Some riders love getting home after a hard ride on the track or trail and cleaning up their bike to a showroom shine.

Others dread it.

One thing is clear - whether you love or hate cleaning your bike - it has to be done. A good cleaning takes some time but it doesn't have to be painful. With practice and some tips, you don't necessarily have to spend as much time cleaning your bike as you did riding it. Though we certainly understand if you want to spend that much time cleaning. It's a thing of beauty after all!

If you do fall in the camp of dreading the clean-up, know that keeping your dirt bike clean is the first step in maintaining your bike. One of the keys to winning is a well-maintained bike. Dirt, grease and grime can wear down the vital parts of your bike, like the bearings, seals, chain and sprockets, among others, much faster.

That's one dirty bike

The first step to cleaning your dirt bike is spray down the major parts with a good quality bike cleaner. Spray down all plastics, the seat, tires, wheels frame, swingarm and handlebars. Use a degreaser anywhere grease tends to cake up like the chain and sprockets and pretty much anywhere chain lube spits off and attracts dirt.

Note: Degreaser is not for use on plastic parts.

Dirt Bike Cleaners

Good Dirt Bike Cleaner

Better Dirt Bike Cleaner

Best Dirt Bike Cleaner

Liquid Performance Cycle Wash - 32 oz

Slick Cleaner Ready to Use - 32oz Spray

Maxima Bio Wash Cleaner

Price: $7.99

Price: $11.99

Price: $8.99

Features:

  • Surfactant-based formula lifts dirt from the surface
  • Leaves an unequaled shine
  • Safe for high-tech metal or plastic
  • Non-corrosive and biodegradable

Features:

  • Designed to penetrate and lift the toughest dirt, oil, grease and grime
  • Multi-purpose and biodegradable
  • Use on plastic, rubber, painted surfaces, and more
  • Ready-to-use formula

Features:

  • Fully biodegradable, Eco-friendly formula
  • Advanced micro chemistry
  • Special additives protect aluminum, magnesium and other alloys
  • Safe on paint, plastic, carbon fiber, rubber and alloys
 

Dirt Bike Degreasers

Good Dirt Bike Degreaser

Better Dirt Bike Degreaser

Best Dirt Bike Degreaser

Maxima Contact Cleaner

1.7 Cleaning Solutions Concentrated Wash/Degreaser

Maxima Clean Up Degreaser

Price: $6.99

Price: $12.99

Price: $10.99

Features:

  • Quickly removes oil and grease
  • Removes soft carbon deposits
  • Displaces moisture
  • Leaves no residue

Features:

  • Proprietary concentrate spray-on formula
  • Biodegradable, non toxic formula
  • Developed, tested and used by the top teams and riders
  • Will not harm your bike finish or graphics

Features:

  • Removes caking and build-up
  • Breaks down dirt
  • Dissolves grease and other contaminants
  • Do Not use on plastic or Lexan windshields
 

Now rinse everything off - but first pop in a muffler plug. Metal + water = rust. You don't want water in your exhaust system and in a worst case scenario - water can seep into your engine and that's never a good idea.

Additionally, an air box cover allows you to wash out the air filter box without getting water or debris into your carburetor and engine. Pop one of those on too.

Muffler Plugs

Good Muffler Plugs

Better Muffler Plugs

Best Muffler Plugs

BikeMaster Rubber Muffler Plug

FMF Muffler Plug

Acerbis Muffler Plug 2T/4T

Price: $4.99-$5.99

Price: $4.99

Price: $7.99

Features:

  • Protects the exhaust system from water
  • Keeps humidity from entering pipe as it cools down or prevents condensation inside the pipe during storage
  • Formulated to be stiff enough to not fall out but soft enough to insert into the pipe without damage

Features:

  • Keeps water out of your exhaust system
  • Tapered rings spanning from 3/4" to 2-1/4"
  • Will not not fit exhaust outlets smaller than 3/4"
  • Keeps dirt and debris out of your exhaust while in storage or traveling

Features:

  • Seals the silencer
  • Keeps water and debris from entering the exhaust system during transportation and cleaning
  • Fits 4-stroke and 2-stroke exhaust systems
 

Air Box Cover

Good Air Box Cover

Better Air Box Cover

Best Air Box Cover

Acerbis Uniko Airbox Wash Cover

No Toil Airbox Cover

Twin Air - Air Box Cover

Price: $19.99

Price: $24.99

Price: $32.99 - $33.99

Features:

  • Rubber NBR fuel-resistant material
  • Fits to every filter cage
  • 100% waterproof barrier
  • Easily and quickly applied to the original filter holder

Features:

  • Made out of a hard, composite material
  • Completely covers your air intake
  • Won't allow any liquids to penetrate to your intake
  • Contact point on cover has a strip of soft rubber to create impermeable seal

Features:

  • Prevents water and cleansers from entering your intake when cleaning
  • Manufactured from tough, durable ABS plastic
  • Rubber sealing ring ensures a perfect, leak-free fit
  • Easy install
 

Next, grab a mitt or rag and use a mild detergent soap to wash your bike. Brushes are your best friend in areas where heavy dirt and grease build up like around the chain, sprockets, swingarm and wheels. A popular tool with riders is a pressure washer. But you have to be careful - a pressure washer can rip the graphics right off the plastic and tear a hole in the seat.

You can use the pressure washer on the chains and sprockets but it's still a good idea to use a degreaser first and if the muck is thick it's always best to break it up using a brush. If you use a pressure washer also avoid spraying directly in areas with bearings and electrical components.

Distance is your friend - don't use a pressure washer at point blank range.

Good Cleaning Brush

Better Cleaning Brush

Best Cleaning Brush

BikeMaster 3-Peice Brush Set

Grunge Brush

1.7 Cleaning Solutions 6-Pack Brush Kit

Price: $9.99

Price: $14.99

Price: $69.99

Features:

  • Brass, nylon and stainless steel brushes
  • Plastic handles

Features:

  • Specifically designed to clean motorcycle and ATV chains
  • can be used on O-ring and non O-ring chains
  • Oil resistant
  • Attacks greasy chains from 3 angles

Features:

  • Soft nylon brush for bike washing
  • Hard nylon short scrub brush for parts and chain cleaning
  • Soft scrub brush with Scotchbrite panels
  • Two small wire brushes and one soft spoke brush
 

Once you're satisfied the mud, muck, dirt and grease is broken up, rinse everything off again. Check underneath too. You may be one of many people who forget to wash the bike's "back side." Check the underside of the frame and swingarm for any build-up.

Now it's time to dry the bike.

Start with a heavy towel to sop up the excess water then switch to a smaller microfiber cloth to grab the remaining dampness and residual dirt and grease. Microfiber cloths also leave your bike water spot and streak free. Compressed air is useful to dry in tight areas you can't reach like around the engine and to blow water from electrical components.

Dirt Bike Cleaning Accessories

Cleaning Mitt

Microfiber Cloth

1.7 Cleaning Solutions Wash Mitt

1.7 Cleaning Solutions Ultra Microfiber Cloth

Price: $9.99

Price: $6.99

Features:

  • Removes dirt and grime without scratching the surface or causing streaks
  • Elastic cuff keeps mitt snug
  • Thick, absorbent construction delivers superior results
  • Washable and reusable

Features:

  • 12" x 14" size
  • Leaves all surfaces with a streak free finish
  • Machine washable
  • Sold as a 4-pack
 

Once your bike is dry use a silicone spray polish on all plastic to help keep dirt and debris from sticking - this makes it easier to wash after the next ride. The silicone spray also gives plastic that "new bike" shine. Finally, lubricate and grease your chain, sprockets and bearings.

Dirt Bike Spray Polish

Good Spray Polish

Better Spray Polish

Best Spray Polish

Pro Honda Spray Cleaner and Polish

Motul Shine & Go

Maxima SC1 Silicone Detailer

Price: $4.74

Price: $9.99

Price: $8.99

Features:

  • Exclusive Honda formula
  • Cuts through road grime, grease and bugs without water
  • Works on paint, chrome, glass, and clear plastic
  • Spray cleaner and polish

Features:

  • Silicone-based spray
  • Leaves a long-lasting non-sticky protective film
  • Dries evenly
  • Repels water and dirt

Features:

  • Restores the factory shine
  • Works as a polish, undercoat protector, and a light lubricant
  • Formulated to repel water and dry completely
  • Easy to use application
 

Ready to Ride

Now you've got a clean bike and next weekend is just around the corner.

Written By: AndrewT