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I spent a good part of today cleaning up my 749s, and tried a few new things had some questions about others. I know a few of these cleaning threads showed up on the old forum, figured I would start a new one for the new forum!

1. Lot of people recomended simple green at a 1 to 4 solution:water ratio. I tried a 1:2 worked a LOT better at removeing road goo and chain lube splatter from the bike. Think full strength might be good for those really messy spots.

2. I decided to treat my bike to a wax job. I'm to lazy to use the good stuff so I got some rain-X spray wax. I was very impressed it left a good shine to the bike, was very easy to apply and rub in, and the best part...if you miss when spraying the solution drys clear and doesnt turn flat black pices a funny white or make them shiney. I just made sure I didnt leave any big globs around. I've had huge problems with white stuff left over from other waxes of all sorts getting flat black surfaces always a pain to get off, none of that here. Another nice thing is its got a pertrolium solvent, one of the best I have seen appart from strait gas, it really cleaned up greese and goo very well far better than simple green, and I wasnt even looking for that when I bought it. Only down side I found is I accidently got a little on my exhost system, it turned slightly white when it got hot but nothing bad.

3. Anyone know how to get rid of greese that has splattered and cooked into the exhost system? Its lots of annyoing little black dots on the metal. The rough surface seems to hold it there no amount of rubbing or simple green even touches it.

4. Ok I've been told like 100,000 times how to do this but i _still_ dont get it. What do I have to do to stop chain lube from splattering all over my bike after I apply it? I try to use as little as possible, i wipe the chain down with a cloth and it still goes everywhere!

5.Swirls and Blemishes. Ok I'm very carfull to always be useing a clean cotton cloth and to never rub in a circular motion as that causes swirls in the pain, but I'm still seeing some starting to appear. Any suggestions on how to stop this from happening or from getting worse? Also found some _very_ small little paint chips at the front of my bike, I assume from rocks or bugs hitting hard. Their about the size of a grain of sand, anyone think this is worth fixing with touchup paint? or am I just going to make a bigger blemish?
 

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Bobaganoosh
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1- Simple green works well. I have also used foamy engine brite, from Gunk. Some people dont like simple green. There are also other neutral degreasers out there. Meaning you want something the eats the grease, not the finish or dries out rubber/seals.

2&5- Too lazy to use the good stuff is what causes the swirl marks/ spiderwebbing. First you need to wash the fairing with a good car wash soap such as Mother's or Meguires. Dont use dish soap. Dish soap has surfactants to cut grease on dishes. The same surfactant strips wax off of automotive finishes. I use a synthetic chamois to dry it. I use microfiber towels to apply and remove wax/polish. You can buy some good quality bulk microfiber towels at Costco. Never use any rubbing compound or heavy cut polish on your paint. Its will cause more swirls, unless you color sand the paint...whole other topic. Most swirl marks are caused by bad/dirty towels, dirt/dust on the paint. Some good carnuba based wax will decrease some of the swirlmarks. But once you got them its not an easy process to get rid of them.

3- Use some steelwool or scotchbrite pads with some acetone

4- There is some stuff called chain wax, cant remember who makes it, but its real thick and doesnt splatter as much.
 

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Simple Green simply put

There has been an ongoing thread on the ST Yahoo group about washing with Simple Green. Bottom line seems to be rinse it off immediately or it can etch aluminum.
 

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I use Protect All cleaner wax ( spray on a wax pad to apply ) made by Protect All, Inc and Chain Wax by Maxima Racing Oils. Chain wax has a wax base so spray it on, wait a few minutes before you ride for it to set up. Good stuff, no mess.

Honda Spray Wax is very good also.

Both can be found at most bike shops.
 

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Swirl marks are caused by using an abrasive, this can take the shape of the actual polish, shit on our towel, or the kind of towel. To keep this to a minimum you need to do a couple things -

1. Accept the fact that if you want it to look good it takes time and money.
2. Ditch the cheapo cleaning towels.
3. Use a good quality multi-step cleaning, polishing system. I HIGHLY recommend Zaino. It caters to freaks like Ducati owners that REALLY want the best.

One the towel front I don't trust micro-fiber stuff. I recommend you goto your local bed n' bath or other fine retailer and invest in 100% cotton bath towels and be sure to get ONLY WHITE ones.

Second, cut the ends off because most of the time the thread at the end is polyester and WILL cause swirls. In a perfect world you should have the ends surged with 100% cotton thread to stop them from un-raveling but this is not required just makes things easier.

Before you do anything you need to wash the bike real well, usually with Dawn dish soap in a weak solution this will remove ALL wax, grease, etc... Then you need to use a clay bar and get any rough feeling spots off the paint. (Run your hand down your bike if you feel ANY bumps, you need to use a clay bar before doing anything else).

If you have made it this far the hard part is done. Now all that is left if to use the Polish / Wax system of choice. Then on occasion use the clay bar with a spray bottle containing a few drops of "car wash" as a lubricant in a water solution.

Again, I can't speak highly enough of Zaino as once you use it everything else is 2nd. Be warned the initial cleaning and application will take you a good weekend.

On the simply green front, it pits Al. I took some Al plate stock and applied different strength solutions and rinsed. I then looked at the samples on my SEM at work. They were all pitted. Not granted I was looking at very high mags but I won't touch the stuff.

I have had good luck with some wheel cleaners that state "safe for UN-COATED" aluminum to get things like engine cases and swing arms clean.

-Chris
 

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I use WD40 on the wheels, spray onto rag first, this also works great on any chain gunk. If there seems to be an excess of the latter then you're not using the right lube or too much, I've found Bel-Ray is very good with very little fling. Can't remember which Bel-Ray but it sprays white.
For the fairings I use a wax polish from the supermarket, cheap and works well.
 

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+1 on the wd40 for grime and chain lube. kerosene also works great.

did you remember to flush those cylinders with clean water????
 

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Chris748s said:
On the simply green front, it pits Al. I took some Al plate stock and applied different strength solutions and rinsed. I then looked at the samples on my SEM at work. They were all pitted. Not granted I was looking at very high mags but I won't touch the stuff.
For those non-microscopists, SEM = scanning electron microscope. i.e. he saw pitting at the micro or nano-structure level.

I won't be using the stuff (Simple Green) on anything aluminum and structurally depended upon either. Thanks for the info, Chris.
 

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If you want a chain lube that won't come off, try Bel-Rays Super Clean. It has completely converted me and it will not fling.

But it is always a good idea to apply chain lube while the chain is hot. That way the lube works its way into the rollers and the pins, as opposed to just staying on the surface.
 

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Avoid those visible swirl marks in your paint by never cleaning or waxing using rotary, swirl motions. Follow the lines of the bike when you wipe. Don't go 'round and 'round, go back and forth - any scratching will be less visible. Just my $0.02

And +1 for Bel Ray Super Clean however chain lube doesn't get past the o-rings, it's just for the outside of the chain and the sprockets, and to keep the o-rings pliable (or so they say).
 

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lenswerks said:
I use Protect All cleaner wax ( spray on a wax pad to apply ) made by Protect All, Inc and Chain Wax by Maxima Racing Oils. Chain wax has a wax base so spray it on, wait a few minutes before you ride for it to set up. Good stuff, no mess.

Honda Spray Wax is very good also.
++1 on the Chain Wax been using it for year. For polish, and wax I like Meguiars' products, some I can only find at paint supply shops. Show Car Glaze as a polish works well and doesn't leave white residue.

Being lazy and always looking to cut out extra work I mostly use Honda Spray Cleaner/Wax. A plus is you can take a small can on those roadtrips that last a few days to clean off bug goo. I've heard that the Honda stuff is made by Protect All, can anyone confirm this?
 

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as i've said before brasso metal polish is a great mild polish that will take out minor scratchs and swirls.followed with a good paste wax for protection and sheen.near all the spray on and glazes i've used have a short life and wash or wear off leaving the previous condition.never had any problems with simple green ,but theres not much bare aluminum on a newer duc.as far as chain lube,,i use lube only on the sprockets,it filngs a bit on the first ride,but chain wax has little lubrication qualitys and has a ugly build up after a few applications.
 

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I've used Simple Green for years with no problems, I spray, scrub, rinse and don't let it sit on the chain or sprockets for very long. I've also use WD40 for heavy grime build up followed by a simple green rinse to get the WD off, also works well just be sure use the WD only as a cleaner. Chain Wax is by Maxima. I love the stuff, put it on a warm chain, let dry and it stays on.

I absolutely loved Honda spray polish to keep the bike shiny between full washings/waxing. Bad News....I stopped by my friendly Honda shop last week and the parts girl told me Honda has discontinued the production of the stuff. Seems it's ozone unfriendly. I'm trying something else right now called "Luster Lace Instant detailer". It comes in a manual pump bottle, it's not as good as the old Honda polish but its okay.
 

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tarochan said:
I use WD40 on the wheels, spray onto rag first, this also works great on any chain gunk. If there seems to be an excess of the latter then you're not using the right lube or too much, I've found Bel-Ray is very good with very little fling. Can't remember which Bel-Ray but it sprays white.
For the fairings I use a wax polish from the supermarket, cheap and works well.
+1 on both. just got back from a long, very wet weekend and cleaned and lubed the chain. The Bel-Ray, IMHO, is much better than the chain wax..
 
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