View Full Version : Cleaning Clear Coat & Chrome: What's Different in Dabbing, Wiping, Rubbing & Buffing

Jul 5th, 2015, 10:17 PM
Can someone explain to me the proper way to clean, polish, and wax a Motorcycle's (1) Tank (2) Chrome exhaust (3) Gas Cap Area Chrome (4) Chrome Plastic Engine Covers (5) Chrome headlamp cover (6) Black Batwing Fairing please?

Here's what I have been told so far.

(1) Never clean and polish chrome in circles or back and forth. With the wind direction one way. Dab to clean and a minimal wipes to remove polish and minimal one direction buffing (not circular).

(2) Gas tank: Saturate with detailer/wax. With damp MF saturate MF and dab (not rub or wipe). Dry by dabbing area and then a light brief wipe to remove product and dry.

(3) Chrome plastic covers (????) - Do you treat them like Chome or naw?

(4) Pipes: Saturate with detailer/wax. With damp MF saturate MF and dab (not rub or wipe). Dry by dabbing area and then a light brief wipe to remove product and dry. Add chrome polish with damp MF. Brief wipe with wind direction to remove chrome polish.

(5) Headlamp cover: Same as prior chrome explanations.

I like the dabbing technique to remove dust, dirt, pollen, debri - but there is always a final buff required for clarity of the finish on the paint and chrome.

How my dealer cleans bikes people bring in, they spray on there dealership's brand of another brand of all-in-one spray cleaner and then rinse the bike with a hose. I went to HD dealership one weekend and saw in the back a tech using soap and water on a bike with air compressor to dry. Totally confused here as, no harm intended, dealerships appear to be using soap and water and washing bike with cloths and in circles with rubbing and wiping motions. I never see the spider webs or swirls on the bikes the clean. I'd prefer to only go waterless if I can be guaranteed that I won't scratch my chrome, chrome plastic covers, and paint clear coat doing this.

I see guys with perfectly spotless black motorcycles and wonder how they keep them like that. I would assume a guy who keeps a scratch free black motorcycle with no chrome or pipe blemishs knows their stuff.

Thanks in advance, I bought some Cleaner and Wax Anywhere and am hopeful that this will take me from ever thinking about using a hose and soap. I'd like to possibly use ULW maybe once in 3-4 months. Ideally I would like to use Cleaner and Wax and follow up with Quik Wax after every ride when bike has cooled down and not scratch chrome or finish.

Please help a brotha out. I've heard if you don't use soap and water and you use detailer, you will scratch chrome and paint. I've heard the soap and water removes the wax on clear coat so bike becomes more easily scratched. It all sounds contradictory.

I just need one routine to keep an outside covered motorcycle clean of dust, pollen, road grime after a ride until the next day without scratching the heck out of my chrome and paint by not using soap and water. I know this sounds repetitive but please help.

Thanks in advance!