Every dirt rider knows the pleasure of hopping on the bike and trailing up for miles on mud, hills, and exciting off-road tracks.
But all that riding eventually messes up the bike – especially the plastic covers.
They end up all dirty, muddy, and filled with sand and rocks that need to be cleaned as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will slowly wear down the plastic and make it look awful in the long term.
Cleaning these plastic parts, however, is not an easy job. While it seems like a simple rinse with a high-pressure hose would suffice – it doesn’t.
You need to know what you’re doing to both prevent damage and clean the plastic thoroughly. And that can take a little more time than expected.
Luckily, we have a solution. After reading what we have in this article, you’ll learn how to clean dirt bike plastics and tackle the job with little effort.
So, are you ready to learn? Then hop on!
5 Steps to Clean Dirt Bike Plastics
While it seems like a straightforward job, it actually takes a little more effort than you may expect. But we can separate the whole process in 5 steps – so you can clean the plastics calmly but effectively.
Here are the steps you should follow:
Step 1: Rinse the Plastics
Rinsing the bike thoroughly should be the first step into cleaning its plastics. Get rid of the surface dirt and mud, or just anything that you can get off with a simple stream of water.
First, start by placing the bike on stands. Both wheels should be off the ground. This will make it easy to clean and reach parts that would otherwise be uncomfortable.
We recommend rinsing the bike only once the metals are cold. Especially the exhausts and the engine – you won’t like the water vaporizing or the cleaning compound drying up.
For the rinsing, a high-pressure hose will do the job. If you can get a water compressor, that would be even better to get rid of the dirt clumps.
Once the bike plastics are all soaked and mostly free of any build-up – then you can proceed to apply the cleaner.
Step 2: Wash with a Cleaner
There are tons of different cleaners you can choose to do the job. From regular soap to motorcycle cleaner and even plastic-oriented detergents will all work decently well.
Be careful, however, not to use a degreaser or anything similar. Things like WD-40, waxes, and related products tend to be used for getting rid of debris and dirt in metal – but they don’t work well in plastic. You may end up causing horrible damage to the graphics and overall surface.
Instead, use something made for plastics or something more general that doesn’t cause any damage.
Once you spray or apply the cleanser on the plastic, rubbing with a brush or towel, and getting rid of the remaining dirt spots – then you should let it sit for a few minutes.
After 3 to 5 minutes of the cleaner doing its job – then you’re ready to hose the plastics again. The more pressure the hose offers, the more effective the whole cleaning will be.
Step 3: Dry Everything Off
The plastic looks clean now, but it is soaking wet. So you need to dry it off.
Here, we recommend staying away from any heat gun, hairdryer, or anything of the like. You should use a dry towel for every plastic part or an air gun. Artificial heat may eventually damage the plastic, and you surely don’t want that – but a mild air compressor will do the job just fine.
You should still get rid of as much moisture as possible. This will prevent any unwanted build-up, watermarks, and unnecessary corrosion.
Step 4: Polish the Plastics
Once you’re done with the drying, your bike should look neat and ready to store. But first, you may want to give a final polish.
You can find tons of different polish products out there for plastics. A regular car polish will do the job as well.
What we recommend is applying it everywhere over the plastic parts – but not in letterings, bolts, trims, or small crevices. The wax or liquid would get inside the spaces and leave an awkward appearance.
To prevent this further, you can use a cloth or something similar. Most polish liquids come with their own sprayer and soft towels so you can do this even more effectively.
Overall, just try following the specific polish instructions. Some of them will tell you to wait for the wax to dry off and then rub around. Others will command you to directly rub the liquid and let it sit.
After about 30 minutes after polishing the plastics, you should have a beautiful-looking shell on your bike. It should look neat, shiny, and ready for another ride with the best appearance. You can proceed to store it.
Step 5: Get a Plastic Renewal (Optional)
So, let’s say you cleaned up the plastic and found a few parts with scratches, cracks, or simply unwanted marks that water and detergent can’t get rid of.
In that case, you can proceed to renew the plastic. This should help you get rid of any inconsistency on the surface while giving it a smooth look.
This is also something you can do every time something happens with the plastics. And it shouldn’t wear them off too much.
Here’s how to proceed with the renewal:
- Sand the Plastics
The first step into renewing the plastics is to sand the areas that you need to renew. In some cases, you may need to sand the entire plastic surface of a specific part – and that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
In case you need to sand specific small spaces, then do so with care. Try to only get rid of the surface paint and/or vinyl without damaging the plastic more than it is.
The sanding will have one purpose: eliminate the inconsistencies while making it easier for the renewing product to stick to the surface.
- Apply the Renewal Product
Then rejuvenate with the renewal product. Some of these plastic-renewing waxes look like polishers but have the sole purpose of getting into cracks, crevices, and scratches to make them look like there’s nothing. They also fish tarnish, corrosion, and other kinds of plastic issues.
It is essential to not apply much. You can do this by grabbing a cloth and rubbing the product on the surface softly. Do not apply directly as it will produce buffing that makes the plastic looks awful afterward.
Check the plastic from far away to see how it looks. If the unwanted part doesn’t appear anymore, then you’ve renewed the plastic successfully.
- Cover or Paint (If Necessary)
Some people like to leave their plastics renewed with no paint or coat. This could look a little awkward, but as long as the restored part is not that large – then it shouldn’t be a problem.
But if you renewed a large portion of a plastic part, then you’ll want to cover it with vinyl/stickers or paint it.
If you’re painting it, make sure you paint the whole bike. For that, you’ll need vehicle paint, a paint sprayer, and cover the rest of the bike’s parts to prevent messing up.
Otherwise, just get a vinyl sticker or something similar and place it over the renewed area. Use a heat gun if necessary.
This should be enough to make your bike plastics look like new – or at least not dirty/messy.
Clean Your Bike Plastics Today!
So, are you ready to start cleaning your bike plastics? There shouldn’t be much of a problem now if your bike looks awfully messy and muddy. Just follow the previous steps, and that should be enough to clean it thoroughly.
Don’t let your bike stay dirty ever again. Start cleaning it today and make it look like new!