Motorcycle Cleaning Tips


Since motorcycle season is upon us once again, we thought we would share the post on motorcycle cleaning tips from our friend and client, Dan Penton.

Wow, what a great trip riding with your friends! The weather was excellent, the curves were great….and now you have bugs splattered all over your bike. Not to mention some road grime and some water spots from that puddle you happened to go through.


Time to clean! Here are some great tips on cleaning your motorcycle.

Always always clean in the shade!

The sun does many things to vehicle finishes, and almost all of them are bad. This applies to washing your bike as well. When you put water on a painted surface, it will evaporate very quickly and leave behind minerals, showing up as water spots. Not only ugly, these minerals are actually harmful to your paint and can grind away at the finish and take away that perfect shine. This is why you should wash and dry in the shade.  The shade prevents the water from evaporating quickly, providing you with enough time to grab your towel and dry your bike.


Before you actually get to washing your bike, de-bug!  Soap and water don’t usually do the trick, so a great tip is to try WD-40. This stuff works great for a lot things, including bug removal. Just make sure you take off as much of the film as possible afterwards, and most definitely avoid the seat.

You can also try Pledge. Spray it on and wipe off a bunch of bugs… it’s that easy! It also leaves a nice lemony scent and a shield to prevent more bugs from sticking to your bike down the road.

Spray Nine is another favorite that really works great before a wash. Make sure the painted surface is cool to the touch, spray it on, and then use cool water with a little scrubbing action.

Use a motorcycle-specific soap

There are different types of detergent out there and one formulated specifically for motorcycles will work for all the different surface types on your bike. There are plastic bits, painted surfaces, chrome and unpainted or coated parts.

Many people use regular dish soap to wash their motorcycles. The problem with this approach is that this type of soap will also remove wax from your bike. This isn’t a problem if you decide to re-wax afterwards, but keep this in mind when cleaning.

Don’t let your sponge or wash glove touch the ground

Wash gloves are great for getting in all the nooks and crannies of your bike.  Most importantly, be careful with where you place it. Always leave it in the water bucket and never let it touch the ground, as it can and will pick up tiny little rocks which will scratch your paint.

Cleaning the bike’s non-painted surfaces

Cleaning the paint is one step, but the bike’s non-painted or coated surfaces require a different technique. Parts like the frame, swingarm, underside of suspension components, and forks need to be cleaned as well and often times get neglected. Use a brush or a rag with a degreaser and be very careful not to let the solvents touch the paint on your bike.


Who doesn’t love a great reflection on the shiny bits of their bike? The shine can be taken away by bugs, prints and even melted boot bits on those hot pipes.

Try using oven cleaner to get rid of that melted scuff. Just be careful not to get any on your bike’s paint, and use it in a well-ventilated area. You shouldn’t even have to scrub very hard.


Hopefully you have found these tips helpful!  If you have any feedback regarding this article or any great motorcycle cleaning tips of your own, we would love to hear them!

For any questions regarding your motorcycle insurance, please do not hesitate to contact our Office.

Thank you!

The Costen Insurance Team