and clocks, fuse boxes, etc and away from bearings and air intakes and you should be fine. Don't forget the bike is build to withstand the elements and it takes a real beating from British roads, salt and tar etc - a sensible pressure wash isn't going to cause any harm. If you're concerned then use a hose instead.

Most snow foams properly diluted will be close to PH neutral, slightly above in most cases. Again if you're concerned don't do it, or dilute the snow foam more than usual. It certainly won't cause any harm on paintwork. I've never known it stain metal parts either but it's something to be conscious of - play it safe, and don't let it dry on any part or panel.

All of this is pure speculation however as you haven't indicated what equipment and chemicals you've got and will be using.

Still, try and enjoy it
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Old 14-05-2018, 02:52 PM   #7
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@ Coupe25 - That's stunning mate.

[QUOTE=Coupe25;5465244]Detailed my bike yesterday. I did:

One bucket wash (it was just dusty)
Dry with towel
Autoglym Metal Polish on all chrome and metal as well as the wheels
APC on bits of trim and hard to reach areas
Panel wipe on plastic panels and tank
Fusso 99.

Heres a pic, this was before I applied the Fusso but had almost done cleaning.
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Old 14-05-2018, 03:00 PM   #8
benjcarter
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Definitely food for thought there, as with the previous comment re: pressure washing. I'm coming at it from a slightly different angle though in that water will find its way everywhere. If you can use forced air to help evaporate trapped water then you're potentially avoiding future problems. Of course the flip side is that you don't want to force water into any area on purpose.

I used forced air around handlebar controls, seat base etc once I've gotten rid of most standing water. The aim being similar to when you use air on wing mirrors - you're trying to force out and/or evaporate trapped water.

I'd just experiment and see what works best for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macca666 View Post
Remember you need to treat a bike differently than a car which I think the above guide mainly refers to.

You need to be careful snowfoaming there's mixed opinions on this for a bike as it has so many exposed parts. I'd also be wary using compressed air again you need to be careful you're not forcing water into any exposed parts (as opposed to away from with a car)

Also the majority of bike paint is a lot thinner than on a car!
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Old 14-05-2018, 03:17 PM   #9
Coupe25
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Personally I think a pressure washer is total overkill on a bike
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:02 PM   #10
FarmerD
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Hello Guys,

Thank you first for your replies. Much appreciated! I need to go out and buy the cleaning product's i am amazed at your input thank you. I do have AD snowfoam from when i had a show car don't know if it is any use after having it 4 years in the garage. I was worried about hitting it with a pressure washer then it makes sense you can change it to a mist rather than a hard spray with the old adjustable nozzle, I have seen those hot air dryers that was going to be one of my questions whether it was worth investing in one or not? I have seen a cheapo on Ebay I think i might purchase it doesn't hurt to see what works.

I shall watch where i clean and make sure parts that shouldn't have water in get a good taping up if need be last thing we want is any issues.

I think i was worried about what brands to actually use i didn't want to get something that would ruin the bike i didn't want something to chemically based but what you have told me makes a lot of sense and it has eased my worry about what i should use and look for.

I have never used a machine polisher but maybe there is a course somewhere i could learn? Would be nice to learn something new!

I am looking forward to going to get some new products, Coupe what did you clean your leather seat with looks so shiny? Mines dull.

My clear screen is a bit dull and lightly scratched anything i can do for that?

Coupe.. I have a Volusia
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Last edited by FarmerD; 14-05-2018 at 10:04 PM.
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