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Discussion Starter #1
So a quick question.

Have any of you taken your bike to a car wash for a semi quick cleaning?

Just got done with my 4k maintenance and was told that anything other then hand wash was a big no no. Since I assume that I am not the only one in an apartment living situation....I wanted to get peoples feedback on how "they" clean and care for there ride when a traditional Hose/bucket/sponge isnt in the cards.
 

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High speed preasure washers puts water where it aint meant to go. I have washed my classic once with water (household preasure washer and i could pee further than it. ) in 23000 kms. I use a damp cloth, pledge or Honda detail spray after every ride. Invest in a really good outdoor waterproof full sized cover. Even while on 2 trips, 6000 miles and 5500 miles, i "dry cleaned" and covered them every evening.

While my bikes are garage kept, they are also covered everynight. I have 2 cats (siamese and a snow bengal) and them bastards like to climb all over them.
 

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I go to the car wash periodically. Bikes are made to get riden in the rain, not just dry. So everything is made to get wet. Whiting is right high pressure can put water where it ain't meant to go. So when I do use it I keep a distance and watch where I spray. Once I had a problem with the Oil pressure sensor wire was wet inside the rubber boot so my light came on. Once it dried no problem.
 

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The main thing is you don't want to hit the electronics with high pressure water. You can get water inside the speedometer, possibly mess up the stuff down there in the battery box area, and also in the rectifier and oil pressure sensor area. I wash mine pretty regularly with household water pressure and a hose and have no problems. Now I do try to be careful with where I point it. Like is said above, the bikes are meant to be riden in the rain, so low pressure water shouldn't be to big a deal.
 

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I like the high pressure for cleaning the rims, and the high pressure scrapes the whitewalls very clean.
 

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never use a hose or spray

I use my wife's magic cleaning formula and never spray any water. She mixes a half pail of warm water with a dot of palmolive dish liquid, a cup of white vinegar, and a half cup of amonia. Just use an old cotton wash cloth and wipe all surfaces. The amonia cuts the wheel dirt and grease and bugs on shield, the vinegar does a great job on preventing streaking too on the shield, tank and chrome. I let that semi dry and then wipe dry with another clean cloth. Looks like brand new. Even better when she does it! ;)
 

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I have a 09 classic LT with just over 26000 miles and I take mine to the car wash atleast every other weeks and sometimes once a week, It's a lot easier to all the bug off my shield and I have had no issues at all with my bike. And my father-in-law works there so I always wash it for free.
 

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I use Maguires detail spray and a couple of clean microfiber towels. It's the same amount of work as wiping and polishing after washing with a hose. I was told not to wash with a pressure hose at dealer because of getting water in electronics. I got the Maguires at Walmart along with a stack of blue towels. The bottle lasts 3 or cleanings and it's about 4 or 5 bucks.
 

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Be careful cleaning the rims with high pressure. A friend of mine thinks it's normal to replace wheel bearings every two years. I keep telling him he's blowing the grease out of the bearings but he won't listen, he just keeps replacing bearings.
 

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I have a cheap $80 electric pressure washer that is rated at 1500 psi. The pressure washer is good for rims, tires, belt & pulleys, bottom engine washing. I hold the spray back away when doing the radiator, engine fins, windsheild and around the gas tank. I avoid the fuse block and electrical areas with direct pressure. Then I get my weedblower out and dry the bike off. Making sure the engine top and battery area is dried off. These bikes are made to ride in the rain but care should be given to spraying on tender parts. You also need to make sure you don't spray directly on the wheel bearings, as getting water in them will shorten their life. The wheel bearings should last the life of the bike, but as said above...you can easily blow the grease packing out of the bearings with a power washer. Some of my family works at Timken Roller Bearing factory so I can tell you that pressure washing any sealed bearing and can introduce water into the bearing surfaces washing out the grease and rusting the ball or roller surfaces.
 

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Hand wash/dry here, once in the spring, once in the fall... all the rest of the times, it's microfiber towels and lemon pledge.
 

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I don't think you can beat running water to loosen off dirt and especially dust before washing. If you start with hand cleaning/polishing before rinsing off the dust you risk scouring surfaces. Over-polishing probably does as much damage as neglect. Pressure washing is a bad idea but I doubt that standard garden hose pressure is going to do any harm. I give the bike a good rinse, a gentle lather and another rinse before any polishing. But I don't do it often.
 

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For casual rinse/wash I use a no rinse wash and shine product in a bug sprayer. Spray on, let sit and dry with microfiber towels. Doesn't scratch, cleans bugs off pretty good and not high pressure or a huge waste of water.

Periodically I use the bucket and wash mitt method, including various brushes to get everything good and clean. The no rinse wash and shine just won't remove the grime.

This method works on my cars too.
 

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First, if it's nice enough outside to comfortably wash, it's nice enough to ride, so my washings usually happen on sh!tty weather days. :)

Here's my anal-retentive method:
I use a garden hose with a standard spray nozzle and low pressure. I always spray down on the bike, never up into it. Give her a good, super sudsy, microfiber towel wash-down. Rinse the same way I wet her, in a downward direction. I also leave the seat on while washing to help protect the electrical system components that'r under it. Then I towel dry and rather than use my electric leaf blower (which ain't a bad idea), I just ride her around the block a couple of times and wipe off the drip areas (Yesss!). Polish, wax, then spend a few weeks making her dirty again!
 

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I only wash mine when it get's rained on and that's maybe three or four times total. Use a car wash soap, soft car wash brush for the engine and wheels and a soft cloth for the painted surfaces. I do wipe it down with McGuires detail spray after almost every ride and I keep the engine clean using Pledge and a small paint brush to get into the close areas of the engine.
 

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I wash mine with a hose and have a small yellow Mcculloch steam cleaner, is low pressure but cleans well. I soap it down and steam it. My 2006 has 17,000 miles and when cleaned looks almost show room new. I use some cotton swabs to clean inside the fins and small spots. With all the gov't funded road construction last year I went on at 3000 mile trip over the Rockies and around Yellowstone. My bike was a disaster after 4.5 hours and some blood, damn this bike has some sharp edges, it was good as new. The chrome regulator cover and radiator cover got dinged up but oh well.
 

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My wife's cheap sneakers melted on my exhaust pipes when we went riding over the weekend. Anyone have any ideas about how to get the rubber/plastic off the pipes without messing up the finish?
 

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chi-rider, I have an 93 HD FXR that does not have a heat shield on the drag pipes. The rubber from the heel of my shoe gets on the pipes fairly often. I use Nevr Dull to get it off. It takes a little while for the chemicals to eat away at the edges and it comes off with a bit of work, but it works and does not harm the finish, no scraping.
 

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thanks, I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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