Winter, we all hate it but while most people tuck their pride and joys away and break the trickle charger out, and find a winter hobby for a few months, I quite enjoy getting out and about when it’s cold and dark. One big problem is roads are normally salted to help prevent a build up of ice. Now salt is great for popcorn, for when watching those winter films and box sets, but not good for motorcycles due to its extremely corrosive nature.
I am not a chemist, but basically, salt is made up of two parts, a Sodium part and a Chloride part, and it’s these Chloride parts which cling to the metal on your bike. The Chlorides then allow Oxygen in water or the air to attack the metal, by forming nasty Hydrogen chloride, which itself is used to make hydrochloric acid which is very nasty. This process produces a cycle of Chloride attack followed by oxygen Attack, over and over again causing parts to tarnish or rust, depending on the material, this repeated cycle is what causes the damage over time, damaging your pride and joy. As well as the salt, copious amounts of mud and grime are left all over the roads quite often leaving a horrible mess after rides.
Muc-off were very kind to send me a bottle of their lovely pink Nano-technology biodegradable motorcycle cleaner to help with those after ride baths (for the bike, not me). I had never used this product before but have heard some rave reviews about it and friends recommending it left right and centre. Normally I use a generic car cleaner (whatever is on offer) and a bucket and sponge so it is nice to have some a dedicated cleaner to try for once.
So what is the Nano-technology, and what does it actually do? Muc-off claim that the nano-technology breaks down dirt and grime at a molecular level, quick, and regardless of what kind of grime it is. Quite a claim. Safe to use on all surfaces and finishes including stainless, anodised, painted, plastic and carbon fibre.
Muc-off recommended rinsing the bike first so I dusted off the pressure wash for the first time in months, with the thought of doing this properly. I gave the bike a good rinse with the pressure washer wetting everything possible including myself in the process.
Next up applying the muc-off. It comes in a handy spray bottle, the trigger is large and sturdy and hopefully, it lasts longer than others before the seals break down. With the product being safe on all materials I do doubt this will be a problem. The bottle works upside down which is handy for getting under the tail section and in and around those awkward areas including wheels. Advice is to spray on and leave to attack the grime for 3-5 mins. With 3-5 mins being slightly vague I opted for 4 mins of letting it do its thing whilst I went and made a brew. With brew gone, it was time to get back to work and attacking it with a soft brush to get some sud action. Now I am a fan of suds, I like a nice foamy cleaner, as you can see it working, rightly or wrongly. The suds change from a white to a dirty brown when worked with the brush, this was very apparent on the wheels, with the cleaner eating up huge amounts of grime, brake dust and chain lube, and then asking for dessert.
The GSXR was absolutely minging before I started, pretty embarrassing, but that is the perks of winter riding, and it does show that the bike is being used as intended. The front end covered in brake dust, dead bugs, and lots of generic road spray from the horrible winter conditions was quickly made good again, as was the ever painful task of removing “flung” chain lube which settles on the rear wheel. Normally this leaves a tacky and horrible residue, but quickly treated by the Muc-off and blasted off with the pressure wash. The front screen and headlight was still battered by some real stubborn insect debris, from the summer, baked and set on like stone. It wasn’t a problem, especially after the 4 mins of pre-soaking.
Rinsing off afterwards was really easy as it blasts off well with the pressure wash, normally when I have used generic washes, the suds get all over and tend to take ages to blast away, and drying off afterwards with a towel the results are impressive. The cleaner itself looks very gentle as the layer of wax underneath looked unaffected as the water still beads really nicely. It left no streaks or clouding on the paintwork which is a problem I have had with other cleaners, especially looking dull on engine castings and casings.
The 1-litre bottle costs £9.99 (RRP), and I could easily get another 8 or 9 washes out of what’s remaining in the bottle, even with me being trigger happy, so if you are pretty frugal with the cleaner I’m sure you can get more. Muc-off also does bigger bottles to decant into the smaller bottle, for a better value price, and plenty of bargains and offers can be found easily too, making the savings even better.
Overall, this product is wicked and I can easily see why it is held in such high regard within cycling, and motorcycling circles. The prices seem very very reasonable and I love the fact it can be used everywhere on the bike safely. Using it is effortless, and it is biodegradable so it is kind on the environment, it is kind to bike, but unsure how it handles other after wash anti-corrosion products, this is something I will try out on the next wash.