Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dummies guide to cleaning

I ride my bike daily in all sorts of weather, and friends are always intrigued how I keep it looking like new, despite the fact it's coming up to a 4th birthday soon.  This is what I use:

  • Rinse bike with water, then use car wash (Turtlewax) in a bucket and use a cloth to get off the solid stuff.
  • I then dry it with a clean towel and let the water remnants evaporate in the sun.
  • I usually then lube the chain, and give all of the pivot points a squirt of lube
  • I then use pledge on all of the plastics - the blue one designed for hard surfaces.  It works beautifully on the fairing, indicators, mirrors, black plastics like the guards and the Givi cases and instruments. (I keep Pledge on the bike to keep my visor clean too)
  • I then use Turtlewax Ice liberally on all painted surfaces and wheels.  It leaves no residue and shines beautifully and can be used every time.  It's even good on plastics, and much easier than waxes.
  • I use wadding polish on the exhaust, and use Solvol Autosol on the more stubborn marks
  • I then get a clean microfibre cloth and buff everything up
Keeping a coat of wax (or in this case some synthetic polymer) on the bike keeps it looking clean - no corrosion.  I use CRC to clean oil and tar spots off things and I find it's the little things that matter..

It leaves me with a clean bike, but also gives a good opportunity to see if there's any fasteners loose or anything that needs attention.

I know, I should be riding and not cleaning, but when I can't get out, the bike is all the better for it.

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