Keep it clean and watch it gleam
Keeping your motorbike in a clean state not only makes it look better but also helps keep you in tune with your machine and its needs. When's the last time you checked your chain? Or polished up your exhausts? If you can't remember, it's been too long! I've washed a lot of bikes in my time and this is the best method I've found to make your motorbike shine!
FUCH it up:
Get your bike out in an area where you've got enough room to move around her comfortably. Now I start with a spray down with FUCHs Silkolene spray on wash off cleaner. I find if you give the whole bike a good spray down it eats into the grease and dirt and gives it a good loosen before you start the main wash. If you rub it in with a paint brush (don't put paint on it) you'll pick up all those nasty tough spots and give your soapy water a chance to finish the job.
Now grab yourself a sponge, bucket, water and some sort of cleaning product. I find washing up liquid will do the job but you can also get specialist motorbike and car cleaners. Get in there with your sponge, I work from top to bottom, front to back, just because the dirtiest bits are going to be around the chain and wheels. Clean of all the leftover Fuchs and work all the hard to reach areas. If dirt can get in there so can you. Now it's time to rinse off the excess, if you've got a pressure washer use that, if not a hose or just the leftover water from your bucket. Make sure all the suds are gone then you're ready to move onto the next stage.
Not everyone would do this but I like to before a polish. The Chamois leather will soak up all the leftover water getting rid of any watermarks and leaving you with a nice clean finish.
Polish and wax:
Your bike may have chrome, it may not but either way your metal bits will need a polish. I find the best stuff to use is Autosol, it will take out any bits of corrosion you have as well as making your metals shine. Fairing's etc really come up nice with a good wax, I find most manufacturers products do the job but I am partial to a bit of Turtle. Wax on, wax off until she's looking the mutts nuts and you're almost ready to roll.
Chain and points:
It's always worth protecting your bike after you've given it a wash as you've probably uncovered some places that need it. Give your chain a good lube up, this may sound a little over zealous but I've found it to be the best way of protecting a chain for the longest time is to get yourself some gear oil and give it a good pasting, then seal that in with chain lube. I've found my chains last for miles and miles over their quota with this method and also hardly ever need adjustment. Also give your motorbikes points and moving parts a good once over with some lube, I find GT85 will do almost all of it without a problem and also it gives your bike that just serviced smell! Lovely!
Well I hope you've enjoyed my guide to making your motorbike shine! Now go out and make everyone jealous! Ride on!
20.08.13 - Big Ed