Wash/cleaning; how ya do it? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2015, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Wash/cleaning; how ya do it?

I swear the front of these strats have more nooks and crannies...

I have washed my bike and I have just hand cleaned with a motorcycle spray and windex and to be honest, I think hand cleaning is easier and quicker than conventional washing with soap.

My next cleaning project is the machined jug fins on the engine. There is some tarnishing, mostly in the front and I figure taking some steel wool on the end of a small square stick, like a cut popsicle stick and hand rubbing each fin will bring the shine back out.

Anyone got an idea on cleaning machined surfaces of the engine fins?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2015, 09:56 PM
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I've used a child's toothbrush that worked well for me with a non-abrasive cleaner. Just a suggestion.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 04:29 AM
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S100 motorcycle cleaner. Comes with a really good sponge.

Make sure the bike is cold, spray, wipe, hose it off. Pretty amazing stuff. I buy mine at Cycle Gear.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 07:45 AM
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X2 on the S100 Total cycle cleaner. Best spray on wash off cleaner I have ever seen. The toothbrush helps when necessary.
I washed my bike when I first got it last May with S100. Since then I just clean it with Lucas Speed wax. Spray on and wipe off and it looks like I just washed and waxed it. Use it on everything, paint, chrome, windshield, bags. Its pretty amazing stuff really.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 11:28 AM
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I got hold of a brush with soft bristles about two inches long. I think it was sold as a tire washing brush, but don't remember. I fill a small bucket with water and add about an ounce of some sort of car wash/wax product (I doubt it makes much difference what sort). I spray the bike using an ordinary garden hose and a fairly gentle spray pattern. Then I wash the bike by dipping the brush into the bucket and brushing the bike. Rinse it off with the same hose I used to wet it down. Chamois off the water spots on the easy parts to reach, and call it good. I do not live to spend hours and hours getting a motorcycle absolutely clean, particularly as I have to ride over two miles of dusty gravel before I get to the pavement. I do make a slight effort to get the bugs out of the cylinder fins.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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The fins are black with a machined edge, the edges are tarnished and burned in. Soap and elbow grease isnt enough, I will have to use some kind of abrasive but I dont want to get it into the fins and loose any of the black.

I will test a few theories and take some pics....
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 08:37 PM
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Basically identical method as Charon, including the "tire" brush. About once a year, I get out the low pressure foamer attachment for my pressure washer and hit it with simple green, then brush and rinse: clears off any crud.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 11:26 AM
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I bought a leaf blower just for drying it and it works great.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TimBucTwo View Post
I bought a leaf blower just for drying it and it works great.
That is one thing I gave up on. A few weeks ago I washed my bike, dried it, cleaned the glass, cleaned the leather, mounted the bags back on, hand cleaned the engine, detailed the still dirty spots...man it was exhausting and ate up too much time.

Last week I just windex'ed the entire bike excluding leather (left the bags on), got 95% of the bugs and dirt off. Then went to a spray and wipe and detailed a cleaning. Took a third the time, no drying and it came out just as clean if not cleaner...

No more water cleaning for me.

I have not had a chance to test clean the engine fins to bring the shine back out of the machined surfaces, too much damn baseball right now, but I will and I will post my test results.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 12:55 AM
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Cleaning? What is this thing you speak of? Oh yeah, what Harley owners do ... I ride my bike daily, get her dirty, and occasionally give the windshield and headlight a clean with water and a soft rag. On the extremely rare occasions I feel a need to give the bike a once over I use furniture polish (Pledge or something equivalent - spray directly onto the clean rag and always on a cold bike) and maybe once a year I get crazy and pull out the chrome polish.

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