Parking Dirty Bikes

If I know I won't be riding for a couple of weeks, I'll clean my bike.  I try to get on the bike at least a couple of times a week though to practice some technique for at least an hour or two each time.  I usually finish up at dark and it's getting really cold.  I was raised a "clean it before you park it" guy, but that doesn't seem practical in my current situation.  Do you always clean your bike after a ride?  How long do you go between cleanings if you ride a lot (excluding bad mud). 

 

And if you aren't washing the bike between every ride, is there anything that you definitely make sure gets done between each ride? 

 

 

I try to at least hose it off after a ride.  If it's just an short ride and it's a little dusty I won't wash it.  But I'll clean the chain and air filter before the next ride.  

I only wash my bike a few times each season - I'm on a well and there is no outside water use allowed.

 

But I do put in a clean air filter (if needed) before the next ride.  Unless I plan to work on the bike, what's the point?  It's just going to get dirty again on the next ride.

I wash my bike infrequently. If it's really muddy I will. I don't see the point if it's not, the water is probably worse than the dirt.

I would at least try to rinse it off. Lube your chain (I just use WD-40) clean your air filter when needed. Dirt eats away, dry rots and stains over time, of course.

I always rinse (easier to clean right after a ride) then put the bike up and later that evening I try to sneak out to clean the chain, filters, and whatever else needs to have attention. I like to start with a clean bike. Jmo

I power wash mine after every ride. I blow dry it with compressed air, lube the chain, install a clean air filter, then coat all the plastics with 303. The 303 really makes the dirt fall off and keeps your plastics looking new.  Maybe overkill, but I like my stuff looking new.

I try to at least rinse the bikes and put some lube or wd40 on the chains. However, sometimes I'll just park em dirty if I'm really tired......they are dirt bike after all...

The most important part of cleaning your bike, well it is the second half of the phrase (no one has mentioned) clean and " inspect".

I suppose you really can't inspect a dirty ride.

I enjoy cleaning, inspecting and wrenching as much as I do riding. Mine gets the full showroom treatment after each ride. I never have failures on the track or trail. Seems to payoff.

Inspecting falls into the ( whatever else category I was talking about lol ) I agree, a clean bike will show anything bad or damaged.

If the soil's alkilinity is high where I ride, I absolutely wash it same day. If it's dry though, it's not quite as pivotal. Either way I try hard to wash the bike in the same day. Just a good habit to develop.

Edited by LovingOffroadPain

I realize a lot of our mid west and eastern riding brothers can't just out of the blue take the bikes out to the driveway and wash them down like I do here in CA because it's just so freaking cold, but I try to get them cleaned up no more than a week after returning from a ride.  If you don't get that dirt and grease mix off your bike soon, specially around the drive chain, it turns into rock making it even harder to get off later.  It's been a week now since I got back, and I just don't have the gumption or strength (chemo week) to do it, but I'm hoping next week I will.  I normally wash my babies down with a bucket of mix hot water and degreaser with a brush and lightly rinse (no pressure) them off.  Afterwards, I take my brand new leaf blower which I bought specifically for this, and give it a 120 MPH drip dry.  Then I take off fenders, seat, and tank, dry up what the blower missed with a shop rag, and do my maintenance, which includes emptying the fuel system and crank case oil, and lubricating the chassis, and making any adjustments necessary.  Working on a dirty bike sucks, and make it harder to pin point any problems hidden under the dirt.  Wash it, go over it with a fine comb, and have them ready for the next ride works for me..   

I wash my bike after every ride, nice high pressure hose and purple power works awesome. I clean my airfilter like every 3 rides or right away if it was real dusty. I use to overkill and go over every spoke and the engine with a soft scotchbrite and wd but i dont do that anymore, only when i need to.

Yep, every ride. I use a hose and warm soapy water with a sponge. Dry it with compressed air then WD-40 the chain. I use an airbox cover to make sure the airbox is clean, clean air filter every ride. My bike has yet to let me down, and it's easy to see maintenance issues when I'm going over it to meke sure it's clean. A little time now saves me from having to deal with potential issues down the road and it's always ready to ride that way.

Is the air filter cleaning really needed after every ride? I can see it in the dust... but I have 20 hours on this filter and its just barely off color from New.

Is the air filter cleaning really needed after every ride? I can see it in the dust... but I have 20 hours on this filter and its just barely off color from New.

Your bike will still run but its longevity will suffer greatly. Every dirty and dusty ride calls for a filter clean. If you're okay with small dirt particles slowly sanding away at every moving part in the engine, by all means don't clean your filter. But if you want your engine to last, clean that filter!

 

 

Yep, every ride. I use a hose and warm soapy water with a sponge. Dry it with compressed air then WD-40 the chain. I use an airbox cover to make sure the airbox is clean, clean air filter every ride. My bike has yet to let me down, and it's easy to see maintenance issues when I'm going over it to meke sure it's clean. A little time now saves me from having to deal with potential issues down the road and it's always ready to ride that way.

WD40 is the most overused product ever. I would advise against using it as a chain lube.

Edited by trozei

Yep, every ride. I use a hose and warm soapy water with a sponge. Dry it with compressed air then WD-40 the chain. I use an airbox cover to make sure the airbox is clean, clean air filter every ride. My bike has yet to let me down, and it's easy to see maintenance issues when I'm going over it to meke sure it's clean. A little time now saves me from having to deal with potential issues down the road and it's always ready to ride that way.

 

x2

Your bike will still run but its longevity will suffer greatly. Every dirty and dusty ride calls for a filter clean. If you're okay with small dirt particles slowly sanding away at every moving part in the engine, by all means don't clean your filter. But if you want your engine to last, clean that filter!

WD40 is the most overused product ever. I would advise against using it as a chain lube.

3 years since I've used that messy goopy chain lube. I use steel chains and sprockets and have replaced 1 chain in that time. My bike, chain and sprocket stay clean and I don't have the issues with the sand sticking to everything that gets the lube on it, which essentially creates a sandpaper effect on the chain and sprockets. I used to have to take my chains off and clean them with diesel at least twice a year to remove that stuff. Thanks for the tip but the proof is in the result for me. Edited by poldies4

I do clean the chain every ride with simple green and a hose, then remove the water with wd40 and a rag. After it's good and dry I spray on chain lube them wipe down the excess. Works great. I think 2 X per week air filter changes are a bit excessive ... but to each his own.

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