Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you guys clean your bikes? Soap and water? High pressure? Water only? How and where do you oil it back up after?

Now that this oil spill of mine has kicked up oil all over the bike, I was thinking to take it to one of those car wash ports and lightly blast some water in and around the engine area using the engine cleaner setting they have at those parts for cars.

I have the spray that I used to lube the chain that dries white and was thinking to use that in and around the engine afterwards. Since it's my first wash outside of riding in the rain, I thought I'd check in first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
I'd avoid any high-pressure water. Best bet in my opinion is just a garden hose and elbow grease. Maybe some goo-gone (or similar, safe for paints/plastics/etc.) to get tar and gunk off. The manual advises covering the handle controls and gauge cluster with a plastic bag, so I'd lightly clean those. I guess after that the only real thing you should look to lube would be the chain. I haven't washed my bike yet, so I don't know how much cleaning the lube can take. Use an engine de-greaser to clean the engine by itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
mantis32 said:
How do you guys clean your bikes? Soap and water? High pressure? Water only? How and where do you oil it back up after?

Now that this oil spill of mine has kicked up oil all over the bike, I was thinking to take it to one of those car wash ports and lightly blast some water in and around the engine area using the engine cleaner setting they have at those parts for cars.

I have the spray that I used to lube the chain that dries white and was thinking to use that in and around the engine afterwards. Since it's my first wash outside of riding in the rain, I thought I'd check in first.
I don't think the lube will do anything for your engine except maybe get burned off. All the mechanical parts are being lubed internally with oil.
 
G

·
My bike hasn't seen soap for about a year. Chamois and warm water, followed by Honda Spray Polish & Cleaner when needed. If you keep your bike polished, all the bug guts, road tar, etc., wipes off with... get this... a chamois and warm water. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
stormcat said:
My bike hasn't seen soap for about a year. Chamois and warm water, followed by Honda Spray Polish & Cleaner when needed. If you keep your bike polished, all the bug guts, road tar, etc., wipes off with... get this... a chamois and warm water. ;)
That was the case with me minus the Honda spray items until this oil spill. I have to clean it up before it harms innocent bugs.
 
G

·
mantis32 said:
stormcat said:
My bike hasn't seen soap for about a year. Chamois and warm water, followed by Honda Spray Polish & Cleaner when needed. If you keep your bike polished, all the bug guts, road tar, etc., wipes off with... get this... a chamois and warm water. ;)
That was the case with me minus the Honda spray items until this oil spill. I have to clean it up before it harms innocent bugs.
Whoops! I totally glossed over that part of your original post. In that case, use Dawn dish detergent like they do with all the oil ravaged critters from oil spills. If it's gentle enough for a seabird...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
ratchet said:
or you can be like me and never wash it :D
So you don't have to wash your bike... hmmmm

I was thinking about washing it.. but I might just follow Ratchet's advice. ;)

Though SC has a nice simple method as well... warm water and a chamois.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,758 Posts
dirt is a badge of honor.

um... and scratches, too.

Cracks in the fairing? Oh yeah.

Actually I try to take care of the bike. During the winter it was a huge headache, if you ride in the NE during winter months your bike will get messy very quickly. I used simple green followed by water and then some wax, especially on the tank. WD-40 on some shiny parts (gotta get them footpegs looking good, right?). All of this with rags.

Be very careful with a power washer as there are a lot of things on the bike that don't like having 1,500lb pressurized water jets shot into them. So it's not such a great idea. I sometimes take the fairings off and use a (low) power washer on them... works well. I guess the rims and tires might be okay, but I tend to leave them alone. Even a regular pressurized hose can be problematic if you hit the electronics.
 
G

·
Yeah, I just use an empty spray bottle for cleaning to make sure I don't get water anywhere I shouldn't. I have pressure washed parts of my dirt bike, but it has no electronics. And I'm still careful because otherwise it will take the decals off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
ratchet said:
or you can be like me and never wash it :D
+1 I had mud all over the backside of the bike, trunk and radiator/fender from going down a unpaved road. A guy at a stoplight rolled his window down and said you might as well get a dirt bike. I didn't even notice until he told me lol.
 
G

·
Knightslugger said:
purple power (white lighting and original simple green) are not aluminum safe solvents.
I've read a number of unfortunate stories on various forums about people using this product on bikes with disastrous results.

My dad restored classic Mustangs and show cars for years. He swore by a tiny bit of Palmolive dish soap in a bucket of lukewarm water for years and years. It works. Nothing more is needed. I think people just like to waste money on 'specialty' cleaning products.
 
G

·
Knightslugger said:
purple power (white lighting and original simple green) are not aluminum safe solvents.
I've never tried using it on aluminum. I clean my chain with it and clean the ick out of the inside of my lower fairing. I also used it to clean the front of someone else's bike after he got behind a Harley (what else) that sprayed oil all over the front of his bike. Mostly I use dish detergent (and it's Palmolive, lol) and warm water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,758 Posts
I've used it on the front fairing to get bugs off with no problem yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
I just ride really really really fast in the rain, just like using a power washer, only cheaper, easier, and more fun!

No, really, I'm in ratchet's camp, and never wash it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
stormcat said:
My bike hasn't seen soap for about a year. Chamois and warm water, followed by Honda Spray Polish & Cleaner when needed. If you keep your bike polished, all the bug guts, road tar, etc., wipes off with... get this... a chamois and warm water. ;)
I love love love the Honda polish. My shop told me they aren't making it anymore so I bought their last can. Now I feel like I need to ration it.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top