How to maintain and keep your bike clean this Autumn

September 03, 2021

How to maintain and keep your bike clean this Autumn

You might think keeping your bike clean is as simple as a good old scrub down with soap and water, but there are a few dos and don’ts to remember.

Cleaning tips

Make sure you clean your bike regularly to protect the surface finishes, and inspect for damage, wear, and oil or brake fluid leakage.

  1. Avoid cleaning products that aren’t specifically designed for motorcycle or car surfaces. They may contain harsh detergents or chemical solvents that could damage your bike’s metal, paint, and plastic.
  2. If the machine is still warm from use, grab a cup of tea and wait until the engine and exhaust system cool off.
  3. Don’t use high-pressure water sprays (like the ones you find at coin operated car washes). High-pressure water (or air) can also damage parts of your motorcycle.


  1. Rinse your bike thoroughly with cool water to remove loose dirt.
  2. Clean it with a sponge or soft cloth using cool water. Don’t squirt water at muffler outlets and electrical parts. Do squirt small children in the immediate vicinity.
  3. Clean the plastic parts using a cloth or sponge dampened with Silverback SBX1 Extreme Gel Bike Wash and water. Rub the soiled area, gently rinsing it frequently with fresh water. Take care to keep brake fluid or chemical solvents away from the surfaces, they’ll damage the plastic and painted areas. The inside of the headlight lens may be clouded after you’ve finished washing. Switch the headlight on to high beam and you’ll see the moisture condensation inside the headlight lens gradually disappear. Remember to run the engine while keeping the headlight on.
  4. After cleaning, rinse the motorcycle thoroughly with plenty of clean water. This is because strong detergent residue can corrode alloy parts.
  5. Dry the bike, start the engine, and let it run for several minutes (it’s a nice opportunity to admire your handiwork).
  6. Test the brakes before riding. You might need to pump them several times to restore normal braking performance.
  7. Lubricate the drive chain immediately using Silverback SBX50 Chain Lube after you finish washing and drying the motorcycle. You might find braking is less responsive immediately after washing. That’s why it’s a good idea to give yourself a longer stopping distance to reduce the chances of an accident.

Finishing touches

After washing your motorcycle, think about using Silverback SBX2 Silky Milk Shine cleaner/polish or quality liquid or paste wax to finish the job. Be sure to only use a non-abrasive polish or wax made specifically for motorcycles or automobiles. And make sure you read the instructions!

Painted aluminium wheels maintenance

The aluminium parts of your bike may corrode from contact with dirt, mud, or road salt. Clean the wheels after riding through any of these substances. Use a wet sponge and mild detergent. Avoid stiff brushes, steel wool, or cleaners containing abrasives or chemical compounds.

After you’ve washed your bike, rinse it with plenty of water and dry it with a clean cloth. Apply touch-up paint to the wheels if you spot any damaged areas.

All our cleaning and maintenance products can be found HERE


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