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Mods - if this is in the wrong place, please feel free to move it!

I posted a thread up in the General section (about a guy on a UK forums' Ducati 1098s, and how clean / lovely he keeps it, plus his own (aha hum) 'performance upgrades (well you can definitely say that on a Ducati 1098s).

Anyway, having asked for some tips on keeping things 'tip top' (specially over the winter months (okay all you Southern US / Australian and North Island NZers can stop reading now:D)

This is what he kindly said with regards to general washing and which I feel might be even more appropriate in the months ahead (if you plan to ride in the winter months:

Between you and me, the reason most bikes look less than their best, is people don't pay enough attention to the smaller details, as this is what sets a bike apart from one that looks OK and one that looks pristine. These are what take the time. I use a lot of different products and from experience, the cheaper ones are not worth the money and at best dont really deliver and at worst damage the bike.

If you do intend on riding your bike through the winter, liberally apply a good oil based penetrant to ALL the nuts, bolts and fasteners on the bike, especially any nickel or cadmium plated parts. Even at the price they are, Ducati still manufacture to a budget, so these are the parts that will corrode first. Next aluminium. Again either spray on or wipe a thin film of ACF50 or similar over these surfaces. The ball ended joints of the pedal linkages and ride height adjusters also is one area where corrosion sets in fast. By far and away the most negected area is the final drive. Lubing the chain is good practice, but dirt and grit accumulate here like flies on food. I regularly remove the front sprocket cover and degrease the area, before relubing the whole chain. Profi Dry Lube is the best chain lubricant as it is a dry (once applied) chain wax, that leaves little if any mess or fling on your rear wheel. WD40 is useful for removing oil and tar from the bike.

If you have the additional cash, consider having a Ventureshield kit fitted, it is expensive but protects all the vulnerable areas of the bike from stone chip damage. I have also fitted both radiator and oil cooler guards, as again these are subject to quite a pounding from stones and debris thrown up from the front wheel.

If my bike is really filthy here is what I do:

First strip off all the bodywork, except the seat uinit and nose fairing (unless these areas are harbouring a lot of dirt underneath, there is little point removing them. Next, with the bike on paddock stands, liberally spray the bike (and I mean everywhere) with a mild degreaser or citrus based product. Allow to this work into the dirt. DONT use a brush on the wheels (if painted) as this will scratch the paint. Next using a hose rinse the cleaner off. Dont direct any water jet directly at any electronics, just allow the water to trickle over the bike. I usually tie a couple of plastic bags over the exhaust outlets when washing the bike and one over the battery, ECU.

Once the water has drained away, start the bike and let it run for a couple of minutes. No more than this otherwise any water on painted surfaces will dry too quickly and leave mineral deposits which are hard to remove especially on a noticeable area of the bike. Next over the entire engine bay area I usually use an atomiser bottle, filled with rubbing alcohol and water to remove any residual oil or grease, this can be allowed to drain or evaporate off. Then a final rinse with the hose and allow the bike to dry naturally out of direct sunlight. Dry any painted surfaces at this point of excess water and remove any droplets as these will leave mineral deposits if you dont. Remove any excess water that has pooled in the engine area by soaking it up with a soft clean towel. I usually degrease the inside of the fairings as well, rinse and allow to dry, especially the sound deadening panels inside. Put these to one side. Next spray the alcohol water mix over the tank seat and nose cone. Gently wipe the areas down with a lint free cloth or microfibre cloth. Then assuming there are no other contaminants on the paintwork such as dead bugs or tar, which should be removed by hand with a natural sponge and lots of very hot water and a mild detergent (I dont use car sponges ever as they are crap and very abrasive on paint), I apply the first layer of Carnauba wax. Leaves this to harden for 15 mins then wipe off using a clean lint free or microfibre cloth, use a separate one to apply and another to remove the wax.

I repeat this process again on each panel. Replace the bodywork and do the same to the fairings. I also apply wax to the wheels, being careful not to get any on the tyres. As for all the smaller details of which there are many, these usually involve the use of a small rag, soaked in either meths (really good on black plastic parts (dont use that awful spray on silicone crap) and or WD40 to wipe over metal parts, and a combination of polishes and waxes on areas like the cockpit (top yoke, switches, instrument console etc). I am not trying to teach you how to suck eggs, but ultimately any bike because of it's intricacies and nooks and crannies, is by virtue awkward to clean, and therefore takes time to do properly and thoroughly. To carry out all the above, would take me the best part of a whole day possibly two. If I take the bike out for a ride, then afterwards, normally I just use a quick spray on detailer (Meguiars makes a good one) which is basically a cleaner / top up wax, that will quickly remove any spots, flies, tar etc and can have the bike back to it's original state in less than an hour. I only do a complete stripdown if the bike has been out in a downpour else, you could wash it with the bodywork on, since in light rain, water barely penetrates the internal engine bay area or up under the tail, to the extent that a quick clean will no longer suffice.

Hopefully this ought to answer your questions if not PM me. Sorry the message was a bit long but you did ask!!!!

Regards

Rod

Top (free) advice.

Now this is what makes the biking community such a nice place to be.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks

All down to Topolino as the guy is known on a few UK forums.

Has been giving me additional tips, all of which should help keep my bike looking like it lived in the Southern US, or virtually anywhere in Aus or NZ!:D
 

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underside cleaning

I understand the main part of the post about cleaning. however, I am asking about ONLY the underside. with my bmw 1100gs I would go to a self-service auto wash and spray the underside with the high power detergent and rinse. it cleaned up all of the grease and road grime with no ill effects.
with my 98 triumph sprint I am wondering if I can do the same, ONLY for the underside, definitely not on any panels or electronics. I would spray only around the centerstand and frame.
is this ok, or will it hurt anything? any seals that could be damaged down there?
I also figure that I would have to relube the chain afterward, but of course, no problem there.
thanks
lee
 

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Amorall makes a wheel and tire cleaner that I have found to be VERY effective on the bottom half of the bike. I have accidently gotten some on my body work, but it didnt hurt it, though I washed it off within a few minutes. Itdoesnt have any shine agents so its safe to use on you tires too. gets all the road grime and grease, and brake dust. I would try to avoid the chain though.
 

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Lee
I personally will not use a high pressure hose (like you find at commercial car washes) for cleaning anything on any bike. There is just too much of a chance of forcing water in places you really don't want it, bearings, electrical connections etc. Even with my hose spray off using home water pressure i am careful just how forcefully i direct water at the bike, perhaps i'm being overcautious but you can get water into some pretty fine tolerances when using it under high pressure.
 

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2 days to clean a motorcycle ? i have a life,thank GOD in the deep south.
 

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Here's a nice set of videos on how to clean your bike. Doing it this way is not a thing you would do every time you clean the bike but maybe once a year for a really good overhaul.

Clean your motorcycle
Part one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HREqf4wIukA
Part two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iJ5WDHk_N8&feature=related
Part three http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUh93do88II&feature=related
Part four http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K_ms8kCysk&feature=related
Part five http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjHwB7dsi-0&feature=related
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great vids

Lazarus Long - great vids, well found and thanks for putting them up there!:D
 

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S100

We just got about 6-8" of snow last week, followed by some 50 degree weather on the weekend. The snow was melting, the streets clear of snow and ice, but full of salt and muck. I had to take the bike out on Sunday. I polished the plastic with some polish/sealant, and sprayed the mechanicals with a protectant oil based product. I rode for about an hour, dodging wet streets, puddles, and manuevering the occasional wet sweeping turn. Thinking of how cruddy my bike must be getting, I cut my ride short and returned home. Yep, it was pretty dirty. A guy at work put me on to some S100 bike cleaner. I picked some up saturday. It says to spray on, do not let dry, and hose off. Use a sponge on the heavily soiled difficult to remove stuff. Well, I got the hose out of the basement, hooked up the nozzle, sprayed the S100 on the plastic, chrome, exhaust parts(cold of course), most of the dirty lower half of the bike, and then turned on the hose. Wow! This stuff is amazing. Everything just came right off...it was gone. Toweled off the water with some green poly something soft towels I have, and it was done. I don't think it took me 5 minutes. I mean I sprayed this stuff on, hosed it off, and that was that. I hit the mechanicals with the protectant quickly, put the cover on, hooked up the battery tender, and put her to bed. That S100 is really good stuff. You might want to give it a try.

When the weather gets better here, I'll pull the bodywork and give her a good thorough cleaning.

Charlie
 

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Did I really need a bike washing video?! I learned a few things...and I'm not as obsessive/compulsive as Nick...
 

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Here's a product I use: www.fw1shine.com

It's a waterless cleaner-wax and is absolutely incredible. You can use it on metal, plastic, glass, you name it. It cuts right through tar, bugs, and the very difficult to remove black gunk inside the triple exhaust tips.

I bought it from some guy selling it at a gas station, which is something I've never done before. I was a bit leary until he did a quick demo on my car.

It takes very little and lasts a long time and I'll gladly buy more when I run out of it.
 

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WD-40. Love the stuff. Cleans up the wheels, bugs, chain splatter, and black plastic parts including mirror plastic. I also use it to clean the fairing and plastic tank(07 model Sprint ST) when I don't want to use soap and a bucket, then wipe it dry and buff with a clean dry cloth.
Finish of with window cleaner on mirrors and screen and you're done :)

Local Triumph and Ducati dealer uses 'Mr Sheen' on plastics, and they swear by it. I've tried it, and it works ok, but it's not as good at getting the crap off as WD-40. Works well for a shine once clean though.
 
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