Step three: Bodywork

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With the grease removed, you can now see where the dirt is. This may also include the wheels and brakes, despite your efforts with the degreaser. Cover the entire machine with a motorcycle cleaner, starting at the wheels and working up. Let it go to work while you get your decorator’s sponge ready. This has a rougher feel than an ordinary car washing sponge, but it’s fine on wheels and metal work, but DON’T use it for the bodywork.

If the wheels and brakes need more attention, do them first. As a rule, clean from the bottom up and rinse from the top down. That means the dirtiest parts get the best of your attention and also benefit from any run-down of cleaning chemicals as you go.

When you’re using any kind of sponge, take care not to put it on the ground. It’ll pick up an incredible amount of grit, which will ruin the finish of your machine. If you drop it, rinse it thoroughly. Sponges don’t cost the earth, so it’s worth having more than one at the ready anyway.

Once you’re done with the wheels and metal work, change to an ordinary car washing sponge for the body work. Depending on how long you’ve left the bike since its last clean, some of the flies may take an extra application of cleaner. Again, you’ve budgeted to take a couple of hours, so don’t be tempted to try and speed things up. Take your time going around the bike, looking for anything you’ve missed, such as right up under the seat unit.

If you find a grease spot now, don’t waste time with degreaser – it won’t work on water, remember? Just apply cleaner directly and work at it. When you’re happy, rinse thoroughly.

Take care at all stages when rinsing – you don’t want streams of water going down the exhaust or the air intakes. Also take care of the radiator – a hose directed at it can damage it, so rinse it gently Recommended bike cleaner: Autoglym Motorcycle Cleaner £5.60 (spray on). Or Crystal Glo £4.99 (shampoo cleaner)

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff