After a long ride on some dusty roads over the weekend it’s time to give the bike a thorough washing in all the nooks and crannies, so I always reach for my favourite implement.
It’s not a sponge or chamois, but a soft, long-bristle brush like from a normal household dustpan and broom set.
You can also buy dedicated washing brushes from auto stores; just makes sure the bristles are soft and don’t scratch your paintwork.
The long bristles will get into all those areas where dust and road grime permeate that you can’t reach easily.
It’s important to wash your bike after a long ride where you can get a lot of dust and grime in the machinery.
You don’t have to ride down gravel roads, either. It’s surprising how much dust and grime you can collect on the highway!
Washing your bike allows you time to look closely at your machine so you might discover any loose bolts or early signs of wear and tear that could lead to something major.
But pushing a chamois or rag into some of those deep recesses in the engine, suspension or around the wheels can leave you with scarred knuckles.
A soft, long-bristle brush can do that exploring and cleaning for you without scarring your knuckles.
Check out our 10 tips for washing your motorbike, or watch this video.
Here is how a soft, long-bristle brush can help:
Lovely to look at, but difficult to clean. Spray on some wheel cleaner first and allow it to sit for a while to loosen the dust, road grime and chain lube that has flung off on to the wheel. Then scrub with the brush dipped in soapy water, together with a light spray from the hose.
These are difficult to clean without causing them to pop inside out. The soft brush will clean in the crevasses without popping the rubber. Similarly, robber footpegs with their deep ribs are easy to clean with some spray-on tyre foam and a long-bristle brush.
This is usually one of the most fidgety jobs. However, a quick run over with a soft brush will get into all the spaces between the springs winds.
Cooling flanges and other nooks and crannies on the engine are snares for your knuckles. A brush makes it easy to get into these areas, but be careful not to dislodge any cables or electrical leads.
Washing a bike can dilute important grease, oil and lube points on your bike, so make sure these are checked when the bike is dry. Read those top 10 tips again!