A Step by Step Guide on How to Wash a Motorcycle

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It takes more to wash a motorcycle than to just lather it with soap and spray it with water.

Self-proclaimed passionate bikers should pamper their motorcycles religiously, especially if you enjoy taking your motorcycle on adventures every now and then.

The first step to maintaining your motorcycle is to wash it regularly and properly. It is, hands down, the simplest and the most essential thing to do.

However, washing it properly is not that easy.

If you have been wondering how to wash a motorcycle the correct way, this article is for you.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide that will help you clean your vehicle thoroughly.

Gather All Your Cleaning Supplies

When we say gather all your cleaning supplies, we do not mean for you to settle for a dirty rag and some soapy water.

After all the adventures you take your motorcycle to, it deserves a thorough cleansing.

When we talk about how to clean a motorcycle, we cannot ignore the importance of a good cleaning supply.

It is important to use the right cleaning supply to clean different sections of the bike extensively.

Some necessary cleaning supplies that you will likely need are a sponge, a hose or a bucket, some rags, a large paint brush and a small toothbrush, and a bike cleaner or motorcycle-specific detergent.

These products will come in handy to clean every part of your bike.

Note that you cannot use just any automobile cleaner to clean your motorcycle. We recommend investing in a premium motorcycle cleaner that would make your vehicle appear like its new.

You can also use additional premium products like a chain lubricant and a vinyl protectant for added safety and shine.

Dusting And De-greasing The Vehicle

Before starting with the thorough cleanse, your bike will need some basic dusting.

Take a piece of rag or a microfiber cloth and dust the motorcycle all over. You need to get all the dry dust and sand off it before spraying it with water.

If you don’t, the dust will just smudge when it mixes with the water and that would be difficult to clean.

When you are done dusting the body of the vehicle, focus on cleaning the engine area.

This area has small machinery and cleaning it with a piece of cloth would not be easy.

You can clean this area with a paint brush. Just use the dry paint brush to dust off the machinery.

Next, get the dirt and grease off the chain and the engine parts with a small size brush or toothbrush. You can use a solvent if the grease is hard to take off.

Give It A Rinse

After taking all the dry dirt off the bike, give it a rinse with cool water.

Use a gentle stream of water and not a high pressure hose. A motorbike cannot handle high pressure water as efficiently as a car. Water coming at a high pressure can damage the paint, finishing etc. on the motorbike.

While you are rinsing the motorcycle with water, use a cloth to gently rub all over it. You will get the smudges off the surface this way.

Soap It Up

This is the fun part. You now get to lather your motorcycle with soap.

You can also alternatively use auto detergent or motorcycle-specific detergent for this purpose.

Lather the vehicle up with some foam and use a sponge to scrub it gently. Make sure you cover the whole bike.

The sponge will pick up most of the gunk and dirt at this point.

Make sure to rinse the sponge every now and then. This way, the dirt won’t stick back to the surface of the motorcycle.

Remember to only use the soap or detergent on the plastic parts. However, if you are using a specific product that mentions that you can use it everywhere on the vehicle, it would be safe to use.

Do not use abrasive cleaners on aluminium wheels. Only clean it with soapy water and a cloth.

Rinse Again

Rinse the surface again with cool water to get rid of all the soap.

Wipe it clean with a cloth. This will soak up all the extra moisture and soap and will help make the vehicle dry.

Inspect For Grime And Grease

Getting rid of stubborn bug grime and grease can be difficult even after the motorcycle has been washed.

Inspect your motorcycle after you have cleaned it with soap and water everywhere. Look for any grime or grease. If you find any, scrub it off with a wet cloth or sponge.

To make it easier, you can use special tar and bug remover. It will loosen the grime and you can then wipe it off easily with a sponge or microfiber cloth.

Post-Wash Maintenance Routine

Making and following a post-wash maintenance routine for your motorcycle is important for all the right reasons.

Your motorcycle is made of different components, all of which need different type of care.

The seat of the motorcycle, for example, needs a vinyl protectant. It acts as a protective layer upon the seat and prevents wear and tear.

After the rinsing and cleaning, buff the seat with some vinyl protectant and let it set and dry before touching or sitting on it again.

Top it off with automobile wax for added protection and shine.

Put spray protectant on the bearings. A protectant will help repel moisture and dirt.

You will also have to re-lube the chain. Use a good quality motorcycle chain lube for the purpose.


Now that you have read this step-by-step guide, you should know how to wash motorcycle the right way.

Remember to follow all the steps to maintain the look of your bike and keep it clean and shining.

With all these steps in mind, you will never have to worry about how to clean motorcycle again.

Make this your motorcycle maintenance routine. Work on it every other week and you will never have to ride a dirty motorcycle again.

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Connie Williams

Connie Williams

Williams is an experienced motorist having participated in several biking races and such other events. Her passion for motorcycles as well as for writing drove her to set aside a professional career in engineering to write about bikes.
Connie Williams

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