shutterstock_311706425Spring is nearly upon us, and things at the SweetCars detail studios have been busy, getting cars ready after their winter hibernation. We’re also getting some great feedback about SunTek Ultra, the latest addition to our paint protection film lineup. It offers a 10-year warranty against yellowing and cracking, and it features built-in hydrophobic properties. And the clarity, wow! Add to that its self-healing magic, and you’ve got one of the best clear bras on the market today. Stop by for a demonstration of SunTek Ultra, and get your vehicle protected against nasty rock chips. Our retail store has been buzzing with customers looking for quality products to work on a wide variety of their own particular spring detailing projects. 

With the unusually warm weather at the tail end of this winter season, we’ve seen motorcyclists taking advantage of the great opportunity to ride. And one thing we always see this time of year is motorcycles in for detailing and especially for glass coating. So in this edition of Shift, I’ll share some information about our approach to motorcycle detailing and how glass coating and paint protection film work on motorcycles.

Motorcycles are everywhere. We’ve seen the bumper stickers, and we certainly see motorcycles on the roads once old man winter releases his grip. As a Master Detailer, I can certainly appreciate the paint and chrome on a motorcycle, but swirls and a dirty bike are just not appealing. Most riders I’ve talked to want to have a clean and shiny bike, but the intricacies of a motorcycle can sometimes be overwhelming.

A proper paint correction can be quite complex for a motorcycle. So it’s no wonder that the vast majority of motorcycles are not detailed often, if at all. To those of you who are passionate about keeping a clean and shiny motorcycle, we salute you and encourage you to keep up the good work. To prove the point, I’m going to share a secret that takes motorcycles to the next level. 

We often get to work on motorcycles when they are brand spanking new before they’ve been ridden for the first time. On several occasions, we’ve even detailed them on-site at the dealership. This makes it easy to get them protected before they incur swirls, scratches, and other imperfections. For previously driven motorcycles, many of the materials that we use for automotive detailing can be easily used. And since power washing them, in my opinion, can be a bit too harsh, we prefer the approach of using a great degreaser or all-purpose cleaner such as Sonax MultiStar or Wurth Eco Super Spray All.

This waterless approach works best because it is safer, yet it doesn’t hide  stubborn dirt and grime. The Motorcycle Wash and Wax from Chemical Guys is great for those looking for a quick clean and shine. Once the degreasing and cleaning are done, we then begin to work on the paint. Our approach is usually a two-step compound and polishing process to remove swirls and bring out a high gloss. Any accessories, bags, seat, and covers are removed by this point for better access.

After the paint is dialed in, it’s on to any metal that needs to be polished. Our trick to getting metalwork to pop is to use a great metal polish with a terry cloth applicator, or in some cases 0000 steel wool. Steel wool designated as 0000 is the finest grade available; it can be used to remove light rust spots or stubborn stains on chrome without damaging the finish or appearance. Quick tip — use it on your car’s exhaust tips paired with a metal polish, and voila: best-looking exhaust tips ever! For metal, we like to use Chemical Guys Heavy Metal Polish in our shop. 

Once the paint is glossy and the chrome is shiny, our final step is to protect those newly improved surfaces. This is where the little-known secret comes into play. Most riders will apply a wax or sealant to protect their motorcycles, but we prefer to coat those surfaces with Ceramic Pro to protect them for years and years to come, not just the current riding season. When you compare the benefits and the difference in protection of using Ceramic Pro with the durability of a traditional wax or sealant, the Ceramic Pro wins hands down. 

Here’s why — if we simply list the benefits in a side-by-side comparison, it’s pretty clear: 

Protection Features and Benefits on a Motorcycle

Ceramic Pro vs. Traditional Wax or Sealant 

– UVA/UVB protection – Limited UV protection 

– Scratch and swirl resistance (above 9H) – None 

– Permanent hydrophobic effect – Effect lasts 30 to 60 days 

– Antigraffiti – None 

– Self-cleaning effect – None 

– Permanent protection – Durability of 30 to 60 days 

– Chemical resistance – None 

– Thermal resistance of up to 2,200 degrees – None 

– Cold temperature resistance to -50 degrees – None

Those are just some of the reasons that clients turn to us to coat their motorcycles after they have been detailed. Imagine being able to simply wash off bugs and dirt easily without the need for cleaners or insane elbow grease. Or imagine never having to wax and always having a spectacular-looking motorcycle. The extreme thermal resistance of Ceramic Pro makes it great on polished chrome parts because it locks in shine, resists the heat surface temperature of those components, and removes the need to polish chrome or metal for a great look. We’ve had the privilege and honor to win awards with our motorcycle detailing, and it’s great to see the large number of referrals and raving reviews we get about Ceramic Pro on motorcycles.

So if you’re looking for a glossy, durable, and easy-to-clean motorcycle, give us a call at SweetCars, and ask about our motorcycle detailing. For the DIY detailer, check out our large selection of professional detailing products and especially the motorcycle line from Chemical Guys available at SweetCars. Until next time, take pride in your detailed ride!