Pressure Washer for Motorbikes – A Beginner’s Guide

Whilst sprucing up your motorbike with a thorough clean might sound straight-forward enough, understanding the fundamental do’s and don’ts of washing is crucial to achieving a glorious finish without risking any damage in the process. There are mixed thoughts on the use of pressure washers for the task and taking the time to understand how to use one safely is vital before you even begin to think about turning on that spray!

Here at Venhill, we are passionate about prolonging the lifespan of your bike and all its many valuable components. Provided you understand the best way to use a pressure washer, they can make part of the cleaning process highly efficient. Our Beginner’s Guide hopes to help inform you on how to safely wash your motorbike if you choose to use a pressure washer as part of the process.

Tips for Using a Motorbike Pressure Washer

Plan your Time

The amount of time you have to wash and clean your bike can contribute to how you carry out the process. If you are just hoping to remove surface mud and dirt as quickly as possible then a pressure washer could be a useful piece of equipment. Bear in mind, however, that it is not a suitable option for all parts of your vehicle (more on this later). If instead, you enjoy giving yourself hours on end to achieve a pristine finish all over, then you would also need time for soaking, waxing and polishing and of course a pressure washer cannot do these steps for you.

Use the Right Washer

There are endless options on the market that describe themselves as ‘pressure’ washers but the truth is the amount of pressure achieved varies considerably. A portable pressure washer for example, has big advantages when it comes to the fact you don’t need to be connected to electrics, but the reality of this is that the power is far less than an electric pressure washer. This can actually be a preferred option for those anxious about using a powerful washer on their motorbike, but if you are smart about how to use a pressure washer safely then make sure you choose one that won’t leave you disappointed.

Know your Bike and its Components

Perhaps the most important aspect of using a pressure washer on your motorbike is to fully understand exactly where it can be used and where to avoid. Wheel rings and mudguards/fenders are arguably the most suited part of your bike for a pressure washer but you need to avoid the engine, any electronics, bearings and the bike chain. The risk of damage to these components is mostly obvious but some aspects may go unnoticed initially and it is the long-term effects that can actually be harmful to your bike. If you were to use a pressure washer on the bike chain, for example, you risk washing away the lubricants vital to the proper functioning of the chain.

Assess the Area

Whatever you are washing your motorbike with, a shady spot is recommended but it is also important to be mindful of the surface your bike is on. Under no circumstances should you attempt to use your pressure washer on gravel. The washer will pick up bits of dirt and stones that could easily damage the paintwork of your bike. Even if the surface looks clean take the time to sweep away any debris first.

Loosen Stubborn Dirt and Grime

Soaking your bike with an appropriate cleaner prior to using a washer will allow stubborn dirt and muck to come off easier with a pressure washer and without the need for follow-up excessive scrubbing.

Stay at a Distance

Even when you are confident in the knowledge of how and where to safely use a pressure washer on your bike, it is recommended that you stand at a decent distance from your bike, at least 1m.  Some washers will have variable settings, particularly if you are using one that is suited to washing other things such as patios and garden furniture. Make sure you practise first, and you understand its settings before pointing it at your bike. If in any doubt, stand further away.

Drying Your Motorbike

Motorcycles, like all vehicles, are designed to withstand the outdoor elements, which of course includes rain – and a lot of it! That said, excessive exposure to water can lead to rust and further damage to your bike. That’s why thoroughly drying your bike after any wash is an essential part of the process. Yes, you heard us right. Drying is part of washing. You should make sure you have given yourself plenty of time to include drying before you get the pressure washer out.

Learn More About Venhill

For many motorbike enthusiasts, the process of cleaning and achieving a showroom finish is enjoyed almost as much as the thrill of the actual ride. Possibly the greatest tool at your disposal for safely cleaning and maintaining your vehicle is understanding each and every component. The type of paint you have, the construction and materials used all contribute to how to safely and effectively prolong the lifespan of each and every part. Knowledge will then ensure you can be proactive in noticing any potential damage and whether a part is close to reaching the end of its natural lifespan.

If during your checks you discover any components have become worse for wear and need replacing, here at Venhill, we are ready to help. With over 50 years’ experience in developing and manufacturing cables and hoses in the UK for both modern and classic motorbikes, quads, cars and karts and even industrial applications, we know a thing or two about making them perfect! Our ultimate aim is to ensure all our products perform better and for longer, giving you the peace of mind needed to enjoy the thrills of owning and riding your motorbike. For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team today.