F650 (Bike) Cleaning FAQ

(CleaningFAQ.htm) compiled & edited by Kristian #562
(Bikeclean.htm) Compiled and edited by Scott ID, #1244
FAQs merged, updated and edited by Winter #1935
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
Last Updated: 15 June 2007, by Winter #1935

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Cleaning your bike is an important part of bike maintenance. Often when you clean your bike, you will notice something that may be loose or even missing. This is especially important for parts of your bike that are a critical part of your survival. It is also a good chance to get get to know your bike more.

General Concensus: Do not use high pressure hoses!
The general concensus on cleaning is this: do not use high pressure hoses to clean your bike. This includes places like car washes. The basis is the high pressure can force water into places it should not be - like wheel bearings, SHBs, rear suspension linkages, etc. Or at least, be REALLY careful where tyou point the spray...

Section 1: General Cleaning

The question "What do you use to clean your bike?" comes up every few weeks. Below are some of the various opinions offered. But first, a few cautionary statements:

  1. Paper towels can scratch plastic windscreens (and face shields).
  2. Avoid using high pressure water when cleaning your bike; high pressure delivery can force water into electrical connections, etc.
  3. Some folks have had good luck with commercial engine degreasers, or wheel cleaners. Others have found such cleaners will damage finishes. Beware of what you use; consider testing on a small, obscure area before spraying large portions of your bike with such cleaners.
  4. Whether you enjoy cleaning your bike or not, dirt and grease left on the enamel paint of an engine can become permanently fused to the finish if left on very long. Also, a thorough bike cleaning session forces you to look closely at the bike to see if anything is coming loose or has been damaged.
  5. In general, detergents designed for washing automobiles will not harm the finish of your bike. Other household detergents, such as Simple Green, are effective cleaners but may damage the shine and finish of your paint and/or clear-coated wheels, especially if applied to dry surfaces, or when left sitting too long.

General Cleaning

Grease Removal

Bug Removal

Keeping Legs Bug Free

Anyone have a creative leg protection method for keeping my pants bug splat free? My legs are totally unprotected on this bike and ride in a very "buggy" area. Some of these suckers really hurt when they hit my knees or shins at 70mph. At the end of the ride, I have double digit dead bugs with butterfly yellow splats and flying beetle exoskeleton parts on my legs. Is there some kind of aero dynamic front attachment available? K6WLT

Waxes, Restoration of Black Parts

Strange hole near spark plug?

When cleaning the F650, some people notice a small hole right near the spark plug(s). Do not worry about this hole - it is a drain hole for the spark plugs: So when it rains, if water gets down into where the spark plug(s) are, it can drain out.

Cleaning without water?

So I have looked through the FAQ's and can not find an answer to my dilema of washing my bike. I live in an apartment so that means no access to a hose, and carrying a bucket of water to my garage would, well, be a pain in my butt. Not to mention I would probably make a huge mess. I don't really think I like the idea of taking it to a do-it-yourself car wash with the high pressure that comes out of the those things. Has anyone come across and waterless cleaners that work? Does anyone have any other ideas? All I can really think to do is have one spray bottle of soapy water, and another with plain water to rinse. If I could find a product that I could just spray on and wipe off, I would be ecstatic. pilotgoddess

Section 2: Specific Parts

Radiator Cleaning (Exterior Only)

Fork Cleaning

Triple Tree / Fork Clamps

the "aluminum looking" finish on the top of my triple tree (97 F650) is awful looking. dark spots and just sorta funky. i would like it to look brand new. any experiences and help with products/product use etc would be very much appreciated. dutch

Rim Cleaning

Wheel Cleaning

Windshield Cleaning

Removing melted nylon straps from the exhaust

Seat Cleaning

Section 3: Cleaning Gear

My First Gear stuff is dusty and dirty...no mud though. What would be the best way to clean it up without damage to the waterproofing? beem_dubya #1328