Cleaning your motorcycle
1. Prepare Yourself
Preparation is key for any situation. Before you start anything, make sure to remove everything you don’t want to get wet. This could be your tank bags, GPS, baggage etc… Try and find a spot in the shade to do your cleaning to avoid getting a heat stroke. The sun can also affect the paint and cause spots due to temperature differences. And make sure your engine is cooled off – you don’t want to throw water on a hot engine. Next, you will want to get your cleaning supplies ready. Make sure you have two buckets, one for your washing fluid and the other with fresh water for rinsing. You will also need cotton sponges, washing liquid, degreaser, WD40, metal polish, wax, abrasive rags and a chamois towel for drying. Have separate rags and sponges for different areas of your bike. Don’t clean your seat with a sponge you just used to get rid of some grease elsewhere for obvious reasons. Microfiber cloths are useful for protecting the surfaces, and even a toothbrush can be handy for hard to reach areas.
2. Wash Often, But Not Too Often
Washing your bike often is a great way to discover any growing problems with your vehicle. Whether it be an oil leak, loose parts or anything else that starts to progress, spotting it early can save you from having mechanical problems while out on a long ride. You don’t want to leave dead insects on your paintwork either because they can get difficult to remove later on, and even leave a blotch.
3. Clean With Products, Not Water
Make sure you are using the right cleaning product to make your bike look brand new, and not so much water. Every product has a specific use, so make sure you use them properly. Be wary of household and abrasive cleaners as they can harm the paint or chrome on your bike. A pressure washer can be useful in removing mud and tough grime, but you don’t want to force water into tiny slits where it can cause corrosion. We recommend washing by hand because high pressure washing can direct water at your muffler outlets and electrical parts.
4. Pay Attention To Detail
Once you have finished washing and polishing your motorcycle, you should go over the bike one more time with your microfiber cloth to wipe the cables, clean the engine casings and wheel hubs, and check for any other areas you missed. Pay close attention to your chain and work a solvent-soaked rag along it, removing oil while straightening out any kinks. Don’t forget to lube your chain to increase the lifetime and stop friction.
Use your chamois cloth to dry off your motorcycle, then take it for a slow ride around the block and squeeze the brakes to drain out excess water. Once you’re back, take your bike for a longer spin on the freeway to get the moist in less accessible parts dry.
Track day tyre wear
Cause – Cold tear is caused by the tyre being overinflated. When the tyre is overinflated the contact patch on the ground is too small so it cannot generate heat that is widespread enough to bring the carcass of the tyre up to operating temperature. Instead what happens is the surface of the tyre super heats very quickly while the carcass stays below operating temperature, so the surface of the tyre is ripped straight off.
Symptoms – The tears are in fact quite deep into the carcass and are somewhat fingernail shaped. If you can get a fingernail under them and almost peel a sizable chunk of the rubber back off the surface of the tyre then this is a sure fire sign of cold tear.
Cause – Hot tear is caused by the tyre being underinflated. An underinflated tyre causes the contact patch to be too large on the ground which in turn means the tyre overheats. When the whole of a tyre over heats, the surface gets hot and is melted off very quickly and is pitched away due to the centrifugal force created when the tyre spins.
At first glance it’s quite similar to cold tear but because the whole tyre is overheating instead of just the surface, the rubber comes off with less effort as opposed to being ripped off a cold carcass like you see with cold tear, this then means hot tearing isn’t as deep.
Symptoms – As said above, it doesn’t take as much for the surface rubber to come off of an underinflated tyre because the whole tyre is overheating, so the tears on a tyre experiencing hot tear are fairly shallow and more spread out and you shouldn’t be able to get a fingernail deep under them like you can with a cold tear.
Riding in the wet
A important aspect of riding in the wet is to keep it smooth and do everything you can while upright. Get your braking done upright, acclerate when you're upright and on the big fat part of the tyre. You need to be relaxed, loosen your grip and it makes a huge difference. Invest in good tyres like Metzeler Z8's that work especially well in wet conditions. Try short shifting through the gearbox to give the rear tyre an easier time and be sure to move fluidly with no sudden movements.
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