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Metal Guitarist
5,201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before you turn on the hose and crack open the Harley Sunwash , remember to do some simple things that can make a huge difference and help you avoid dreaded scratching:

1. Remove rings, jewelry, watches and anything else that might scratch your bike as you clean. Motorcycle jackets with metal buckles, zippers and studs can be especially hazardous to paint.
2. Don't try to wash your bike right after a long ride. Make sure your bike is cool to the touch. Not only can a hot engine and pipes burn you, but they can scar your motorcycle by making waxes and cleaners act differently.
3. If your bike is caked with mud or heavy soil, rinse it off first. Sponging over crusted dirt can scratch your paint.
4. Beware the old sponge -- it may have dirt trapped inside that will scratch your finish.
Rinse thoroughly from the top down, paying careful attention to complete removal of cleaner, especially from nooks and crannies.

5. During rinsing, you may splatter cleaner from one part of the bike to another, so go back and give the bike a light misting.

6. In drying your bike, pay close attention to areas where water tends to puddle.

7. Leaf blowers make excellent bike dryers. Again, make certain the blower is clean. Compressed air is not good for drying, because oil and rust particles are often inside the tank.

Clean your wheels -- and pay special attention to the dreaded galvanic corrosion. In the course of normal use, particles from brake dust get on your wheels. If neglected, these non-compatible metals can react to one another -- creating galvanic corrosion -- and produce pitting on your wheels. The result is costly refinishing of the wheel. In other words, wheel dirt is a whole new kind of dirt -- so it needs a whole new kind of cleaner. Look for a cleaner made specifically for wheels.

As you clean and rinse your bike, be very aware of how water reacts. This will give you an indication of what to do next.

1. If the water beads into small round droplets, you probably don't need to polish your bike.
2. If the water sheets or forms oblong droplets, it may be time for a polish job.

If your bike is older than six months, professional detailers recommend a pre-cleaning or cleansing. Use Harley® Glaze Polish and Sealant to deal with imperfections, slight scratches, dulling and stains.
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