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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've owned my current ride for just over a year now, and have about 10,000 miles on the odometer, and while I've often cleaned the windscreen and even wiped some gunk off the gas tank and fenders, I have yet to actually wash the bike. But yesterday I rode through rain for a good part of the 6 hours I was riding, and the bike is really dirty and water spotted now. It made me realize that the bike has never been fully washed. I hadn't noticed until today that to remove the leather saddle bags I would have to undo 8 bolts (I won't bother) and might have to actually lie down on the ground to clean the wheels! I guess I will give up riding for a day and search my garage for the carwash soap and some drying towels and just do it. I wonder if I will recognize the bike afterward.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Be careful. I washed mine for the first time in well over a year two weeks ago and I'm still trying to find the electrical problem that keeps blowing the headlights and spot lights. Either the water helped a rubbed wire to finally make contact with the frame or the water helped with corrosion at a ground. Danged if I can find it. I'm leanning to a ground because I can turn it on a it won't blow the fuse. I can even start it and let it idle for 10 minutes and it won't blow. But put it in gear, go, and somewhere sometime it blows. Next task is taking the front fairing off I guess and start tracing wires. Everything in the immediate area of bot lights looks good. I hate electrical problems!!!!!!!!:mad:
 

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OP,

Make sure to buy some rubber plugs to plug out your exhaust(s), tape off the ignition (keyhole) with duct tape, along with the horn, and only used light water pressure on the bike. No need for a high pressure hose.

Be careful. I washed mine for the first time in well over a year two weeks ago and I'm still trying to find the electrical problem that keeps blowing the headlights and spot lights. Either the water helped a rubbed wire to finally make contact with the frame or the water helped with corrosion at a ground. Danged if I can find it. I'm leanning to a ground because I can turn it on a it won't blow the fuse. I can even start it and let it idle for 10 minutes and it won't blow. But put it in gear, go, and somewhere sometime it blows. Next task is taking the front fairing off I guess and start tracing wires. Everything in the immediate area of bot lights looks good. I hate electrical problems!!!!!!!!:mad:
Well first see how many volts pass through the frame when you put it in gear, to gauge an idea of what it could be.

Otherwise leave your bike out in the sun and give it a rest for a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I probably will gently wet the bike down, then spray the S100 pretty much everywhere, then just rinse it off. Then I will dry it using chamois cloths. That likely will be the sum total of my washing my bike.

In recent years I have bought a new bike about every three years, or sometimes less. I probably could go without ever washing the bike and just let the dealer detail it after he takes it on a trade in.

The only part of a dirty bike that really gets to me is when the windscreen is bug or dirt covered. That I have to get cleaned up immediately. And a wet rag followed by a dry one on the gas tank, fenders and obvious chrome parts makes the bike look pretty good without actually washing it.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Otherwise leave your bike out in the sun and give it a rest for a few days.
That sucker has been in a 120º garage off and on for 2 weeks. It darn sure SHOULD be dry. Nah, the water just exposed a worn wire or poor ground SOMEWHERE. Pretty sure anyway.:thumbsdown:
 

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I'm always leary of washing bikes and car engines for the same reason, the dirt may be the only thing insulating a wire, and then if you remove the dirt...

You'll find it..keep looking..good luck!
 

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I wash my bike fairly regularly, maybe every month or two, but don't detail it very often. A couple of weeks ago, after doing some annual maintenance on it, I decided I wanted to clean my cast wheels which I have never done. After washing the whole bike including the wheels, I used some Turtle Wax All Metal Cleaner on the wheels. Let me tell you, my wheels looked brand new, that stuff did a fantastic job and without much rubbing. The wheels looked so good that I detailed the entire bike, taking the time to remove the windshield, saddle bags, sissy bar, luggage rack and all of the fancy round chrome bars around the edges of the fenders. It turned into a 4 hour job all that cleaning, polishing and waxing but in the end my bike truly looked brand new and made me enjoy riding it a lot more than when it's dirty. It absolutely looked 500% better than it does after a regular wash & dry job.
 

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We wash ours frequently. I use a polish on them at least 2 times a year. That really helps any rain just fly off when riding they don't water spot so badly and the bugs clean off easier. I've always thought bug guts and bird poo should NOT be left on too long or it does affect the paint. I know a lot of you say you would rather spend your time riding but IMO cleaning and polishing is part of the maintenance.
 
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I detail mine at the 1st of the riding season and at the end of the riding season. Other then that I wipe them down after riding and dry. I don't keep my bikes super clean but keep most of the dirt and bugs off of them.
 

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Driftless Rider
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I'm with CPulsar on this one. My bike gets detailed in the spring and fall. Other than that it's just a quick rinse and back on the road.
 

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The 43rd Poser
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I haven't washed a Harley in 8 years.

I clean them with detailers and sprays, but not a hose.

They get ridden in the rain plenty, so I'm not afraid of getting them wet, just don't like the idea of a dirty wet towel, sponge or cloth grinding dirt and grit into my paint.

Thought about putting it on the roll around jack, and giving the rims a good wet brushing, and maybe the lower engine cases... the wrinkle black is looking kinda nasty....
 

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^^^^ Yep, that's me as well. Bugs get taken off at every gas stop. I carry the detailers spray with me as well as a soft cloth. It might not be dust free though.:(
 

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I haven't washed any of my bikes with water in forever! I use my compresser to blow of most of the dust and dirt and then use motorcycle spray cleaners and waxes to detail the scoot. You could eat off my bikes.

On the occasion where the rims, tires, exhaust and underside of the engine has built up dirt on it, I have used the coin operated pressure washers from time to time.

Harley's have always had a problem with forced water getting into the handlebar switches, especially the 'KILL' switch as myself and LOTS of other HD riders found out in Sturgis, at a coin operated washer. Most all of the bikes either wouldn't start or if they did, they ran on 1 cylinder, popped and backfired. A squirt of WD40 into the kill switch housing cured the problem.

If you spray water on the engine, air filter, and gas tank, lots of it will end up in the coils, spark plug wires and potentially lots of other wires and connections to cause you trouble.

When I used to race in the deserts, mountains and tracks, in southern, CA, one of the most winning teams out there had bikes that always looked like they were born from a mud bog but they almost always won in their classes. A motorcycle magazine asked the owner why he never washed his bike but just left them filthy? He answered that everything that affects the running operation of his bikes are spotless. He said that he learned the hard way about what high pressure water can do to a bike, basically, it can ruin it.

As was mentioned, cover things with plastic bags and especially handlebar switches!

Sam:biggrin:
 

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I wash mine regularly, I've always worried about getting something wet that shouldnt get wet but my mind set is, I ride in the rain so................

But I do get it, riding in the rain isn't giving you the direct hit with the water, I do try to be careful when washing it.
 

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I used to think the same thing about getting things wet by washing but the thunderstorm we ran into the other night resembled a pressure washer more than a garden hose! I have a feeling anything that could get wet did.
:icon_cool:
I don't think I'm going to worry about getting water anyplace by washing it after surviving that with no ill effects.
 

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I hardly ever wash my bike. Maybe before a long trip with friends on a group ride but that's about it. I'd rather spend the time it takes to wash it actually riding it.
 
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