Should I pressure wash?

I read in the manual that I should not pressure wash my YZ 426. What is the reason for this and can I pressure wash it anyway. It would make my life a lot easier.


Use Simple Green and water great and no risk of getting water in seals....

I have always pressure washed my bikes with no problems and I have been riding for 20 years. Just take care when you spray around the wheels and the bearings. Plug the exhaust so you don't get water in it. I agree, it makes life a lot easier.

You just want to be sure to stay away from all the bearings and seals with your pressure washer. Doing the underside of the fenders, skidplate, and tires/rims won't hurt anything!

The only people that should pressure wash a bike are factory mechanics that tear down their motorcycles after each race weekend. I have found that the extra time and effort it takes to wash your bike by hand will reward you with a clean and new looking motorcycle. Pressure washing is just plain lazy!! Let me add one ok, if you just went riding in the worst mud race of your life. But I personaly would be tearing down my bike afterwards anyway. :)

Pressure washing will not hurt a thing.

As the other guys said, stay away from the bearings and you wont have any problems.

Im not sure what your conditions are like where you ride but in my neck of the woods there is absolutley no physical way to get you bike clean with a bucket and soap. :)

plug exhaust, golf tee in the hole on the cylinder, airbox cover from acerbis or twin-air if you wanna pressure wash your airbox

Hate to sound like a rep for Spectro oils but....They distribute XL-1 bike wash. Just try it out once and you'll love it. I buy it by the gallon and even cut it 50/50 with water. I use the garden hose to spray the bike down, spray it with XL-1 and rinse it with the hose again. My bike looks like I spent days cleaning it. Cleaner than with a power washer.

I use my pressure washer and general purpose pressure washer cleaner from home depot.

Just like everybody else said, stay away from the wheel bearings and the headstock bearings, or basically anyother spot with a rubber seal, and youll be fine. And your bike will be squeaky clean.

Pressure washers are the greatest thing built be man.

WIthout them, here in PA, we would NEVER, (and I do mean it) get off some of the stuff we ride through on the tracks.

The dirt is sawdust and pine bark, and it packs itself in so tight, doing it by hand seriously took 2-3 hours. It only took once of doing that before dad said he wanted a pressure washer (like 3 years ago!)

Now, the same "dirt" takes 30-45 minutes for a squeaky clean bike, NOT 3 hours. And I do seriously doubt we'd EVER be able to clean the bikes up sometimes, I kid you not.

You california guys have it made. You don't need pressure washers, the dirt there falls off with water. We were able to just hose of and light wipe our machines out there, if we had to wash them at all! Sometimes a spraying of pledge and a soft cloth would clean them up!

[ June 27, 2002: Message edited by: DethWshBkr ]

Originally posted by JT1:

Use Simple Green and water great and no risk of getting water in seals....

Save the quarters, use the tip above

Check out my '99.... water hose and simple green for the the past four years.


Originally posted by MOmilkman:

Pressure washing will not hurt a thing.

As the other guys said, stay away from the bearings and you wont have any problems.

I wouldn't point one of those things at my radiator fins either.

I don't use a pressure washer because there isn't any mud here (for that you need some type of moisture :) ), but I would think that starting the bike and warming it up at some point soon after you are done will ensure you end up with a dry exhaust system to prevent rust. Not that I would know anything about rust, because you need moisture for that also...

Whatever. Not my best post...

Yamaha had more than twelve bikes at Glen Helen over the weekend for the Race of Champions. After each practice session(of which there were three) the bikes were all pressure washed. After each moto( of which there were four)the bikes were all pressure washed. Although I didn't hang out by their pits too much, I never saw filters being cleaned or oil being changed. Maybe someone else saw this taking place, but I did not. Each of the twelve riders switched bikes after each moto so they each rode a 125 , 250 , 250F and a 426F. They had their names on their front number plates so there was a lot of number plate swapping but not much else that I saw. I think with proper maintenance and using the pressure washer with caution everything works out just fine. I see some people using industrial strength trailer mounted washers at the tracks sometimes and I just laugh. Those things look to be putting out enough pressure to cut through metal. Some people just don't get it!

I use an electric pressure washer for the fenders and mud on the motor, etc.. Just stay away from anything that can be hurt by water entry (bearings, seals, etc..) and it works great. Especially in hard to reach places like under the fenders.

Here is some simple mechanical logic. Most seals are meant to keep something on one side from getting to the other side. Once designed, based on expected pressure differential, they are not good at doing the opposite, or at handling higher pressures. Engine seals (and wheel bearing seals, etc.) are made to keep oil in, at relatively low pressure. They are not made to keep water from getting into the oil at anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand psi.

All of "but I saw this being done here or there" stories don't change this. Don't use them. If you stay far enough away from the bike so that they are not a threat, you can develop the same amount of power with a garden hose and a good nozzle.

As for the ROC story above, the bikes had to look good for the cameras, and fast. You can bet they were torn down after the weekend was over.

Listen to the factory, follow the manual.

Pressure washing is fine; I use a pressure washer at home,

Take the advice of all, stay away from the bearing area and seals.

One bit of advise, only time you really want to pressure wash the whole bike is just prior to tear down when you will be replacing seals bearings and removing the motor for rebuild or?

Just helps to remove all that crud build up.

I pressure wash the heck out of my bike. Before I even rode my bike I tore it all down and greased everything. 6 months later after countless pressure washings, I tore it down again. Guess what? There was no water inside any of the bearings and the grease was still in good shape. There was some moisture in the top steering head bearing though. The top bearing seal isn't very good. Plus the steering head gets hot from the oil in that area creating condensation.

I can't even imagine trying to clean a muddy bike without a pressure washer. It would take hours and 1,000 gallons of water to get washougal mud off.

It's funny how we select things out of the manual to pay attention to and ignore others.For example-

This is in the manual-

Does everyone check their crankshaft, head, cylinder, piston, camshafts, etc. after every 5th race as they should?

Clean petcock after every 3rd race?

Retighten rotor nut after 5 races?

Swing arm and linkage inspect, lube, and retighten EVERY RACE?

Inspect, clean and lube throttle EVERY RACE?

I didn't think so.

Pressure wash away with common sense and be happy............


osheen's answer is spot on. But it does depend what you're trying to wash off.

In the UK, a pressure washer is really the only choice for cleaning off mud, clay, chalk, etc. Doing that by hand or garden hose would take forever.

If you only need to wash the dust off, (it is dry here sometimes) then a hosepipe will do....

The manual also says "Use Unleaded Fuel ONLY" ... Countless people here swear by C12, MR2 etc. I would think the risk of why ever they want you to use Unleaded is greater then the risk of powerwashing .. just my $.02.


Suzuki also warns against pressure washing, but if you purchased a new RM last year as part of a promotion Suzuki mailed you a Karcher pressure washer. Hmmmm..........

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