Let's face it, cleanup after a day of riding is about the last thing you feel like doing, and that's cool. Just don't let the bike sit covered in track debris for too long. Plus, it's always when you clean your bike that you find missing, worn or broken parts. So, this process may suck, but here's a few tips and some tools to help you out.
First off, here is a list of things I use to get the job done:
Briggs & Stratton Electric Pressure Washer
No Toil Air Box Wash Kit / chain lube / air filter oil
Auto Wash Soap, Mitt and brush
Scrubbing bubbles or bike wash
Silicone Spray Protectant
Spray lube for misc. parts
Prepping the bike:
First, prep the bike for washing. Insert a wash plug into the silencer to prevent water from getting in. Also, remove the air filter and install an air box intake cover to keep water out of the intake.
If you don't have one or either of those things, it's ok. You can use some duct tape to cover the end of the silencer/exhaust. If you don't have an air box cover, just leave the air filter in and the seat on the bike. Tape the sides of the air box (if your air box has holes in the side). You'll probably still get some water in the air box, but it should be minimal. After your done washing the bike, you'll want to clean out the air box by hand with a clean rag and a cleaner or solvent of your choice. Be sure not to let ANYTHING drop into the intake.
Pressure washing the bike is the easiest way to get the bike clean. I have done it with a hose as well, but it takes A LOT longer and it doesn't do near as good of a job. Be careful when using a pressure washer though. High power washers can tear seat covers peel graphics and cause injury if not used properly.
Some people are against using pressure washers on bikes, but really, it's the best way to get them clean. The key is to make sure you take good care of the bike and perform regular maintenance to keep everything lubed up!
Wash as much dirt off the bike as you can before you start scrubbing on it. Lay the bike on its side using your stand to rest the handlebars or triple clamps on. This will allow you to get the under side of the bike cleaned up. You'll be surprised on what you find you missed.
Next, take a scotch bright pad and scrub the frame where your boots leave marks on the frame. This only pertains to aluminum frame bikes.
Wash the whole bike using soap and water and a wash mitt. Do the best you can by hand, because even a pressure washer won't get EVERYTHING off.
If you have your air intake cover installed, clean out the air box. You can do this with a cleaner of your choice and a wash brush or mitt. If you taped up your air box, skip this part.
Using a chain cleaner brush and a cleaning product of your choice (I use Scrubbing Bubbles. Yup, the bathroom stuff), scrub the chain and the sprocket thoroughly and remove all of the dirt and old chain lube. Most chain lubes have a wax in them and the stuff cakes on the chain and sprockets, so do your best to get the old stuff off during cleaning.
Lastly, scrub the bike one last time with a wash brush and make sure you get into the areas you couldn't get with a wash mitt. During this last part, I will usually spray scrubbing bubbles on the bike and then scrub it down with the brush. If you removed your seat, be sure to clean it as well.
Rinse off the whole bike starting from the top and working your way down.
Dry her up and slap on some lube!
Last thing you'll do is dry off the bike and then spray it down with some silicone spray. You'll also need to install a clean air filter and lube pivot points and your chain. Remember, if you did not spray out the air box, now is the time to clean it out.
Dry off the bike as best you can using a chamois or towel. Then hit it with some compressed air and get into all the areas you couldn't dry by hand. Get as much water off the bike as possible. Water will corrode metal parts, and your bike is mostly metal.......so, yeah.....dry it off!
Use a silicone spray of your choice and hit all the plastics and rubber components. I hit the entire bike with this stuff. Just make sure not to spray it on your controls (i.e. levers, grips, seat, pegs, etc.). I find Motul's Shine & Go orMaxima's SC1 works well.
After that, hit the pivot points of your pegs and the pivot point of your kick starter and whatever other points you like with the lubricant of your choosing. Keep in mind, lubes like WD-40 will attract dirt, so try not to spray it on seals.
Last thing to do is lube up the chain and your DONE!
Cleaning your bike can be a pain, but it is worth it to keep it clean. It helps resale value, preserves parts, and is part of the maintenance process of owning a dirt bike.
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