The information provided here is based on the opinion of the author and other independent sources. It is not intended to discredit any person, product of company. Readers are advised to form their own opinions based on research and experience as has been done here. No person or company associated with this information or web site shall be held responsible for the actions of any person using this information.
In 30 years of painting motorcycles the question I am asked
most often by my customers is: “How do I take care of my paint?”
Over the years I have researched many different professional sources, so
I could give my customers an informative and accurate answer to that question.
The information in this article can be used by anyone who wants to take
good care of their motorcycle, regardless of who painted their bike or whether
it is painted at all. I have tried
to include some important dos and don’ts to help protect your investment.
Any reputable pin striper or free-hand artist is probably
using 1-Shot Lettering Enamel to do their work. It is an exterior, oil based, enamel paint that will maintain
its gloss, shine and durability in all types of weather conditions.
It is designed to create exterior signs that stand outside in the
weather, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through all 4 seasons.
It is so durable that I give all my customers a lifetime guarantee on
everything I paint. However, even
the best products require some informed care by their owners.
If you clean your bike with Windex or other glass
cleaners like Windex you should be
aware that although
it will clean the dirt from your paint and chrome, it will also remove your wax
and polish. This means every time
you clean your bike with Windex, you will need to wax it again to maintain a
level of protection.
Some pin stripers even use glass cleaners to prep their bikes (remove the
wax) before they paint them. Isopropyl
alcohol can be used to remove tree sap and Mineral Spirits can be
used to remove road tar but, remember that both of these products will also
remove your wax and polish. After
using these products, you should reapply your wax and/or polish to the affected area.
In my opinion you should never use glass cleaners on a motorcycle windshield. Motorcycle windshields have a very thin coating on their surface to protect the clear plastic from scratches. These glass gleaners may cause sections of this coating to come off, leaving that area susceptible to scratches. In my opinion you should never use Rain-X on a motorcycle windshield. Although I believe Rain-X works great on glass it is the opinion of some people that it may cause a motorcycle windshield turn cloudy. The one product you should never use on your custom Scarecrow Artwork is not listed here. The company has requested we not mention their name on this web site.
Here are some important recommendations from professionals
who do the detailing on expensive show vehicles. Wax is for protection!
Polish is for shine! Once or
twice a year, at the beginning of the season and/or before you put your bike
away for the winter, you should put on a good coat of Carnauba wax to protect
the finish. Carnauba wax is made
from a plant and leaves a clear protective coating over your paint after it
dries. The rest of the year you
should use a good brand of polish to help maintain a good shine.
Any detail or cleaning products made by Maguire’s or Mothers are highly
It is very important that you do not leave dead bugs on
your bike. A dried bug can
eat through your factory paint if left there long enough.
The best thing for cleaning bugs off is very warm water on a soft cloth.
Remember that dish soap is designed to clean dishes, not motorcycles! It
is very abrasive. When
you use soap in your wash water, use a good, car wash soap designed for clear
The Mr. Clean Auto Dry system has a de-ionizing water filter (similar to
the spot free rinse at the car wash) that removes the minerals from the water
that causes spots on your paint and chrome. It eliminates the need to dry
your bike after washing.
The Mr. Clean Auto Dry system has a de-ionizing water filter (similar to the spot free rinse at the car wash) that removes the minerals from the water that causes spots on your paint and chrome. It eliminates the need to dry your bike after washing.
Honda Spray Polish and Cleaner is a good all purpose
product that people use on paint, chrome and windshields to clean road dirt and
remove bugs. (Note: The Harley
Spray Polish and Cleaner is the same as the Honda Spray Polish except that the
Honda Polish has a lemon scent and the Harley Polish has a musk scent, even
though some of my Harley customers swear to me that the Honda Polish works
better.) Some people will use the
Spray Polish to clean their whole bike. Some
carry a can in their bike to clean bugs off the fairing and windshield when they
stop to rest or buy gas. Maguire's also makes a quick detail
Maguire's also makes a quick detail formula.
A company called Cycle Care (www.cyclecare.com) makes and sells a complete line of polish and cleaning products, made in the USA, designed specifically for the motorcycle owner. They also offer products that address motorcycle specific problems such as leather care, chrome, paint and metal polishes and a great Scratch & Scuff remover to remove surface paint scratches and the rub marks on tanks from knees or intercom cords.
Ultimately the shine and beauty of your motorcycle is
largely determined by the pride and motivation of its owner but hopefully this
information will help some readers to better maintain their paint and protect