MCN's guide to the best motorcycle maintenance sprays

Motorcycle spray
Motorcycle spray

Any self-respecting motorcyclist will have a cupboard full of lotions and potions to look after their bike. Anything from cleaning it to preventing it from corroding; keeping rain off your visor to waterproofing your clothing; keeping the bike running properly to preventing it from wearing too quickly. There are motorcycle maintenance sprays and cleaners out there for just about every need.

Of course, with so much on the market, it can be tricky to work out which ones are good at the job they are supposed to do. So these are our favourite products, based on what we’ve used in the past and have found to work well.

Some you’ll want to keep with you, especially if you are heading off on a long tour later on in the year – chain lube, for example. Others will just live in the cupboard in the workshop or under the sink at home, to be rolled out when it’s time for a wash.

But however often you use them, these are the essential motorcycle cleaning and maintenance sprays you will need.

Top motorcycle cleaning and maintenance sprays

Rrp: $59.99

Price: $16.99

Sportsbikeshop currently has half-price twin-pack deals on Muc-Off. The brand has a great selection of motorcycle cleaning and maintenance sprays. Stock up with either two one-litre sprays or a couple of huge five-litre cans.

Price: $56.99
Offering terrific value for money, this half-price twin pack of five-litre bottles of Muc-Off should help keep your bike nice and shiny for months. Use it to top up your spray bottle.
Price: $169.99
Save £71.09 (55%) on this 25-litre drum biodegradable, nano-tech bike wash.
Best spray polish
Price: $52.46
Once your bike is clean, you might need a little polish to bring it back to its full glory, removing remnants of road grime, tar or dead insects. This traditional polish from Muc-Off isn't cheap but is effective and goes straight on to the cloth, cutting back any residue after a wash and bringing any surface up nicely, as well as adding a layer of protective carnauba wax for long-term protection. A good buff with a microfibre cloth and a clear shine is the result.
While the chain should be cleaned ideally every few hundred miles, but lubricating it more often, when you wash the bike itself or weekly, can help to reduce wear and prolong the life of the chain and the sprockets. This lube from Motul helps reduce wear and friction and prevent corrosion and works particularly well on fast road bikes, according to the manufacturer.
Price: £25.00 (was £34.99)
ACF-50 is the ultimate do-it-all motorcycle cleaning and maintenance spray that no motorcyclist should be without. Originally developed for the aviation industry, this anti-corrosion formula proclaims to 'Protect, Penetrate and Lubricate' - and it does so with aplomb. Among its many uses, ACF-50 can unseize rusty fasteners, lubricate stiff moving parts and, when sprayed on, forms a protective layer that'll keep the even the worst of winter road grime from attacking plastic, metal and chrome. Just remember to keep it away from braking surfaces. This 32oz pack, which includes a palm size spray applicator, equates to approximately 900 ml.
Before, the best corrosion preventer we'd come across was XCP Processional Rust Blocker; it stopped any corrosion completely but did leave a gold-coloured protective layer that not everyone liked. Now, the company has come up with Clear Coat, which offers virtually the same protection but in a thinner, clear liquid. Spray it on the bike's fixtures and fittings and it will prevent corrosion in the harshest of weathers. Just re-apply whenever you wash the bike.
Price: $22.95
This wash and re-proofing twin-pack from Nikwax will keep waterproof motorcycle clothing in great shape. The wash treatment is added to the washing machine or handwash water to remove dirt then the wash-in re-proofer is added to another wash to revitalise the garment's waterproofing qualities and breathability. It works with Gore-Tex, other membranes and various waterproof clothing.
Tested by Gareth Evans over 6 months. I've been using this spray regularly to keep the Trident's gorgeous-but-exposed exhaust protected, plus as a general spray around the bike, and the best feedback to offer is that the Triumph looks basically brand new. I like the can too. It's a good size for my hand, and the spray itself is very high pressure with a good dispersal of liquid. My only gripe is the little plastic pipe to aim at fiddly bits is difficult to slot into the nozzle and doesn't always stay in place. But then this is great value compared with most similar products.
  • Quality
  • Value
A little of this spray-on gloss wax goes a long way and it needs to be spread out evenly and left for a while before buffing off. It can be hard work to get to the shine but when you do, it's worth it and water beads nicely off the finished surface. There's also a version for matt finishes, such as plastic and other non-shiny areas of the bike.
A grubby helmet is shoddy at best and dangerous at worst, if you can't see through the visor properly. This cleaner from Shift-It will look after the helmet as a whole as well as the visor, bringing both up and cutting through insets and road-grime while not affecting the visor material nor that of the helmet shell. It comes in a pump spray so there are no petroleum-based materials involved at all.
Best brake and chain cleaner
Of all the potions and lotions available, one of the most prolific is chain cleaner. While some riders don't bother cleaning the chain, we would always recommend it every few hundred miles. This Wurth spray will help remove old lubricant build-up as well as dirt and debris from the road. Spray on, leave for a bit, agitate with a brush then another quick spray to remove the dirt. It also works for removing brake dust and cleaning up calipers.
Everyone should have a can of WD-40 in their lotions cupboard. It really is engineering in a can. WD stands for 'Water Displacement' and this is the 40th formulation, hence the name. It lubricates; it displaces water so it's good for short-term corrosion protection and driving moisture out of electrical connections; it penetrates corroded fittings.

About the author: After qualifying as a mechanical engineer, Jim Blackstock began working on magazines in the early 1990s. He remains passionate about product testing to ensure readers know what products offer good value and why. He relishes torrential rain to see if riding kit keeps water out and an hour or two to tinker on a project bike in his workshop.

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