How to Clean Motorcycle Rims

Anyone who is passionate about motorcycles likes to keep their machine shiny, taking it to a car wash or taking care of it himself, in the garage of his house. But in this article we are going to focus on teaching you how to clean motorcycle rims . The reason we will focus on them is that they are the items that get the most dirty. At the end of the day, it is the tires that separate the body of the motorcycle from the ground it is treading on.

Furthermore, if we compare the level of exposure between both tires, we will appreciate how the rear is the one that tends to get more dirt from the chain . (Here you can see how to clean the motorcycle chain ) The rear wheel is not only exposed to the elements of the environment, such as dirt, dust or puddles of dirty water, but it also gradually absorbs the crumbs of grease that comes off the chain of the motorcycle itself when turning at high revolutions. In this case, a wash with soap and water will not be enough to obtain the desired results.

What is needed to clean the tires of a motorcycle?

We cannot go on to talk about how, without first addressing the question of what is needed to clean motorcycle rims . Because, as we already mentioned, most of the time the mixture of soap and water is not enough to dissolve the dirt from the rims.

Quite often, we can find hobbyists recommending the use of waxed furniture cleaners, or oven cleaners to remove dirt and grease from the rims. These spray products and the Bosque Verde brand are particularly recommended. The great advantage they offer is that their prices are barely between 1 to 2 euros. In this attempt to save some money, simple kitchen paper is usually used to remove any of the two products applied to the rim.

However, if you want to give a more specialized care to the rims of your motorcycle, you should get some specialized spray rim cleaner . On Amazon, you can find some very good recommended brands, such as; Motorrevive, or Maddox Detail, or Michelin. Its main advantage is that you can be sure that you will achieve the desired results, even with the greasiest tires.

To complete a perfect cleaning, instead of using kitchen paper, you can use cloths or microfiber cloths , which you can also find on Amazon.

In addition to these products, you will need to have a pair of silicone gloves on hand (the kind used for cleaning the house) and optionally a hose or a pressure washer.

Ten steps to clean the tires of your motorcycle

Now, whether opting for a cheap maintenance or a specialized one, with what is necessary to do it, we come to the central question of this article: how to clean the rims of a motorcycle . It is about what, in fact, is the easiest part and at the same time the most delicate, since the products to be used, although they are suitable for this task in question, can also harm other elements of the motorcycle.

To make it easier for you, we will divide the explanation into a series of simple steps to follow.

First step (optional): With the hose, or the pressure washer, make a brief run of water on both sides of each tire. In this way, you are able to remove the most superficial grease and dust residues, making subsequent work with the aforementioned products considerably easier.

Second step: After having dried any drop of water well with a clean cloth, put on your gloves and shake well the container of the product you are going to use, in order to activate its components. Note : By blotting up the water with the clean rag, you’ll see some of the dirt wash away, making the work to come even easier.

Third step: Apply the spray to be used on the edge of the rims and on their spokes on both sides. In case of using non-specialized products, let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. If you use a specialized professional tire cleaner

Never allow the cleaner to come in contact with the mechanical parts of the brake system, the chain, or any other nearby area other than the tire. If this happens, remove the product with paper from the affected parts.
Step Four: Remove the cleaner slowly using some pressure to remove any trace of dirt or grease that is still strongly adhered to the rim. Using kitchen paper, you will have to use several sheets and make several passes, and later you will have no choice but to clean the pieces of paper that remain stuck to the rim. On the other hand, with a microfiber cloth, a single sheet and a couple of strokes should suffice.

Fifth step (optional): Reuse water to remove any residue of dirt, grease, or cleaner; If you did not remove the latter completely, its chemical components could penetrate the paint layer of the rim and cause long-term corrosion.

Sixth step: The surface should be polished with a chrome polish (Autosol makes one) to prevent further pitting. 

You should keep in mind the chrome layer is extremely thin, so wearing it away with aggressive Polishes may cause it to wear away. Rather than using a polish, use a glass cleaner. Or wax polish would be the best option.

Seventh step: Many cleaning chemicals are safe for rims, but some could be damaging, especially to chrome or alloy rims. I recommend using a special soap for rims, such as Meguiar’s Rim And Wheel cleaner.

The only downside is that you will have to use it with water. Which can be difficult sometimes when the motorcycle rim is on the ground. If this doesn’t work, then you might use soap or shampoo.

Eight Steps: A secret recipe for spokes Cover a jar with lemon peel and white vinegar for 2 weeks, then discard the peel. You should strain the vinegar into an airtight container to store it for future use.

Dilute vinegar with water 1:1 in a spray bottle and use it as needed. I must disclose that this recipe is not mine or mine to invent. I came across it just now as I went on a quest to clean my Spokes. Besides that, it worked great and I love using green products.

I was walking around my community and noticed that people were using a product made of water, baking soda, vinegar, and other ingredients to clean their rims. I had never seen anything like it before so I asked for the recipe and they gave me this one which is perfect because we have all these items are at home already!

Ninth step: You’ll need to use elbow grease to clean rusty spokes. This is one of the most effective ways to clean if you’ve never heard of the aluminum foil method. Using aluminum foil you typically use in the kitchen, screw some into a ball. Ensure the spokes are thoroughly cleaned by vigorously rubbing this over them. If necessary, lubricate the foil with water.

A soft abrasive is now being generated by the aluminum. Scratching any material with an abrasive means scratching it. In this case, the foil is scraping the spokes of rust.

If you want, you can use sandpaper or some other abrasive material, but you should consider how it will affect the spoke after the rust has disappeared. The rust may not be there in those areas.

It will scratch the surface. In addition, the guys recommend blue Scotch-Brite pads when cleaning the spokes of the bike in their video. The choice of material will ultimately depend on how you choose to view it.

Those who choose a very fine grade paper-like ‘2000’ will choose a superfine grade of wire wool, such as grade ‘0000’.

To prevent pitting, it is important to remember that even if you think the rust has been removed, it will still leave behind bits and pieces of rust in the pits it has created. The rust is often unable to be seen with bare eyes, especially when it’s not bad. Rust always returns for this reason.

Ten steps: We see rust as a result of oxidative reactions between water and iron in which hydrated iron(III) oxide forms. The two things needed for rusting to take place are water and oxygen.

The easiest way to remove a typical metal piece is probably by electrolysis. You can also try Oxalic acid. It is imperative that you oil or wax the metal after removing the rust since oxidation starts almost immediately. Humidity is relevant if you’re discussing

You can’t stop rust if you live near the coast (salt). If you live in a corrosive environment, you could prevent this by spraying WD-40 every week, but the rust will still eventually appear regardless.

Before you apply any rust removal product, make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned. In some cases, it is helpful to spray the metal with WD40 first. Use a wet cloth or sponge to remove all dust from the entire surface (including under and around).

Recommendations to keep in mind

Beyond everything explained so far, we can offer you some recommendations to take into account to maximize the cleaning of the trowels of your motorcycle. First of all, we advise you to use stands to lift the wheels of your motorcycle. In another post, we already talked about these tools, but when it comes to cleaning tires they are extremely useful. The tires, being elevated, you can turn them easily and apply the spray more evenly, as well as being able to remove it more easily and faster.

Lastly, be careful how much cleaner you apply and how long you let it sit on the tires. Their formulas often contain chemicals that can seriously damage the paint and even cause corrosion on metal parts. Similarly, mechanical parts can be affected if some of the cleaners in question gets inside.

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