Monday, March 17, 2008

The Psychology of Washing a Motorcycle

cleaning a harleyMost everyone washes and polishes their motorcycle at some time. It's how often you do so that reveals something about your interest in riding.

Riders often chide each other over the cleanliness of their bikes, or the lack of cleanliness. Interestingly, a dirty motorcycle is kinda like a badge of honor...

  • A dirty bike is a sign of riding a lot.

  • The more you wash your bike, the less you ride.

  • No one knows if a bike is dirty when its moving down the road.

  • An impeccably clean motorcycle is a sign of someone who's more interested in showing off their bike.
There was a time when I spent a lot of money trying to give my bike a certain "look". I bought a lot of chrome pieces and accessories. I kept telling myself that I was doing this to please myself, but in reality, I was excited when someone stopped to look at my bike.

Those days are over.

Later on, when I bought my Harley, the only aftermarket stuff I bought for it was a stage 1 kit, and some extended mirrors so that I could see out of them better. If I want other people to know something about me, it's that my bike is for riding, not sitting in the parking lot.

One of the guys I ride with regularly has the same philosophy. You can stop at a biker bar, and look at all the bikes, and know which ones don't get ridden much, based on how clean it is.

I still wash and polish my bikes once in a while. But there are places on my bikes that are hard to get to, or I have to remove some pieces to get to them. I don't bother. It's not worth the effort to clean those hard-to-get-to areas when the bike is going to get dirty after the next ride.

But for some guys, it's worth the effort to clean all of it.

1 comment:

  1. Damn right! I've had countless tellings off by my dealer and other motorcyclists. Found this article amongst all the "top 10 ways to clean your motorcycle" results even though i googled "I don't bother cleaning my motorbike" ha! but I'm glad to find another rider that thinks the same as me, I mentioned this article in my latest blog post hope thats ok! cheers
    Tom

    ReplyDelete

About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)