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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first bike for quite some time so I'm catching up on all sorts of things - gear to wear, luggage etc. Long list!

What do people use these days for cleaning and protecting their bikes and the chain etc.?

Thanks.
 

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I've found AFC-50 to be absolutely brilliant at preventing corrosion. The biggest problem with it is that it remains sticky so it attracts dirt.
 

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I've found AFC-50 to be absolutely brilliant at preventing corrosion. The biggest problem with it is that it remains sticky so it attracts dirt.
I second that! 100k on the Pan still looked mint! it does attract the dirt a bit but the muck washes off easy.
 

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I've used Castrol Chain Wax on my bikes chains for as long as I can remember. Clings and doesn't fling all over your wheel. There are cheaper options but I choose to stick(no pun intended) with what's always worked for me.

The other thing I use for cleaning is Wynn's Cleen Green. Great at removing stubborn marks, tar, grease etc without damaging your bike.

Then all you need is a nice polish for the shiny bits to finish it off and for that I use Meguiars.
 

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I second the use of ACF50. I apply it to all the bolts etc with a paintbrush. As people say it attracts the dirt but once washed off metal looks good. I ride ~28,000 miles a year and it's as soon as they start salting the roads that the alloys take a hit. Once a week or two, I get a can of GT85 PTFE spray and just spray the engine, forks, bars etc. The stuff washes off but good to protect from the wet and dew what gets on all the metal over night in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the info. I should perhaps have mentioned I am a fair-weather biker - although I don't mind rain I tend not to ride in the winter. So ACF over the winter in the garage sounds like a plan assuming leaving it on for a good few months is ok.

The Castrol chain lube sounds worth a look though - need something that doesn't fling over the gold rim...

Paint protection I'm ok with - I use Carlack shampoo and polish followed by FinishKare sealant and detailer ever since the other half got a black car 5 years ago - looks great one day a week...

Do people jet-wash their bikes or is that a no-no?
 

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Thanks for all the info. I should perhaps have mentioned I am a fair-weather biker - although I don't mind rain I tend not to ride in the winter. So ACF over the winter in the garage sounds like a plan assuming leaving it on for a good few months is ok.

The Castrol chain lube sounds worth a look though - need something that doesn't fling over the gold rim...

Paint protection I'm ok with - I use Carlack shampoo and polish followed by FinishKare sealant and detailer ever since the other half got a black car 5 years ago - looks great one day a week...

Do people jet-wash their bikes or is that a no-no?
In all my days, the word is to NEVER jet wash your bike. Nothing good comes of it. If you can't get something off with a careful brushing and/or cotton cloth and the appropriate type cleaner, then you've got another issue. Jets of water can, and will, get under seals and past the o-rings in your chain. A chain that might be good for 20,000 miles won't last 10K if you use a jet to clean it. Fork seals, ditto... shorten life, contaminate fork oil. The list goes on. Just my 2 cents...

I rinse my chains lightly w/water, let them dry, get them warm (short ride), then clean with a little kerosene and a soft nylon brush. That's all these modern, O or X ring chains ever need. You can easily get 20~25K miles from a chain if you do that. You can put all the fancy lube you want on the chain, but again, modern chains have all their lube built in, and sealed in. All you need to do is put a very light bit of lube (kerosene is an oil, actually) on the outer surface, and you're set.

Here in a dusty environment, the last thing you want to do is add something that makes dirt stick to your nice moving parts. In areas of the world that are actually moist, that isn't such an issue. So it also depends on where you ride, and if you go off-road much.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks 2Sun - most of the bearing problems I've ever had with my bicycles have been because I've pressure-washed them but I was intrigued to find out if the latest motorcycles could cope - think I'll avoid using mine - keep it for the car and the patio!

Interesting about the chains - I think in the UK kerosene is called paraffin? I wasn't aware the internal lube would last the life of the chain - I always thought you had to add a bit at regular intervals. Blimey!
 

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Also never used jet cleaning for the bike. As said, if you are not careful you can easily damage seals, bearings, electrics. I simply spray water with a hose. Nect use a soft brush and shampoo-wax that is all. Regular use of WD40 on materials which can corrode.
Chain cleaning is a complete different subject and everone has it own method. I clean the chain 1x per year with a cloth soaked with WD40. I have a Loobman manual oiler installed and apply regularly a little oil on the chain. Not too much, the chain should only a bit greasy. The inner parts are lubricated for lifetime. After 25000km I still have the original chain on and never adjusted; still 3-4 cm vertical travel. The chain has come off once at 15000km due to a flat tyre. This is my experience with (still) my NC700X.
 

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I use S DOC 100 bike cleaner (have done for years) blow dry then ACF 50,

Chain gets a dose of Wurth dry chain lube at regular intervals,
Is wurth all you have used before or also wax? Seen this sort of discussion pop up often enough throughout the community.
 

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I swear by Muc-off, spray it on, have a cup of coffee, then rinse off with water.

I used Profi dry lube for the chain, it worked well for the first year, but I now clean the bike when I get back from a dirty ride and then lube the chain, and rust has now started to show on the chain so I am looking for other options, love the idea of kerosene/paraffin!

I asked the dealer if they would treat my new Africa with ACF50 before it left the workshop but they refused as they did not want the mess. Shame it would have been good to keep the salt off (hoping to pick the bike up in March when the roads are still salty!)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I asked the dealer if they would treat my new Africa with ACF50 before it left the workshop but they refused as they did not want the mess. Shame it would have been good to keep the salt off (hoping to pick the bike up in March when the roads are still salty!)
OCD alert. I'm taking an ACF50 aerosol with me and I'm going to spray the shock area and front of the engine etc before I leave the dealer! And then wash the bike when I get home 25 miles later! I hate salt - completely ravages my winter push-bike and mountain bike if I don't catch it.
 

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The only problem with ACF50ing the bike yourself is that it's hard not to spray on too much with an aerosol can. So you'll end up with some parts caked in the stuff, and some parts not protected at all.

That's why I used to like the allyearbiker guys back when I was in the uk... They use an air compressor to spray a fine mist of the stuff over the bike so that a thin layer of it is applied everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What do you guys use to clean the exhaust down pipes? I've hardly used my bike and there are some black discolouring marks appearing on them.

(In the past all my bikes have had a fairing that mostly hides these areas so I've not been so fussy about keeping them nice and clean!)
 

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I use a pressure washer all the time to wash mud off. The key to success, as many of you know, is to avoid blasting wheel bearings and electrics. :)
Quite. And as someone has said, the professionals use powerwashers, they just take care where they point them.
ACF50 - use with an artist's paintbrush to dab a thin coat on every banjo and suspect bolt head - takes 10 minutes or less once you have cleaned the bike.
Now here's a controversial one. Use Waterless wash. For those in the UK a shop called the Range sell it for £4.99 but make sure you get the one with carnuba wax in it (they do a cheaper one too).
http://www.therange.co.uk/carkit-waterless-wash-and-wax/cleaning-and-restoring/The-Range/fcp-product/94841
This stuff is brilliant you don't need to wash the paintwork first and it buffs up instantly into a good shine and doesn't leave any nasty white marks where you have missed polishing. It's no good if you have been out in filthy conditions, but takes 10 minutes to give the bike a real sparkle if it's only lightly solied.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I asked a little while ago but got no responses so I thought I would try again!

I've done around 600 miles now and the down pipes are developing a bit of a tiger look with darker spots - which I know is normal but historically I've never had to clean it off because it was behind a fairing!

How do people get the brown discolouration marks off their exhaust down pipes? Solvol Autosol? Never Dull? Luster Laces? Wire wool?!
 
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