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Author Topic: What's your cleaning routine?  (Read 4217 times)

Kiwichick

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What's your cleaning routine?
« on: November 28, 2007, 08:57:15 AM »
Hi guys
One thing the REs have a bit of a reputation for, and I see it referred to in that "review" in another thread recently, is the tendency for the RE to get tatty (rust spots etc) if not tended carefully.

I would be interested to know what are your cleaning / tending routines - focussing on the outside, rather than the mechanicals.

Do you clean after every ride? weekly? monthly?

What cleaners and polishes do you clean with? for the frame? chrome? shiny engine surfaces?

What do you use for rust prevention? and to remove chain grease?  etc...


All tips welcome! Cheers
Biddy

TRider

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 04:31:39 PM »
I'll make mention of a few things:  (1)  WD 40.  A miracle cleaner and protectant.
I like wiiping my tires with WD 40, the rubber part of the tire.  It will actually shine chrome too. 
(2)  Never use Windex, bleach or  ammonia, or anything with ammonia in it.
(3)  Spend the money and buy a bunch of expensive high quality rags from Wal Mart.
(4)  I just clean my bike as I go.  I sit back and look it over and take a swipe, sit back down smoke it over some more.  I don't think I have ever said "I am just going to clean my motorcycle today".  I usually wipe it down good with a damp cloth and clean dry rag after a long trip after it cools down.   

(5) Meguiars makes some high quality cleaning and polishing supplies.  Meguiars is rather expensive, but worth the money.  Just remember, a little bit goes a long way.
Again, for the best price on Meguiars, go to Wally World.

Don't use the tire spray to polish your tires that is so popular for automobile tires.  It will make a MC tire look really nice, but it will also get on your brake thingies.  Be care ful there.

A hair dryer is nice to use to blow water off the hard to get to parts on your bike. 

Now Biddy, I think I know about a lot of subjects, but I know just a little bit about everything, thats why I am very good at so little, so I may stand to be corrected on any advice I give out.  You do understand don't you?

Good Luck
Terry




« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 09:27:37 PM by TRider »

LotusSevenMan

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 08:01:30 PM »
I usually wife it down good with a damp cloth and clean dry rag after a long trip after it cools down.   

Good idea!  Get the Wife to do it  ;D
If it ain't broke-------------------------- fix it 'till it is!

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TRider

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 09:28:42 PM »
I usually wife it down good with a damp cloth and clean dry rag after a long trip after it cools down.   

Good idea!  Get the Wife to do it  ;D

Ok ok, you got me there.  I fixed it.  Even though that wasn't such a bad idea.

indian48

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 11:03:13 PM »
Also, if you keep it spotless and shining, it takes just a little effort every time to keep it that way. And if you let things slide, and it gets to become an eyesore, it gets hard to summon up the spirit and energy to do something about it. Like most things in life, I find.
And, now that I do not need the bike to commute, I do not take it out when the roads are being rained on or wet/dirty. Getting all that stuff out of the hundreds of nooks and crannies of the bike is a pain. And a bike like the RE, you cannot be spray washing it, and leaving the water to dry by evaporation, the bike will start rusting rapidly. So, if you wash it, you got to make sure that you get things dry rapidly as well. It does mean that a RE is a challenge to own in a place where there is frequent/unpredictable bad weather. A long time ago, in a Brit book I read about motorcycling, the advice was to clean and wipe it down after every ride - and the process described seemed like about a 60 minute one - to do that every time at the end of the day is a challenge.
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

Gaffer

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2007, 09:44:10 AM »
When I picked up my Electra the dealer showed me a bike in for service and said in a very disgusted tone "Look at that - 6 months old" There was rust everywhere - the handlebars, the nuts securing them, around the ignition key and instruments and many other places. I think it is safe to assume that whilst the bike is pretty well built the chrome is poor quality. So, for what it's worth, here is my cleaning routine:-

1.  I don't wash it but if you do, blow dry with compressed air if available or a reversed vacuum cleaner. Wipe insects etc off the headlight, indicators, backs of mirrors and other leading surfaces with a damp cloth - go over them quickly with a well soaked cloth, allow to soak a bit then wipe clean with a dryer cloth.
2. Brush the lower parts of the engine, the stands and the parts of the frame that get chain oil thrown on them with kerosene, I do this over some weeds on the gravel drive but if on concrete a drip tray would be necessary.
3. Spray a WD40 type product (I use a product called Inox - apparently superior) on all areas subject to rust and the inaccessible parts of the engine. Let the bike sit for 24 hours to allow the product to creep into the nooks and crannies.
4. Polish time! Wipe the Inox from accessible areas you are going to polish then use a good quality car polish on the paintwork and chrome (I use a product called Nu Finish) and a metal polish on the alloy parts, I use 'Reflection'. This is also reccomended for chrome but would be to harsh I think.

And there you have it - a gleaming bike with all the bits you can't see hopefully protected with the Inox.

I have heard of a product called Armour All, apparently well thought of, but have never used it.

LotusSevenMan

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2007, 08:07:24 PM »
Army bikes. Wash it and get it all dried off. Spray a bit more green paint over the engine casings etc. Job done!!!!!  ;D
If it ain't broke-------------------------- fix it 'till it is!

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dewjantim

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2007, 10:22:24 PM »
S100 Cycle Cleaner, first sprayed on full strength, then hosed off, next mix some in a bucket with warm water, wash with a soft (very soft) and clean brush, then rinse again. Wipe down tinware with a soft cloth and blow dry the engine, tires, wheels, etc. A nice blow dryer can be had at the HD store for about $40 or use your leaf blower. Finish up with a good wax job, Turtle wax works just fine, and Armour All on all non painted and rubber surfaces. Being careful not to get it on your tire tread. After each ride use a waterless wax-cleaner, like Honda Cleaner, spray down tinware and wipe with a soft cloth, buffing to a high luster. Sometimes, if you have dark or black paint, the paint will appear to have small scratches in it. These can actually be in the wax instead of the paint. If this happens, I use a product called Plexus which is made for face-shields and helmets. It will remove the scratches. My bike is a 2000 model and everyone always thinks it is a fresh restoration even though it has almost 6000 miles on the clock. I know this sounds like a lot of work but the washing and waxing can be done in 30-45 minutes and the wipe down takes only about 5 minutes after each ride. My bike is usually washed about twice per year. Happy thumper polishin'.......Dew.
If it hurts, you're not dead yet!!!!!

LJRead

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 03:13:14 AM »

Good ideas posted here, thanks guys.  There is a metal protector sold in the hardware store, quite expensive, that claims to cling on tenaciously and protect all kinds of metal. 
Keeping rust down will be a major problem here in the tropics.

Anyway, thanks for the ideas.

LJ

prof_stack

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 11:19:29 PM »
S100 is great stuff.  I use it.  But it is wise to wear hand protection, like latex gloves, when using the stuff. 

Another cleaner that is decent is Simple Green, especially in a spray bottle. 

t120rbullet

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2007, 02:24:46 AM »
Another cleaner that is decent is Simple Green, especially in a spray bottle. 

That's what I use.
Once a year if it needs it or not!
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scooterdude

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2007, 05:35:17 PM »
I would avoid using tire dressing or WD-40. I had a customer bring in his "chopper" for service and he had the local detail shop service it regularly. The tires were cracked excessively from the the tire dressing that was used even though the tires were only a year old and had very little time on them.   
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LJRead

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2007, 08:57:05 PM »

Never like the looks of things coated with the vinyl dressings - artificial looking, like a used car salesman smears on when he wants to dress up a wreck.

dewjantim

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2007, 09:09:44 PM »
S100 is great stuff.  I use it.  But it is wise to wear hand protection, like latex gloves, when using the stuff. 

Another cleaner that is decent is Simple Green, especially in a spray bottle. 
Simple Green will really make your chrome shine also.......Dew.
If it hurts, you're not dead yet!!!!!

dewjantim

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Re: What's your cleaning routine?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2007, 09:16:10 PM »
I would avoid using tire dressing or WD-40. I had a customer bring in his "chopper" for service and he had the local detail shop service it regularly. The tires were cracked excessively from the the tire dressing that was used even though the tires were only a year old and had very little time on them.   
I have used Armour All and other silicone based products on rubber, plastic, and unpainted surfaces since it came out in the 70's. Have NEVER had even one crack in my tires or on anything else I used it on. Maybe those guys used acetone or laquer thinner on those tires. They would really shine, but it wouldn't take long for them to start cracking. Don't think I would use WD40 on my tires either, the drying agent in the oil would no doubt cause cracks.........Dew.
If it hurts, you're not dead yet!!!!!