Cleaning Care

Cleaning Care


You ride a legend and it deserves respect. Household products and automotive materials can damage your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle.

Our genuine Surface Care products are:

  • Tested extensively and certified by our engineers to give optimum results for bodywork, frames, chrome and polished aluminium, windshields, tyres and engine surfaces
  • Compatible with all Genuine Harley® Surface Care products
  • Compatible with specific surfaces
  • Perfect for bringing out your bike's shining glory

Only Genuine Harley-Davidson® Surface Care products are specifically formulated to complement each other and safely treat your bike. If you want to keep your bike looking like new, only use our products. Whether you want to clean, polish, protect or detail your bike, our products have been tested extensively and certified by our engineers.

Drop in store today to see our full range of Surface Care products. Your Harley® deserves it.

In a world that is becoming increasingly more virtual, it is comforting to know that something as real as a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle still exists. Not only can you see it, but you can smell it, feel it and taste it. Iron. Chrome. Leather.

Despite these intentions, you can actually damage your motorcycle if you don't clean it in the proper way. Dirty rags, harsh detergents and neglected areas can cause scratching, dulling and, yes, galvanic corrosion. More about that later.

Keeping a clean motorcycle, however, is crucial to the long-term well-being and value of your Harley® bike. A clean bike is easier to maintain, cheaper to operate and more likely to maintain its value. And it makes your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle look as good as it should. The key is to clean it properly.

Here's how to do it:

  • Pre-wash

    • Remove rings, jewellery, watches and anything else that might scratch your bike as you clean. Motorcycle jackets with metal buckles, zippers and studs can be especially dangerous.
    • Keep your bike in the shade and don't try to wash it right after a long ride. Not only can a hot engine and pipes burn you, but they can scar your motorcycle by making waxes and cleaners act differently.
    • If your bike is caked with mud or heavy soil, rinse it off first. Sponging over crusted dirt can scratch your paint.
    • Beware the old sponge -- it may have dirt that scratches trapped inside. Also, if you use new terry towels for drying, make sure you wash them first, but don't use fabric softeners.
    • If you use a soft bristle brush or paint brush for fine detailing, tape over the metal parts to avoid scratching.
    • Buy cleaning products made for cleaning motorcycles. Just because something makes your bathtub or toaster shine, doesn't mean it will do the same for your Harley® motorcycle.
  • The Wash

    • Now that you're ready, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
    • Apply the cleaning agent according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remember, they do this for a living, so their advice is pretty good.
    • Rinse thoroughly from the top down, paying careful attention to complete removal of cleaner, especially from nooks and crannies.
    • *During rinsing, you may splatter cleaner from one part of the bike to another, so go back and give the bike a light misting.
    • If you use a high-pressure washer, like those found at do-it-yourself car washes, keep the nozzle away from sensitive areas like chain links, bearings, cables, electronics and electrics.
    • In drying your bike, pay close attention to areas where water tends to puddle.
    • If you dry the bike with a terry cloth towel, make sure it is pre-washed and free of fabric softeners.
    • If you use compressed air, make sure the tank is clean and that it has a clean filter. Drying with a dirty compressor is like sandblasting your bike.
    • Clean your wheels -- this is the galvanic corrosion part. In the course of normal use, carbon and metal particles from brake dust are shot at your wheels at a high velocity. If neglected, these unlike metals can react to one another -- galvanic corrosion -- creating star-shaped pitting on your wheels. The result is costly refinishing of the wheel. In other words, wheel dirt is a whole new kind of dirt -- so it needs a whole new kind of cleaner. Look for a cleaner made specifically for wheels, preferably one that is pH balanced such as H-D Wheel and Tyre Cleaner.
  • The Once Over

    • As you clean and rinse your bike, be very aware of how water reacts. This will give you an indication of what to do next.
    • If the water beads into small round droplets, you probably don't need to wax or polish your bike.
    • If the water sheets or forms oblong droplets, it may be time for a wax job.
    • If your bike is older than six months, professional detailers recommend a pre-cleaning or cleansing. Use gentle polishing agents to deal with imperfections, slight scratches, dulling and stains that would otherwise just be covered over with wax. If you don't pre-clean, the wax's ability to develop a high gloss will be diminished.
  • The Wax and Seal

    • Waxing isn't just about good looks. A well-waxed bike repels dust, dirt, bugs and dirty water.
    • Harley Glaze protectant and sealer is easy to use. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
    • Don't wax in bright sunlight or if the air is especially humid.
    • Use a slightly dampened sponge for application.
    • Soft cloths are an absolute must for rub-out.
    • If streaking occurs, try a dampened cloth or a couple of drops of distilled water in a gentle circular motion. If streaking is severe, reapply a small amount of the wax and remove quickly. If this fails, re-treat the surface with pre-cleaner and re-wax.
    • After waxing, let the bike remain in the shade for several hours if possible.
  • You are all set

    • Now don't just stand there and look at your bike. Get out there and ride with pride. Because having a clean motorcycle is great, but the best part is getting it dirty all over again.