Tips for Cleaning Your Motorcycle
When cleaning your motorcycle, it is important to follow the recommended instructions in your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual. However, there are some general rules that apply to most brands and models.
Notice: Do not use pressurized water to wash your motorcycle. Water may seep in and deteriorate wheel bearings, brake caliper assemblies, brake master cylinders, electrical connectors, steering head bearings and transmission seals. Do not direct any water stream at air intakes, exhaust outlets, electrical connectors or audio system speakers. Electrical components may be damaged by water. Do not allow water to contact electrical components or connectors.
- Before washing your motorcycle, make sure the exhaust pipes are cool. Cover each pipe opening with a plastic bag secured with a strong rubber band. Check that the spark plugs, spark plug wire caps, oil fill cap and fuel caps are properly seated.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners.
- Rinse off as much dirt and mud as possible with water running at low pressure. Use as little water as possible when washing near the air intake or the exhaust pipe openings. Dry these components thoroughly before operating your motorcycle.
- Clean the front fork tubes thoroughly to reduce fork seal wear and leakage.
- After washing, remove the rubber bands and plastic bags from the exhaust pipes. Start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes.
- Make sure the brakes are functioning properly before riding.
If your motorcycle is equipped with a windshield, clean it with a soft cloth and plenty of warm water. Dry it with a soft clean cloth. Remove minor scratches with a high-quality polishing compound designed for use on polycarbonate surfaces.
Note: Brake fluid and alcohol will permanently damage the windshield. Do not use glass cleaners, water or soil repellents, and petroleum- or alcohol-based cleaners on the windshield, as these products can damage the windshield.
Matte Clear Coat Finish Care
Matte finish products are prone to trapping dirt, oils and other contaminants. Always clean this type of finish with warm water and a mild dish-washing detergent. Use a soft sponge to gently rub the surface and then rinse with clean warm water. For stubborn stains such as grease or oil, use a citrus-based cleaner. Spray the cleaner onto the area and rub gently with a soft sponge. Allow the cleaner to sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse well with clean warm water. Repeat as needed.
Note: Never use a polishing/buffing wax or any sponge that has an abrasive surface when cleaning a matte finish. These products will buff the matte surface of the finish and result in a glossy finish. Never clean matte finishes with a pressure washer, as this will further imbed contaminants into the clear coat and may damage labels and decals.
Gloss Clear Coat Finish Care
To maximize the benefits of this system, use the following guide to care for the gloss finish on your motorcycle.
- During the first 30 days, when the finish is still fresh, clean the motorcycle with a water rinse only.
- Do not wax the motorcycle for the first 60 days. Doing so can cause loss of the gloss. After 60 days, use only waxes designed for new clear coat finishes.
- Do not use pressurized water to wash the motorcycle. When paint is still fresh, pressurized water could damage the finish. If using a pressure washer is unavoidable, keep the spray nozzle at least 24 inches (60 cm) away from the surface of the motorcycle.
- Wash your motorcycle often, especially when exposed to salty, dusty, acidic or alkaline environments.
- Use warm or cool water and a soft cloth for cleaning.
- Use soaps that are non-abrasive and have a neutral Ph (non-acidic/non-alkaline detergents).
- Do not use solvent-based solutions.
- Do not use a dry cloth to remove dust.
- Do not use a stiff bristle brush, which can scratch the surface.
- Do not wash with extremely hot water.
- Do not wash the motorcycle while the surface is hot. Avoid washing the motorcycle in the hot sun. Minerals in the water may be difficult to remove once dried on the surface of the motorcycle.
- Do not allow spilled gasoline, motor oil or brake fluid to stand on the paint. Remove these substances immediately by rinsing with water. Use a soft cloth to absorb any remaining residue and dab dry.
- To remove bug remnants or road tar, use only products that are specifically designed for this purpose. Follow the product manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent potential damage to the finish. Follow with a wash using the methods described in this article.
- Always brush away any ice or snow. Do not scrape off.
- Chips or scratches should be repaired promptly to prevent corrosion.
Infotainment Touchscreen Care
For motorcycles with an infotainment screen, it is recommended to use a gentle detergent and water to clean the touchscreen. Wash and dry with a lint-free cloth.
- Do not expose to brake fluid.
- Do not expose to gasoline.
- Do not expose to DEET.
Note: The provided information is a general guideline. For vehicle-specific information, consult your Owner’s Manual. Indian Motorcycle owners can access Owner’s Manuals by logging in to their RideReady account.
To find a dealer near you or learn more about RideReady services, visit the RideReady website.