Ever been on a road trip and cringed at the thought of coming out of the motel in the morning to your motorcycle covered in yesterday’s road grime? Do you live in an apartment and lack a way to wash your bike with a hose and bucket of suds? Are you living happily in a gated community where the HOA rules don’t allow you to clean your machine on your own driveway?Some of us clean our bikes after every ride. Others clean them when we are too embarrassed to show up to a group ride with bug guts on full display, and some of us never wash our bike. I have a dear friend who literally cleans his pristine Triumph Rocket 3 at each gas and lunch stop. He is quick about it and puts the elbow grease to it while others are taking a bathroom break or waiting for their food to be brought to the table. You should see his cars, garage, and sock drawer!
I am the type of bike owner who is tolerant of a little dirt, grime, and a few bugs. Still, I always clean my windshield, fairing, and tank after each ride. The rest usually waits until I might be riding the dirtiest bike in a group.To test the Muc-Off Motorcycle Waterless Wash & Protectant Kit, I didn’t wash my bike for 4 months. Most of that time was Pacific Northwest winter, so there wasn’t a lot of riding, but there was a good amount of dried road puddle splash, rain, and a typical amount of bug guts.I had never tried a ‘waterless’ cleaner and I didn’t know what to expect. The box comes with a hand pump plastic spray bottle of pink High-Performance Waterless Wash, an aerosol can of All Over Motorcycle Protectant, and two Muc-Off branded thick microfiber cloths. The instructions for the Waterless Wash are so simple: Spray on any bike surface, wait a bit, wipe off. That’s it. More extensive instructions are not needed.Muc-Off Waterless Wash has a pleasant smell and has some sort of ‘nano’ technology that Muc-Off claims encapsulates dirt for a streak-free shine. I sprayed and wiped each body part separately—front fender, fairing, shorty shield, etc.As I wiped dry each section, the new cleanliness and shine were obvious next to each untouched area. The dried-on bug guts that would typically require a fingernail to dislodge when washing with a bucket of suds still took a fingernail, however. The whole process is surprisingly quick to accomplish, and I can “wash” my entire Yamaha Venture inside the garage—no wasted water and dirty looks from my drought-conscious neighbors.Muc-Off states that its Waterless Wash is for use between major washes. I certainly wouldn’t want to try to clean a muddy bike with Waterless Wash because wiping around hard contaminants like that will scratch the paint. I diligently cleaned my motorcycle, which has a large surface area, and used about one-quarter of the bottle.The Muc-Off Motorcycle Waterless Wash & Protectant Kit runs $40 MSRP, with a 25-ounce replacement bottle of the Waterless Wash alone priced at $18. That came out to under $5 for this impressive hand-wash session. I was extremely pleased with the shine of the chrome and painted parts, but I wasn’t done yet. I still had the Protectant aerosol to put on.The Muc-Off Motorcycle Protectant instructions are just as simple: spray on, wipe off excess and let dry. However, the Motorcycle Protectant is petroleum-based, so it is flammable. The instructions specifically tell the user to not smoke while using and avoid breathing vapors. There is also a section on first aid, and Muc-Off warns the rider to not get the spray on tire treads or braking surfaces.All warnings duly noted, I laid down a smooth coating and wiped it with the second microfiber cloth. I moved along from section to section, and it took only a few minutes for me to coat and wipe my entire Yamaha Venture. The Muc-Off Motorcycle Protectant spray displaces any remaining water and is supposed to make the surface less attractive to dirt and, according to Muc-Off, “It has a high oil content, so it is a perfect ‘all over’ after-wash corrosion inhibitor.”I didn’t know what to expect with a waterless wash, and I am here to say that Muc-Off Waterless Wash has impressed me. My black Yamaha Venture is really clean and very shiny. Since I have saddlebags, I will be taking Muc-Off Motorcycle Waterless Wash & Protectant Kit with me on upcoming overnights. Coming out to a clean bike in the morning is a nice way to begin the day.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.