How Detailing A Car Is Different Than A Motorcycle

Red Harley Davidson Motorcycle

The goal of detailing, regardless of what you’re driving (or riding), is to make your vehicle look better than it did before and keep it healthy. Tied to this is the idea that we want our hard work to pay off much longer than just a few days. This is true whether detailing motorcycles or cars, but attaining a perfect-looking bike is a much different task than that of a four-wheeled friend. Here’s what you need to know…

Motorcycles are smaller and require more detail.

Other than maybe a smart car. motorcycles have far less surface area to clean than cars do. Where they take the cake is with intricate accents, tight crevices, a lot more metal, and not a lot of room for a machine buffer. Because of this, most detailing work on a motorcycle is done by hand with tools designed to fit in tight spaces. Additionally, with exposed frames and pipes being more common on motorcycles, these areas need unique attention whereas detailing a car is fairly straight forward once you understand the ideas of clean, prep, and protect.

Cars gather more filth.

More surface area = more dirty. Cars have big “faces” where as a motorcycle cuts through the air with a much more aerodynamic design. Bikes still get dirty, but a lot of it comes from the road itself rather than from airborne contaminants. Cars get pelted from all sides, all day. There’s a roof, a back side, quarter panels, doors, a hood, and bumpers to deal with. On a bike there’s typically just a gas tank, a fender or two, and maybe some fairings—all totaling less surface area than your car’s hood and roof combined. Cars get dirty really easy, and cleaning them typically means cleaning the whole car.

Cars are driven more than bikes.

Cars require additional protection from UV rays and daily encounters because they are on the road more often than motorcycles. Leather seats get cracked because we’re constantly climbing in and out of the car. Door handles get scratched, well, for the exact same reason. Most motorcycles have vinyl or plastic seats that, though still requiring attention, are less problematic. Bottom line is that there’s more incidental damage that will occur on a car that requires a wider array of detailing products.

When all is said and done, detailing is still detailing. You just need to wrap your mind around the fact that detailing a motorcycle is different and more “exacting” than car care is. Cars, though more straightforward, are a larger canvas to clean. The key is to examine the problems and address them with the proper detailing prescription (that’s where we come in).

Have any tips to share about detailing a motorcycle or car? Let us know in the comments!