Tips for cleaning your wheels inexpensively
Cleaning motorcycle wheels can be a huge hassle. I hate having to put my bike up on stands, I hate having to scrub the grime off my hands afterwards. I can’t make those tasks any better, but I can make the actual process of cleaning your wheels a lot quicker.
Here are the few tips you need to clean your wheels in a flash.
- Do it while the wheels are dry. Brake dust and other road grime is actually harder to remove when wet, which is where proper wheel-cleaners work better. But there’s no need to wash your bike when it’s just the wheels that need a wipe down!
- Do it while the wheels are warm, after a ride works well.
- Use WD-40 or CRC. These sprays cut through grime and can be used to polish up all sorts of surfaces. The main gunk you find on your rear wheel is chain lube mixed with tyre rubber. You’ll find that WD-40 or CRC works amazingly well. It also lasts way longer and is cheaper than most wheel cleaners on the market.
- WD-40 and CRC is also less damaging to other components should you spray things like your brake lines by mistake, whereas most wheel cleaners specifically advise you against spray near anything rubbery!
- WD-40 and CRC will leave a protective layer on your wheels, preventing some damage due to external factors and makes it easier to clean your wheels next time.
- Forget a rag, just use toilet paper. It works well and one roll should last you around 6 wheels-worth (tried and tested, can confirm). You can throw away small bits of toilet paper after it gets dirty rather than redistributing dirt when using a rag.
- Unlike wheel cleaners that are formulated specifically for wheels, a can of CRC or WD-40 has a ton of other uses too. Use it to lubricate and protect your brake and clutch lever pivot points and things like your footpeg pivot points. I personally tend not to soak rubber lines in WD-40 or CRC. Use Armor-all instead. It has additives that protect rubber from UV Light.
Theory in practice
Now might also be a good time to check whether your front wheel is aligned!