There are some very effective cleaning products available for motorcycles. Many of them work very well indeed, some not so well. One thing they all have in common is that they cost a lot. Put a picture of a motorcycle on the label and double the price. Put a motorcycle marque on the label and the sky is the limit. In Albany I saw a very nice HD motorcycle wheel detail brush for $43. The HD spray cleaner was $35 for 600ml (20 fluid ounces). Similar car products cost almost as much. One that Sue and Steve gave me for Christmas was very effective, but it did not last long, and at those prices I did not replace it, but set about finding an effective cheaper alternative.
Here it is. Handy hint one:
In a spray bottle put a quarter bottle of Spray and Wipe, a squirt of dishwashing detergent, two capfuls of methylated spirits and top it up with water. Spray it on, wait a tick then scrub and/or hose it off.
This removes dirt, mud, dust, grime, brake dust, bugs, mild grease and bird droppings. If your bike has a chain, and throws chain oil, spray that with degreaser first, then use this stuff.
I clean the fiddly bits with an old electric toothbrush (my ex-wife’s as a matter of fact). I have a wheel detailing brush identical to the $43 Harley one, except it does not have an HD badge, and cost me only $7 at Woolworths.
There are some magnificent polishes available out there too, Some give a magnificent showroom shine. And cost a magnificent showroom price. It seems to me they are getting more and more expensive. I am not convinced they are getting any more effective for the price.
Handy Hint two:
Mr Sheen does the job cheaply and well. Paint, Stainless Steel and Chrome. Don’t spray any onto the tyres.
Speaking of tyres, I also have an extra use for Armour All tyre foam
It is great for polishing saddlebags and the matt black parts of the engine and frame. You can use it on tyres too of course, but you should NOT spray it on to a motorcycle tyre as you would on a car. Spray it onto a sponge and apply it carefully by hand to the sidewall so as not to get any at all on the tread of the tyres. Your safety will depend on this, so be careful.
I cut up old towels, tea towels and tee shirts for washing and polishing. I have a microfibre cloth for the final detailing of the chrome.
It is just as well that part of the pleasure of owning a bike is the cleaning and polishing of it, because after 30 minutes on any Australian road, you have to do it all over again.