Here in the Midwest, it’s finally warm enough to pull that drop cloth off your bike and get some wind burn, so it’s time to get your motorcycle looking it’s best.
In this post, we’ll cover a full motorcycle detail, including how to address your bike’s leather/vinyl, chrome, painted surfaces, wheels, and exposed mechanical components. Motorcycle detailing is not for the faint of heart. This will be an in-depth detailing process, so make sure you’re in a shaded area of the garage, and have some cold drinks on hand! Crank up the music, and let’s get started.
The first step in a bike detail is to rev the engine a couple times and then let it idle for a few minutes. While you’re waiting for the engine to warm, remove all accessories such as saddlebags and non-waterproof electronics. Once the engine has warmed, turn off your bike and start removing engine covers, fairing components, panels and possibly the gas tank so you can reach the interior of the engine.
Now you’re ready to start degreasing and cleaning the engine and mechanics. While you’re working on this step, it’s important that you do not saturate the carburetor or electronic components. Use towels or plastic bags to protect these areas. Then, use degreaser to spray down the bike (Detail Pro Degreaser is safe on paint and metal so don’t be afraid to spray it all over). Extra greasy areas? Let those areas soak; the degreaser will work it’s magic breaking down the grease molecularly. You can also use a soft brush to scrub and break up heavily contaminated areas.
Rinse away the degreaser, again being careful not to saturate the carburetor or electronic components. When you’ve thoroughly rinsed, it’s time to dry your engine and replace the engine covers, fairing components, panels and gas tank.
When you’re drying your engine, a tool like the Air Force Master Blaster Revolution can bring your drying game to a new level. It can reach areas inaccessible by rags and brushes and push water out of crevices and hard to reach places, preventing water spotting and moisture issues.
After drying the engine, it’s time to decide if you will wash the engine covers, fairing components, panels, and gas tanks separately before a complete wash or if you want to start assembly of the panels and covers to wash all together. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to leave the leather/vinyl parts and non-waterproof accessories to be re-installed last.
As long as the bike is in good condition, we like to assemble the parts to do the rest of the detailing with the panels and other components intact. Starting at the top, give the whole bike a good rinse, allowing lose grime to wash way, paying special attention to the wheels and fenders. If you want to give your wheels and rims some extra attention, check out this post!
During the initial rinse is a great time to check your bug splatter situation. Check around your headlight, windscreen, at the front of the gas tank, and on your fenders for residue. To remove the splatter, you’ll spray bug remover on all the affected areas and allow it to sit for a minute. Then, using a clean microfiber rag, wipe away guts, wings, blood, and overspray.
After removing bug splatter, it’s time to remove other contaminants. We recommend using a soft microfiber chenille wash mitt to lift grit away from surfaces and apply car wash shampoo to all of the surfaces. Then, rinse away the shampoo.
Next, dry all the surfaces with a clean microfiber cloth or use the Air Force Master Blaster Revolution. Inspect your surfaces for remaining contaminants. To remove stubborn contaminants on paint grab a Speedy Surface Prep Mini SSP and the Detail Pro Detailing Spray. These tools will allow you to remove the contaminants and clear surfaces so that they’re as smooth as glass.
After a good cleaning, you’ll want to address any scratches, swirls, or paint conditions and give the bike’s paint job a good polish. Learn more about the specifics of this by checking out this post. Protect your paint job and give your paint a beautiful shine with a good wax. Detail Pro Spray Wax is a great if you’re looking for a quick waxing solution.
For chrome pipes, bars and trim needing a little extra attention, check out this post!
When the main components of the bike are clean and assembled, it’s time to focus on the leather accessories and seat. We suggest working on these parts while they’re detached from the bike to prevent getting cleaners and conditioners on the newly waxed paint. Spray a leather and vinyl shampoo onto a microfiber cloth and work the product into leather surfaces. Use a soft brush to complete the cleaning and then wipe surfaces clear of product with a clean microfiber. When you’ve completed cleaning these surfaces, keep the seat and accessories soft with a leather condition. Apply the product with a microfiber cloth and buff to a soft clean finish.
Finally, install your seat and other remaining accessories and start up your bike. This will allow your engine to warm and remove any residual moisture. You’re good to go!
For a complete motorcycle detail we recommend:
- Detail Pro Degreaser
- Parts Cleaning Brush
- Air Force Master Blaster Revolution
- Detail Pro Bug Remover
- Microfiber Chenille Wash Mitt
- Detail Pro Car Wash Shampoo
- Detail Pro Detailing Spray
- Detail Pro Spray Wax
- Speedy Surface Prep Mini SSP
- Leather and Vinyl Shampoo
- Leather Conditioner
- Microfiber Cloth
- Grit Guard
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