How should you wash your motorbike or scooter?

So you have a motorbike or scooter and are wondering how you should clean it? If you're trying to decide between using a high-pressure washer or giving it a manual wash, read these tips and tricks to ensure the scooter or motorbike washing method you choose is both practical and safe for your two-wheeler.
How should you wash your motorbike or scooter?

High-pressure washing: take great care!

While the force of a high-pressure sprayer effectively removes dirt from the smallest corners, it can damage fragile parts (upholstery as an example), entirely degrease bearings or cause water to penetrate the wiring harness.

Using the high-pressure hoses at car washes, like those at a domestic car wash, must be done with utmost care. Avoid directing the flow of spray at any delicate parts and keep the nozzle away from painted parts. Getting too close while spraying could damage the paintwork on your motorbike or scooter.

By hand: the ideal method!

A bucket of clean water, a sponge, a microfibre cloth and a suitable detergent will allow you to clean your motorbike or scooter without risks. Start by using a degreaser to dissolve the grease-dirt mixture accumulated on the wheels. Thoroughly lather the soap and leave the product for at least 5 minutes before you embark on a thorough and methodical cleaning. Other parts of your vehicle can be cleaned by hand as well. Remember to use a microfibre glove to avoid scratching your paintwork!

Good to know: A complete cleaning of a motorbike or scooter also involves lubricating the chain, stand pins and cables that degreased while drying. For the chain, run the motorcycle engine for a short time before you apply the grease. As the chain heats up, it will allow the grease to reach even the smallest gaps.

Cold and out of the sun

Some metal parts, such as chrome-plated exhaust pipes, will not appreciate rapid changes from hot to cold. Also, the paintwork, when exposed to the sun and heated up, loses its resistance and becomes more prone to scratches. Besides, unsightly marks will remain on any products that dried before being rinsed.

Should you choose specific products or not?

Manufacturers are aware of the passion that motorcyclists have for their bikes and tend to respond by offering a whole range of specific cleaning products that are generally effective but rather expensive. Black soap, traditional French Marseille soap, or even washing-up liquid is just as effective yet much less costly. These everyday household products can effectively degrease or clean metal parts, painted surfaces, leather and plastics without attacking them too harshly.

For example, 5 centilitres of liquid soap per litre of water makes a very effective mixture. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep your motorbike or scooter looking as good as new! Stubborn stain? Use some well-known WD-40 multi-purpose cleaner to get rid of stubborn dirt.

Cleaning a motorbike or scooter is not complicated, but it is obviously a little more complex than cleaning a car. Beyond the aesthetic aspect, cleaning helps to limit the risk of corrosion. It is an act of routine maintenance you should repeat for your bike as often as necessary!