So, I was ready to cruise to my local watering hole, but first I had to get my ride in profiling condition. Feeling a little on the sluggish side, I thought about having my bike cleaned with a good old scrub down of soap and water by a couple of hot bikini-clad babes, but there were a few dos and don’ts I remembered the hard way. (Actually, I do sort of like the hot bikini-clad babes idea) Oh, sorry, I digress. As I was saying, it is essential to keep my ride clean to protect the surface finishes. This is my thought process about the preparation, washing, and the final touches that will have my bike the talk of the boys at my favorite watering hole.

Preparation is essential to achieve the best results of any endeavor. Whether I’m cooking a meal, running a marathon (don’t laugh, back in the day I ran 5k’s and 10k’s), or yes even washing a motorcycle, if the correct ingredients, training, or proper products are not used, the results can be subpar. Even though I just read about different things that Coca-Cola could be used for, I didn’t want to try it on my bike. Instead, I chose the Meguiar’s Essentials Car Care Kit. It’s a bike wash in a box with a 48-ounce Ultimate Wash & Wax, 15.2-ounce Ultimate Quik Wax, 15-oz Hot Shine Tire Coating, Meguiar’s Yellow 3.5 Gallon Bucket, 8” x 10” Microfiber Wash Mitt, Full size 22” x 30” Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel and 3 full size 16” x 24” Supreme Shine Microfiber Towels and other products I can use on my favorite cage or bike. But before I dove into the newly acquired Mequiar’s products, my two-wheel pride and joy was still warm from use, so I decided to grab my favorite beverage and wait until the engine and exhaust system cooled off. Disclaimer, the number of favorite beverages will vary from person to person, so indulge responsibly. Maybe a better way to wait for my machine to cool down would be to prepare the newly acquired Mequiar’s yellow bucket and hose for the wash. Just saying. For those of you reading this, if you happen to get a new super duper high-pressure washer and are chomping at the bit to use it, relax and resist the temptation. If you need time to squash the temptation, go inside and watch reruns of Home Improvement to remind yourself of how much damage too much power in anything can cause. High-pressure water (or air) can damage parts on your ride.

After several rounds of my favorite beverage, I determined my ride had cooled down enough to rinse with cool water to remove loose dirt. Now the paint job on my bike is not pristine, but I didn’t want to cause any further damage by rubbing it while loose dirt was still present on the surface. Resisting the temptation to use my power washer to rinse it off – oh wait, I don’t have one – I used a regular hose nozzle on a light spray setting instead. I grabbed my newly acquired Meguiar’s bottle of Ultimate Wash and Wax, and filled the yellow bucket with water. Wow, so many suds I couldn’t find my microfiber wash mitt! Once found, I slipped it on, and it fit like a glove (no pun intended…well maybe a little). Mindful not to squirt water at the muffler outlets and electrical parts I begin washing my Fat Boy. However, I was also ready to hose any small children in the immediate vicinity if they got too close! One thing before I continue with my story – a lesson I learned from washing my car during my teenage days was to do it in the shade (uh, wash the car that is). A hot surface can cause the water to dry too quickly, leaving hard-to-remove water spots on that beautiful paint job! Another thing from past experiences, rinse the surface often as soapy water left on paint too long will also leave a hard-to-remove film and water spots!

After a final rinsing of my bike, I was ready to dry it. Remember an earlier comment about feeling a little bit sluggish? Well, nothing had changed while washing my bike, so after cranking the big twin, I straddle the seat (the one thing I b**t dried), and head out the neighborhood and up the road to blow off as much water as I can. Of course, I was mindful of the local speed limits, Officer. Heading back home from the ride I affectionately call the ‘blow dry,’ I’m ready to complete the final drying of my bike. My apologies to the young couple pushing their sleeping toddler in the stroller. Yes, my baffle needs replacing. Finding a dry spot under the one tree I have in the front yard, I pull out my water magnet microfiber drying towel and start the remaining tedious drying task. Now, this would be the time I would normally search for that old bottle of wax or polish to give my ride that gloss shine. However, the Mequiar’s wash and wax saved me that step. The finish it left was incredible. All that’s left to clean is the chrome, and with a little engine bright from Harley Haven I’m ready to ride!

So, there you have it. My thought process about the preparation, washing, and final touches that will have my bike the talk of the boys at my favorite watering hole. My ride is now in profiling condition. Although no hot bikini-clad babes were used during this process, I’m still not ruling it out for next time (all for a charity of course). As I was saying, it is essential to keep my ride clean to protect the surface finishes. As they say, prevention is the best protection from expensive paint damage repair. Oh, I will add that no small children or animals were hurt during the washing of my bike. Also, thanks to my neighbor for the use of his dogs to prevent the aforementioned comment from becoming necessary. JUST KIDDING!