October 19th 2023

Motorcycle detailing – what you need to know

Motorcycle detailing is an essential process for maintaining the appearance and performance of your two-wheeler. 

Whether you’re a proud owner or a professional detailer, understanding the best approach to detailing and maintaining your bike plays a vital role in achieving exceptional results and sustaining your vehicle for longer.

In this blog post, we will highlight the important do’s and don’ts of motorcycle detailing to help you make informed choices and preserve the beauty of your machine.

The do’s:

Before taking on the task of detailing your motorcycle, carefully read through these steps to ensure you’re administering the right treatment for your bike. 

  1. Use high-quality tools and products: Invest in high-quality motorcycle-specific cleaning supplies, including microfiber cloths, brushes, and a dedicated vehicle shampoo. These tools and products are designed to prevent scratching delicate surfaces, effectively clean the components of your bike, and leave behind a streak-free and glossy finish.
  2. Wax and polish: Applying a protective wax or polish not only enhances the shine of your motorcycle but also creates a barrier against dust, UV rays, and corrosion caused by weathering. It is an essential step to ensuring your vehicle remains in top condition, so make sure to use motorcycle-specific wax or polish and apply it using circular motions for even coverage.
  3. Be mindful about drying: Once the cleaning steps are complete, avoid using a regular cloth, cotton scraps, or towels for drying, as they can introduce small scratches and damage. Instead, opt for a soft microfiber towel specifically designed for vehicle drying to minimise any potential damage.
  4. Concentrate on the finer details: When working on motorcycle detailing, focus on the small, often neglected areas like the exhaust pipes, chain, and wheels as they are often overlooked in comparison to the body and other key components. These forgotten areas can accumulate dirt and grime, which can affect the overall performance of your bike, so make sure you’re addressing these important areas while administering the detailing.

While detailing your motorcycle, take this time to ensure your riding gear is also free from dirt and debris as this can cause damage to the material. Use specifically made cleaning products for this as this helps to ensure their longevity.

Cleaning motorcycle chain with a dedicated chain brush

The don’ts:

Now that we have covered the essential parts of motorcycle detailing, here are a few things you need to avoid. 

  1. Don’t use harsh detergents: Avoid using household detergents, bleach, or cleaning chemicals that are not specifically formulated for motorcycles. Harsh chemicals can damage or fade the paint, plastic parts, or other delicate components of your motorcycle and strip the wax applied from previous cleans, leaving your bike looking scratched and patchy.
  2. Don’t use high-pressure washers: Steer clear of high-pressure water sprays, as they can force water into sensitive areas like the electrical system, bearings, or engine which can cause serious and expensive damage. Opt for a moderate-pressure wash using a hose or a two-bucket water system instead, one for shampooing and one for rinsing.
  3. Don’t skip protective gear: When washing your motorcycle, always wear appropriate protective gear such as gloves and eye protection. This will not only keep you safe from potential splashes but also prevent any chemicals from coming into direct contact with your skin or eyes.
  4. Don’t rush the process: Detailing your motorcycle requires patience and attention to detail. Avoid rushing through the process, as you may miss important areas or accidentally cause damage. Take your time, follow a systematic approach, and enjoy the process.

After cleaning, take time to admire your work and make sure to check the engine is still running smoothly, lubricate the drive chain, and check that the brakes are not waterlogged, do this by pumping the brake handle several times.

Closeup of hand testing motorcycle brakes.

Get your motorcycle detailing routine perfect with Bike Auto

As you can see, proper motorcycle detailing is essential for ensuring your vehicle remains aesthetic and functional. By following the do’s and avoiding the don’ts mentioned above, you can achieve exceptional results and become a proud owner of a head-turning machine. 

At Bike Auto we have a selection of high-quality, dealership-trusted products that are formulated to give your motorcycle detailing the best results and ensure your vehicle remains in top condition.

Click here to check out our entire selection and upgrade your detailing today! 

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“I'm a detailing nut, obsessed with car and bike products. For motorcycles, I can honestly say when it comes to finishing, your shine product beats anything I've used, hands down. I sold my motorcycle today and due to its clean condition and finish, the chap couldn't barter me down! Too clean!

It's not the cheapest product but you definitely get more quality than you pay for. I keep your shine product aside for full-on detailing days as I know it gives a superior finish.”


“The Everyday Clean is really easy to use. It lifts light dirt easily and even oily stuff with a bit of a scrub. It cleaned the chain oil fling on the wheels really well. Like any wash-on/wash-off, it’s easy to miss spots that then appear when dried but that’s easy enough to tidy up with a damp cloth. Much better than buckets full of soapy water.

Then it’s on to the Finite which is where the real magic happens. A light spray all over and then a wipe with a cloth makes the paintwork/panels look beautifully shiny. I was particularly impressed by the way it took the grey plastics back to a lovely darker colour with a nice sheen (but not shiny). Overall very quick and easy to use, and the results speak for themselves.”


"Paul spent the entire afternoon from noon onwards working his magic on our bikes and though the bikes were brand new he still managed to bring out their true glory, which was still hidden within. Of course, the bikes are better protected now owing to his efforts and will clean more easily from now on.

For anyone considering this treatment, I would not hesitate to go ahead and I consider the cost as money well spent. Especially when he managed to highlight some manufacturing defects that will result in parts being replaced on both bikes at the 500-mile service. Well done Paul and I look forward to meeting you next time we change our bikes.”

Alison & Bob

"Having many responsibilities as a Service Manager in our multi-franchise business we were contacted by Paul who convinced us to use a safer motorcycle rinse detergent that offered outstanding results and was very safe to use, especially for expensive and sensitive motorcycle parts.

After undergoing some training with the Valeting team and a period of monitoring, the difference was noticed immediately. We then began using the other safe products in the Bike Auto range. We are very happy with the product performance and the service received from Bike Auto and Paul has demonstrated his ability to be a trusted partner. Highly recommended."

Paul, Newcastle Motorcycles

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