Washing bike - Page 6 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #51 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 12:37 PM
Senior Member
Greystone's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Displaced Virginian living in NJ
Posts: 399
There's a ton of information out there on what the pros do to keep a perfect finish, but mostly, it boils down to:

1. Wash
2. Polish
3. Wax

Washing should be done with automotive shampoos only. I know a lot of guys will say, "Dawn or other detergeants are just fine..used 'em for years...never a problem...etc", and maybe they're right. What I do know is that dish detergeant is made to strip everything off the surface, including the wax, and according to Dawn's site, should not be used for automotive paint because it can strip polymers from the paint surface and accelerate the oxidation process. I figure if the manufacturer is issuing the warning, I'm gonna listen. That said, do what you want. How you wash your bike dosn't affect me, and I have no interest in fighting a religious war The reason you should wash before any of the other steps is to remove as much dirt as possible to minimize the possiblity of creating more micro-abrasions in the clear coat. Let everything dry, and then move on to the next step. You'll be removing any watermarks soon enough.

Polishing and waxing are two different things. Polishing is the exercise is removing blemishes and smoothing the clear coat to remove all micro-abrasions. This preps the surface for waxing. Some people will tell you that polishing is removing the top layer of the clear coat and some will claim that it's filling in the gaps and cracks in the clear coat. They're both right. To remove real blemishes (i.e. cracks a marks that you can feel), you'll need to use rubbing compound. This will remove some of the clear coat to even the surface and eliminate the mark(s). I use the finest (as opposed to coarsest) compound I can find. Be careful with rubbing compound, it can do some damage if you're not careful. Using other polishing solutions (Mother's), that are not rubbing compounds, both takes off a tiny bit of clear coat and fills in the cracks to eliminate swirl marks and those super fine abrasions you see in the paint. Contrary to popular belief, both polishes and waxes should be applied in a "back and forth" motion rather than in circles. Pick one...front/back or side/side and stick with it. Don't mix and match. It may take some pressure when using compound or other polishes to get perfect results.

At this point, you should have a perfect surface, and you're ready to protect it. Time to add the wax. Some people prefer the carnauba wax paste and some like the liquid. The only difference I've seen is that the paste tends to be natural, and the liquid tends to be the engineered carnauba. Personally, I think the liquid looks just as good and lasts longer. Again, do not apply this in circles. Little to no pressure is needed when applying or removing the wax.

Beyond this, I'd recommend only using 100% cotton cloth on paint for washing, polishing, and waxing. Some people prefer microfiber for the latter two steps, but I stick with cotton. For engine parts, wheels, etc...I use soft sponges... and brushes on the wheels and tires as needed. Chrome is another animal, and I'm tired of writing, so maybe I'll add more later.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional (at this anyway...I'm a computer jockey . Take this for what it's worth (remember you got this info for free). This is how I do it with some success. If you have a different process that you swear is better, I'll forstall the argument by saying up front, "you're probably right." I take no responsibility for any damage you do to your bike by following my process (meaning, if you crank down too hard and long on the rubbing compound and screw up your paint job, it's on you).

Otherwise, I hope this helps you put a perfect finish on your bike!

2011 900 Classic SE

"Those who know how to win are far more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories." - Polybius

Last edited by Greystone; 05-11-2012 at 05:10 PM.
Greystone is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #52 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 05:56 PM
Junior Member
greenweenie's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: bowling green ky
Posts: 28
Exclamation washing

First of all you should hand wash. Second DO NOT USE DISH WASHING LIQUID!! It will remove the wax. And third the pressure wash is very hard on the paint and plastic parts. You can use a car wash liquid like turtle wax car wash or something similar. Good looking girls in bikinis washing bikes works too!!
greenweenie is offline  
post #53 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 10:09 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida, Tampa Bay Aera
Posts: 11
I have a question for any Vaquero owners that might be reading this. Do you guys use any type of wax or protectant on the flat black engine parts?
GC1218 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome