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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys

I am basically looking for the equivalent of "riding a car through an automated car wash". However, I live in an apartment complex and I do not have access to a faucet to which I can attach a hose and hose down my motorbike with water. Just about every YouTube video and instructional material I see says I should just hose down my bike with water etc etc.

What are my alternatives? Can I just fill water + soap in a spray can and spray down parts of my bike? Any body else have any good suggestions?

Next, every time I take my car through the car wash, I check the tire pressure. Are there any special instructions regarding doing the same on a bike? Do I just use the usual places where I air up my car tires?

Also, all the instructional videos show the bike being "lifted up" or kept upright on some kind of a stand etc. I do not have any of those ! Could I still do a weekly clean up / shine of my bike? The black on my bike reflects the sun really nicely, and I would like to ensure the shine lasts for as long as I can make it!
 

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Harisund, Firstly, and this is not a criticism, we love new members commenting and asking questions, but I have shifted this to the more generalised tech section since we keep the "How to" area for detailed instructions on how to do a specific job on the 250R. As you become more familiar with the site, you will see how we are trying to keep everything clean and straight forward for future members.

Anyway, to answer you questions as best as possible, here in Australia we have access to products that are characterised as "waterless carwashes". They use a special spray that removes grit and dirt with out the need to use water, something that was very popular when we were experiencing drought conditions on the Mainland. Perhaps your local auto supply shop has something available. I personally have never used these products since in Tasmania we never experienced drought conditions and water restrictions.

Tyre pressure can be also checked using the standard inflators at service stations and carwashes. There is a plaque on the side of your swing arm that has the recommended pressures from the factory.

As for the stands, you don't need them, but they are very handy especially when it comes to chain adjustment and lubing. There are many different styles and brands, so research it carefully.
For polishing your bike they are also not nessesary, but very handy.

Good luck, and let us know if you find any products that are good!
 

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One note on checking tire pressures - the tire must be cold when setting the proper pressure. Tire pressures increase as the tire warms-up from riding, and all recommended pressures are given for a cold tire at ambient temp.

So if you must set your tire pressures somewhere other than at your house/apartment, make sure you do it as soon as possible after leaving - not when you are returning from a ride.

Make sure to check/lube the chain and check the oil level regularly also. Brake fluid should be changed if it looks cloudy or dark as well.

As far as cleaning, there are "detail" sprays that may work. Just be sure you don't keep reusing a dirty cloth or you will scratch the finish.


Jay
 

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Unless your bike is heavily soiled with road grime, mud and grease, using a water hose may not be necessary all the time to thoroughly clean the bike. A bucket or two, (1) with water with a good car wash solution and (1) with clean water may work just fine although a little more attention may need to be paid to smaller and not so accessible areas. "Bucket Washing" is a good way to pay attention to detail or your bike with out putting a lot of unnecessary water and pressure on the bike that may remove waxes, oils and may damage or scratch painted surfaces.

Having a clean motorcycle is not just about appearances. In fact, a clean bike makes it easier to maintain because any leaks can be spotted quickly, before trouble becomes serious, especially inside the engine compartment (loose or cracked hoses and leaky gaskets are the usual culprits). Cleaning your bike brings attention to areas otherwise overlooked. Cleaning should always be a part of your overall maintenance of your bike. By cleaning your bike properly you tend to pay more attention to detail. (so, every time you think about doing a mod or putting a tool to your bike, clean an area of the bike)

When washing the body, missing or loose bolts, fasteners and clips are identified as well as cracks. Road tar, tree sap and pollen do not pose a big threat to your finish, but bug guts like bird poop are acidic and can damage your finish. If possible remove both as soon as possible.

Regular washing of your the wheels helps to remove grease, brake dust, road grime, oils, mud, sand, salts and any other contaminants your wheels come in contact with, which can possibly accelerate the deterioration process of your tires. It also helps in removing damaging brake dust, oils and chain grease from your brake components and nicely painted wheels. Brake dust is your enemy. Washing motorcycle wheels and the engine can be easy if it is maintained from the start. Simple cleaners designed for motorcycle tires and painted wheel surfaces or Dawn dish washing detergent can help reduce the amount of dirt on wheels and engine and make the cleaning process easier. Simply spraying on some mild cleaner, allowing it to soak and remove the dirt, hose it off with water and a little wiping, does a lot. After a washing may sure the bike is really dry. A short ride can remove water in spaces where you can't reach. Finish up with a good wax to bring back the luster and shine to the bike.
 

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harisund,

these guys have all made good points. I, however, am a bit more unconventional, or, let's call it lazy... :)

I take the bike to a regular pressure wash, car, self wash. I pay particular attention to not get the power washer too close to the body work, at least not for too long, and keep it well away from the exhaust opening and engine parts. They are quite hot and throwing cold water on them isn't a great idea - but, if you ride in the rain or through a puddle, you're essentially doing the same thing to the bike, so I'm guessing they took that into consideration when designing the components.... I try and throw a coat of wax on the bike after a wash, to keep me from having to do that on a weekly basis, but that doesn't always happen.

Waxing/detailing - I detail my bike twice a year - strip the fairings off and go through it with a toothbrush and simple green, and for that, you'll need a proper hose or many buckets of water, if you so choose to immitate.

Also, concerning tire pressures: Yes, the tires to increase pressure as they get hotter, but depending on what kind of tire/compound you have, they might not change THAT much. For instance, a race tire can gain as much as 6psi from cold to hot, also very important considering racers push the limit constantly... However, for a harder, longer mileage tire on say a dedicated street bike that doesn't see the tire getting to within 10% of it's upper temperature range on a regular basis, the pressure usually only fluctuates by 2 or 3 psi. Thus, as long as your tires are in the middle of the range, or within a few psi of the recommended pressure, you should be fine. If you have to be more accute with your pressures, you're probably riding too fast for the street. :)

Keep us posted on what you find as a solution, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey thanks for all your advise !

I am just using the good old bucket + sponge technique and wiping down dirty areas. I did buy a bottle spray and mixed water and soap in it for the slightly harder to reach parts.
 
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