As far as many are concerned, to have a dirty motorbike is bad form. And, if you ask me, it’s for good reason. Because a dirty motorbike doesn’t just look a bit horrible. Oh no, like the penis, if you don’t clean it thoroughly after use, it could end up being a genuine hazard. What on earth do I mean by that? Well, let me tell you…
When you’ve got a thick (or even a thin) layer of mud or road slime on your bike it’s a lot more difficult to see broken bits of it. Cracks that would normally appear simply won’t until it’s too late, oil leaks will be masked by dirt and you won’t realise you’ve got any screws lose until they’ve disappeared.
Alright a small crack in a fairing panel, or one lose bolt might not be the most dangerous thing in the world. But if the crack gets worse and your fairing drops off, or the loose bolt is a calliper bolt, you may well end up having major problems. Problems that result in a trip to A&E.
Spotless? You’ll spot more
If dirt blindness is a thing, than it stands to reason that a spotless bike is a safer one. Because you’ll ‘spot more’. And not only will you spot stuff because your bike is clean, you’ll spot stuff whilst you’re cleaning it. You’ll spot any damage or anything dangerous and (hopefully) you’ll get it fixed.
You don’t have to be a master mechanic to clean a bike well, and you don’t have to be one to spot when there’s something wrong with it either. But chances are, if there is something wrong with it, something that could cause a major malfunction next time you ride it, you’ll spot it when you’ve got the Marigolds on and you’re giving it a good going over.
A symbiotic relationship
Giving your bike a good clean every now and then is the least you can do for it. It’s the bare minimum level of bike maintenance, and everyone can do it. A dirty chain will wear out quicker, muddy brakes wont work as well, and road salt will corrode just about anything that you leave it to.
If you want your bike to look after you, you really ought to look after it. And that starts with giving it a good scrub.
Selling a dirty bike? Ram it.
If you’re in the market for a used bike, there are literally thousands to choose from. So if you go and have a look at one and it’s covered in filth, bin it off. If Mr. Seller can’t be bothered to clean it before he advertises it, he probably can’t be arsed to lube the chain, change the oil, check the filters or perform any of the other basic maintenance drills that we, as motorcyclists, should be well versed in.
There are plenty of bikes for sale that are downright dangerous. They’ve got brakes that don’t work, throttles that stick open or wheels that’re about to snap. And that’s the last thing you want. If it’s dirty, you’re probably buying a big pile of shit. So move on.