washing a hot bike - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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washing a hot bike

Can anyone tell me if it's safe to wash a bike once I get it home (25 or so miles) while the pipes are still hot ??? I have done it once before and I spray it down with the water hose (cold water obviously) until the pipes cool down and I've gotten all the dust/dirt off the paint. Then I wash it with my bike wash stuff. (Then I ride!!)

I don't want to do anything to mess up my bike. Any suggestions would be appreciated (I'm sure I'm posting in the wrong thread, sorry!)

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 04:14 PM
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If I were you, I would take the tank and the air box off and spray water down into the carbs to cool the whole engine off first.

Just teasing, I hose mine off hot too.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 04:15 PM
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Re: WASHING A HOT BIKE

Quote:
Originally Posted by denisep
Can anyone tell me if it's safe to wash a bike once I get it home (25 or so miles) while the pipes are still hot ??? I have done it once before and I spray it down with the water hose (cold water obviously) until the pipes cool down and I've gotten all the dust/dirt off the paint. Then I wash it with my bike wash stuff. (Then I ride!!)

I don't want to do anything to mess up my bike. Any suggestions would be appreciated (I'm sure I'm posting in the wrong thread, sorry!)
You can look at it this way...if you are riding along and you get caught in a rain storm...should you immediately seek cover to protect the bike? Or are you seeking cover to put on your rain gear or wait the rain out?

I think it would be ok to wash your bike hot...although I don't like to do it because the hot pipes evaporate the water quicker and could leave soap and water spots that would require deeper cleaning to get off.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 08:56 PM
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I have heard on cars, the manifold may crack if temps change really fast. Also the water will turn to steam and may cause some electircal problems down the road. Unless the bike is covered with bugs or road grime/tar, I just wipe it down using a spray on clear wax. Water is really not needed as much as you may think.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 09:58 PM
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Don't forget the all mighty LEMON PLEDGE, just don't use it on hot pipes

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 10:30 PM
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Wash a motorcycle???

I don't do it as often as I should, but when I do, I use the Honda cleaning stuff that comes in an aerosol can (black with white and pink label) and a clean soft rag, a t-shirt or equivalent. Safely cleans everything metal and plastic, including windshield, and when you're finished, it really gleams. A friend who owns a Harley, of all things, turned me on to it. Takes about an hour to do it up right--I usually do it before the ride.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 10:47 PM
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Washing a hot bike poses a couple of different problems and
it's completely different than riding in the rain.

Riding in the rain, your engine usually doesn't get completely doused by water.
It's splashed up a little bit and quickly turns to steam and evaporates off.
You will not get enough water on it from riding in the rain to remove
the heat quickly enough to harm it. The amount of water
on the engine is actually very little, from riding in the rain.
Even if you ride through a good sized puddle, the cylinder heads
and jugs aren't going to take much water on... the majority of it
will be on the lower end of the block where not much heat (relative to the top end) is stored.

Washing a hot bike is another scenario completely.
This also applies for washing ANY hot engine, car, bus, or whatnot.

Rapid cooling of most any metal will cause problems.

The cylinder heads are the biggest and most expensive problem.
Quickly cooling a cylinder head is a REAL good and REAL quick way of warping it.
Then you'll start blowing head gaskets, losing compression,
and all sorts of expensive stuff.
On vehicles with cast iron heads, they usually just crack... they don't warp. Still bad... and expensive.

The same thing can happen with the exhaust system.
Quickly cooling the exhaust system can easily crack it.
Steel will crystallize when you cool it extremely quick.
Then it gets brittle and cracks.

Gasoline is for washing parts, Alcohol is for drinking... NITRO is for racing!
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2007, 10:58 PM
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Ok detail freak here. NEVER EVER WASH A BIKE HOT. Some of the reasons have been noted, others are not apparent, but basically, unless you get caught in the rain on your way to a show, where your bike is the centerpiece, it is not needed to do in the first place. Second of all, soap does not like heat, water marks are a pain to deal with and if you cant wait then go ahead, but if you have the option, wait until it is cold and go for it. It really only take a good 15 to 20 minutes to cool down so have a beer ( in my case, 20 minutes is a small case, maybe 24 ).

Just my .02

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-23-2007, 06:49 AM
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I use the Honda cleaning stuff that comes in an aerosol can (black with white and pink label


this is being discontinued, limited supplies only, if you like it stock up
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-23-2007, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the info.... after getting home, I realized that it takes me 20 minutes to get my stuff together, check my email answer goofy questions my kid has to ask immediately and get out there to the bike.

The bike was fairly cool and probably usually is...... I can spare 20 minutes to let it cool. Don't want to crack anything.

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"I would rather take an ass whippin' as to ride every winter day in a cage. " Tnshadowrider
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