Do I NEED to wash the bike? - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Do I NEED to wash the bike?

Since acquiring my bike I've put just over 1000 miles on it and have not washed it yet. What I have been doing instead is, after every ride, I take a mild vinegar/water solution, spray down the frontal areas and, after letting it sit for a minute or two, gently clean with a microfiber cloth. About once a week, I do the same thing for the rest of the bike, i.e. side fairings, wheels, fenders, seat, etc. and follow with some synthetic wax.

Am I missing anything by not using a traditional soap and bucket wash? Any feedback/opinions are appreciated!

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'15 Ninja 300 w/ TechSpec Tank Grips
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 12:15 AM
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Bought mine last Fall and haven't done a soap and water wash, either...just use a detail spray or an aerosol Honda spray cleaner/polish. If your bike is clean and shiny enough for you.. that should be all that matters.

Curious where you came up with the vinegar/ water method?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 03:41 AM
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What is this "washing" you speak of?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by iahawk View Post
Curious where you came up with the vinegar/ water method?
Oh, man! You are taxing my old memory cells but vinegar is one of those old-timey cleaning solutions that get forgotten because is isn't flashy. I've been using that solution for my car windows for a couple of... decades... and thought I'd give it a try on the bike. The vinegar seems to do a great job of softening dried bug guts, bird poop, etc. without harming the paint or clear coat.

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What is this "washing" you speak of?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 07:49 PM
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Oh, man! You are taxing my old memory cells but vinegar is one of those old-timey cleaning solutions that get forgotten because is isn't flashy. I've been using that solution for my car windows for a couple of... decades... and thought I'd give it a try on the bike. The vinegar seems to do a great job of softening dried bug guts, bird poop, etc. without harming the paint or clear coat.
Or ammonia and water buffed on using newspaper. Works great on glass.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 05:28 AM
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I hose down my radiator every few months to prevent grime from building up. Might wanna do that.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:00 PM
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^^^ +1
Keep your radiator clean and it will keep your bike cool. Hose it or air it from back to front.
You can also clean it with a comb if you find one that has the same spacing as the radiator fins.
Be gentle so you don't bend the fins.
Spray some cleaner to soften the dead bugs and other things stuck there.

Also is useful:
- Wash your chain and it will last much longer. Rinse it, then oil it, then grease it (not too much grease or the excess will fly away and make a mess).
For regular city riding, probably every 1000 miles. If there is a lot of dust where you ride, then 500 miles is a good reference.

- Wipe the front forks often. With time, dirt and little debris can get into the seals, do damage and you'll get an oil leak.

For the rest, only wash it when you feel like seeing it shiny.

Last edited by Topaz; 06-19-2017 at 01:13 PM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 02:17 PM
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ah yeah, i forgot about the forks. keep those things clean or they may leak due to debris getting between the fork seals.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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I hose down my radiator every few months to prevent grime from building up. Might wanna do that.
Sure thing! I have been checking it and using a soft bristle brush to get the bug corpses but I reckon a good hosing wouldn't hurt for the dirt...

Did not think about the forks/seals, so I'll add that to the list!

Thanks for the tips, everyone!

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