Thursday, 30 May 2013

Details, details, details

A lot of people think I'm crazy, as a daily commuter rider, why keep my bike so clean?
Why bother with weekly to fortnightly washes and detailing - it's madness!

Once I explain the why most people understand, then they want to know HOW! How do I keep her showroom shiny?

The Why?
  1. I find it cathartic/relaxing - but mostly I just enjoy spending time tinkering and pampering my Ape.
  2. It forces me to run my hand over every surface of the machine, performing a visual inspection as I go for any problems.
  3. I will notice issues more readily - if last week I cleaned that oily smear and this week it is back then it's time to investigate.
  4. Detailing stands as a reminder to check tyre pressure, chain tension and chain lubrication
  5. I am one OCD, anal retentive sonofabitch about keeping it clean!

Soooooo........once the why is out of the way and people begin to understand things, they want to know how.

The How?
  1. Don't wash her hot! If you must ride to a car-wash, as I do, take the shortest path, early in the morning when it's cool. Don't let her get too hot - if she is - let her cool before washing.
  2. Give her a good wash. Get all of the base grime off. I use a pressure spray. **IMPORTANT** From a distance! With no direct high-pressure water hitting the bike, especially around the instrument cluster, headlight surround, wiring loom or connectors. 
  3. Then detailing begins. I use Plexus - a plastic polish (silicone based) which serves two primary functions.
    1. It impregnates the plastics which conditions them, helping them to remain supple and less prone to cracking and the effects of heat.
    2. It leaves a silicone barrier on all surfaces, both plastics and metals, which helps to keep the bike cleaner for longer by inhibiting things from sticking!
A quick tyre check, chain inspection and lube if necessary and the job's done. Usually all complete by ~8:30 on a Saturday morning - leaving plenty of time to get out and ride.

Before - the poor thing.......dirty Ape

The detailing....Yellow rag for engine parts and dirty stuff, Blue rag for plastics and body work, Pink rag for final buffing and polishing.........(I told you I was OCD)

The results.......a showroom shiny Ape

\BitSar --keeping it clean


  1. Hi BitSar,
    Thank you for the nice guide and the lovely pictures of your Shiver :)
    Where do you purchase Plexus from within Australia?

    1. Hey Jeremy - is this Jem?

      I grab my plexus at Peter Stevens, A1, Yamaha City etc.

      Basically any good motorcycle store will carry it.

      Expect to pay ~$30 for a large can.

      Depending on your rate of use, this should give you 15 - 20 detailing sessions.


    2. No, sorry, I'm not Jem. Though I am also a Netrider member under the username 'jrmy'

      Awesome, thanks for that. I'll see if I can hunt it down from the local dealers here in Brisbane. Reasonable price if it works well. I just took ownership of a preloved Suzuki GSR600 and it's in need of a good detail.

      Thanks again

    3. Not a problem mate - good luck with bring the GSR600 back to life. Nice looking bikes.

      This really is good stuff.