Dirt bike riding is an exhilarating activity for those who love adventure and fun in the great outdoors. But, you know that after a long day on the trails, your bike will be caked in dirt and grime. The best way to keep your bike running smoothly and to prevent damage is to give it a thorough wash after every ride. In this blog post, we’ll give you some expert tips on how to wash a dirt bike without doing any damage.
How to Wash a Dirt Bike in Simple Steps
Step 1: Remove and Cover the Sensitive Parts of Your Dirt Bike
Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s essential to remove any sensitive parts of your dirt bike. This way, you’ll avoid damaging them with water or cleaning materials. Some of the components that you should remove and cover include the air filter, spark plugs, and the exhaust pipe. Also, if your bike has electronics, cover these using a plastic bag or towel. You should also remember to protect your bike’s chain, brakes, and wheel bearings.
Step 2: Hose it Off
Many people make a common mistake of using a high-pressure hose to wash the dirt off their bikes. While this might seem like a quick and efficient way to clean your bike, using a high-pressure hose can cause significant damage to the bike. Instead, use a garden hose and attach a low-pressure nozzle to it. This will ensure that the bike remains clean without causing any damage. Make sure that you aim the hose downwards when washing the bike to avoid water from entering the engine.
Step 3: Scrub it Down
Once you’ve hosed off the large dirt chunks, it’s time to scrub the bike down for a thorough wash. To do this, you’ll need a bucket of soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. You can use any bike-specific cleaning agents or regular car soaps. Dip the brush into the soapy water and give your bike a good scrubbing. Make sure that you use a soft-bristled brush to avoid causing scratches on your bike’s body. Pay attention to the bike’s rims, engine, and any hard-to-reach areas.
Step 4: Sponge it Up
After scrubbing, you need to give the bike a thorough sponge down. Use a soft, damp sponge to remove any remaining grime or dirt from the bike. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies, and pay special attention to any areas where dirt tends to accumulate.
Step 5: Use Some Bike Wash
Once you’re done sponging, it’s time to use some bike wash. Bike wash products are specially formulated to clean all the intricate parts of a dirt bike without damaging them. Look for a product that’s specifically designed for your bike, and follow the directions on the label. Bike wash is also great when it comes to leaving a lot of shine and protection.
Step 6: Dry Off
After washing, it’s important to dry off your bike as quickly as possible. Use a clean, dry cloth or towel to wipe down the bike, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies. If you have an air compressor, you can use it to blow off any water that’s trapped in hard-to-reach areas. Be careful not to use too much force, as this can damage your bike’s sensitive parts.
Step 7: Take Care of that Chain
The chain is an important part of your dirt bike and should never be ignored during cleaning. Use a cleaner specifically made for chains (a degreaser and chain cleaner, perhaps) and a brush to clean your bike’s chain. Make sure you don’t overdo it with the product as it can eventually damage the chain.
Step 8: Get Scuff-Free
Do you have any stubborn scuffs or scratches on your dirt bike? After cleaning, it’s time to buff them out. Use a polishing compound to remove any scuffs or scratches on the plastic parts of your bike. Apply it to the affected areas with a soft cloth and rub gently until the scratches are gone. This will not only make your bike look better, but will also protect it from further damage.
Step 9: Put It Back Together
Once you’ve cleaned and dried your dirt bike, it’s time to put everything back together. Carefully remove the plastic bags and old towels from the sensitive parts you covered earlier. If you removed anything else, like a seat or wheels during cleaning for easy access, secure them back in their proper place. Make sure everything is tightly screwed in and back to normal.
Washing a dirt bike can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an essential part of maintaining its performance and appearance. By following these simple steps, you can keep your bike clean and in top condition without causing any damage. Remember to take your time and be careful not to spray water into the sensitive parts of your bike. By keeping your dirt bike clean, you’ll also extend its lifespan and be able to enjoy many more rides on the trails.
Other Things to Consider
1. Choose the right cleaning supplies
When shopping for cleaning supplies, you must consider purchasing motorcycle cleaning products. Standard household cleaning products such as bleach and harsh acids can corrode or strip the surface of your bike components. Motorcycle cleaning products, on the other hand, will remove dirt, dust, mud, and other types of debris gently without causing damage. The best cleaning solutions to consider include soap, degreasers, and chain cleaners.
2. Start by getting rid of loose debris
Before washing your dirt bike, make sure you get rid of any loose debris. Use a soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth to brush off loose dirt and debris. This will make it easier to clean the grime once you start washing the bike.
3. Consider using a pressure washer
Washing your bike by hand takes lots of time and effort. However, using a pressure washer ensures quick and efficient cleaning. When using a pressure washer, it’s essential to avoid the engine area and the bearings as the high-pressure water can damage the seals and bearings. Also, remember to avoid point-blank pressure on delicate areas such as wiring, switches, gauges, and exhaust tips.
4. Take care of the chain
The chain is a crucial component in your dirt bike, and neglect can lead to extra expenses in maintenance. Always clean your chain with a specialty formula designed for your bike to get rid of the grease and gunk. Avoid using degreasers as they can strip off the oil and cause serious damage to your chain. After cleaning the chain, dry it with a clean rag, leaving no moisture for rust and other types of corrosion.
5. Drying your dirt bike
It is essential to dry your dirt bike once you are done cleaning. Moisture left behind can lead to rust and corrosion, which can be incredibly detrimental to your machine. Wiping your dirt bike with a clean, dry rag is an easy way to remove excess water and leave your bike looking shiny and new.
Things to Avoid
1. Avoid Caustic or Abrasive Detergents:
When it comes to cleaning a dirt bike, using the correct detergent is key. While it may be tempting to use any household cleaner or detergent you have available, avoid caustic or abrasive detergents that can strip away the protective coatings and paint from your bike. Instead, use a mild detergent specifically formulated for motorcycles or a water-based non-toxic cleaner.
2. Remove Mud Chunks By Hand:
Before you start washing your dirt bike, it’s essential to remove any mud, dirt, and debris from your bike by hand. Make use of a soft brush or washcloth to remove any big chunks of mud or debris that have accumulated in nooks and crannies. This step not only makes your cleaning process easier but also prevents any further paint or coating damage that can occur during washing.
3. Take Care when Pressure Washing:
While pressure washing is an effective way to get rid of caked-on dirt, sand, and mud, it’s important to take care not to damage the sensitive parts of your bike. High-pressure water sprays can damage the bike’s electrical system, bearings, and suspension if done improperly. For this reason, it’s best to use a low-pressure setting when using the pressure washer on your dirt bike.
4. Use a 40-Degree Nozzle:
Using a 40-degree nozzle on your pressure washer will help to provide a wider spray pattern that is less likely to cause damage to your dirt bike. The wider spray also helps to prevent water from getting inside the airbox. However, when using any type of pressure washing, do not direct the spray directly onto any wire harnesses, electrical connections, or exposed rubber.
5. Use an Airbox Wash Cover and Muffler Plug:
When washing your dirt bike, you want to avoid getting water in places where it doesn’t belong inside the airbox, the muffler, and the carburetor. To prevent water damage in these critical areas, use an airbox wash cover and muffler plug to cover these components. When using these covers, be sure to keep them secured and watertight while washing your dirt bike.
In conclusion, washing your dirt bike may look like an effortless task. However, to make it successfully, you must take the precaution to ensure that you don’t cause any damage. By using mild detergents, removing chunks of mud by hand, taking care when pressure washing, and using a 40-degree nozzle, you can protect your dirt bike during the cleaning process. Always remember to use an airbox wash cover and muffler plug. Failure to take these safety measures can cause damage that is costly and permanent. Follow our tips and tricks to keep your dirt bike clean and running for years to come.