Motorcycle Care: Paint-Care Myths and Reality

Motorcycle paint may seem as smooth and hard as the metal beneath, but it is actually fairly fragile. Physical, chemical and radiation damage are common pigment killers.

Basic Damage

Damage comes in a few basic forms: physical abrasion and scratching, chemical dissolution, radiation damage, paint lifting (chipping) and substrate damage (rust, cracking or denting of the metal or composite material beneath the paint).

Common Damage

Almost motorcycles will eventually receive some amount of damage from wind-borne abrasives, like sand and dust, and UV radiation damage (fading) from the sun.

Chemical Damage

A number of common auto-use chemicals can cause immediate or cumulative damage to paint. Brake cleaner, brake fluid, brake dust carburetor cleaner and gasoline.

Natural Solvents

Acid rain, bug splatter, bird excreta and tree sap will eat through a motorcycle clear coat and paint within minutes if not removed.

Everyday Damagers

A number of everyday items have acids, phosphates and/or solvents that will eat through motorcycle paint, which include: bologna, mustard, dish detergent, fertilizer, mentholated shaving cream and eggs.

Time Frame

Dish detergent, acid rain and fertilizer will cause long-term damage after constant exposure, but brake fluid, bug splatter, bird excreta, bologna and shaving cream will eat through paint and cause permanent damage within a few hours

Wash your motorcycle

Wash your motorcycle regularly with a mild car wash – We recommend doing this at least once a month. Things like bugs, bird’s dropping, or road chemicals damage the paint leaving permanent damage if not washed off in time. When the motorcycle is clean, all the moisture dries up quickly, but when it’s dirty, the moisture accumulates in dirty areas causing corrosion. At least once in a while use pressure wash (pressure wash can be found at coin car wash stations) – it removes the dirt from difficult to reach areas. Don’t hold the pressure wash jet too close 24- 36 inches recommended; it can peel off the loose paint. Wash off all the places where the dirt and salt could be accumulated; for example, behind moldings, inside wheel arches, places where you can not reach with your hand etc. It’s particularly helpful after winter season – to wash out all the salt accumulations that speed up the corrosion process. For Harley-Davidson denim paint use Harley denim cleaner.

Wax your motorcycle

Wax your motorcycle regularly. A quality wax gives shiny look to your motorcycle and helps to shield the paint from harsh environment, protecting it from fading. It takes only about 30 minutes to wax a whole motorcycle and high-quality car wax stays on the car for three – four months. For Harley-Davidson denim paint use Harley gloss.

Financing Available with 0% APR.

Site Credits: MediaLinkers