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Motorcycle Detailing


Birds
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Thought I'd start a thread for motorcycle detailing, as there are probably a few on here who also cruise on two wheels.

I'll kick it off with a question that I haven't been able to find an answer for, but hopefully the detailing experts have a clue or two about it.

What can I use to polish out very light / cobweb scratches on plastic motorcycle fairings? My Yamaha R1 is only a couple of years old, immaculate in condition. I keep it very clean and the only thing holding it back from concourse, is the light/cobweb scratches that are really obvious after a wash...credit to it being black/raven in colour. I'm worried that a car paint polish will be too abrasive for the thin plastic fairings or the soft paint on them.

What do we recommend for this application? Any specific brands or products? Half of the fairings are matte black in colour...there are no cobwebs, but maybe one or two very light scratches...can I use the same product or a matte colour specific polish? And for headlight glass/plastic that also has cobwebs?

Thanks

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I have a Black GSXR 1000, and I know exactly the kind of thing you mean, I use the same detailing products on my bike as I do on the incredibly soft Black paint on my Stagea.

I use Dodo Juice Lime Prime for fine scratches & marring; with an R/O buffer, it's not too harsh. I then use Dodo Juice Purple Haze soft wax over that; but there's a ton of different products & everyone will have an opinion.

I've used Plexus on headlights, and also on scratches on screens and gauge faces; and it works great. Also works well as a quick detailer if the bike is dusty.

I would recommend taping up decals before starting, and definitely don't polish the satin finished parts; they'll go all chalky.

A mate used to have a Black, satin finish RSV Mille R (gorgeous bike) which was hell to clean; he used Motul Wash & Wax; this would get greasy fingerprints off, but not look like you'd "Armour All"d the bike; still had it's satin finish.

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  • 1 month later...

Found a paint safe engine degreaser made by Selleys, you can get it from Coles/Woolies. It's very good at removing chain fling / road grime from the rear wheel and chain/sprocket without fear of damaging your paint!

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Found a paint safe engine degreaser made by Selleys, you can get it from Coles/Woolies. It's very good at removing chain fling / road grime from the rear wheel and chain/sprocket without fear of damaging your paint!

I normally just use Kerosene on a soft cloth to clean up chain lube & tar spots; then wash straight after. Might give this stuff a go. :thumbsup:

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How easy does it come off with kero? Have had that recommended to me for cleaning the chain too.

Sorry mate, forgot about this one.

It literally just wipes straight off.

I always use kerosene to clean my chain, it doesn't damage the o-rings, and it's cheap. I just use a little butter container or similar, and a stiff bristle brush (toothbrush is a bit too small) to wet the chain, then leave it to soak in. Scrub it again and then use a small amount of aerosol chain cleaner to wash the excess kerosene off.

It does make a bit of a mess, but I just lay a sheet of cardboard under the swingarm when I do it. Obviously you need a rear stand to support the bike.

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  • 1 month later...

Found a paint safe engine degreaser made by Selleys, you can get it from Coles/Woolies. It's very good at removing chain fling / road grime from the rear wheel and chain/sprocket without fear of damaging your paint!

Plexus > all.

It removes everything and leaves a streak free polish behind. It's pretty much all I use. Every third or fourth clean I'll give it a full sponge and soap bath but in between I'll touch it up with Plexus and a microfibre cloth. You can use it on everything too, glass, plastic, paint, stickers. It removes oil, grease, chain lube, brake dust.

Would be a bit tough and expensive to use on the chain, however :)

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Learning the best way to detail a motorbike for less isn't really terribly difficult. With a few soaps, soft cloth and shade, you can make it occur without paying a professional an arm and a leg. It is certainly a good thing to promote the economy though. Here's how. :rolleyes:

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Learning the best way to detail a motorbike for less isn't really terribly difficult. With a few soaps, soft cloth and shade, you can make it occur without paying a professional an arm and a leg. It is certainly a good thing to promote the economy though. Here's how. :rolleyes:

Really?

Soaps you say? I have some soaps at home; one has a rope hanging out of it, and the other one is in the shape of a teddy bear.

Would either of these be ok to use use if I contract a professional detailer to do the work for me?

I'm really into promoting the economy...

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lol...might need to highlight the difference between a cruiser and a full fairing bike :)

So I've spent a bit of attention on the R1 lately...

First up, the Selley's paint-safe degreaser was a success. Tore off the old lube/grease/dirt in no time and left my rear wheel spotless, without any smearing left behind.

27JKkWOl_original.png

Gave the bike a thorough wash straight after (don't want to leave degreaser on for very long with an O ring chain), then, after drying, I took to the chain with a hair dryer...in preparation for this:

0000-Bel-Ray-Super-Clean-Chain-Lube---.jpg

Best chain lube ever. 140km/h and no fling at all. Sucks you have to apply it to a warm chain - I was reluctant to ride with a lube-less chain, thus the hair dryer for half an hour. So worth it though - no more degreasing of the rear end!

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Finally got around to polishing the bike too. My polish of choice was Poorboy's SSR1 (super swirl scratch remover), all the way from England. Pertaining to the rule of thumb that the best detailing products usually come in the plainest looking packaging:

pbssr1700.jpg

This is the least abrasive polish in the Poorboy's range. Apt, because I was paranoid about damaging my soft black paint with a harsh polish and I'd never done motorcycle fairings before. It's also IMPOSSIBLE to find recommendations for polishing motorcycle fairings on the internet. Dale recommended Dodo Juice's Prime Lime after seeing success with it, however, this seems to be one best used with an RO polisher...else risk making things worse. SSR1, on the other hand (pun!), can be applied by hand and still net you decent results. A little goes a long way!

It was almost too soft, leaving a few of the deeper scratches behind...but...better safe than sorry and overall I'm very happy with how it restored the paint. Looks mint unless you go over it with a magnifying glass.

Before

iIf7w_ID_original.png

After

Ip14fBOa_original.png

Top half of windscreen unpolished, bottom half polished

YOAm7N0s_original.png

Tomorrow it's Poorboy's EX sealant for some super shine and protection!

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You'd be well pleased with those results mate!

I don't think I've ever seen a chain as clean as yours; looks like I'll be getting some of that degreaser.

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It removes the grease quickly, but I did spend a good half an hour going over it. Seemed like there was a never ending source of old grime!

Bel Ray lube is supposed to deter crap whilst sticking like shit to a shovel, so any luck I wont have to clean the chain for a long time. Kind of wasted as I plan on changing the sprockets and chain soon :/

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It removes the grease quickly, but I did spend a good half an hour going over it. Seemed like there was a never ending source of old grime!

Bel Ray lube is supposed to deter crap whilst sticking like shit to a shovel, so any luck I wont have to clean the chain for a long time. Kind of wasted as I plan on changing the sprockets and chain soon :/

Be careful how short you go on gearing; a mate has the same model R1, and he's now going back to standard ratios, after losing a decent amount of tank range.

His bike was tuned; running 170rwhp, and my essentially stock K6 GSXR 1000 will out accelerate it basically everywhere on its longer gearing.

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Thanks for the warning! I'm only dropping one tooth off the front. Equates to ~300rpm more at 100km/h in top gear. My engine doesn't come alive until 6000rpm (~75km/h in 1st), making the powerband pretty useless for street riding. She's not a commuter, so I don't mind losing a little tank range for more usable power.

Do you know what your friend switched to? Also curious about the mods he did to get 170rwhp? They had a poll on the R1 forums for most popular sprocket combo...most voted for -1/0, the rest were -1/+1 and -1/+2 (wheelie machine).

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I'll talk to him tonight; but it was either -1/0, or -1/+1. You can get it up on the throttle (no clutch) in 2nd.

He's planning to go back to standard; which I believe is 16/42, does that sound right?

His tank range ended up around 230km, down from around 270km.

The 170rwhp came from Yoshi carbon cans, with cat delete midpipe, BMC filter, and a Power Commander. Using a Speedohealer to correct the speedo error.

The tuner (S&R Pro in Penrith) commented that it was a particularly strong one considering the amount of mods; but the tune they've done isn't shy about using fuel.

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its ok to use normal car polish or cutters on motorbike parts....farecla range is what i use at work all the time....they have finer grades in the cutters....the material used on motorbikes is the same stuff thats painted on your car....but keep in mind the original paint is quite thin.....most colours also have a ground coat....for example a VTR1000 in red has a pink groundcoat under the red....they do this to make the colours more vibrant....so sometimes you think you may be able to polish a small scuff or scratch out....but you end up wearing the red transparent overcoat thin exposing the pink

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I'll talk to him tonight; but it was either -1/0, or -1/+1. You can get it up on the throttle (no clutch) in 2nd.

He's planning to go back to standard; which I believe is 16/42, does that sound right?

His tank range ended up around 230km, down from around 270km.

The 170rwhp came from Yoshi carbon cans, with cat delete midpipe, BMC filter, and a Power Commander. Using a Speedohealer to correct the speedo error.

The tuner (S&R Pro in Penrith) commented that it was a particularly strong one considering the amount of mods; but the tune they've done isn't shy about using fuel.

Cheers man. From memory stock is 17/45 as I remember needing a 16/45 sprocket set. Nice, I have the Yoshis and am looking at getting an Akra delete pipe + power commander, so will be interesting if I can get power close to that.

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its ok to use normal car polish or cutters on motorbike parts....farecla range is what i use at work all the time....they have finer grades in the cutters....the material used on motorbikes is the same stuff thats painted on your car....but keep in mind the original paint is quite thin.....most colours also have a ground coat....for example a VTR1000 in red has a pink groundcoat under the red....they do this to make the colours more vibrant....so sometimes you think you may be able to polish a small scuff or scratch out....but you end up wearing the red transparent overcoat thin exposing the pink

Thanks for the advice! Good to know I can use harsher compounds. The paint being thin/soft is what I feared; didn't want to wear through it when trying to correct.

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no worries mate,i wouldnt say its soft.If theres parts your not sure of and your ever in tullamarine on the bike feel free to swing past and i will take a look and give you my opinion if its polishable....many people come in to get there parts painted,i wizz the small 2 inch air buffer over it and whammo off they go without painting heres the details....

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CGYQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fplus.google.com%2F109988743764491447826%2Fabout%3Fgl%3Dau%26hl%3Den&ei=r8QrUPKOFKSOiAfpyIGQBw&usg=AFQjCNH7bN88CXwhF3HD71DL3ZUdmyaobA&sig2=nPTZX044yRa_xNff-JYKvg&cad=rja

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