Shift the toughest crud: Best motorcycle degreasers

Best motorcycle degreasers
Best motorcycle degreasers
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No matter how scrupulously clean you keep your bike, there will come a time when you need to clean something that is particularly filthy or has a build-up of old oil or grease, meaning you need a good degreaser.

When that time comes, bike wash won’t do it and don’t even think about dipping a rag into the petrol tank – this isn’t 1975…

What you need is a decent degreaser and if it’s in a spray can, then even better – you can stay away from the grime while you apply the product and then if necessary, get involved with a brush before using the spray to remove the remaining traces.

Related: Best motorbike chain lubes

Some degreasers are water-soluble, so you can simply rinse your components off with water once you have degreased them but they may need more than one application, as the water solubility can decrease their effectiveness at removing grease and oil.

Here is a selection of top motorbike degreasers.

Best for ease of use

It's no surprise potion specialists WD-40 make an effective degreaser and this fast-acting version is Amazon's Choice for 'Oil remover for driveways' though it's not just for driveways. According to the manufacturer, it starts to work immediately and can be wiped off once it has broken down the oily or greasy deposits. It works on engines, tools, wheels and chains as well as a host of domestic uses as well. The straw stays attached so you don't lose it and in addition to this 500ml can, there's a 250ml version too.

Pros

  • Instant action
  • Handy aerosol can
  • Attached spray straw

Cons

  • May be small for large jobs

Best for brushing on

Riders of a certain age will inevitably have used Gunk at some point in their lives. Younger riders probably won't have but this is the stuff that an entire generation of bikers and car fans used to clean anything from engines to transmissions to suspension components. This version is designed to be applied with a brush, making it perfect for vertical surfaces as well as really caked-on mess but equally, it can be sprayed on using a compressed-air spray gun. Rinses off with water.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Great at breaking up stubborn grease
  • Formulation good for vertical surfaces

Cons

  • Needs decanting for use with brush or spray gun

Best biodegradable degreaser

Price: $31.40

Oil and grease can be fairly unpleasant substances so something that removes them can often be just unpleasant but this degreaser from Muc-Off is designed to cut through oil and grease quickly yet it is rinsable with water when done and is also biodegradable so it wonu2019t harm the environment. It can be used on a bikeu2019s chain as well as any other areas where oil and grease have built up and is safe on all motorcycle parts.

Pros

  • Rinsable with water
  • Biodegradable
  • Handy spray application

Cons

  • As environmentally friendly, may need multiple applications

Best smelling degreaser

This degreaser from kit and accessory giant Oxford is designed to dissolve and remove oil and grease residue from all areas of the bike. As it is a slow-evaporating solvent, its effectiveness can be improved by allowing it to dwell on the workpiece and soak into the stubborn deposits. An emulsifying agent means it can be rinsed off with water and it uses Oxford's trademark Mint odour in use.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Rise off with water
  • Smells good

Cons

  • May need repeated applications

Best all-rounder

This degreaser from British lubricant giant Morris is pink so you can see where you have applied it and sprays on from an aerosol can. It uses hydrocarbon solvents to break down the oil and wax content of the material but in such a way that it can then be washed off with water. It is also non-caustic so is fine to use on bare aluminium or magnesium without worrying about corroding or affecting the surface.

Pros

  • Water soluble for rinsing
  • Solvent-based to break down oil and grease
  • Non-caustic

Cons

  • Can’t think of any

Anyone who has ever worked on a car or bike knows all about Swarfega hand cleaner; it is legendary and is certainly the most effective hand cleaner I have ever used. This degreaser is made by the same company and goes by the name Jizer. It is a water-soluble degreaser that allows you to rinse off the clean part once finished. It removes oil and grease from metals, plastics and painted surfaces as well as synthetic rubbers.

Pros

  • Use on almost all bike surfaces
  • Water soluble
  • Also available in brushable version

Cons

  • Fairly hefty safety warnings

XCP Professional has a fierce reputation when it comes to motorcycle potions; their corrosion preventer won RiDE's product test in January 2020 and the subsequent "light" version did almost as well. So we would imagine that the company's Universal Parts Cleaner is very good at doing just that. The bumf talks about cleaning chains but reviewers state that it cleans all sorts of other things too, including stubborn chain fling from rear-wheel rims.

Pros

  • Effective
  • Great pedigree
  • Works on all oils and grease

Cons

  • Need to wipe off – can’t rinse with water

Best all-in-one

This degreaser from Putoline has been specifically designed for use on any motorcycle parts, including the engine and gearbox, chain and suspension, frame or wheels. It is safe on paint, rubber, plastic and chrome and is water-soluble so you can rinse it off easily and it wonu2019t leave a residue. Reviews say it is quite light and runs quickly so donu2019t hang around.

Pros

  • Water soluble
  • Combats all oil and grease
  • Safe for all bike surfaces

Cons

  • Light so runs off easily

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