After spending several hours in the woods, your baby might be in a totally bad shape. Getting someone to clean her for you every time might prove to be very expensive and tedious.
This is the reason we have prepared this article for you to teach you how to clear your dirt bike all by yourself. Below are several tips that will give you the results you’ve been dreaming off.
1. Remove the sensitive parts and cover them
Not all the parts of your dirt bike are meant to come into direct contact with water. In case you do, they will need a lot of love and care, before, during and even after coming into contact with water. For those of us who love riding our dirt bikes in the rain, ensure you keep her safe.
If you want to have your bike in full operation for a long, long time, you should ensure you remove the following parts before cleaning it.
- The Seat: just like a sponge soaks up water, so will the foam in your seat. It will then break down and deteriorate. This will be the end of your elegant, comfortable seat. Once you are done with the cleaning, ensure the seat bolts are well reinstalled to prevent the shrouds from wobbling.
NB: Some Green cleaner and a brush can be used to clean the seat if its dirty.
- The air filter: destroying your air filter would be the worst thing you can do to your bike. If water gets into the air filter, the dirt bike will be as good as dead. Removing the air filter before you start cleaning the bike will save you from this calamity.
- Pipe guard, skid plate and bark busters among others: unlike the other two parts above, keeping these small parts while cleaning the bike isn’t catastrophic. However, they will prevent your bike from getting totally clean by hiding some dirty areas.
if you fail to remove grease, grime and dirt off those areas, you risk falling into problems on the road.
NB: We not only clean a dirt bike to keep it clean, but also to ensure it is healthy and safe for use.
There are two major things that needs some covering and these are:
- The Muffler: some riders prefer using wash plugs to protect their mufflers. However, there are some cheaper alternatives that will keep it safe. Some of these include; duck take over the end, a strong rubber band and a sandwich baggie among others.
NB: Whichever method you choose to use, just ensure water doesn’t get into your muffler.
- The airbox: it is very easy to assume that removing the air filter is all you need to do to protect your bike. However, you will be expected to cover the airbox as well but this is only done by putting a duct take over the holes.
2. Start Cleaning Using a Hose Pipe
There is a very big difference between washing your dirt bike using a pressure wash. Although there are some simple dirt bikes that would stand a pressure wash, it might not be very safe for a dirt bike. If the safety of your bike is of important Do not clean it with a pressure wash.
However, if what matters to you is getting the work done much easier and faster, Be my guest. A pressure washer will do the job for you! Unfortunately, this can have great damages on your “baby”. With a pressure washer, it is very hard to control where the water goes. Therefore, the chances of getting water even in the covered areas are very high.
How does water under pressure make you feel? Excited, right? This is the feeling many of us have. However, even the water-safe areas on your bike don’t deserve water under pressure. This is because, it will affect the plastic parts as well as the graffiti on the bike.
If you prefer using a pressure washer, ensure you are very careful with the areas around the engine. Secondly, don’t stand too close to the bike as the pressure from the water can kick the bike down. But why would you need a pressure washer if a hose pipe fitted with a spray nozzle would do the trick for you??
NB: As much as we advocate using the hose, always be careful with areas like carburetor, airbox and muffler. Avoid spraying water directly to these parts. Always remember, the main reason of hosing it is to remove lose dirt, grime and mud stuck onto the bike. Much of it will come out without much effort but this is not the end.
Below are more steps to follow
3. Scrub Using A Brush
Once you are done with loosening the dirt, it is time to get down to business. This part requires to have good brushes in places to scrub off the stubborn grime, dirt and mud. The brushes would do some magic on the sprockets, chain, wheels and the swingarm.
There are some parts of your dirt bike that needs more attention than others, one of these parts is the step. You must find more build up on the step than in any other part. Secondly, it is important to give some special attention on the under part of your bike. The chances of forgetting those parts after the upper part and the sides are clean are very high.
NB: Once you are done with scrubbing, it is time to check the quality of our work. The best way of getting this done is by spraying off some water on the bike!
Once you’re sure you’ve done a good job, it is time to move to the next step.
4. Wash It With Warm Soapy Water
Finally, this is one of the most interesting part of cleaning your dirt bike. Once you are sure all the mud, grease and all other dirt is done with, it’s time to use some soap. This is best done by using warm water and dish soap. Ensure you use the right quality of soap to get the work done.
This can be done by pouring warm water in the bucket and mixing it with dish wash or any powder or liquid soap that is not very strong. People use different materials at this stage including a sponge, wash mitten or a soft brush. Choose what works best for you.
It is always sensible to at least have a wash mitten and a soft brush or a sponge and a soft brush. This is because, although the sponge and the mitten work well on the larger areas, they are usually not very effective in small tight areas. A soft brush will come in place here.
NB: Once you’re contented with the work, let the soap sit for several minutes as it penetrates through any remaining grime and dirt. Rinse the bike taking care where the water goes to avoid ruining the engine.
At this point, your “Baby” must be perfectly clean. If you choose to end the job here, it’ll just be okay but if you move on, the better.
5. Time For A Bike Wash
If you are a perfectionist, the soapy job might not be enough. This becomes more important after a messy ride. A bike wash will do the trick of cleaning especially the small spaces. Bike wash will come in handy in cleaning spaces like the engine, sprockets, frame and chain.
Bike wash does the magic in giving your bike a shiny look and completely clearing the grime, grease or other oil residues. The bike wash is let to sit on the bike for a few minutes once applied. Scrub the bike clean using a soft brush and ensure you completely wipe out the dirt and bike wash as well.
NB: Wiping off the bike wash from the bike might be quite tiresome and you might not clean it well. Therefore, it is advisable to use a hose for better results. This ensures the bike wash didn’t find its way through prohibited areas like the brake pads.
Using a hose might however not be necessary.
6. Wipe It Dry
Drying off the bike is another very important procedure and it should be done with a clean dry towel. There are three main fabrics that do a great job and these are; terry cloth, cotton or microfiber. A terry cloth is normally used by people who don’t have much time to do the job and want a quick fix.
If you want perfect results, you can choose to start with a terry cloth then a microfiber towel is used to pick up the leftover grime, grease or dirt. It also works wonders on the lower fork legs.
NB: Compressed air can be used on smaller, hard-to-reach areas. This saves you a lot of time and keeps protects mildew from growing or rusting. Pay close attention to the cables while drying the bike since they are easily forgotten!
Your bike is ready to get back on the road, but wait a minute!
7. Put Back The Removed Parts
Finally, we have our “baby” clean and back into shape. However, the dirt bike cannot operate without the removed parts. At the same time, we need to first remove the caps, plugs and the tape you might have use to safeguard the engine while cleaning the engine.
This is followed by putting back all the removed parts before you begun the cleaning process. Ensure the parts are well installed and the bolts fixed to avoid accidents.
If you have a magic eraser, it is time to use to remove the black scuff marks. All you need is to soak it in water, squeeze to remove the excess water, get down to business. Within a few minutes, your dirt bike will be as good as new!