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Staff Blog: My cleaning confession

Published: 23 September 2013

Updated: 20 November 2014

I know some (most) people don’t enjoy cleaning motorcycles but for me it’s a seriously satisfying part of riding bikes and I’ve just spent three hours working on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring this weekend.

The result, I hope you will agree, manages to completely hide the fact the bike has 8000 miles on the clock under the gleaming exterior which previously, was looking a very grimy after a long gap since the previous decent clean.

This was a really comprehensive clean which meant cleaning the chain, degreasing all of the areas where chain lube has sprayed, removing the windscreen, a heat shield on the exhaust and then giving it a good drying and polish too.

My box of bike cleaning products is wide and varied but S-Doc chain cleaner is brilliant, as is S-Doc 100 motorcycle wash but I also use Motul insect remover, a Turtle Wax car shampoo and then cover the bike in ACF50 anti-corrosion spray once it was all finished.

Muc-Off degreaser and a set of Muc-Off brushes worked brilliantly to clean the chain and scrape through the hardened chain lube on the swingarm and around the centre stand, much of which had been baked hard by engine heat.

After the wash I used a Metro Air Force Blaster ( to blow out all of the water from the hidden bits of the bike. It takes ages off the overall time to clean the bike as you can blow all of the water out from the hidden depths of the engine and leave a streak free finish. I’ve been using this bit of kit for a year or so and it’s something I have come to rely on; particularly over winter when I was rinsing and drying the bike after as many rides as I could before parking it in the garage to reduce corrosion.

I removed the windscreen to clean both underneath where it’s mounted but also the inside surface as it’s impossible to reach otherwise.

One annoying bit is removing the exhaust heatshield which hides a cable-operated exhaust valve and is a hidden magnet for dirt with lots of Multistrada owners reporting issues with the valves jamming either open or shut as a result of corrosion.

The three Allen bolts are fiddly to put back in as two mount into screw clips which move before you can locate the bolt properly and it takes a bit of dextrous finger work to get back on. I cleaned the exhaust valve and then covered it in a thin layer of ACF50 Corrosion Block grease. It will melt but it leaves a film reducing corrosion and worked well last winter.

I was really pleased with the results of the big clean this weekend. I know I am weird by enjoying cleaning bikes but I am happy in my weirdness.


Multistrada meet-up this weekend

Along with the guys and girls from the online Ducati Forum there is a meet-up arranged for this weekend for fellow Multistrada owners so if you fancy it then we will be meeting at the Waterfront Café, Benson, Oxfordshire at about 10am on Saturday, September 28.

We’ve arranged to stay for a quick drink before heading off as and when people feel like it or wait for others to lead them. After that we will be making our way up to Ducati Aylesbury (On Yer Bike) where there will be a burger van, the showroom will be open and people are free to have a look around.
Poscodes for sat navs or directions are: OX10 6SJ for the meet-up and HP18 0JX for Ducati Aylesbury.

Hope to see some of you there and I would love to hear about your Multistrada experiences.

More details can be found at



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