Tech Tips

Care and Maintenance Tips for Your Plastic Motorcycle Components

Written by  June 30, 2006

Now that summer is in full swing it seems like every time we ride we are faced with obstacles at every turn. It can be as easy as bugs hitting your helmet face-shield or that nasty debris that semi-trailers kick up in the fast lane next to the concrete divider. We spend tons of time cleaning, waxing and polishing our faithful companions, but we can be harmful to our friends!

In the “cleaning your windshield” text our owners manuals advise us to avoid detergents or chemical cleaners on the windshield or plastic body panels. The manuals recommend that we use warm water and a soft cloth or sponge. When it comes to heavier debris on the windshield or body panels, use a diluted neutral detergent with a sponge and plenty of rinse water. Most of the bikes today have warranties that can be rejected due to specific problems that have been caused by misinformation on what is or is not covered, and yes, this includes all plastic and windshield applications.

Below are cleaners that can easily harm the expensive plastics on your bike:
Petroleum products can damage the windshield, fairing and bodywork.
Certain commercial glass cleaners can damage the hard coating applied to the plastic windshields which is called “hazing.”
Some anti-fog windshield products can damage the windshield if applied or left to dry in the bright sunlight. Smears, hazing or bubbling may occur.

So it seems we have several factors to consider when cleaning the expensive plastics on the bikes we own. I do want to acknowledge that if these items are ignored this will most likely void the warranty on your new motorcycle’s expensive plastic components.

Cleaning your motorcycle is a task that only you can do at a time that works into your schedule and availability. Cutting corners with a little bit more powerful cleaner or using a shop rag to wipe down that fingerprint smudge is not a practice that I recommend to the readers.

Some of the best cleaners I have used and am currently using are produced by Honda Pro. I currently use Honda spray cleaner & polish part # (H\C3597275) and I have had nothing but great success with this product. Everyone has their favorite; I just want you to know what works for me over and over again.

So when you get those nasty bugs and road grime on those expensive windshields and plastics, make sure that you do not harm those pieces by grabbing the wrong product.
On our tough-o-meter scale we will rate this tip a whopping #1 due to the damage that can be inflicted if the wrong chemicals are used.

Everybody have a safe and wonderful 4th of July and remember our troops this holiday season. They are working so we can enjoy the freedom of this great nation.

B-safe out there!

Dave Miller