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Discussion Starter #1
Laugh if you want. I'm embarrassed to ask but I figure I'd better before regretting it later. I have just acquired my father-n-laws bike (V Star 1100 Classic) It has sat for awhile, pretty dirty and in need of a wash. Anything I need to know before spraying this thing down and shining it up? Do I need to stay away from certain things with the sprayer or cover something up?
 

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I think that if you keep water out of the air intake and don't use a too high-pressure spray that could dislodge some electrical connections or blast the grease out of bearings you'll be OK. That being said, I only wash my bike when I've ridden in the rain and it is covered with road grime. At all other times I routinely use an instant detailing product in a spray bottle to clean off the bug splatter from leading surfaces and to dust off the chrome and painted surfaces. I clean the leather with saddle soap and then treat it with mink oil twice a year. I suspect that you'll get a variety of replies from others.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. It sat outside for a week after he passed and they were doing some construction down the street. Its just really filthy and needs a good spray down and detailing. He always put a cover over it but he passed the day after he had parked it.
 

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Not saying your going to but I wouldn't use a pressure washer, just a hose and if you have a nozzle that has the different settings thats even better. I like the "shower" setting on mine, it's low pressure but a good amount of water. You dont want to go spraying under the seat and I would keep it away from the air intake. Im like Michael, I rarely "wash" mine unless I get stuck in the rain or really dusty riding. I use Wizard products and they are some of the best products out there in my opinion. I specifically use Wizards Mist and Shine detailer and their Magic or Master Shine.
 

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Generally for washing a motorcycle the same products for washing a car will work. Nothing too harsh. I use Turtle Wax Wash and Wax to wash and I use standard non abrasive auto wax to wax the color parts. Usually a good rub with a microfiber cloth after washing will shine the shiny metal parts. Avoid tire dressings they aren't compatible with the traction needs of motorcycles.

The pressure washer opinions vary, mine is a pressure washer isn't the BEST tool for a routine wash of a motorcycle. However, if you know how to properly use a pressure washer, then you will know to use the proper nozzle and distance from the motorcycle not to damage anything, compromise electrical systems or wash away necessary grease.

I do not use a pressure washer to wash my motorcycle because it is too much hassle for the size job. A pressure washer is more suited for bigger jobs like trucks, tractors, farm equipment, houses, decks etc.

A simple bucket wash with plenty of soap and water is quick and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I just used a garden hose with my thumb over the end to make a sprayer. Did the trick. Wiped it down with a shammy, detailed it with some Meguiar's Quik Detailer, microfiber cloth and she's looking new again. Well, kind of. With being a 2008 and only 2400 miles on it this thing has sat a lot and there's annoying little rust marks in some of the chrome. I'm going to have to do some work on it. But from a distance she looks great..lol
 

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I use a product called "Never dull" to get rid of small bits rust and polish bright work. It comed with handy wadding to use when polishing. I found it at auto stores like advanced auto. It's worked for me cleaning up the drive shaft etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I use a product called "Never dull" to get rid of small bits rust and polish bright work. It comed with handy wadding to use when polishing. I found it at auto stores like advanced auto. It's worked for me cleaning up the drive shaft etc.
Thanks. I'll look into it.
 

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There is a great product out there called "Bike Brite." It comes in a spray bottle. With a dry bike, spray on chrome, wheels and anything powder coated. Make sure you get between the cooling fins on the cylinders and heads. Let sit about 10 minutes and then hose it off. This stuff makes the powder coat look like new, and gives the chrome some shine too. I then hand wash with my car wash soap and rinse. I use a two, sometimes three step drying process. The synthetic chamois type towel, air compressor for the bolt heads and tight spaces, and if weather allows a quick rip up the road.
 

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I used to wash my bike with water and car soap. It been about 2-3 yrs that I use a wash and wax that you can purchase at any store and/or buy it online for that matter. And if I need to use water it's very little from a bottle with a spray nozzle. Personally if don't get rid of the excess water after washing it with a garden hose eventually in time certain parts will rust...that's my opinion. Id rather ride than wash my bike all day lol
 

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I wash my bike with car soap and water. The amount of bugs plastered on the windshield and every forward facing part requires soap and water IMO. I use simple green or an equivalent product with a soft parts washing brush to get things like brake calipers and the front of the motor. You don't realize how dirty those areas are until you start cleaning them but the absolute best thing I ever bought and a "must have" if you wash with water is an Air Force Blaster. Warm, filtered air to dry your bike. I get in to every little crack and crevice with it and my bike is truly dry. :)
 

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Me personally I love s100 total cycle cleaner. I bought my bike in the spring and it looked as it hadn't been washed in a couple years. A good coating of the s100 then a through rinse with a garden hose and I was amazed at how clean it was. This is my first bike and I was not looking forward to trying to clean all those cracks and crevices. with this I didn't have to. Dry it off with a leaf blower and I'm done. I keep a bottle of Lucas Speed wax and a microfiber cloth in my saddle bag. when it gets lightly dirty I spray a cote of this on everything and just wipe clean. Looks like I just polished it. As far as the w/s, I coat it heavy with a foam glass cleaner, let it set a minute of so then wipe it with a microfiber cloth and it has always come clean for me. Then I polish it with novus polish. I figure if I polish it every time it will prevent the scratches from accumulating.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now I don't feel so silly asking about washing the bike. It's nice to see how and what different products people use.
 

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Just be glad you didn't ask for the BEST way. This thread would go on forever. :D
 

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Having hard water, I use two 1gal pump up sprayers with bottled water. 1 with car soap and
one with cascade for a spot free wash. I also use a blower two get it all dry. I ride it and I keep it clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Felt good to get my permit in the morning, shine it up yesterday and ride it on the street for the first time. Been 18 years since I rode my own bike. Was in traffic and a guy and his buddy yelled out nice bike man. Guess I did something right...lol
 

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Tried to upload a pic of what I use on my bike but my phone won't let me. Anyways, I use FW1 Wash n' wax I bought three cans when I went to P.Dover a couple of yrs ago. I have to order more as I'm on my last can. It's great and wouldn't use water from the hose again...too much work lol
 

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For spot cleaning, especially for bugs, I use Sprayaway glass cleaner. It comes in a blue and white spray can, and doesn't have ammonia on it. Safe on paint and doesn't take the wax off. I use detail spray when needed. I only was with water about 4 times per season. It gets the wax and chrome polish treatment when its in the basement for the winter.
 
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