V-Twin
There are several methods for washing bikes. I found, some work better than others. This method works well for me.
  • Firstly, never use sponge to wash bikes. They trap dirt in their pores and you end up scratching the bike yourself.
  • Secondly, never use household detergents. They will strip wax off your paint or if you use Dynamo, it will strip your paint! 

What you will need
  • High pressure hose OR normal hose with trigger
  • Clean bucket with quality washing solution
  • 10 Clean Microfibre Cloths (5 placed in the bucket to start) 

Washing Method
  • Start by hosing the bike down. You are trying to get rid of dirt to minimise rubbing that into painted surfaces. 
  • Next, pick up a microfibre cloth out of the bucket and fold twice - fold once left to right and another fold top to bottom (so that it is quarter of the size). 

Once microfibre cloth comes out of the bucket, Do NOT place them back in the bucket. This is how you introduce dirt in to the bucket and all the other, clean cloths.
  • Take the folded microfibre cloth and wipe in one long continuous wipe (not in circular motions - this is no Karate Kid, wax-on wax-off lessons).
  • Preferably, start higher up (say the petrol tanks) as they are usually less dirty than lower components like wheel guards.
  • After one long stroke, check the cloth. If you see a dark (dirt) line on you cloth, change the way you hold the cloth so on 2nd stroke, different (clean) part of the cloth will make contact with the bike.
  • Repeat this process 3 to 5 times on the same quarter surface of the cloth.
  • Then, it is time to flip the cloth and get 3 to 5 long strokes out of 2nd surface of the cloth. 
  • Then, open up the folded cloth and you have more clean surfaces.
  • In fact, there are 8 'quarter' size surfaces with 3+ strokes from each cloth will give you 20+ strokes from each microfibre cloth.
  • Once the entire cloth is dirty, place them on the side and do not use them again until you wash them in a washing machine.
  • Get the 2nd microfibre cloth out of the bucket and repeat the above process. You should be able to get 20+ strokes again. Work your way down the bike. 
If at any stage your cloth feels dry and want more water on it, use your hand to scoop some water out of the bucket and splash on 'used' cloth. Again, never place the dirty cloth back in the bucket.

If you accidentally drop the cloth, put it aside and start using the new cloth in the bucket.
  • Once you get to engine and frames, it is not possible to work in long strokes but they are less susceptible to scratching so do what you will but remember to keep on using different parts of the cloth, and then flip.
  • We started off with 5 microfibre cloths in the bucket but depending on how dirty your bike is, you may require additional cloth placed in the bucket.
  • You can either hose off clean bits OR use no-rinse-required type of detergent (I use Optimum 'No Rinse Wash & Shine')
  • Dry cloths are used to finish off the bike. You may need to pay a special attention to stubborn stain (I use Optimum 'Opti Clean'), drying off bits or to apply wax or any other paint protection products (I use Optimum Instant Detailer & Gloss Enhancer').
  • Once you finished washing your bike, throw all the microfibre cloth in the washing machine. 
That's how I do it and it has prevented swirl marks from forming on painted surfaces for me. This method works on cars, equally well.


How to spot swirl marks

If you don't know if you have swirl marks on your bike or not... I could guarantee that your bike came out of the showroom with swirl marks.  If you want to see it for yourself, get a LED torch and hold it about 5" or 6" from the paint surface and move it around... just surrounding the bright spot is where you will see your swirl marks.  If you wish to get rid of them to make your bike 'show quality', you will need to rely on light cutting compound and give it a polish (I use AutoGlym 'Super Resin Polish').


Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 4 0
gazman
Good advice v-twin I only use one cloth and keep putting it back in the water, silly me[biggrin].
But I do use my air compressor to dry the bike of when finished or the leaf blower.
Quote 2 0
V-Twin
gazman wrote:
I only use one cloth and keep putting it back in the water, silly me[biggrin].
But I do use my air compressor to dry the bike of when finished or the leaf blower.


I think most of us used one cloth and kept dunking in the bucket.  No one showed us how to wash cars/bikes, nor did we ever asked.

Do you know how many, so called professional detailer still pulls out a sponge?  That is when I know they are not professional.

Re: Air compressor is a great idea.  Save you from taking the bike up to 180km/h for 5 minutes!!     [biggrin]
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 1 0
Gordo
gazman wrote:
Good advice v-twin I only use one cloth and keep putting it back in the water, silly me[biggrin].
But I do use my air compressor to dry the bike of when finished or the leaf blower.


X2 on the Milwaukee 18V leaf blower.

Neighbours think I'm mad!
My family isn't blood, my mates are my brothers
Quote 0 0
V-Twin
Gordo wrote:
X2 on the Milwaukee 18V leaf blower.


That could come in handy if we get stuck in traffic on a 40 degree days too!! [biggrin]
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 0 0
Ian Petrie
Or you could use 1 cloth and two buckets 1 With clean water and 1 with your soap solution. clean your cloth in the clean water every time before putting it back in the soapy bucket this gets rid of particles on your cloth. If you are really picky you can get wash buckets with grit guards. If you have matte paint you should always use the 2 bucket method because you can't polish out any swirls.
Quote 1 0
Eotatavo
The theory behind drying off using a blower is good, however compressors (in particular) and leaf blowers simply blow cold or cool air which blows moisture into electrical fittings, crevices, etc. What you need is something which blows WARM air so it dissipates the water, whilst at the same time evaporating it. Something like a Blaster Sidekick is awesome. Or it's big brother, but its a little overkill. Neither of my Indians have ever seen a chamois, except for me drying off the tan leather seat on the vintage to prevent staining.

But yeah, your bikes comes from the dealer with inbuilt swirls, and the older the bike is, the worse it will be when you pick it up. All they do in the showroom is use spray detailer with a cloth.
Quote 0 0
V-Twin
Eotatavo wrote:
What you need is something which blows WARM air so it dissipates the water, whilst at the same time evaporating it. Something like a Blaster Sidekick is awesome. 
Interesting, I never heard that before.  

Eotatavo wrote:
bikes comes from the dealer with inbuilt swirls, and the older the bike is, the worse it will be when you pick it up.
Another reason for insisting on a 'fresh' bike!   

http://www.indianmotorcycleforum.com.au/post/when-buying-indian-motorcycles-insist-on-fresh-bikes-8157178
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 0 0
kmoulds
V-Twin

Great advise and I will take it on board and throw away the sponges I've been using.  I have a mate with a HD Soft tail and he drys his bike with an electric blower and it does a great job.  Unfortunately I don't have access to one so it's the old chamios. 

Cheers Kym - Sydney - NSW
2016 custom painted red & black Indian Springfield
Quote 1 0
Tux69
V-Twin wrote:

Re: Air compressor is a great idea.  Save you from taking the bike up to 180km/h for 5 minutes!!     [biggrin]


An air compressor? Where's the fun in that? [biggrin]

A bird shat on my tank. I was so careful, but it's left a mark that proper waxing won't fix. Any suggestions?
Quote 0 0
V-Twin
Tux69 wrote:
it's left a mark that proper waxing won't fix. Any suggestions?
Hey Tux!  Welcome back, we missed you.  When you say 'proper waxing', I assume it does not involve a fine cut?  I use Autoglym Super Resin Polish with a microfibre clothe and see how that goes?  If not removing the mark after several attempts, you may need to progress to 'heavier cut'.  If your bike has flat/matte paint, please ignore above comment as polish might make matte paint glossy.
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 0 0
Black Pearl
I bought a small garden blower from kmart use that to dry the bikes off works a treat $16.00 Bargain [smile] [smile] [smile]  
If it's not black take it back !
Quote 2 0
Tezza
I use microfibre cloth for washing because you can get it in the little nooks and crannies. Then I use a leaf blower to get rid of the water after rinsing. Finally a chamois. That gets rid of any water drop marks.
If I feel like doing a show and shine type job, I'll polish the paintwork, use Simichrome on chrome items and bees wax any leather items.

IMRG  AU101238
Ulysses  25368

2016 Indian Scout
2013 Boulevard C50T
Penrith, NSW
Never lose your sense of humour.  [smile]

Quote 1 0
stevenlb21

Myself I like to use Nu-Finish, it leaves a very shiney finish and the water beads of for at least 12 months.

What i do need to find out how do you all clean your rims, how do you lift your bikes up to shin the wheels, plus can the wheel side skirts front and back be removed to clean the rims for better access

Cheers......Steve
Penrith, NSW

2015 Indian Chieftain (Indian Motorcycle Red)
"TECUMSEH"
IMRG Membership No.  AU101486

Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Tonto disguised as a door gets his knob shot off !!!.

Quote 0 0
Tezza
For cleaning any wheels especially spoked wheels see the following video.

IMRG  AU101238
Ulysses  25368

2016 Indian Scout
2013 Boulevard C50T
Penrith, NSW
Never lose your sense of humour.  [smile]

Quote 1 0
stevenlb21
Yes.... but that's ok if you have a centre stand
Cheers......Steve
Penrith, NSW

2015 Indian Chieftain (Indian Motorcycle Red)
"TECUMSEH"
IMRG Membership No.  AU101486

Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Tonto disguised as a door gets his knob shot off !!!.

Quote 0 0
Damich
I use a floor jack to lift my Roadmaster off it’s wheels and and spin the wheels as I clean them. I bought my trolley jack from All Tools as it was the only one which was able to lift more than 500kg 
Re polishes I’ve used all of the expensive ones Mothers, Meguiars ect until someone told me to use Mr Sheen. I’ve never got a better shine than Mr Sheen and bugs just slide off it. Now my bike smells like potpourri 😊
Damian
North East Melb
Quote 1 0
Big D
Great idea Damian, how do you "balance" the RM on the jack safely?? I'm looking to purchase something like that for my vintage, especially to clean the white walls!!

Many Thanks,
Dave.
IMRG#101246
Quote 0 0
stevenlb21
I was thinking something along the lines of those racing stands, one for the front and one for the rear
Cheers......Steve
Penrith, NSW

2015 Indian Chieftain (Indian Motorcycle Red)
"TECUMSEH"
IMRG Membership No.  AU101486

Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Tonto disguised as a door gets his knob shot off !!!.

Quote 0 0
BigTone
Supercheap Auto has a reasonable lift for $280

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=24&v=Sod07FKYVtw
Cheers,
Tony
St. Kilda  Victoria
IMRG: 20380071
ULYSSES: 49880
Quote 0 0
Dr.Shifty
I have the SuperCheap lift - it was $149 sale price a year ago. The only gripe I have with it is the lowering arrangement. It has a lowering lever that is very touchy and the bike drops very rapidly so you have to merely touch the lever and bring the bike down in jerky steps of a few inches at a time. The lever is on the right side of the bike and it takes care to bring the bike down on the side stand gently.
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
Quote 1 0
stevenlb21
Is it worth buying Dr.
Cheers......Steve
Penrith, NSW

2015 Indian Chieftain (Indian Motorcycle Red)
"TECUMSEH"
IMRG Membership No.  AU101486

Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Tonto disguised as a door gets his knob shot off !!!.

Quote 0 0
Dr.Shifty
stevenlb21 wrote:
Is it worth buying Dr.


You'll have to look around and make up your own mind on that. Most lifts seem to use the same system with the too rapid lowering valve. I'm thinking of trying a longer lever so I get more control with the bigger bike. The Scout was 250 kgs, the Springfield is 365 kgs or so.

There is a guy here in Newcastle who makes bike lifts that lowers slowly but they cost over $400. He's got a vid on Youtube but I can't find it.

Any bike lift will need something on it to make it lift the sump without messing up the brake lines etc. Most people screw rubber door stops or similar onto them to give clearance.
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
Quote 0 0
Dr.Shifty
Found it.

http://www.ibbikelifts.biz/

$399 plus extra for carriers for specific bikes.


[indian-chieftain]
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
Quote 2 0
Damich
Big D wrote:
Great idea Damian, how do you "balance" the RM on the jack safely?? I'm looking to purchase something like that for my vintage, especially to clean the white walls!!

Big D its exactly as Dr Shifty has put up. Just make sure its wide enough to reach across the engine and secondly nothing that going to hit the clutch cable. I looked at a couple of them before purchasing the one from Total Tools (sorry i think i said All tools in my last post). What I was looking for was no flex in the frame an large wheels. Also don’t get the ones with foot release as they drop to suddenly, in my option the hand release is better as you have more control to lower the bike back on its stand.

Hope this helps you.

Damian
North East Melb
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