How To Wash A Harley-Davidson Motorcycle?

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are known for their quality and durability. However, like any vehicle, they require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them running properly. 

One important part of this maintenance is washing the motorcycle. While it may seem like a simple task, there are a few things you need to do to clean a Harley-Davidson motorcycle correctly.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to properly clean your bike from start to finish. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, read on for some helpful tips!

What should we need to clean Harley Davidson?

When you have to wash your Harley, you’ll need a few supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • A mild car soap or detergent
  • A soft brush (a toothbrush will work in a pinch)
  • Sponge or cloth
  • Hose with a spray nozzle
  • Wheel and spoke brush
  • Microfiber towel
  • Leather cleaner and polish
  • Rubber gloves

How To Wash A Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Step By Step Guide

If you own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, then you know that keeping it clean is critical. Not only does it look better when it’s well-kept, but it also runs better. When you don’t take care of your bike regularly, dirt and grime can build up and cause your motorcycle to run less efficiently.

Just remember, when you do clean your Harley, don’t use any harsh chemicals or cleaners that could damage the paint or finish.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to wash a Harley-Davidson motorcycle:

1. Park your Harley

Park your motorcycle on a level surface and make sure it’s turned off and cooled down before you start washing it. If you have a center stand, use it to elevate the back end of your bike so you can easily reach all sides while washing. You can also put your Harley on a set of motorcycle ramps.

2. Gather your supplies

You will need a clean bucket, mild soap or shampoo, a soft sponge or wash mitt, and a hose with a spray nozzle. Not all soaps are created equal and this is especially true when it comes to washing motorcycles. You need to apply a soap that is specifically designed for motorcycles. 

These soaps are formulated to remove dirt and grime without damaging the bike’s paint job. Make sure the sponge or wash mitt you use is clean so you don’t end up scratching your motorcycle while washing.

3. Prepare the motorcycle

Before you start washing, remove any loose dirt, bugs, or debris from your Harley with a soft brush. This will prevent you from scratching the paint while washing. You certainly want to clean off the grease and grime from the wheels and engine, but avoid getting water inside the engine compartment. You can remove the grease by following these steps:

  • Make sure to check the headlight, turn signals, and taillight to make sure they are clean and free of any dirt or debris.
  • Next, use a degreaser to remove any grease or grime from the wheels and engine.
  • Clean the exhaust pipes with a soft brush to remove dirt or debris.

4. Start washing

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to start washing your Harley. Begin by rinsing the entire motorcycle with clean water from your hose. Be sure to rinse the wheels and engine last to prevent excess water from getting inside. 

Next, apply a generous amount of motorcycle soap to the sponge or wash the mitt and begin washing the bike in small sections. Be sure to pay extra attention to especially dirty areas. When you’re finished washing, rinse the entire motorcycle with clean water to remove the soap residue.

5. Dry the motorcycle

Once you have rinsed off all the soap, it’s time to dry your Harley. Use a clean, soft towel to dry the bike. Be sure to pay extra attention to the wheels and engine to prevent any water from getting inside. If you have an air compressor, you can use it to blow unwanted water out of hard-to-reach places. Finally, apply a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the chrome.

6. Polish and wax

After your motorcycle is completely dry, you can polish and wax it to give it a nice shine. Use a motorcycle-specific polish and wax for the most effective results.

Apply the polish with a clean, soft cloth and then buff it off. Next, apply a thin layer of wax and let it dry for the recommended time. Finally, buff the wax off with a clean, dry cloth.

Following these simple steps will help you keep your Harley-Davidson motorcycle clean and running like new.

Why is it necessary to wash a Harley Davidson?

There are plenty of reasons to wash a Harley Davidson rider. Some of them are given below:

1. Makes the rider look stylish

Washing a Harley Davidson is not just about keeping the bike clean. Riders can also look their most stylish with it. When you are out on the open road, looking sharp is imperative.

2. Keeps the bike in working condition

A clean Harley Davidson is a happy Harley Davidson. Your bike will last longer if you wash it regularly. People who regularly wash their bikes are less likely to have problems with their bikes. Moreover, a clean bike is a sign of a responsible owner.

3. Therapeutic

Washing your bike can be therapeutic. Relaxation and mental clarity can be achieved through meditation. It is also a great way to bond with your bike. You will not only get to know your bike better but also develop a deeper connection with it.

4. More Enjoyable

Riding a clean bike is more enjoyable. You will feel proud of your bike and will be able to show it off to others. A dirty bike, on the other hand, can be a source of embarrassment. Moreover, it is more difficult to Ride a dirt bike as it can be slippery.

5. Saves money

Washing your bike regularly can save you money in the long run. Rust and corrosion can damage your bike if they are not prevented. As well as helping you to identify problems early, it will also prevent expensive repairs down the road.

6. A form of exercise

The act of washing a Harley Davidson is an exercise. Your body is put to use and your heart is pumped. Staying fit and healthy is beneficial for you.

7. Positive for the environment

Cleaning your bike properly is not only helpful for you and your bike but also for the environment. When you wash your bike, the dirt and grime that comes off do not just end up in the environment. The waste is treated and recycled. As a result, our planet remains clean.

How often should you wash your Harley-Davidson motorcycle?

You should wash your Harley-Davidson motorcycle at least once a week. This will help keep the paintwork in proper condition and prevent rust from forming. However, if you live in a dusty area or ride your motorcycle often, you may need to wash it more frequently.

Related: How To Clean Harley Engine Fins

What are the most vital tips you should follow before washing Harley Davidson?

There are a few things you should keep in mind before washing your Harley Davidson motorcycle.

1. Read the owner’s manual before washing your Harley Davidson. This will help you avoid damaging your motorcycle and voiding your warranty.

2. Remove all the items from your motorcycle that you don’t want to get wet. This includes things like your saddlebags, toolkit, and rider’s manual.

3. Make sure your motorcycle is in a well-ventilated area before you start washing it. The heat from the engine can damage the paintwork if you wash it directly after a long ride.

4. Always use cool water and a mild detergent when washing your Harley Davidson. Use quality motorcycle shampoo if you have it.

5. Never use a high-pressure washer on your Harley Davidson as this can damage the paintwork.


Final Verdict

Washing your Harley Davidson motorcycle is a must to keep it looking its finest. It helps to remove dirt, grime, and bugs that can damage the paintwork. 

To avoid damaging your motorcycle, always read your owner’s manual before washing. Keep the paintwork clean by using cool water and mild soap, such as motorcycle shampoo.

Dry your motorcycle with a clean, soft cloth after rinsing it well to remove all soap residue. Also, don’t forget to polish and wax your motorcycle to make it shine.

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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