How to Clean Your Motorcycles and Bicycles
It is easy to neglect the two-wheeled forms of transportation at times. Don’t forget that proper cleaning and maintenance of motorcycles and bicycles can also help keep you and your kids safe.
Maintain your motorcycle
A pressure washer will make light work of cleaning away the grease and everyday dirt from your motorcycle. Use the low-pressure setting and direct it first to the wheels, then move up the bodywork. For a precision clean, get busy with the buckets and sponge.
Maintain your bicycle
Bicycling enthusiasts know the usefulness of giving your bike a mini-clean after every ride. Washing off mud before it dries makes life a whole load easier and following up with a fast squirt of lubricant on the chains ensures smooth pedalling next time.
A good time table for a proper clean is once a week if you cycle four or more days out of seven and fortnightly if you ride less often.
For a swift clean, simply wet down your bike with a hose, wash both frame and wheels using a car-shampoo solution, and rinse.
To get gunk off the chain and gears, use a degreaser, rinse then towel dry before re-lubricating both with a specialist bike oil.
If you don’t want to buy a specialist oil – perhaps your child is the only one with a bike – using a household oil is okay. WD-40, for example, is technically a solvent so it shifts grease on the chain, but because it’s also good at displacing water, it provides some protection from rust, a key curse for kids’ bikes that get left lying around in wet gardens.
Never be tempted to speed up washing with a power jet or pressure hose. The force of the water could get inside delicate bearings in the pedals, brackets, and so on and ruin the mechanism.
To undertake a more thorough clean, use these tips:
Have two buckets of soapy solution and sponges, so you can clean the greasy bits – the wheels, chain, and pedals – separately from the frame, saddle, and handlebars.
Take off the wheels so that you can tilt up each rim to brush wash it with precision.
Use very fine steel wool to get out rust specks from the rims. Clean with a degreaser first, rinse and dry, then carefully rub with the steel pad.
Get just the right amount of lubricant onto the chain. Degrease to remove the old stuff, then squirt on the fresh. Back-pedal to work the lube into the nooks and crannies where it’s needed then wipe away the excess with a cloth.
Cheat by wrapping a thin soapy cloth around the chain then back-pedalling with the cloth in place. As the chain spins round, every part of it comes into contact with the cloth, yet your hands stay clean. Repeat with a clean cloth for rinsing then finish with a third rag coated with bike oil.