Deep cleaning xr400

Okay I see a lot of you guys with your "found gems," your virtually untouched examples of XR400s in stirling condition. It's making me jealous. I want my bike to look new again...

I went to a local self car wash (I live in an apartment building with no access to a hose) and I THOUGHT I cleaned my bike well. When the bike dried off, I could see the baked in dirt on the engine and other components...

How do you guys get your engines and cases so spotless?

I use gas pressure washer. spray everything off really good, get a bucket of soapy water and a brush and scrub everything clean, then rinse everything down with the pressure washer again. usually gets things pretty spotless.

if its still dirty i use an engine degreaser, then engine shine.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1378433059.903887.jpg

Costco makes a product called oil eater is environmentally friendly and works great on dirty hubs motor etc, may want to use a soft bristle brush too and on occasion a SOS pad dawn dish soap - with a scent of your preference and hot water.  I only use a garden hose and a nozzle, take your time and clean your baby thoroughly. When done, remove the tank and seat side covers and clean under tank - side covers and the frame area under the tank, prevents dirt /mud/silt etc and moisture from corroding things - like electrical connectors etc.  Finally! blow dry with compressed air and spray WD-40 onto the axle areas, all pivot points, levers, cables, and electrical connectors, and on the exhaust header spray on some armour all. It heats up and seeps into the porous metal and mud will come off easier when cleaning. I also use that SOS pad to make my header nice and clean and I keep the header nuts soaked in WD40 post wash, (easier to remove one day)


For the chain short of removing and cleaning, I use a grunge brush and cleaner (oil eater) then rinse off and blow the chain dry then re-lubricate.

Edited by Motosprtman

You can do a lot of damage to your bike with a pressure washer by getting water in places that you would need to disassemble to keep it from corroding.  It's not worth the risk IMO.


I use a spray-on citrus degreaser (ZEP) and a 1" throw-a-way china bristle brush.  I cut the bristles down to about 3/4" long with scissors and this with the citrus degreaser will remove baked-on oil from the engine without scratching the aluminum or paint. I rinse the gunk off with a water hose with no nozzle.  I remove the chain when I clean the bike.  I would not use an abrasive pad on paint or aluminum and especially not stainless steel.


The ZEP will also clean thick grimy old black oil slicks off concrete.  A few months in the sun afterwards will bleach the concrete 'til it looks like new.  I don't think I even scrubbed that spot.  It's truly amazing.   

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