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You most likely love the way your motorcycle looks; after all, this may be the reason you purchased it in the first place.  But after a few seasons of riding and harsh weather conditions, it may not look as shiny and new as it did when you first purchased it. Now that riding season has arrived, cleaning your motorcycle after winter storage should be a pleasure after waiting many months to ride. However, it is important to make sure you clean it properly to avoid any permanent damage. Below are some useful cleaning tips and things people may overlook when it comes to cleaning their bikes.

Preparation- First, remove any watches, rings, or other metals and accessories that may scratch or damage the bike as you wash it. Make sure to let your engine cool down before washing your bike. You can cause spotting, streaking, chrome damage and actually crack your engine if you do not give your engine and pipes time to cool.

Washing- Many people use household soaps to clean their motorcycles. We prefer motorcycle specific cleaners because they are not only intended for paint, but for various metals, plastics, vinyl and other materials on a motorcycle. When you are ready to wash begin from the top to the bottom, wash gently, using a clean soft cloth or a wash mitt. If your cleaning cloth becomes soiled, do not take the chance of scratching the paint or chrome; switch to a clean cloth. If you use a sponge, be absolutely certain no debris gathers in the sponge pores and causes scratches. Once you’re finished washing, rinse from top to bottom paying special attention to any areas where it is easy for dirt and residue to build up.

Drying- Always dry your motorcycle off with clean, soft rags or chamois. What some people forget when drying is motorcycles have many spots where water can pool. Be sure to look for these spots when you’re drying your bike, and take extra care to make sure these areas dry thoroughly. NEVER use an air compressor to dry your motorcycle. It may look and sound like a good idea, but compressed air can blow grit into the finish causing permanent damage.

Overall, with a little bit of time, effort and the correct cleaning supplies you can get your bike clean without causing any damage.

Check out our How to choose a motorcycle jacket and our Riding in the Rain Articles.

We want to hear your tips on how to clean a motorcycle or things you think people may overlook. Please drop us a comment below!

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