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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems to me that washing and detailing my bike is doing more harm than good. I have noticed many fine scratches on the paint and chrome and can only think that washing is what is causing it. I try to wash my bike every couple of weeks or so and I use the best microfiber cloths I can get at the auto store, they say they will not scratch. I rinse them out frequently and change them out during the whole process. I always throw them in the washer to get any trapped dirt out of them before I use them and buy all new ones after every 4th time of use or so. I always follow the wash with a coat of Maguries NXT wax and polish the spots of my chrome.

Still everytime I wash I find new hairline scratches in the chrome and paint. Seems like the finish should hold up better than that to me. I mean I dont seem to have this problem when I wash my car. I guess thats what I get for buying a black and chrome bike. But I sure expected the finish to hold up better than it is.

On the other hand I have been called obsesed by my wife when it comes to wanting my bike to shine and I am very picky about these sort of things.
 

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Only two suggestions - switch to Zaino and you can fill in those fine scratches - and then only dry or wax/polish back-and-forth, not circular motions.

If the detergent is too strong, you may be cutting the wax and removing it.

-2$en#e-
 

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Cut out as much of the rubbing that you can. Don't be tempted to wipe the dust off between washes. I use S100 wash and rarely rub on the paint during the wash, except for maybe a few bugs on the front fender. I use a leaf blower to dry and rarely ever wipe on it to dry. I usually polish it after every wash or so. I don't mean a 2 hour long process. I just rub it on and rub it off. I can do a Road King in about 10 minutes. If I miss a spot today, I figure I'll get it the next time. I'm currently using Mequier's Tech Wax, BTW. My bike is 6 years old. You can still part yer hair in the finish.
 

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Have chrome will travel
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8-Ball said:
A person afflicted with OCD should not buy a black bike. Start prozac and wash as normal.
:hystria:

Seriously though. If you don't want to scratch a black bike... don't ride it. Mine has all kinds of scratches. Most remind me of a great time I had on the road. Lots of miles.. lots of scratches...
 

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butters said:
It seems to me that washing and detailing my bike is doing more harm than good. I have noticed many fine scratches on the paint and chrome and can only think that washing is what is causing it. I try to wash my bike every couple of weeks or so and I use the best microfiber cloths I can get at the auto store, they say they will not scratch. I rinse them out frequently and change them out during the whole process. I always throw them in the washer to get any trapped dirt out of them before I use them and buy all new ones after every 4th time of use or so. I always follow the wash with a coat of Maguries NXT wax and polish the spots of my chrome.

Still everytime I wash I find new hairline scratches in the chrome and paint. Seems like the finish should hold up better than that to me. I mean I dont seem to have this problem when I wash my car. I guess thats what I get for buying a black and chrome bike. But I sure expected the finish to hold up better than it is.

On the other hand I have been called obsesed by my wife when it comes to wanting my bike to shine and I am very picky about these sort of things.
You will find that the scratching is occuring most often when drying your bike and not washing it provided you are using a good quality soap and are giving the bike a good pre rinse with plain water. During the washing process the soap acts like a lubricant. So with gentle washing, scratching can be kept to a minimum. Since most of your scratches will come from drying, use a leaf blower or a high output dryer like the Air Force Max. That is all I use to dry the bike. It heats the air about 30 degrees above ambient and is very powerful. I found no need to hand dry. And using a good quality soap like that from Mr. Clean I get no spots.

Using this method I can buff and machine my bike to a swirl free finish and have very few scratches pop up over a few months time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I use the leaf blower route to dry, figure the less rubing I do the better for the finish. And that is the only thing I use it for, no yardwork. I use good quality soaps, waxes and polishes (Maguries, English Custom Polish, Never Dull, etc.). I realize that the bike can not stay perfect if it is to be used I just thought the finish would stand up a little better. I just need to cut my real washing to about once a month, use my S-100 total cycle cleaner in between as needed and ride the hell out of it.

Oh and call my local physician for a prescription of prozac. On second thought I may just stick with my good budy Jack D. he ain't let me down yet.
 

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i agree with timbo on this one, I wash my bike a bout once a month, more if ridden in rain alot. I use a soft microfiber wash mitt,and a good name brand soap...no cheap stuff..i lather rinse and then use the air force max dryer....A good coat of nxt wax after each wash and usually one in between...i have very few swirls and no scrathes in my black e glide.....
 

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Incredible
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I have owned many black cars / bikes. If you do have a black one I agree with what some of the other posts state about most of your scratching occuring during drying or actual washing. On a black bike you need to be sure you don't rub dust off because it is there. Even one of those nice "dusters" you can buy for detailing will lead to scratching. The only way to get dust off without scratching is by blowing it off with an air hose which is what I have done in my garage. Be sure to never use dish washing detergent under any circumstances to wash your bike (especially DAWN) as it will remove any wax from your bike. You should use a good quality washing solution from your local auto store and you should also use a good quality wax. If you have swirls already then you will want to check out a good quality swirl remover and try that in an unconspicuos spot to see if that will take out some of the hair line scratches. If it does then you can do the entire bike followed up with a good polish. Once that is done just follow the aforementioned process to keep from re-scratching your bike.

Also, invest in a leaf blower. It will save you alot of time removing water from your just washed bike. I seldom have to dry anything off with a towel. I got a plugin blower from Wal-mart that was less than 40 and produces 200mph wind on high. It does a great job.
 

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I keep the bike covered with sheets when not in use. This keeps most of the dust off from just sitting. When I do wash it, I use the Mr Clean system. Rinse, wash, and rinse again with their filtered water. Then go have a beer. No need to dry but if I need to I use a shop vac (with a new filter) and switch it to the exhaust side and use the crevice tool to blow out anything trapped. THEN go have a beer.:beer4u:
 

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I wash mine when it gets really splattered up with bug guts or really thrashed in the rain ,,,, its got swirls , scratches ,, stone nicks ,, and its black.. Its a freeking motorcycle not some shrine. Ride it , get it dirty wash it .. ride it get it dirty. People spend way too much time primping up their bikes and not enough time getting them dirty if you ask me....... my record between washing is 5000 miles ,, now mind you i put that on in 16 days on a tour ,,, when i tour i clean the windscreen , and the mirrors .....and ride .... thats it. rat
 

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ratt said:
I wash mine when it gets really splattered up with bug guts or really thrashed in the rain ,,,, its got swirls , scratches ,, stone nicks ,, and its black.. Its a freeking motorcycle not some shrine. Ride it , get it dirty wash it .. ride it get it dirty. People spend way too much time primping up their bikes and not enough time getting them dirty if you ask me....... my record between washing is 5000 miles ,, now mind you i put that on in 16 days on a tour ,,, when i tour i clean the windscreen , and the mirrors .....and ride .... thats it. rat
Bless your heart.
 

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The Anti-RUB
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ratt said:
I wash mine when it gets really splattered up with bug guts or really thrashed in the rain ,,,, its got swirls , scratches ,, stone nicks ,, and its black.. Its a freeking motorcycle not some shrine. Ride it , get it dirty wash it .. ride it get it dirty. People spend way too much time primping up their bikes and not enough time getting them dirty if you ask me....... my record between washing is 5000 miles ,, now mind you i put that on in 16 days on a tour ,,, when i tour i clean the windscreen , and the mirrors .....and ride .... thats it. rat
Here here... I bought a black bike with minimal chrome because I want to RIDE, not wash...

One note, I use the MPH method to dry my bikes. Just get on the highway an GO!!! Let the wind do its thing. Works great.
 

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Actually the washing method will attribute to the majority of micromarring (swirls, spyderwebs). MF can be one cause of that. Its job is to trap and hold, which is what you want for polish and wax but not for dirt. The best method to wash is..Use a 100% wool or sheepskin mitt, two buckets..one for soap and one just water. Rinse the mitt in the water bucket often. Dont use the same mitt on paint that you might use on other parts of the bike. Dry the bike with filter air (example, Air Force Blaster) if possible and use waffle weave MF towels.
Hope this helps some

As always IMO
 

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3Dog said:
Actually the washing method will attribute to the majority of micromarring (swirls, spyderwebs). MF can be one cause of that. Its job is to trap and hold, which is what you want for polish and wax but not for dirt. The best method to wash is..Use a 100% wool or sheepskin mitt, two buckets..one for soap and one just water. Rinse the mitt in the water bucket often. Dont use the same mitt on paint that you might use on other parts of the bike. Dry the bike with filter air (example, Air Force Blaster) if possible and use waffle weave MF towels.
Hope this helps some

As always IMO
All I have ever used is Dri Wash and Guard on my black 2000 Ultra. It has a polymer in it that suspends the dirt and grit before it has a chance to harm your bike. It also covers fine scratches/swirl marks.
 

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ratt said:
my record between washing is 5000 miles

rat
"An excessively clean man, for he washed once a year, whether he needed to, or no."

I've never washed my bike, nor any of my other vehicles, come to that :roflback: :roflback: :roflback:

Actually, come to think of it, that's not true.

I washed my Suzuki once, and the fukken thing didn't run for a week afterwards. Think she was sulking.
 

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ShakyJake said:
All I have ever used is Dri Wash and Guard on my black 2000 Ultra. It has a polymer in it that suspends the dirt and grit before it has a chance to harm your bike. It also covers fine scratches/swirl marks.
Actually its the surfactants in the soap that suspend the dirt. The polymers are a sealant.
 

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I'm with RATT on this one. Ride the MOFO....................
Sparky88:chopper:
 
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