How to Clean Motorcycle Wheels: A Complete Guide

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Are you looking for how to clean your motorcycle wheels, so they are shining?

You are in the right place. Everyone wishes to have a sparkly clean motorcycle, though maintaining this perfect finish can be daunting.

To achieve a fresh finish from the factory appearance, you should focus on minor details such as cleaning the motorcycle’s wheel. These are the areas that get grubby first and most easily.

Therefore, you should pay attention to them as you maintain your motorcycle. 

Cleaning a motorbike is tricky as you have to be extra careful that no lubricating product contacts the brake pads and discs. The braking quality is highly affected if these parts are exposed. Therefore, be extra careful to ensure they are always well protected as you clean the wheel’s exterior.

How To Clean Motorcycle Aluminum/Alloy Wheels

Bike maintenance, although it may seem like a chore to some, is essential for motorcycle owners. Your wheels are something that you need to polish every time you ride.

The first parts of your vehicle to make contact with the ground are your tires and wheels, which also take the brunt of any mud, sand, or other debris you may fling at them.

So that you can get the most out of your wheels, we’ve produced a step-by-step guide to help you clean them as effectively as you can so that they work at their peak the next time you’re bush bashing or hitting the tracks.

What you need:

Keep the following items on hand before caring for your motorcycle’s wheels. Here is a list of the supplies you will need to complete an aluminum wheel cleaning project.

  • Steel Wool – used for scrubbing and polishing the wheels.
  • Metal Polish – waxes the aluminum wheel surfaces to protect them and bring back their natural sheen.
  • Microfiber Towel – A few microfiber cloths will be used for drying and buffing the wheels.
  • Clean Rag – use it to wipe excess cleaner, dirt and spills.
  • Mag & Aluminum Polish – Aluminum wheels are rapidly cleaned, enhancing their look. Utilize a product designed especially for use on aluminum. It is made to remove dirt, stains, and rust from metal without damaging it.

Step 1: Wash off the wheels

To send out a powerful jet of water, use a water hose. Clean every nook and cranny, including those in the brake calipers, the brake spokes, and behind the wheels. Be sure to clean the brake dust off. Your aluminum wheel and other wheel parts get damaged by the dust.

Step 2: De-grease and remove debris

Give the good Wheel spraying cleaner. Scrub all the surfaces you can reach with your soft bristle brush. For the tiniest crevices, use a little brush.

Rinse well, and then dry off with a fresh microfiber towel. Scrub your wheels with soap and water in case there is still some stubborn dirt adhered to the surface.

However, even with gentle brushes, avoid scrubbing clear-coated wheels too vigorously. Instead, use detailed clay to clean confined spaces.

Finally, clean the wheels to remove everything entirely. Before using them, wipe the wheels well to prevent scratches.

Step 3: Apply cream to the spokes of the wheels

To remove the grime and dirt:

  1. Rub some lotion on the spokes.
  2. Apply some lotion to your fingertips, then rub it over the spokes.
  3. Rub the spokes with an aerosol-mixed rag to remove the gunk.
  4. Rub the front portion of the spokes after cleaning the back portion.

Your motorcycle’s aluminum wheels are now ready for polishing after the spokes have been cleaned.

Step 4: Clean and polish the wheels

Utilize a wheel cleaner safe for aluminum to clean and polish the aluminum. Pay close attention to the products you purchase and whether they complement the surface you plan to polish.

Other wheel cleaners include dangerous chemicals that could destroy your aluminum wheels’ polish. When you’re finished, wipe the wheels with a fresh microfiber towel and determine whether more polishing is necessary.

Thoroughly polished aluminum will have an exceedingly reflective and mirror-like sheen, much like chrome.

Because it is a rather soft metal, aluminum takes polishing well. Maintaining the pristine appearance of your motorcycle’s aluminum wheels requires regular cleaning and polishing.

How to Use WD-40 to Clean Alloy Wheels

For particularly dirty alloy wheels, using products such as WD-40 is a highly effective way to make your wheels shine brighter than ever.

We advise that you clean your motorcycle wheels as per the above instructions before moving on to the WD-40 alloy wheel cleaning procedure. This pre-wash gets rid of the larger outside dirt particles and makes sure that WD-40 can reach even the smallest spaces for thorough cleaning:

Step 1: Make sure the wheels are dry and avoid soaking them right before using WD-40 to clean them.

Step 2: Spray WD-40 on a premium microfiber cloth to make it a cleaning tool.

Step 3: Now, start wiping the microfiber cloth freely over the wheels. Don’t forget to pay attention to the spokes. If you see that the accumulation is particularly heavy in one area, spray the area softly.

Step 4: Now, wait around two minutes while the WD-40 is applied to the permitted wheels. The formulation will then begin penetrating the caked filth as this happens.

You should try to rub all wheels at once to speed up the procedure and save time. Then take the next action. In this manner, the WD-40 will have ample time to cover the other wheels.

Step 5: Take a fresh microfiber cloth now, and after a little while, simply wipe the WD-40 away.

Step 6: The wheels should now be submerged in ordinary water.

Step 7: Use your preferred wheel cleaner at this point.

Step 8: Spray it all over the wheels.

Step 9: Now, use a boar’s brush to reach the smaller portions of the wheels. On the surface of the Wheel, you can sweep the brush in a circular motion. This movement will easily lift any remaining dirt and bring it to the surface. Make sure you are concentrating on the spokes where this dirt collects.

The automotive store sells these brushes for a very low price.

As the brush tends to grow dirty, continue washing it in warm water while taking periodic breaks.

Use your old toothbrush if you can’t find the proper one. The flexible, soft bristles and long handles are ideal for easily accessing tight spaces.

Step 10: The wheels should now be properly rinsed. For rinsing out any remaining dirt or cleaner from the Wheel, you can use a hose. Cleaner traces that are left behind will eventually dry out and lead to rust if they are not removed.

Set the broad spray or fan on your hose’s adjustable nozzle for greater coverage. Spray water continuously until it runs clear to ensure thorough cleaning!

Key Note to remember:

Before applying WD-40 to the wheels, ensure you have thoroughly cleaned them with a wheel cleaner. Be aware that WD-40 tends to dispense water, which might cause it to attract dust. Therefore, after using WD-40 for appropriate cleaning, thoroughly washing the tires with water will eliminate it.

How To Clean Motorcycle Chrome Wheels

One of the many methods to give your otherwise motorcycle a sleeker, sporty appearance is using chrome wheels. Although they provide a luxurious touch to any vehicle, they need regular, careful maintenance.

Without regular maintenance, chrome wheels can develop pitting from corrosion, lose shine, peel away from the metal structure beneath, corrode at the bead and valve stem, and cause air leaks.

Because chrome is such a soft metal, brake dust can more easily pierce it and cause chrome wheels to pit. Carbon fibers from the brake pad, glue, and microscopic metal shavings from the rotor are the main components of brake dust.

This mixture is extremely corrosive due to the heat and friction produced during braking. Brake dust is continually produced when you’re driving since you brake frequently.

The best method to clean discolored chrome wheels and keep your wheels safe is to clean them frequently with the right solution.

It’s not advisable to clean with soap and water because some soaps include harsh ingredients like hydrofluoric acid or oxalic acid. These components in soaps and cleaners have the potential to spot and permanently discolor the chrome.

Step 1: Rinse the wheels

To get rid of loose debris and dust, rinse each Wheel separately with a garden hose or pressure washer. It’s important to rinse and clean each wheel at a time to ensure no water remains on the surface after to avoid leaving stains.

Step 2: Spray the cleaning agent

Apply Tire Cleaner all over the surface. Let the cleaner rest for about two minutes or so.

Step 3: Scrub

To remove any grit from the Wheel, scrub it with a soft-bristled wheel brush. Bristles of soft synthetic material remove dirt and dust without damaging the chrome. Cleaning each Wheel from front to rear requires reaching through the spokes.

Step 4: Rinse again with clean water

Be sure to rinse the spokes thoroughly.

Step 5: Dry the wheels

Let the wheels air dry instead of drying them manually with a chamois or soft cloth. Use a microfiber towel if you’d rather hand-dry to lessen the risk of scratching the chrome surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean oxidized motorcycle spokes?

The best way to clean oxidized motorcycle spokes is using warm soapy water. Another effective cleaning agent is kerosene.

How do I make my motorcycle spokes shine?

Applying some metal polish to the motorcycle spokes will make them sparkle. Spread the cream over the spoke’s surface, including the joints, using a piece of a soft cloth.

Can you use WD40 to clean motorcycle wheels?

A motorcycle’s wheel and other metal components can be cleaned with WD-40. It does remove filth and grime effectively, according to reports. But you should exercise caution because it’s not always kind to the rubber in your tires.

Additionally, any chemical residue that remains on the wheels attracts a lot of dirt. So, if you use it, be sure to carefully wipe the Wheel to get rid of any leftover material.

Can you use an all-purpose cleaner to clean the wheels?

Yes, it also functions on wheels. The majority of all-purpose cleaners are made to work on steel and remove stains from steel surfaces, but you should first check the label on the cleaner carefully.

Because of this, they effectively clean the Wheel on your motorcycle. Similar steps apply when cleaning your dashboard.

What is the cheapest way to clean alloy wheels?

When filthy, alloy wheels require thorough cleaning to eliminate oxidation, corrosion, and rust. Putting vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle is one of the least expensive ways to clean alloy wheels.

After that, spray it on the wheels and let it sit for a while. Now take it off with a microfiber cloth and rinse it with water.

What if I don’t clean my wheels?

Not washing your wheels has no real drawbacks. If you don’t clean them, the dust and road grime might build up and become harder to remove, requiring vigorous washing and agitation.

If you don’t clean them at all, they’ll continue to appear filthy. Dust can occasionally damage the clear coat on factory-finished wheels, requiring paint and finishing the repair.

Why do my wheels get dirty so quickly?

Your vehicle’s entire exterior, including the wheels, is exposed to the weather. The brake pad material deteriorates while you drive due to friction and heat generated by your brake pads rubbing against the rotors (or drums).

The pad material is transformed into dust by friction and heat, which settles on your wheels’ surfaces. Additionally, driving on slick or filthy roads makes the process worse.