Keep it clean: How to Properly Wash Your Motorcycle


Washing your bike is an essential job that every bike owner should take pride in doing. While the open road may be your best friend, it's not exactly your best friend for your bike. The reason being is that your motorcycle is constantly braving the elements each time you hit the road. Over time, buildup from different types of debris will collect on your bike. 


It's important to remove this debris for two main reasons. The first reason is to avoid corrosion on your bike. Residue, such as dirt, grime and salt, has the potential to eat away at your paint job and metal if left unattended for long periods of time. The second reason is because of the looks. Riders should take pride in showing off their bikes to the fullest degree. Having a clean bike is an essential part of that process. For newcomers and veterans alike, this article will go over the steps to properly clean your bike. 



  1.  Accessories: While it may be quicker to leave your accessories on and wash your bike, it's also the lazy route. Removing your accessories such as saddlebags or any other attachments, allows you to reach those hard-to-get places for proper cleaning.
  2. Cleaning products: Buying cleaning products specifically made for your bike will always be the best option when washing your bike. While you can use other generic cleansers on the market, you risk damaging your paint job if you're not cognizant of the chemicals in the cleanser that you're using. Always research what is safe to put on your bike and what is not. 
  3. Microfiber towels: You want to avoid scratching your paint job at all costs when cleaning your motorcycle. Using a microfiber towel will ensure a good cleaning without the worry of making that mistake. 
  4. Two buckets: It's best to dedicate one bucket with soap and the other with a rinse. Using the two-bucket method will alleviate washing your bike with dirty water, while using only one bucket. You don't want to reapply any debris that you already cleaned off with the same bucket. 
  5. Cool engine: This may seem obvious to most riders, but believe it or not, some individuals will make the mistake of washing their bike while the engine is still hot. A hot engine and cold water do not go together. Always make sure that your motorcycle is cool to the touch before cleaning it. 
  6. Air dry: A compressed air dryer is an excellent alternative to using a microfiber cloth when drying your bike. For those who want to alleviate all risks of scratching their paint job, this is the best option for you when it comes to drying your motorcycle. 
  7. Bike inspection: Cleaning your bike is also a convenient time to inspect your bike for any other repairs that may need attention. 
  • Pro tip: Use a toothbrush to clean those hard-to-reach places on your motorcycle. 


If you put your hard-earned money into purchasing a motorcycle, it's essential to keep it clean. The last thing you would want to happen is not getting the full quality of life out of your bike. With winter in effect in parts of the country, cleaning your bike is more apparent at this time of the year.  


Founded in 1969 in Milwaukee, the motorcycle lawyers at Hupy and Abraham, S.C. have represented nearly 5,000 riders, collecting over $1 billion for their clients. With 11 offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, the firm has a reputation of providing sound legal representation to accident victims and giving back to the community.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.