How to Clean a Motorcycle?

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Cleaning your motorbike is the first step of proper maintenance of your motorbike. A well maintained motorcycle will not only look new and function well for longer, but also save you a lot of money in buying repairs and paying a mechanic.

However, cleaning does not only involve splashing water on your bike, but there is a right way and the wrong way to clean your bike. Read below to learn how to clean your motorbike well.

Equipment you Will Need to Clean Your Motorbike

To get ready for the task, there are a number of equipment that you will need:

Motorcycle Stand

A motorbike stand is a crucial equipment that you must have in your maintenance tool kit.

It will not only come in handy while cleaning your bike, but also when performing other maintenance duties such as tire changes or while working on the drive chain.

A motorcycle stand is like a jack for your car. There are different types of motorbike stand, namely scissor stand, lift stand or the fixed stand.

Pressure Washer

A pressure washer is a washing machine that uses high water pressure water spray to remove dust, grime, mud, chewing gum, paint or any other type of dirt from surfaces.

A pressure washer will simplify your work and make cleaning your bike easier and faster.

However, remember not to point the stream of high pressure water directly into bolts and bearings.

Brushes, Sponges and Towels

A large soft bristle brush, sponges and scotch brite pads will help you to scrub surfaces on your bike without causing any damage. Thereafter, use an absorbent drying towel to ensure all the water is dried out.

Cleaning Solution

Use warm water with a cleaning solution that will create foam. The cleaning solution should be grease cutting soap to ensure the grime accumulated over time is removed.

There are specialized bike cleaning washes available in the market, but dishwashing liquids also work fine.

Cleaning Your Motorbike

After gathering your cleaning equipment, follow the steps below to clean your motorbike:

Step 1: Cover or remove the sensitive parts of your bike

There are some parts of your bike that should not come into contact with water. These parts need to be either removed or covered up to ensure they are not destroyed.

Sone of these parts include air filter, the seat because it contains foam that will be destroyed by water, airbox and muffler

Step 2: Use the pressure washer

After taking preventive measures on parts of the bike that should not come into contact with water, use a pressure washer to remove grime, mud and dirt on your motorcycle.

At this step do not expect to get your bike sparkling clean, the pressure washer will only remove large particles of mud that are baked on your bike.

Step 3: Use a brush and sponge

After loosening the dirt, it is now time to scrub off stubborn pieces of mud using a soft bristle brush.

At this step, take your time to ensure you scrub off every grime and dust to ensure your bike is sparkling clean. Use the brush to clean the chain, wheels, sprockets and swing arm.

Step 4: Use liquid soap and sponge

After scrubbing off the mud and rinsing the bike with clean water, it is now time to get soapy. Use warm water and easily to lather soap with a sponge to clean the bike.

Using the sponge and soapy warm water, you will be able to remove any grime or dirt remaining on the bike.

Step 5: Dry it off

Once you are done cleaning your bike, it is now time to dry it off. Use a towel, cotton or a cloth to wipe off all the water. For hard to reach areas, use compressed air.

This will ensure you do not leave in moisture that can result to rusting or growing mildew.

How to Keep Your Motorcycle Looking New?

Apart from cleaning your bike, there are other ways to keep your bike looking new. They include using;


WD40 stands for Water Displacement 40th formula. It is a solvent that helps to prevent rusting and to lubricate moving parts.

Use WD-40 for your motorcycle’s moving parts such as the chain, to dislodge any gunk materials that may be causing your bike to get stuck.

Metal Polish Cream

Washing your bike regularly will keep it clean. However, regular washing can cause the metal parts to chip, rust or lose their original sparkle making the bike look old. To keep your bike looking new, use metal polish cream.

Metal polish cream will reinstate a brilliant shine to aluminium, titanium, chrome and any other metallic parts of your bike. Ensure your bike is clean before applying polish cream.

Use Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber is a cloth made of polyester and nylon that feels and looks like a towel.  Microfiber cloth will help to keep your motorbike looking new because it does not leave marks or small ball like cotton cloths.

Additionally, microfiber absorbs all water on surfaces leaving your bike clean, dry and bacteria free.

Can You use a Pressure Washer on Motorbike Engine?

A pressure washer uses high pressure water to remove dirt particles even in hard to reach areas.

However, when cleaning your motorcycle’s engine using a pressure washer, do not point the washer directly into the engine because it can cause damages. To be on the safe side, use a hose pipe to clean your bike’s engine instead.

Motorcycles are water resistant but not water proof, so be careful when using pressure washer on them. You can clean the tires with a pressure washer, though.

Can you Clean Motorcycle Air Filters With Water?

Keeping your motorcycle clean on the outside guards the paintwork, however, keeping it clean on the inside sustains its performance and saves you several trips to a mechanic.

You can clean your motorbike’s air filter with either a vacuum cleaner or water (I don’t recommend though).

Using water means you will take more time, including the time needed to dry it. The air filter should be completely dry before putting it back.

Water particles, even slight dumbness, on the filter can cause serious problems. That said, you should rather buy new air filter, instead cleaning them with water.

Wrapping Up

Keeping your motorcycle clean is not only good for the general appearance, but it is also a way of maintaining it to keep it working properly for longer.

After cleaning the motorbike with water, use WD-40 lubricator for the moving parts, apply metal polish cream and finally use a microfiber cloth to make it look new again, and get ready for your next ride!

Josh Berry - MotoShark Editor
Josh Berry
I'm a off-road enthusiast, extreme sport fan and the editor of MotoShark. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article, please leave a comment or contact me.

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