Fixing Up a Used Motorcycle: Cleaning the Engine Fixing Up a Used Motorcycle: Cleaning the Engine

What You'll Need
Degreaser
Soft brush
Lint-free towels
Citrus cleaner
Air compressor and hose
Pressure washer

You may be able to purchase a used motorcycle very inexpensively but be forewarned that it may need a lot of cleaning. The leather may need some treatment and the gauges dusted off but, more importantly, the engine will need a good cleaning. If the engine is dirty then the used motorcycle will not work properly. This can be said about any motorcycle you own or will own in the future. Cleaning the engine may be one of the more laborious tasks you undertake when cleaning a used motorcycle, but it has to be done. It is not hard to clean it but cleaning it right takes time. The article that follows will show you how to properly clean the engine on your used motorcycle.

Step 1 - Remove the Dust and Dirt

A used motorcycle can be pretty again if not for the accumulation of dirt, grime, leaves and other things left behind while riding them. The first step to cleaning the engine is to remove this mass amount of organic material. Getting in there with a towel and brush is not going to get the job done and, in fact, can make things much worse. Conduct a visual examination of the engine first. If you see any visible signs of leaves, twigs or other larger debris you can go ahead and remove them by hand. Just remember to never clean a motorcycle while it is running or still hot. Once the visual debris has been removed you can move on to the next phase. Connect an air hose to the air compressor. Blow air around the engine and over the engine. The air produced will be strong enough to dislodge any leaves or twigs.

Step 2 - Degrease the Engine

The engine on a used motorcycle becomes very greasy. This is a relatively natural occurrence because of the way the engine is manufactured and how it works. Oil leaks can also happen quite frequently. This added grease can burn and become caked on to the metal of the engine. The only way to move it is by using a very strong degreasing product. Spray the degreaser on the engine and allow it to set for several minutes. Use the soft brush to work the degreaser around the engine then wipe it off using the lint-free towel. You will need multiple towels and you will also need to do this several times in order to remove all of the grease.

Step 3 - Final Cleanse

After the engine has been degreased spray the engine with citrus cleaner. This will remove any lasting residue or grease left on the engine. Let the cleaner sit on the engine for several minutes so it can work. Connect the pressure washer and spray down the engine to remove the citrus cleaner. Continue until no suds remain. Gather several lint-free towels and start wiping down the engine to dry it off. Use a fresh towel to buff the engine.

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