Summer Motorcycle Cleaning

The Meguiar's Way

1. It is a good idea to get the right supplies for the job, like washing and waxing fabric that will not scratch the paint or leave lint behind.

2. To get started Mike washed the bike thoroughly with Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo and Conditioner. He pointed out that the best way to keep dirt particles from damaging the paint is to rinse your rag or mitt in a separate bucket. Fill one bucket with soap and one with clean water, but use two mitts: one for the paint areas and one for the tires or any heavily dirty/oily area.

You can also get dirt separators for your buckets to allow the dirt to fall and sit on the bottom of the bucket as you rinse out your mitts.

3. After all the big contaminants were removed with the Gold Class wash and mitts, Mike used EZ Clean Spray and Shine. This product effectively cleans the hard-to-reach parts on your bike without damaging the different surfaces found on a motorcycle. Mike sprayed it on, let it soak for a bit, then used a brush to reach the soiled surfaces with ease. After, he re-rinsed the bike of all the dirt and cleaner he then used compressed air to completely dry the bike.

4. Next, Mike used Meguiar's Motorcycle Plastic Polish to restore clarity to all plastics. With micro-abrasive it gently removes fine scratches, surface stains, and light oxidation. This was done to all the lens covers on the lighting, restoring optical clarity to provide long-lasting durable protection.

5. The All Metal Polish was used on the chrome and aluminum finishes. The polymer blend keeps the metal surface brighter longer, so there's less work the next time around. Mike used the polish and a little elbow grease to make the chrome looking brand new.

Here is a look at the mirror before

...and after being cleaned and polished.

6. Next, Mike worked on the painted surfaces. Meguiar's Motorcycle Wax is the easy way to clean, polish and protect all paint finishes (including clear coats). Mike applied a small amount of product onto an applicator pad and spread a thin, even coat and then allowed to dry. Once dry the wax turned white and powder like. Then Mike whiped it off with a micro-fiber cloth, removing blemishes and bringing back a nice glossy finish.

7. Meguiar's Motorcycle Detailer keeps a waxed motorcycle looking "just waxed" in between waxing; it also removes harmful contaminants before they can damage your finish. Mike said to use Motorcycle Detailer right after your bike is hit by rain, bird droppings, or after it's been exposed to any other road condition for a quick touch-up.

8. If you happen to get any light scratches or blemishes on your painted surfaces, Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0 Micro-Abrasive System enables you to remove blemishes and bring back a nice glossy finish without getting into the clear coats of the painted surfaces. One spot on the bike Mike said that gets hit by boots are the bag lids, so he rubbed a small amount on the lids with a buffing pad and let them dry, which seemed to wipe away the scratches.

9. The next thing Mike cleaned was the seat; even after it was washed, the vinyl or leather seat can hold dirt in the pores and should be cleaned with a non-oily compound. Meguiar's Motorcycle Leather Cleaner/Conditioner cleans and protects your bike's leather and vinyl with a blend of moisturizers and nutrients that leaves leather and vinyl looking and feeling new. Also this formula won't leave a slippery residue.

10. Once Mike was done detailing the bike and showed us the right way to do it, the bike looked like new and was ready to be shown off at the next bike night. Mike said it is better to keep up on the washing and waxing. The more it is done the easier it gets and the time spent will get shorter as well.

Most guys I know would rather ride their bikes then spend time washing them, but it's just something that has to be done. We wanted to learn a few tricks to keep our rides looking good and if there was a quicker and easier way to do it. So when the guys from Meguiar's called us and said that they had a few new products to help cut down on cleaning time we were definitely interested.

Mike Pennington is the director of training and customer relations for Meguiar's and he was glad to show us how all the new products work. Mike also hosts a weekly class at the corporate headquarters in Irvine, California, showcasing all the Meguiar's products. Class times are available on the Meguiar's website, so go online and look to see when the next class is being held. We took our '04 Road King out to the corporate headquarters for a little wash.