When you clean your motorcycle, you're giving it more than a cosmetic improvement. That dirt, grime, grease and bug buildup can damage your bike's paint, chrome and other metal parts.
Motorcycles have several sensitive components that can take a beating from airborne dust and dirt while they're roaring down the road. Road salts and various other grime can be ruinous to your motorcycle's inner workings, deteriorating the wiring connections, rubber gaskets and more. This is why you should clean your bike every two weeks, or more frequently depending on how often it's ridden. It'll keep your bike look great, in addition to a safer, longer-lasting motorcycle.
While cleaning your motorcycle can be a time-consuming process, a professional detailing job can cost several hundred dollars. With the right tools and cleaning product, you can save a good deal of money.
However, when cleaning your motorcycle it's important to use a non-corrosive cleaner which doesn't harm or degrade any paint, plastic or rubber pieces on the bike. You should avoid using vinegar, because the acetic acid makes metal susceptible to rust. Additionally, bleach should never be used, because sodium hypochlorite (bleach) will corrode metals such as steel and aluminum, and degrade rubberized seals.
A safer option to harsh chemicals, Simple Green Pro HD Heavy-Duty Cleaner is non-corrosive, safe for cleaning chrome, aluminum, stainless steel and other metals. The professional-grade, engine-safe formula breaks down tough grease, oil, road grime and other automotive fluids, making it ideal for cleaning your motorcycle.
Washing your bike also gives you the chance to give your bike a regular visual inspection, a good practice for preventative maintenance. Check the tire tread thickness, check the chain for signs of wear, and leaks that might need attention.
Once you've finished cleaning your bike, you may find that braking is temporarily less responsive. To be safe, allow the wheels and brake padding to dry fully before riding, and give yourself a longer stopping distance to reduce the chance of an accident.