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Discussion Starter #1
spent the weekend detailing the bike, cleaning up the previous owner's mess (who didn't seem to clean it more than superficially.) i got a foaming engine degreaser, which worked wonders on the engine, and all the parts around it.

but, when i got to the wheels, i started to get a little weary of using the degreaser, as it had warnings of not leaving it on for too long, as it might damage paint. so, being a good forum member, i searched... for two days, unable to find any hints.

so, i'm looking for a cleaner / cleaning tools that can clean a year or more of road-wear off of the front and (eek) back wheels. secondarily, the wheels i have (stock, i believe) have two textures. near the edge of the wheel, it's smooth, but towards the middle, it's textured. i was able to clean the smooth part (mostly) with the degreaser & elbow grease, but the textured part was driving me nuts. as most of the gunk is in the "stucco-like" texture.

what cleaners are good for the wheels overall, and is it safe to use any abrasive pads / cleaners on the wheels without damaging the paint?
 

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Blue Coral works pretty well:
http://www.bluecoral.com/tips.asp?page=1_7

I just use WD-40 though. Cuts through the gunk easily and leaves the wheel looking nice. Just make sure to use a very small amount so it doesn't get all over the tires and cause an unfortunate situation later.
 

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Kerosene with a rag, Suzuki bike wash with a stiff bristle brush and sore knees and it's all good!!
 

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The silver 1st gen wheels really show the brake dust. I tried kerosene and a bunch of other stuff on my front wheel. Didn't really help to get the black out of the textured surface on the spokes. After some reservation, I finally when ahead and used some Eagle One wheel cleaner that I had around the garage for cars. I had to do two applications, but it really helped. The stuff must be used on cool wheels, and you don't want to leave it on for more than about 2-3 minutes, then spray off with cool water. 2nd application I used a toothbrush to get in there and get the hard to reach areas. After the 2nd time, it was really improved, although still not 100% on the spokes. The finish is just too porous. Its easier to clean with the wheel off the bike, but you have to be careful about getting water into the bearings.
 

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Haven't used it yet on the SV, but I detailed my car last week using this:



Armor-All Triple Action Wheel Cleaner.

http://www.armorall.com/products/view_product.php?product_id=28

The aluminum alloy wheels on my car were nearly black with brake dust, road grime, etc., and this stuff cleaned it right up. Used two applications. Sprayed it on, let it sit, rinsed, then repeated but scrubbed the stuck-on stuff with a wire brush the second time before rinsing. The wheels shine, now.

Advance Auto had it in sale last week (maybe still.)
 

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SimpleGreen and WD40.

SimpleGreen, just spray it on, no rags, just hose it off. and BAM its clean.
 

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de greaser and a tooth brush! elbow grease FTW
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for all the suggestions everyone. i'll see what i can get locally and try.

on a similar topic, there's also a ton of crud / damage to the front forks, i'm wondering how to clean it off. i assume it's just road crap, but it doesn't seem to want to come off by any normal means.





same stuff? other suggestions?
 

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you sure that isn't a picture of the bike the day you got it from the dealership? it seems too clean. :D


Nothing wrong with keeping a bike clean and looking sharp, I believe it's called pride of ownership. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nothing wrong with keeping a bike clean and looking sharp, I believe it's called pride of ownership. :)
i see i've got my work cut out for me. too bad most of my work is cleaning up previous owner(s) lack of said pride.

thanks for all the help.
 

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Clorox toilet bowl cleaner in the gel form. It works great and is available everywhere.
 

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For the forks, I recommend using the green scrub pads you see in your local grocery store. They're abrasive enough to clean the forks a little too well (and remove surface rust too!). Don't use it on a polished stainless exhaust though unless you want that matte stainless look...
 
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