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How to… Clean your bike, properly [Part 2]




We’ve already covered what you should be looking for – and looking to avoid – in the substances you use to clean your bike, but getting the right bottles of cleaner is only half the battle.

Here’s how to get the best results from your clean, without causing more harm…

Before you start:

Where you wash your bike is just as important as how you do it. First, make sure you’ve plenty of room to move around, and that it’s parked on firm and level ground. Ideally, it should be on a centre or paddock stand. If it only has a side stand fitted, it’s a good idea to strap the front brake on to stop it rolling off.

Make sure you’re in the shade, as washing in direct sunlight can increase drying time and cause marks/streaks to form. It can also reduce the effectiveness of cleaning products.
Make sure the your bike is switched off and stone cold before you start, adding products to hot surfaces can cause marks and in extreme cases, certain cleaning products can ignite.

Getting started:

Make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Most good bike cleaning solutions require a short period of time ‘sitting’ on your machine, to allow the solution time to soften, dissolve and pick up the contaminants, and power through the stubborn bits.

Make sure you leave it to work for the recommended time, no more, no less, as this can affect how well the cleaner performs: not leaving it on long enough won’t give it chance to deal with the dirt, but leaving it on too long can have a similar effect too. Gel cleaners are the ones to go for, as they stay in contact with dirt longer.

Down and dirty:

Some bits of stubborn dirt and grime might need agitated to help get it off. Use a sponge for this, and make sure it’s clean, as rubbing a dirty one on your bike can cause scratches/damage. Make sure you have access to a supply of fresh, clean water to rinse them with and do it after every session.

Never use brushes as the bristles, and the dirt/grit particles that can are often trapped in them, can cause serious damage to paint, panels, plastic and metals. If you’re worried, re-apply cleaner to the problem area after rinsing, this should shift it.

For really grimy areas, like the drive chain, it’s worth investing in a separate product specifically designed to deal with it. A good chain cleaner will be specifically formulated to get old lube and gunk off, without having to start scrubbing at it. It’s worth spending a little more to make sure the job’s done right.

Rinse and repeat:

Once your solutions have worked their magic, rinse off with clean, cold water. Use a garden hose or bucket/jug and not a power/jet wash, as the pressure from the spray can blast through seals and into wiring, and other components; lift or damage paint; and take some of your cleaning solution with it.

Leave a high PH or Alkali cleaner sitting in the nooks and crannies of your bike, and it’ll slowly eat it’s way through it. If you do use a jet washer keep the nozzle well away from the machine and avoid pointing the jet directly into electrics and seals etc.

If there’s still dirt, don’t be too quick to grab the sponge, re-apply cleaner to the problem area and let it have another go.

The finishing touches:

Once fully rinsed, dry your bike with a chamoix/soft cloth, as air-drying may leave water marks. Don’t rub the cloth across the wet surface, as this can cause scratching. Unfold it, lay it over the surface and allow it to soak up the water. Lift off, ring out and re-apply until your bike is dry.

Polishes, protectants and finishers can be then be applied to specific areas, if needed. Paint and plastic polishes will remove fine scratches and revitalise the colour of body panels, without damaging decals. As with the cleaner, buy something bike-specific, read the ingredients and instructions carefully.

Metal components like the engine block, frame, and forks will also benefit from treatment, as over time they can ‘grey’ and ‘bleach’, as can plastic and rubber parts such as mudguards, mirrors and indicators. Although many separate solutions are available to treat these areas, they can be abrasive on the sensitive surfaces and are fiddly to use. Again, go for a spray on product that requires no rubbing or polishing.

Finally, it’s worth investing a little more time to protect against corrosion, especially during the winter months. A light coating of oil over vulnerable areas will offer some protection, but a proper corrosion inhibitor is the best bet.

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Phil's probably the shortest motorcycle journalist on the planet, standing just 5ft 4in, but has almost certainly got the longest beard in the industry (we've not measured it yet). Cruiser test then?


Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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Ex-Skully Helmet bosses theft claims ‘without merit’; case dropped



Lawsuit against founders of Skully, the failed connected helmet-maker reportedly dropped.

The dream of an augmented reality projecting, heads-up display motorcycle helmet has been offered by a few companies over recent years, but there have been none more famous and fabled than Californian technology Start-up Skully.

Launched via Indiegogo in 2014 the company managed to raise $2,446,824 in crowdsourced funds to help them deliver their AR-1 helmet. However despite securing another whopping $11 million in additional investor funding, after much delay and negative press, the company announced in August of 2016 that they were closing; and that few (if any) of the helmets promised would be delivered.

Of the many reports with regards to the company’s inability to ship a final product, the most voracious and damaging of all where the ones surrounding the alleged misappropriation of funds by the two founding brothers of the company, Mitchell and Marcus Weller.

In a lawsuit filed by ex-employee Isabelle Faithauer who claimed wrongful dismissal, Faithauer filed a complaint claiming that the ‘Wellers used Skully corporate accounts as their personal piggy banks’ and that they had demanded that Faithauer ‘conceal the true nature of the expenses by entering them in Skully’s books to make it appear that the expenses were incurred for legitimate business expenses, which in fact they were clearly not’.

Amongst the list of falsely claimed expenses, the lawsuit detailed such payments being made on a variety of items, from Grocery Bills through to a pair of Dodge Vipers and a $13,000 trip to Las Vegas.

Once news of the lawsuit broke – and the details within it emerged – forums, message-boards and Indiegogo themselves were inundated with hundreds of customers and product investors furious at the alleged misuse of their funds; not to mention the lack of actual helmet that they had paid for.

Whilst it may not have been the absolute reason for Skully’s failure, there is no doubt that the negative press and legal expenses surrounding the case did not come at the best time for the company and had played a significant role in the ultimate closure of the business.

However it’s been brought to Motofire’s attention – via an anonymous message online – that the plaintiff for the case, Isabelle Faithauer herself has now withdrawn her claims that and has in fact admitted that her accusations made in the lawsuit could be construed as being ‘without merit’.

According to the document that we have been sent, Faithauer states that after her dismissal from Skully, Inc in December 2015 she was ‘upset’ and that during the discovery phase of her case by her attorney she soon came to learn that ‘many facts, documents, and information th’ uncovered ‘could lead a reasonable jury to conclude that [her] claims were totally without merit’.

She states that it is for this reason that she dismissed her claims against the Wellers in an agreement to settle for mutual release of claims. The document is signed 28th of December 2017.

Motofire have attempted to contact both Faithauer and her Attorney to confirm the veracity of the statement we have received but at the time of publishing have not received reply.

It’s another intriguing twist in a company tale and story that seems to refuse to lay down and die and whatever the truth, there is no doubt that Skully tapped into the desire for motorcyclists to utilise greater technology within their day-to-day riding, and that the heads-up technology envisioned by the company will eventually be developed successfully.

In fact, since the initial closure of Skully helmets, a new consortium have taken ownership of the brand and have promised to release their version of the AR-1 helmet – now appropriately titled the Fenix – in the summer of 2018.

Neither of the Weller brothers have any involvement in the new setup.

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