Your Guide to Detailing Your Motorcycle Like A Professional

There are numerous reasons why a motorcycle owner may want to detail their bike. The first and most important reason is that everyone loves their bike and wants to keep it looking and performing at its absolute best.

Use our guide to learn how you can detail your motorcycle like a real professional. Also, it is a critical first step towards getting your motorcycle sold for a good price. Having an immaculate bike will guarantee that you can get the highest resale value.

Finally, when you detail your bike regularly, it can expose any mechanical problems that you might not otherwise detect.


Spray down the lower parts of your bike using a garden hose. This will prevent scratching and remove the biggest dirt particles. Use a high-quality sheep's skin or microfiber wash mitt along with a motorcycle or automotive wash detergent to gently wash all of your bike's hard surfaces. Then rinse gently with your hose. Unless your bike happens to be very greasy it is better to avoid using dishwashing detergents or other harsh soaps.

Another option you can use is a waterless wash on a bike that isn't too dirty, the Vehicle lab notes a few viable options. You just need a high-quality microfiber towel and waterless wash solution. Wet the surface with the product and then wipe it dry. Make sure to switch to a clean towel frequently. That will help you avoid any micro-marring that may occur to soft paint.

Note, some people are a bit hesitant at using water from a garden hose. If you are worried, then a traditional two bucket wash is best.

Clean The Wheels

Since they are made of a different material, you should wash the spokes and wheels separately. Start by washing the tires and wheels using a mild tire cleaner and wash soap. That will remove oils and road film from the tire dressing.

After the tires and wheels are clean and dry, they can then be polished and you can take steps to protect the rims. You can polish the chrome using a fine chrome polish and then wax them to help maintain the shine. You can use aluminum polish to polish uncoated aluminum. Basically, you treat coated aluminum the same way that you do the paint on your bike. You can lightly polish and wax it.

Controls and Dash

When detailing your motorcycle, pay close attention to the dash. Motorcycle dashes have various electrical parts and surfaces that you need to avoid getting wet if at all possible. To generally clean and protect the dash, it is recommend that you use a cleaner that offers UV protection for both colored and clear plastics.

Clean The Engine

To clean the engine properly will greatly depend on how dirty it is. You might only need to use a soft bristle brush to give it a quick once over and then use bike wash soap as part of your initial washing. On the other hand, you might need to use a tough degreaser.

No matter what cleaning method you use, your engine should be in the shade and cool whenever you are cleaning it. You should closely follow the instructions for cleaning your specific engine. Highly corrosive compounds might damage other motorcycle parts, including the cloth, leather, chrome or paint.

Chrome Polish

There is often lots of chrome on a motorcycle. These steps should be followed to ensure that your motorcycle is always shining bright. As with your bike's controls and dashboard, you should polish the chrome in a cool, non-humid and shaded environment.

You should conduct the chrome polishing cycle two times with a break in between or with another step in the overall detailing process. This produces much better results compared to a single pass. To extend your polishing job's life, follow up with a coat of wax.

Treating The Leather

The leather on motorcycle seats varies widely. It may be high-quality vinyl that feels just like leather, or it could be coated leather, or maybe a natural aniline leather. They all require different types of leather care. Generally speaking, a thorough cleaning and protecting job using a non-slick protectant will help to keep your seat looking brand new for a very long time.

Paint Sealant

The paint on a motorcycle is treated somewhat differently than the paint on a car. Depending on the current condition of the pan you might just need a bit of light claying and polish, followed up with a sealant or wax. If the paint has been neglected then a machine compound might need to be used before you polish and wax.

Detailing a motorcycle requires a lot of patience, but ultimately, you will be richly rewarded with a well-maintained bike that you will enjoy for years to come. You also get the added benefit of resale value if you ever decide to part ways with your two wheeled friend.

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