EP accessories and the art of cleaning
Regardless of the time of year, contrary to popular belief, motorcycles still get ridden and, of course, they get dirty. As we all know, even summer time throws up the occasional rain storm. The resulting misery of surface water with road dust and added grit thrown up across any bike is comparable to an unexpected wet fart in your Friday night kecks. Winter is obviously worse. The addition of road salt and agricultural machinery dragging mud off the fields is messy, awful and… we’ll leave any further underwear analogies to your own imagination.
Riding through a shower or its after effects is a pain. We know liquid-applied filth means a thorough cleaning session is necessary to bring any bike back to near new condition and maintain its gloriousness – especially if your bike is on a PCP finance package, where any mark or degradation can be costly. Even the fastidious amongst us can go into meltdown when that weekly cleaning regime turns to every other day.
The greater majority of motorcycle owners will be well versed on what is the best way to clean and protect their machines but what about accessory components such as Evotech Performance accessories? The answer is simple.
EP accessories are designed from the off to be comparable to original equipment in terms of quality – this means in the way they fit (precise, secure), the way they are manufactured (component parts fabricated to a very high standard with quality fasteners and wiring connections supplied) and then finished (deburred, parts sprayed with a phosphate-key coating prior to the final surface treatment of durable powder coat). For this reason, EP accessories should be cleaned with the same care and attention as the rest of the bike.
Evotech Performance recommends any pre-wash agents (activator chemicals to break down grease, dried dirt etc) should be of a non-toxic (no acids, CFCs or solvents) pH neutral formula to avoid tainting any surface, but especially if it is bare aluminium (cast or machined aluminium) or anodised. Recognised brands such as SDoc100, Silkolene, Muc-Off and others all produce safe, biodegradable cleaning products. The same rule applies for painted plastics or metals. Actually, make that any part of a motorcycle.
A lot of pre-wash agents are reputedly all that is required to ensure a clean, shiny finish, obviously after being hosed or washed off with water. In reality, most bike owners like to remove the pre-wash by sponge washing with soapy (detergent) water before rinsing off, which is fine as long as the detergent is again non-toxic and pH neutral.
Now about that final hosing down with water. There’s not much that can be done with the effects of hard water – the high mineral content of hard water is the reason for white chalky marks (limescale) appearing on certain surfaces – but we can be careful how soft or hard water for rinsing down is actually applied.
Pressure washers are considered a Godsend for removing algae and dog poo from the patio. They’re also good for cleaning cars. Motorcycles are a different matter because important component parts are easily seen and, therefore, easy targets for high pressure water lances. Pressure washers should never be used in full jet mode at any areas that contain bearings (wheels, headstock, swingarm and suspension linkages) because they can force the lubricating grease out past the seals and leave water in its place. Not good. Nor should they be used full blast at delicate electrical components (switchgear, dash systems etc) and the delicate radiator or oil cooler matrix.
If the full force of a 110-130bar pressure washer with a jet lance is all that’s available then stand back and make use of the less powerful spray mist to rinse off because one slight nick in any area of painted/coated parts can give the high power water jet a start point where it can literally lift the finish coating and strip it off. This piece of common sense is particularly relevant to EP Radiator / Oil Cooler Guards and tail tidies, where surface debris can impact heavily on any finish to leave it vulnerable to attack by pressure washer.
To aid drying of any part of a motorcycle, accessory we always prefer the natural drying properties of fresh air aided by absorbent chamois cloths and not rapid fire compressed air. The finishing touches of polish or protector sprays (non-toxic) can be applied to all EP Accessories. Happy cleaning.