How to Clean Your Motorcycle? (Best Tips for Cleaner Bike)

Cleaning My Motorcycle at Car Wash

Cleaning your motorcycle is certainly the first thing on the list of motorcycle maintenance. A nice and cleaned motorcycle will look nice on the road, and it will seem like you just brought it from a moto shop. Not only that, but most importantly, it will make your parts last much longer, and you won’t have to pay a lot of money for paying a mechanic or buying necessary parts.

With that being said, we will lead you through the cleaning process, so your bike is maintained as it needs to be.

So how do you clean a motorcycle? As a general rule, you need to protect the motorcycle’s sensitive parts not to damage them while washing your bike. After doing so, use a pressure washer to remove all grime particles. A sponge, brush, and soap water will help you clean your bike completely. Dry your bike and finish with polishing.

These were the basics of motorcycle cleaning. Stay with us since we will give you a more detailed procedure and all others that come with motorcycle cleaning.

How Do You Clean Your Motorcycle?

As with any other motorcycle process, the cleaning must be done correctly and adequately. Cleaning isn’t just splashing your motorcycle with some water, and that’s it. It involves much more, and it can be done in a right and wrong way. Luckily, we will show you how to do it the right way in this article.

To perform this job, you will need some equipment and here is the list of it.

The Things You Need for Cleaning Your Motorcycle:

Sponges, Towels or Paper and Brushes

You will have to scrub your motorcycle surface, and this needs to be carefully performed not to damage any motorcycle surface. This is why a sponge and brushes will be required to clean all the grease, dirt, mud, or any other sediment that has accumulated during rides. After you clean all the dirt, you will need to use a towel or paper to dry your entire bike.

Pressure Washer

A pressure washer will make the cleaning process much easierfaster, and more efficient. It is a washing machine that utilizes high water pressure to clean away all the grime, dust, paint, or any other dirt from the surface or, in this case, your motorcycle.

CAUTION: Be careful while using a pressure washer and don’t put it close to the bearings and bolts because the pressure that is created is very high, and it can damage both bolts and bearings.

A Motorcycle Stand or Kickstand

A motorcycle stand is a very handy piece of your maintenance equipment, and every rider should have it in his garage. Although it is considered a must-have for any service and maintenance processes, you can perform your cleaning process without it by putting your bike in its kickstand.

A motorcycle stand will be helpful when you change your tires or work on your drive chain.

If you want to learn How to Fix a Motorcycle Chain, click on this link for more information.

For the readers who want to learn How to Change Motorcycle Tires, follow this link for more information.

There are many types of motorcycle stand like scissor stand, fixed stand, or lift stand.

Cleaning Solution

The cleaning solution will help you clean all the grease accumulated over time. You need to pick a grease-cutting soap that, combined with warm water, creates a foam that removes all of the dirt away and leaves your motorcycle clean after it is applied to the grime.

You can look for motorcycle cleaning solutions in your local auto-moto shop or search for them online. Home dishwashing liquid soap will work fine if you don’t want to waste your time and money.

These are the thing and equipment needed to clean your bike. Now let’s begin with the cleaning process.

Step 1: Remove or Protect Any Sensitive or Fragile Motorcycle Parts

Some motorcycle parts shouldn’t be cleaned and washed with water. You need to remove or cover these parts to protect them from getting damaged.

The parts you need to approach with caution are:

  • Seat (because seat foam can be damaged by water)
  • Muffler
  • Air Filter
  • Airbox

Step 2: Use a Pressure Washer

Night wash after the Ride

After protecting or removing motorcycle parts that need to be maintained with caution, you need to take a pressure washer and use it to clean any bigger mud or dirt particle that may be based on your motorcycle. This goes especially for dirt bike lovers like myself.

Step 3: Use a Sponge and Brush

After you have cleaned all the dirt, you need to scrub off the mud left on your motorcycle, and to do so, use a soft bristle brush not to damage or scratch your bike.

Don’t rush this step, and make sure that you clean all the dust and grime off your bike, so it is perfectly cleaned. In this step, you will also need to clean wheels, swing arm, chain, sprockets, and this is where the brush will come in handy.

Step 4: Use a Sponge and Liquid Soap

Once you have rinsed and scrubbed the mud off your motorcycle, it is time to use soap, water, and a sponge to clean your motorcycle. Soapy water and sponge will get your bike cleaned since it will clean any remaining dirt or grease from your motorcycle.

Step 5: Dry Your Motorcycle

After entirely cleaning your motorcycle, you need to dry it thoroughly. To do so, you will need to use papera towelcloth, or cotton to dry the motorcycle and wipe the water. If you have trouble reaching some spots on your bike, use compressed air to dry these areas.

You will prevent any water or moisture from developing rust or growing mildew by drying your motorcycle.

How to Make Your Bike Look New?

Although cleaning your motorcycle thoroughly is the best way to make your bike look like you just bought a brand new bike, there are a couple of more ways to make your motorcycle look fresh and nice.

Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber cloths are made out of nylon and polyester, and when you touch them, it feels like you have a nice soft towel in your hands. Unlike cotton cloths, microfiber cloth doesn’t leave small balls or marks, and it will make your bike look like a brand new model.

Note: Another microfiber benefit is that it will absorb all water from your motorcycle surface, which means your bike will be totally clean and dry.


WD-40 is a fantastic product that will save your motorcycle parts from rusting and corrosion forming while at the same time it will lubricate motorcycle moving parts.

WD-40 means Watter Displacement 40th formula. This solvent is used on motorcycle moving parts such as motorcycle chains and for cleaning gunk sediments that can cause your bike moving parts to get stuck.

This is a product that I think every rider should have in his garage.

Metal Polish Cream

Metal polishing will have a significant role in keeping your motorcycle clean. Since you need to wash your motorcycle to keep it nice and clean, water can cause the metal parts to rust, break off, or look like they are worn out. This is where metal polish cream comes into play and saves the day.

Metal polish cream will give a nice shiny look to your motorcycle titanium, chrome, aluminum, steel, and other metallic components.

Note: You need to clean your bike before applying motorcycle polish cream to make it work as it supposes to.

Is It Smart to Use a Pressure Washer on Motorcycle Engine?

When you clean your motorcycle with a pressure washer, it cleans your motorcycle very well, and this is because it uses a high pressure to clean dirt, mud, grease, and other harmful particles from your motorcycle’s surface, even in the hard to reach spots.

This high pressure that is responsible for the quality wash is the reason why you need to be careful using a pressure washer on your engine, and you mustn’t point the washer directly on your bike’s engine because it can lead to damaging your motorcycle.

Tip: I would personally recommend you use a hosepipe to clean your motorcycle’s engine since it can’t cause any damage to the engine because there is no high pressure involved in the cleaning process.

CAUTION: Be careful while using a pressure washer because although motorcycles are water-resistant, they are not waterproof, which means that you need to be cautious while using a pressure washer to clean them.

You can use a pressure washer for your tires, but you need to be careful if you have some sticker on your rims not to get directly on them because it will rip them off like it did on my bike.

My Ripped Fluorescent Sticker on My Rim

Is It Smart to Clean Motorcycle Air Filters with Water or Pressure Washer? 

A nice and clean motorcycle looks amazing from the outside, but what about its inner parts?

Your systems inside the bike need to be cleaned and serviced regularly for your motorcycle to run correctly. Keeping your inside clean will spare your time and money since you won’t have to take your motorcycle to a mechanic to perform some kind of repair process.

Your air filter can be cleaned with water or vacuum cleaner, but DO NOT use a pressure washer to clean your air filter because its high pressure will literally destroy your air filter.

If you use water to clean your air filter, you need to make sure to dry it thoroughly before returning it back to your motorcycle since the air filter needs to be completely dry.

If there is any water left on the air filter, it can lead to severe issues. My advice to you is to buy a new air filter and not to bother with cleaning the old one.

The Final Touch

So after you have washed your motorcycle with a pressure washer, used WD-40 to lubricate the moving parts, applied metal polish cream, and used a microfiber cloth for finishing the cleaning process, your motorcycle should now look as good as new.

The only thing you need to do is double-check and see if there are any metal parts left to be lubricated and if there are any spots still wet and you need to dry them.

That’s it; your bike is now ready to go and to get dirty again.


So in his article, you have learned how important a clean motorcycle is, and this is how I personally clean my motorcycle and how my friends do it as well. If you find any doubts while cleaning your motorcycle, open this article and follow the process step-by-step as written above. Here are the things you need to pay attention to the most, and you shouldn’t have any problems if you follow the procedure.

I sometimes go to the local car wash and use their pressure washer, and I have the paper on my side to make it dry as soon as I wash it. Luckily a local car washer is near my home, so I can even ride home and finalize the cleaning process in my garage or outside, depending on the weather conditions.


Hello there fellow motorcycle enthusiasts; I’m Mihael. The first motorcycle I had was a scooter Gilera vxr 200 from 2003. This is the motorcycle I fell in love with, which brought me into the moto world. Since then, I have been riding many kinds of bikes, from dirt bikes to race bikes. At the moment, I have a Kawasaki Z750 from 2004, and all I can say is that it is a hell of a bike. I have been riding motorcycles for the last 10 years, and during this period, I have been to many locations where I would probably not be without my bike. My goal is to give you the best advice and tips possible that I have been using myself and that all of my biker friends find helpful to them as well.

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