Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer Review [Shine On]

Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer Review: MSRP
Setup to use the Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer is easy; the product and a microfiber cloth—or a clean cotton terrycloth—work well together.

We recently reviewed Muc-Off Speed Polish and reported it did a great job putting the gleam back on a 2007 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883R that had gone too long between good wash and wax jobs. Turns out, Muc-Off also offers a product that addresses a problem I’ve had on several motorcycles over the years—how to liven up those matte-finish parts of a bike that have gone dull or faded and don’t respond well to most wax products. As with the Muc-Off Speed Polish, the folks at my local powersports dealer, Vetesnik Powersports in Richland Center, Wisc., suggested Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer (MSRP, $16/8.4 fl. oz.).

Since that same Sportster has side covers finished in matte black, and my 2015 Triumph Bonneville T214 Land Speed Limited Edition with an engine finished in a mildly-textured matte black was sorely in need of a good wash and wax, this was a good time to have a look at that.

First, I gave the Bonneville T214 a good top-to-bottom wash job. That was followed by a wax/polish treatment. I applied the Muc-Off Speed Polish using basically the same techniques as described in the bit about the Sportster.

Muc-off Matte Finish Detailer: Price
The finished result looked great on the relatively new matte black finish on the 2015 Triumph T214 Bonneville engine.

Next, the engine and cases with the matte black finish got their due with the Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer. The steps in the directions are straightforward—shake the bottle vigorously; apply to clean, dry, cool matte surfaces; wipe with a microfiber cloth; leave to dry. Do not get overspray on brake or tire tread surfaces.

The Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer instructions suggest masking brake surfaces to prevent overspray from getting on those surfaces. Instead, I opted to do as I had done with the Speed Polish—I sprayed the product liberally on a microfiber cloth and applied it with that. I let it dry, then did a follow-up wipe with another dry cloth.

Being an incessant troublemaker, I also gave natural cotton terrycloth a try—an athletic sock turned inside out—to see how that would work. It worked fine. The results on the Triumph engine were highly satisfactory with one treatment. However, the Bonneville is only seven years old; the paint on the engine has very little evidence of fade, wear, or heat damage. Use whichever technique you find works best on your particular finish.

Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer - Harley-Davidson Sportster
Before: The finish on the 15-year-old 883R left side cover had some evidence of fade prior to the application of Matte Finish Detailer.

The side covers on my 15-year-old Sportster were another matter. The matte black paint on its metal side covers had faded to a matte dark gray. There were also a couple of very small nicks in the paint.

“Tough project,” I thought.

Looking at them, I began to think maybe just re-painting would be a better approach—would it be fair to Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer to expect much improvement?

After: The finish on the left side cover of the 883R improved considerably after cleaning and using Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer.

Despite my apprehension, I decided to give it a try. After cleaning the side covers and applying the Matte Finish Detailer, I was pleasantly surprised to see a marked improvement. Although the nicks were still present, of course, the Matte Finish Detailer worked well enough to buy me some time before I do that re-spray.

The Triumph Bonneville and Harley-Davidson Sportster are washed, polished, and detailed! Now I can relax for another umpteen years!

That said, the results will be better with a newer surface in better condition. If you’re like me and have some matte-finished materials that require sprucing up in the near-term, Muc-Off Matte Finish Detailer is worth a try.