Waxing your motorcycle is a simple and easy way to keep it looking shiny, clean, and ready to hit the road. There are many different types of waxes and protective products that will benefit your Harley, no matter what kind you ride, and many reasons to take the time to properly wax and detail. Demon’s Cycle is here to help. Check out our catalog for tools and materials and keep reading this great guide for expert advice on waxing your motorcycle.
Why To Wax
There are many reasons to wax your motorcycle, including some that go beyond the outer shine and gleam. Here are just a few.
It Keeps Your Bike Looking Nice
Let’s start with the obvious benefit. You’ll want to break out the wax before your next automotive event or rally race because it makes your bike really shine. A short and simple wax will make it easy to take pride in your ride without any expensive upgrades or customizations.
It Helps Protect Your Bike
When you wax your bike, you’re not just giving it a cosmetic upgrade. You’re also taking the time to protect it from sun and water damage that occurs simply by going out for a ride. A day at the car show or time spent out on the open road means exposure to the elements, and with a simple home wax job, you won’t need to worry about it.
It Extends Your Paint Job
In addition to exposure to water and UV rays, you also have to protect your bike against dirt, debris, and organic matter that can damage or tarnish the paint and lead to costly repairs. When you wax regularly, you’re helping to keep your paint safe, so you can put on a lot more miles before the next touch-up.
It’s Good For Your Chrome
The benefits of wax don’t stop at the paint job. Waxing is also great for keeping the chrome on your Harley looking shiny and lasting long. It works to repel water, which helps keep the chrome from corroding and reduces the need for costly repairs and fixes.
It Saves You Money
You can find excellent waxing and detailing products without spending a lot of money. Protecting your paint can save you time on services and repairs and money at the shop, so it’s always worth it.
How to Wax Your Motorcycle and What to Know
What to Know Before You Wax Your Harley
How often you wax your motorcycle really depends on what kind of products you use and what kind of riding you do. Your environment plays a huge role in the level of protection that the wax can provide your motorcycle, and if you ride often versus rarely, you’ll want to plan to wax more.
That said, it’s a good idea to wax your bike a few times a year. The more you wash it and get the dirt and debris off, the better, but it’s worth waxing your motorcycle every few months or quarter of a year. If you’ve done extreme riding or gotten caught in rough weather, your bike could benefit from a wax, as well.
Waxing your bike is easy, especially with the products available here at Demon’s Cycle. Here’s how to get started.
Step One: Allow Your Bike to Cool and Grab Your Gear
It’s always a good idea to wash and wax your bike in the shade, as excessive changes in temperature can have an adverse effect on the paint and even cause water damage or bubbling. Let your bike cool down for the same reason, then grab your gear, including:
Motorcycle shampoo or cleaner
Cleaners for chrome, aluminum or leather
Microfiber cloths and cotton cloths
Pick up gear from your favorite brands or check into the best products for your specific bike before you begin.
Note: You don’t want to use full strength automotive cleaners on your motorcycle, since they can cause damage to your bike, so dilute them or use motorcycle-specific products. Also, never use household cleaners or soaps, as they’re very abrasive and can cause minor scratches and paint deterioration.
Step Two: Protect Your Bike
Remove your saddlebags and leather seat and set them to the side where they won’t get wet. You also want to carefully cover your battery and your exhaust, so your bike won’t suffer any side effects from water damage.
Step Three: Clean the Debris
Start by giving your motorcycle a rinse to get off the big dirt and debris first. You’ll want to have two buckets on hand, one for the soap mixture and the other for the warm water you will be using to clean off your sponge or cloth. You want to be very careful to avoid wiping with a dirty rag, as that can lead to paint damage and scratches.
Step Four: Wash Your Bike
Take care to wish your bike in a horizontal pattern. Circular movements can lead to the spread of dirt and the scratching of paint. Always use your second bucket to remove dirt and grime from the cloth before returning to the bike. If you have stuck on bugs or dirt, there are specific products that can help to remove them fully, and you can wash your chrome and polished metals carefully with your sponge or cloth. You can also detail your bike with specific products, depending on how deeply you want to clean.
Watch the color in your second bucket and swap it out for fresh water if it starts to get too dirty and use a spray or mist of water from the hose to clear away the soap.
Step Five: Tackle the Wheels
Your Harley’s wheels take on the brunt of the dirt and dust from the road, as well as grease and oils from the bike, itself. Depending on the kind of bike and wheels you have, you’ll usually want to start on the outside and work your way in with a combination of a scrub brush and microfiber cloths, since microfiber is better for chrome and polished metal surfaces. Always use the second bucket to avoid contamination and never use greasy products on the tires that might interfere with traction or grip.
Step Six: Dry Your Bike
It’s important to keep your bike out of the sun through the washing and waxing process, but especially when it’s time to dry. Harsh sunlight and heat can damage the paint or cause water spots that are difficult to remove, so you never want to use a hair dryer or other compressed air appliance to dry your bike.
Instead, simply fold a microfiber cloth in half twice and use each side until they’re soaked through, as this is the best way to protect your bike and prevent streaks or water spots.
Step Seven: Re-Lube the Chain
While you’ve done your best to protect the vulnerable spots on your bike, it’s expected that some water and soap will still get where you don’t want it, including the motorcycle chain. Your best bet is to give it a spritz of lube to ensure it’s safe and reliable for the next time you hit the road.
Step Eight: Wax Your Motorcycle
There are many different waxing and polishing products on the market, so it’s a good idea to do a little research and find out the best one to fit your motorcycle’s needs. The wax will help to seal in the cleaning you just spent the day doing and, as listed above, will protect your motorcycle against environmental damages, dirt, and debris as you ride.
Grab a fresh microfiber cloth for this step and focus on one section of your bike at a time. This is to ensure that you get an even coat of wax. Congrats! You’ve washed and waxed your bike and protected it for months of riding and displaying at shows!
While washing and waxing your bike properly can take time, it’s worth it to know that your paint is protected and that you can ride with peace of mind. When it comes to detailing your motorcycle, you can go a lot further, cleaning and polishing each individual section of the motorcycle, which we’ll cover in another article. For now, if you have questions on keeping your bike running right or you’re on the search for parts you can trust, our team here at Demon’s Cycle has you covered. Check out our growing catalog and give us a call today!