Hi. I’m Steve Matthes, mechanic to the stars. This week on “TransWorld How To,” presented by BikeBandit, we’re gonna show you how to wash your bike. You may be thinking, “Matthes. You’re an idiot. I know how to wash a bike.” Well, no you don’t. As a former factory mechanic, there’s a certain way that we wash bikes in the pits to try to minimize the water damage. And this week with the help of BikeBandit we’re gonna show you how to do it too. Let’s get clean.
All right. So we’ve got Brandon Louis’s RM-Z450 here. And thankfully he’s gotten it pretty dirty for us. So before you start washing, what I recommend doing is taking the seat off. I’m not sure how many people do this but if you take your seat off, it’ll help save your foam down the line. Water can really damage your foam, make it soft, make it easy, and break it down. So you’ll notice in the pits at your local national, there’s no bikes being washed with the seats on and it’s for this reason. Plus too, the foam accumulates the water and makes it heavy. So I always take my seat off.
Your filter is exposed. Just get a rag and stuff it in there to prevent your filter from being wet. You can certainly remove your filter, buy an air filter cover if you’d like. But I just put a rag in there, especially if your filter doesn’t need cleaning. Get an exhaust plug for your exhaust. If you get water down into your muffler it’ll cause your packing to deteriorate, it’ll cause your packing to go away and make it break down sooner which means you got to work on it more. So get the butt plug, as everybody calls it, stick in the end of the exhaust. The seat’s off.
A bike standing upright? You’re not going to be able to get most of the dirt off. Most of the dirt is underneath the bike. So again, what you’ll see the factory mechanics do is they will take the stand and lean the bike over like so. So the bike is leaned over, as I was saying. Lots of dirt on the underside of the bike. So leaned over here it’s easy to get to the linkage, it’s easy to get to the bottom of the frame, it’s easy to get underneath the fenders, and be ready to get the crucial parts of the bike clean. So let’s get started.
All right, so the bike’s wet. It’s ready to be applied with soap. You can use any sort of household cleaner out there. There’s plenty of companies that make bike wash as well. And just basically spray it. Rims, plastic. And with you giving it a pre-soak the soap will have more effect onto the bike. One thing I should also stress with a pressure washer situation. Don’t hold it against your linkage, or inside your motor, or at your countershaft, or anything else. Bikes are not waterproof. You can get water in there if you just keep holding it and spraying it. You know, so be careful on the water when you use pressure washers because unlike factory mechanics, you’re not tearing it down all the time. All right, we’ve got some soap on there. Let’s get the dirt off.
All right. The underside of the bike is clean. Now we’re gonna worry about the plastics and the topside. So take it off the stand and put it back on the stand. And now you can get the other side that was underneath as well as the plastic on this side. All right. Bike’s ready to go. Got some more soap. Spray your handlebar area. All those parts that you missed before. You can use a simple kitchen brush if you have some stubborn spots that just won’t go.
Also, a few companies sell one of these mud scrapers. You can go underneath your fender like so if the mud is really bad. This bike? Louis doesn’t go very fast so he doesn’t attract a lot of mud. So not needed in this bike. Also as well, a wire brush helps. And what the wire brush does is on your chain, you just clean some of the crud off. So what I like to do is just jam it in there, spin your wheel forward, and it’ll get that junk off of your chain. And your gonna lube it afterwards. So MPPL on the SOS pad. And concentrate on the welds, like I said. Get your motor, even. You know, I always wonder how those mechanics get everything looking so good. They take each piece off and clean it like this. But for this demo, I’m gonna leave it on the bike.
Remember after you get it all back together make sure pull your rag out of the air box. And always start your bike. Water has a funny way of accumulating in different spots. Just start it up real quick. Could be 30 seconds. Get the bike up to temperature. Turn it off and make sure you’re all good for that. All right, get a towel. Dry off your machine. You can see how much better it looks there. Don’t spray too much on the filter when you have the seat off. What I like to do, Maxima SC1 spray. It’s a real bitchin’ sort of polish for your bike. Makes it look brand new again. You spray that on, put some MPPL on your chain. Make sure it’s good. Bolt your seat back on. Take your plug out and go riding.
That’s been this week “Transworld How To,” presented by BikeBandit. Stick around. Come back next week. We’ll have some more tips.