Everyone who owns a sweet ride knows how great it feels to be riding a shiny, clean machine. Chrome glimmers, and scenery reflects off the glossy sheetmetal. A necessary chore for owning-make that riding-a nice sled is having to keep it looking its best. This usually means cleaning off road grime, brake-pad dust, grease, oil, debris, water spots, and anything else before the motorcycle is ready to be presented to the world in all its glory. The major downside is that washing and detailing your bike takes valuable time and energy, time better spent out riding on that perfect summer Saturday morning.
We have always disliked washing our bikes, mostly because of the time taken away from riding and the prep work of assembling the sponges, brushes, rags, soap, degreaser, wax, polish, and towels, along with those sundry specialty cleaning products that claim to save the planet. After spending a couple of hours sweating on the hard ground, fingers sore and bleeding, the ensuing ride just isn't as enjoyable. There has to be a better way. We'd heard there was but were always skeptical of wonder cleaners. One recommended cleaner was from S100 Cycle Products. The manufacturer claims that the S100 products make bike cleaning easy-basically, spray them on and spray away the grime with a hose, then dry your bike and ride.
With that said, we got our hands on a cleaning kit from S100 containing a total cycle cleaner, finish restorer, corrosion protectant, and detail + wax, along with a drying towel. We put the products to a little test on a bike that had a few hundred miles of rain under its belt. The entire bike was filthy, much dirtier than usual due to the road-grime mixture that had dried and crusted over the machine. We decided to use the S100 products on the whole bike; however, on one side of the bike we would use the old method of crouching, scrubbing, and cussing, while for the other we'd follow the simple S100 directions of just spraying and rinsing.
Cutting to the chase, we respectfully apologize to S100 for our skepticism reagarding its cleaning products. Not only was the process fast and easy, but there was virtually no difference between the two sides of the bike when we were done. It came out white-glove clean with a deep shine that had no water marks.
Having the proper cleaning materials is just the first step in a good cleaning experience. S100 emphasizes using a high-pressure water stream to thoroughly remove the entire cleaning product from the bike. Here are a few tools to make the job easier: a bottle brush and hose spraying wand, both obtained from a local drugstore, and S100's drying towel and sponge.
The S100 Total Cycle Cleaner concept is simple. Spray it on, touch the really tough stains with a sponge, hose it off, and dry. No more bucket of suds and getting down on your knees. The cleaner comes in both aerosol and liquid form and in a range of sizes all the way up to a 5-liter container. This whole process took about six minutes to perform. Be wary of spraying the high-pressure water stream into wheel bearings and the air cleaner.
Following a thorough rinse of the entire bike, you want it "squeaky" clean to the touch with no residual cleaner left on any surfaces. It was time to put the S100 Drying Towel, made from 100-percent biodegradable materials, to use. There's not much point in getting a bike washed quickly if you can't get it dried quickly. The S100 towel has more drying power than a natural chamois, yet it never gets stiff, so it's always ready to use. It can be stored damp in its own plastic pouch so that it's ready to pull off the shelf or out of the saddlebag. This towel worked amazingly well; not only did it soak up any remaining water, it also removed any dried-on water spots.
No matter how well you take care of your bike, there are some areas that need special attention. Some stubborn road film, ugly stains, or dulling and corrosion are things every rider can face. For small areas, the S100 Finish Restorer is the perfect solution. It renews tarnished metals to a brilliant shine; it may even take small scratches out of plastics. Some areas that needed special attention were the throttle-cable guides, the backs of the mirrors, and the mirror stalks.
After about 30 minutes, the entire bike was showroom-condition clean and detailed. Aside from the substantial time savings, the S100 products will keep giving as the problem surfaces are protected from the elements. For those times when your bike isn't really that filthy-maybe just a bit dusty, rain-spotted, or covered with bugs-S100 Detail + Wax (not used in this cleaning episode) is the product to use. Its unique carnauba and beeswax ingredients produce a sparkling shine and protection.