Spring cleaning applies to your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle just as much as it does your house. Maybe your vehicle has been in storage for several months and needs a good wash before you hit the road. Maybe you've already gone on some road trips and you need to get the gunk of the road off. Either way, you can use the following beginner's guide to washing your motorcycle below. If you have any questions or want more advice on taking care of your motorcycle, visit Great River Road Harley-Davidson® in Quincy, IL.
Prepare Your Worksite
First, you'll want to pick your ideal spot. Try to find somewhere that is out of direct sunlight as the sun will make your soap dry faster, which can lead to streaks and water spots that are hard to get out. You'll also want to find somewhere with plenty of space so you can have enough room to get at the nooks and crannies of your vehicle.
Second, you'll want to gather up your supplies. There are a wide range of cleaners you can use. Just be sure they are compatible with the materials used in your bike’s construction. You'll also want sponges to scrub off the gunk, brushes for spoked wheels, and cloths, flannels, or a chamois for drying.
Third, you'll want to get your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle ready. Take the time to plug up the exhaust to keep the water out. You can use a rubber plug, rag, or glove. You'll also want to be sure it's cool and hasn't been run recently. Cold water on a hot bike can spell disaster!
Rinse Your Motorcycle
You'll use a mixture of water and motorcycle cleaner to wash your bike. Spray your motorcycle down with this concoction. It'll help get the caked-on bits loosened up for easier cleaning. Think of it like your first pass. When you are ready to rinse this off, use a standard-pressure hose. A high-power wash is going to be too powerful and can damage your motorcycle.
Your next step is to use the suds. Begin at the top and work your way down. This approach helps you avoid going over an area that you already have. Make sure you are matching the right chemical to the right part of the motorcycle. As you clean, you'll likely need to rinse off your sponge a few times, as it'll get dirty throughout this process. You may even need to rinse out your bucket and put a new mixture in there if it gets too dirty. As you scrub, don't go too hard because you might damage the surface.
Let Your Motorcycle Dry
Your final step is to let your motorcycle dry. You can use the chamois, cloths, and flannels to get what you can. For those hard-to-reach crevices, you can use an air blower such as a leaf blower or a can of compressed air.
Once your motorcycle is dry, you'll want to re-lube the motorcycle chain. Odds are, the soap and water stripped some of the lubrication away, so you'll want to apply lube again. You can also apply a nice layer of polish and wax to help protect the finish and give it a nice sheen. It'll help you look even better while you conquer the open road!
We hope you found these tips helpful! For all your Harley motorcycle needs, visit Great River Road Harley-Davidson®. We proudly serve those in Moline, Quincy, and Springfield, Illinois, as well as Columbia, Missouri. Stop by and visit today!