Jump to content

Keeping clean when on the road. (The bike, not me)


eddd

Recommended Posts

A few bugs are OK, a little mud is OK, but day after day of looking at my beautiful RT full of grime is too hard on me.

 

What do you use to clean things up when on an extended trip. I'll be gone for two or three weeks in July and don't want to carry my wash bucket and hose with me.

Link to comment

Carry a big can of Plexus. Spray it on and let it soak for a bit to loosen the dead bits, then wipe it off. Follow with a second clean hotel towel eek.gif to polish to a shine. Helps keep the next 'batch' from sticking so bad too!

Link to comment

Is Plexus safe to keep on the bike during the hot Summer months? I was afraid the can might burst.

 

+1 on the Plexus. That is some good stuff. I never bought it since I have so many car cleaners, etc. But the Plexus softens the bugs and cleans very easily.

Link to comment

I've had a can in my top box since I got the bike (July, 2005). Of course, the temperature rarely gets above 95 here. wink.gif

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

Honda cleaner and polish. Best stuff ever for this. Do carry a microfibre towel for the second application. First one gets the heavy stuff off. I usually will ask housekeeping or the front desk for a rag rather than using a hotel towel. I do use Plexus, BTW, just only on my face shield.

Link to comment
Where can I get Plexus? Don't recall ever having seen it.
I got a can yesterday from the BMW dealer for $10 (13oz).

 

I get microfiber towels from costco. Huge bag for @ $10.

Link to comment

I carry a chamois in the tail. I get it pretty wet and lay it flat on the nose/windscreen to soften things up and then wipe them down. After that, Plexus and a clean rag.

Link to comment

I have only found one motel/hotel unwilling to give me some old towels/washcloths to use on the bike, IF I asked them. They have almost been overjoyed that someone wasn't going to ruin good towels. FWIW.

Link to comment

I just got back from a 17 day trip (7,182km). I washed my bike 4 times...mostly for safety reasons. I don't ride looking thru the windshield but there are times when it is necessary. Also to keep all the lighting and reflective surfaces clean.

 

I carry a liter size locktop baggy with some lemon fresh 'Plege' handy wipes in their own locktop baggie, a small 'bug sponge', a 'handtowel' sized terry cloth towel and a small plastic container with my Turtle Wash detergent in it.

 

When I get to the hotel after checking in I ask the desk clerk if there is any possiblity of using a hose somewhere around the hotel. They will often check with 'engineering' or some other maintainence type who will be happy to provide a hose and hook it up for you. A couple of bucks goes a long way here...If that is not a possibility I take both plastic waste containers from the room, fill one with cold water, throw a cup in it, and the other half filled with warm soapy water.

 

Take a cold beer, ( remember that convience store you passed just before the hotel ?), proceed to the bike and enjoy a 30 minute break with your bike.

This is also a good way to check for damage from stones, possible fluid leaks, etc. Check oil level, tire pressures, etc.

 

Towel dry and cover. I never removed my GPS or my bungeed 'spare' riding gear, (mesh pants, boots and jacket in case it got really hot...), during the entire trip. I feel nobody would bother to remove a bike cover in a public parking lot unless they intend to steal the bike anyway.

 

Mind you I always parked where I could see the bike from my room. Peace of mind I guess...

 

Anyway that has been my routine for a number of years now, and thousands of miles on the road.

 

Have a safe journey!

 

Jim W.

Link to comment

I just did 9,000 kms to/from Torrey, Utah. I would clean the windscreen/plastic parts at the end of every day with Plexus/microfibre cloth. I "washed" the bike several times at various motels, using either a hose, or a water-filled gash bucket from my room along with cleaning rags/cloths that any place will happily give you if you ask. Do them a favour and don't dirty a hotel towel. I've never had a place refuse to give me cleaning rags. If using a gash bucket of water, I sometimes put a little shampoo in it. Otherwise, I just use warm water to get the major dirt off.

Link to comment
Is Plexus safe to keep on the bike during the hot Summer months? I was afraid the can might burst.

 

+1 on the Plexus. That is some good stuff. I never bought it since I have so many car cleaners, etc. But the Plexus softens the bugs and cleans very easily.

 

I did some research after you mentioned Plexus to me yesterday....seemed that Novus was more highly rated by the few posts I saw. Someone said it was like comparing Zaino vs Meguiars. Plus, 1 bottle I got down in Maryland in May of 2004 (21K miles later) is still kicking. Also, for those who don't know, its less than half the price (it has less, but also you use less apparently based on how long my bottle lasted vs Perry's can of Plexus). Just an FYI...

Link to comment

Even with all the "not to" recommendations, I sue a pressure washer when available (I have one at home). I wet it down with the hose first (or low pressure if at a car wash)then hit it with high pressure on the surfaces that don't have bearings etc. I think the pressure washer is excellent if used with caution.

Link to comment
Is Plexus safe to keep on the bike during the hot Summer months? I was afraid the can might burst.

 

+1 on the Plexus. That is some good stuff. I never bought it since I have so many car cleaners, etc. But the Plexus softens the bugs and cleans very easily.

 

I did some research after you mentioned Plexus to me yesterday....seemed that Novus was more highly rated by the few posts I saw. Someone said it was like comparing Zaino vs Meguiars. Plus, 1 bottle I got down in Maryland in May of 2004 (21K miles later) is still kicking. Also, for those who don't know, its less than half the price (it has less, but also you use less apparently based on how long my bottle lasted vs Perry's can of Plexus). Just an FYI...

 

Next time I'll try some of yours on my windscreen and compare the 2. I have no problem trying new stuff.

 

Anything is better than what that idiot at the gas station was doing on my windscreen.

Link to comment

Anything is better than what that idiot at the gas station was doing on my windscreen.

 

YES!!!! I wanted to punch that babbling dope for you!!!!

 

PS - keep in mind, its windshield cleaner....so we are probably over-analyzing a bit. Its not like using Novus will give you +5hp like a mirrored visor does! You can certainly try mine next time...

Link to comment

Anything is better than what that idiot at the gas station was doing on my windscreen.

 

YES!!!! I wanted to punch that babbling dope for you!!!!

 

PS - keep in mind, its windshield cleaner....so we are probably over-analyzing a bit. Its not like using Novus will give you +5hp like a mirrored visor does! You can certainly try mine next time...

 

I guess that idiot never saw a windscreen covered in bugs.

 

If you say the cleaner is good stuff, i'd like to try it.

 

A mirrored visor wont give the horsepower that a stripped headbolt does.

Link to comment

A mirrored visor wont give the horsepower that a stripped headbolt does.

 

You're confused, that results in -110HP.....as I am now RT-less.

Link to comment

After the June 06 UnRally in Gunnison, I tried Novus on someone's recommendation there. I didn't like it nearly as well as the Plexus I had been using, so to each his own I guess.

Link to comment
After the June 06 UnRally in Gunnison, I tried Novus on someone's recommendation there. I didn't like it nearly as well as the Plexus I had been using, so to each his own I guess.

smirk.gif

Link to comment
I carry a chamois in the tail. I get it pretty wet and lay it flat on the nose/windscreen to soften things up and then wipe them down. After that, Plexus and a clean rag.
I SAW A GUY IN TORREY USE THE SAMLL GARBAGE CAN FROM THE ROOM TO PUT WATER IN,thumbsup:THEN SOAKED THE BIKE LIKE YOU DID,THEN PLEXUS,,TRYED IT MY SELF,WORKS GREAT,,
Link to comment

I use a face towel wet with water to clean off the bugs ,then I spray plexes and wipe off with microfiber rag. The plexes is expensive and the water is free in hotel room. .Rince towel out when done and put on bathroom floor . My bike always looks good and thats the way I like it. thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

Plexus wipes off better, easier and cleaner than Novus. Either work well, the most important thing is not to use anything but microfiber cloth, I learned the hard way. Buy them by the sack.

Link to comment

I carry several microfiber towels with me. One wet to wipe down the windshield and then the bike and one to dry it off. If done daily you don't need soapy water. When the wet one gets grimy, throw it away and start a new one to dry using the old dry one as the new wet one. If it gets too grimy or muddy, go to a drive through car wash and use the high pressure hose very carefully on the wheels and lower parts of the bike. Usually this is only needed in dire circumstances. The microfiber towels are available in lots of auto parts stores as well as Target etc. Stay away from the hotel towels, makes the maids made when they see you using them!

Link to comment
maxfrankel

If its your windshield you want to maintain, I have always had great luck with Pledge. It dissolves the bugs and leaves an invisible coating on the windshield that makes it far easier to remove the splats! Its also cheap!

Link to comment

I use Pledge and I'm very happy with it. I also us spray washes, but stay away from electrical and wheel bearings and such.

 

I like to wash my bike in the motel parking lot with a waste-basket full of warm soapy water, and an old towel. Finish up with my Pledge, check everything over, and then I'm good to go in the morning.

Link to comment

Seriously, Pledge? The stuff designed for cleaning your wood coffee table? Please tell me you mean Plexus. Please!

Link to comment
DavidEBSmith

Here is a deep dark secret. Don't wash it.

 

Seriously. If you wash it, the next day's bugs and grime will attach themselves to the paint. Then you have to scrub the paint to get them off.

 

If you allow a layer of dirt and grime to build up, the bugs and schmutz stick to that layer of dirt. Then when you wash them off eventually, they come off really easily.

 

After I got back from Torrey, you could barely see what color my bike was. A little Meguiars Car Wash in a bucket and it all came off like magic.

 

The more you wash the bike, the more you're abrading the finish. So just let the protective layer of dirt build up and wash it once when you're home.

 

Time washing your bike is time that could be better spent riding. Free yourself from the need to keep your bike clean.

Link to comment

Seriously, Pledge? The stuff designed for cleaning your wood coffee table?

 

Yes Pledge. It's a old school salesman trick for brightening up worn out plastic (bikes or cars) for sale to suckers... um I mean customers. Works just fine on non worn plastic too, be it painted or otherwise. Lemony smell is a nice touch also wave.gif

Link to comment
Firefight911
You guys are funny.

 

lmao.gif

 

Dude, this is serious business we're talkin' here!!!

 

Just wait until Philby sees this. You'll see!!

Link to comment
If its your windshield you want to maintain, I have always had great luck with Pledge. It dissolves the bugs and leaves an invisible coating on the windshield that makes it far easier to remove the splats! Its also cheap!

 

Fro my windshield I've always used Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Clear Plasic Polish and Clear Plastic Cleaner.

 

If you're going to wash the bike there is a trick I learned with my camper: A nice coating of dew will soften all the bugs making their removal much easier.

 

Of course I'd rather take care of any cleaning in the evening so I can get going in the morning.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Link to comment
RichEdwards

Last year, our group traveled to Nova Scotia. There was a big Harley rally there at that time. At one motel, we stopped, checked in, popped open the brews and watched the sunset. There were about 30 Harley riders lined up at the motel's hose outlet waiting to wash their bikes. I asked one how often he does it while traveling. He said every day. tongue.gif

Me---I use Plexus too. Just on the windscreen and my faceshield. I wash the bike when I get home. wave.gif

Link to comment
maxfrankel

No, I mean PLEDGE. Try it, you will find it works very well! Of course I have only been using it for 25 years, so I don't really know the long term effects!

clap.gif

Link to comment
No, I mean PLEDGE. Try it, you will find it works very well! Of course I have only been using it for 25 years, so I don't really know the long term effects!

clap.gif

 

Any problem with bees following you?

Link to comment

I'm with Marty.

A friend, Jerry Sullivan, rides award winning bikes gobs of miles but cleans up some at each gas stop and completely each evening. Pretty bike but way too much cleany stuff for my needs. Besides the bike gets washed each time it rains dopeslap.gif

Link to comment
Steve_Witmer
Here is a deep dark secret. Don't wash it.

 

+1 The only things on the bike that I wash on a trip are the headlight, brake lights and turn signals.

Link to comment

While underway pretty well the windshield and the visor only, however, it is important to clean the bugs off the oil cooler periodically. I remember riding from Cedar City to Tonapah and encountering a swarm of small wasps or bees of some sort. By the time I got to Tonopah my oil temp was actually rising on account of the layer of splat.

 

Usually, when I arrive at my destination I wash the bike down good and give it the Plexus treatment.

 

Jurgen

Link to comment

Saran Wrap , When wrapping the fenders Don't wrap wheel through the spokes. After wrapping the tupperware use a razor to cut out the lamp lens ,then use a good grade of duc tape to secure the edges. If traveling alot at night, place some tinfoal under the Saran Wrap for reflection, plus it looks just like crom

Link to comment
Firefight911
Saran Wrap , When wrapping the fenders Don't wrap wheel through the spokes. After wrapping the tupperware use a razor to cut out the lamp lens ,then use a good grade of duc tape to secure the edges. If traveling alot at night, place some tinfoal under the Saran Wrap for reflection, plus it looks just like crom

 

And yes folks, we have a winner for the best invention in the bike condom category!!!

 

Tank, you kill me!!!!

 

lmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

 

I heard a side effect of the tin foil was improved radio reception as well!! tongue.gif

Link to comment
g_frank_nin

I usually don’t clean the bike while traveling, except at the end of the day (at the camp site or hotel) and only when so dirty I can’t take I t any more. But here it is any way… From my Harley days… I know a lot of people who use the pre soaked windex wipes to clean the chrome and paint parts on the bike. I hear it does not hurt the paint. Works great on chrome and metal surfaces! Personally I’ve never tried in on my painted surfaces. Also, Harley sells a bike cleaning product called “Harley spray cleaner and polisher” it is supposed to be safe for all surfaces… works great! Melts bugs right away and cleans and polishes. The only part they recommend you don’t it is to use it in the actual disk of a disk break. For the windshield… if I’m staying in a hotel/motel, then I use one of the washcloth towels soaked in hot water, I wipe the windshield with it and the bugs come right off… then I clean the drippings off other surfaces with blue paper towels (obtained free at your local gas station) if I’m not at a hotel, and the windshield is so dirty I cannot see through it then I use the blue towels soaked in clean water from the gas station sink, not as good as hot water but still effective.

Link to comment
DavidEBSmith

Saran Wrap

 

I was once on a trip with a guy who had covered his Road King with that clingy plastic protective stuff because he was going to sell it when he got home. The whole bike was covered in protective plastic. The last day of the trip, he went down, and from the looks of it (nobody was behind him and he wouldn't admit what happened), the bike went down on one side, and after scraping all the protective plastic and paint and chrome off that side, it either high-sided or tumbled and landed on the other side and took all the protective plastic and paint and chrome off that side. I think at some point it landed on the top, too.

 

Too much concern for the superficial tempts fate.

Link to comment

Treat your bike with ReJex.

 

http://www.corrosionx.com/rejex.html

 

After applying this stuff correctly, you'll be able to remove almost anything from your ride with a damp cloth. Then, buff with a microfiber cloth and she'll look like new. My 17-year old K75S has a showroom finish now thanks to this product (well, and a little touchup here and there).

870980-BGweb.jpg.88c20c2dface87c6eef6e55f976146fc.jpg

Link to comment
You guys are funny.

 

lmao.gif

OMG, this is too funny.

Ride in the rain more, ride faster, keeps the bike cleaner.

If you ride too slowly, then the bugs can catch you. dopeslap.gif

36791463-M.jpg

Link to comment

Here is a deep dark secret. Don't wash it.

 

+1

 

Somehow it just feels more like a trip when the bike accumulates crap. tongue.gif

 

Jim

Link to comment
Spidey9534
Here is a deep dark secret. Don't wash it.

 

Seriously. If you wash it, the next day's bugs and grime will attach themselves to the paint. Then you have to scrub the paint to get them off.

 

If you allow a layer of dirt and grime to build up, the bugs and schmutz stick to that layer of dirt. Then when you wash them off eventually, they come off really easily.

 

After I got back from Torrey, you could barely see what color my bike was. A little Meguiars Car Wash in a bucket and it all came off like magic.

 

The more you wash the bike, the more you're abrading the finish. So just let the protective layer of dirt build up and wash it once when you're home.

 

Time washing your bike is time that could be better spent riding. Free yourself from the need to keep your bike clean.

 

thumbsup.gifclap.gif OMG I love you man!!!! In a christian waaay!! blush.gif

 

I agree 100%. Let's ride em not stroke em. I spent last weekend with the significant other doing about a 1000 miles from Seattle to Bend and back over the weekend. We were having way too much fun to stop and wash stuff. I've still got a windshield you couldn't see through with a hacksaw and there is this incredibly large butterfly permanently mounted between the fairing and the headlight assembly. It is a thing of beauty to behold. lmao.gif

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...