Feb 21, 2018

Sell My Motorcycle: How to Wash Your Ride

Ericka Ellis

How to Sell My Motorcycle: Washing Tips

Our rides are our pride and joy, sure. But they are also great investments. With the right care and cleaning, not only will you be sure to have many years of “wind in your face” enjoyment, but you'll also retain the highest possible value for your ride. If you are looking for how to sell a motorcycle, there’s no time like the present for a good cleaning.

You would probably much rather be out riding the road instead, but here are some motorcycle washing tips to get your pride and joy looking great before you sell it.

Get the right supplies for your wash kit.

Motorcycle owners often worry whether or not the cleaning products we have will actually damage or scratch the bodywork, so it’s all about getting the right supplies. Do your research and read plenty of reviews on a product before you try it. Only use gentle products, and get new ones if needed. If you drop a towel on the ground, even though you may not see any dirt or grit on it, throw it away and get a new one. For real.

Be careful not to use paper towels or even regular towels too much, if at all. These materials can take a toll on the skin and will easily scratch. A dry and clean microfiber cloth works just fine and won’t scratch a thing. Score.

Wash your ride in any weather.

Source: Jake Eisele YouTube

A rainy ride and roost always leads to a wash, but sunny days should, too. Wipe down your motorcycle at the end of every day, and it will be 30 seconds well spent to keep your bike clean, rust-free, and pristine. On the same note, sunny days often mean there are a lot of bugs. Be sure to immediately (and gently) remove any squished bugs and grime to prevent blemishes, and even more severe problems such as overheating. On that note, Hydrogen Peroxide in a spray bottle works great for removing bugs from a motorcycle without the hassle and without fear of wearing down your custom paint.

Only wash a cool motorcycle.

Heh, of course any motorcycle is a "cool" motorcycle, but one important thing to remember when you clean yours is to wait for it to cool down before you wash it. Cold water can easily damage a hot bike, and even washing in direct sunlight can be bad. Mineral deposits in the water become more problematic and water spots more visible when warm, and direct sunlight often dries detergents on the body before rinsing.

Tread carefully with tire shine.

We are all fans of a slick-looking tire shine. However, over spraying and overusing tire shine can potentially lead to actual slick tires and the bike going out from under you. Frequently spraying the tire walls before riding can cause the spray to spread to the treads and threaten the grip of the tires. So, watch out for that.

Source: The Sportztourer YouTube

Choose the right polish.

It’s easy to try tons of different motorcycle waxes and polishes before you find one you swear by (ICE Turtle Wax, Liquid Glass, and Lucas Oil Slick Mist Speed Wax are a few that are tried-and-true), but you should still try new products on a small, discrete part of your bike, and read the ingredients of new product. If it’s a modern bike, you might have a thin layer of lacquer that is easily damaged by anything other than a soft wax, and cutting compounds cause permanent swirls. Find out before you jump in.

Need some tips on how to polish a motorcycle? Read this!

Pay attention to detail.

Whether you are giving a gentle wipe-down or a full wash, paying attention to your bike’s surface is crucial to the well-being of your motorcycle. Not only does this keep everything looking sharp, but frequent washing means you are much more likely to notice any developing problems such as damaged parts or leaks. If you want to sell a motorcycle, then staying on top of maintenance like this could make or break a sale.

Take it out for a ride.

Riding motorcycle

After you use a microfiber cloth to pat down your bike, give it a once-over with a leaf blower or air compressor before you take it for a spin. Start by taking a slow ride and squeeze the brakes to pump remaining water out of them. Then go ahead and enjoy a long cruise.

Not only is this the most enjoyable part, but it's also an easy way to rid your bike’s nooks and crannies of any hidden water and prevent corrosion. When you get home, give it another once-over with your microfiber cloth and wipe away any mid-trip water streaks.

Looking for more tips and motorcycle DIYs? Read up here!

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