The Right Way To Pressure Wash a Dirt Bike?


There’s a lot of debate out there whether it’s safe or not to pressure washing their bike. There are people concerned about the intake in the exhaust, bearings and seals, chain and the radiators as well. So what I’m gonna do is pressure wash my bike like normal and then check at some of those components afterwards see if there’s any damage or any signs of water in there.

So the pressure washer I’ll be using is just a cheap RYOBI electric one definitely not very high powered but it’s got plenty of power to wash the bike. I would try to keep it under 2500 PSI for your pressure washer, by the way pressure washer was priced at $80 when I bought this, not sure what the current price, if you are interested you can check this out here.

To protect the intake in the exhaust from water damage, I will pull off the seat and the air filter and installing a wash cap, pretty hard to get water behind that and then for the exhaust just a simple muffler plug will do.

And the areas you want to be careful around when you’re pressure washing are the radiators, any type of bearing such as a swing arm pivot bearings, linkage Bearings, wheel bearings and of course the steering head bearings, being careful I mean not getting too close to those Bearings or seals a good distance to stay away is about twelve to sixteen inches depending on your pressure washer.

Next important thing you should know is the electronics. On this bike there’s not a whole lot to worry about basically just have a wiring harness CDI box underneath the front number plate and a ignition coil up inside here on a four stroke. Just make sure you are not directly put pressure wash on top of these.

Ok let go and pressure wash your bike now…

So believe it or not it is safe to pressure washing chain that’s the only method of ever use for cleaning a chain and I haven’t had one single issue with that.
For this particular chain it is a DID. acts ring and I’ve had on this bike and my previous bike as well probably well over a hundred hours on it and it’s been holding up incredible and all I’ve ever done for cleaning is sprayed down with the Max Mcclean up and pressure wash it so I’d recommend staying about ten to twelve inches away for the chain just to be careful yes.

And then immediately after pressure washing I will spray on the inside the chain with maxim McPPL this will prevent the chain from rusting.

All right now I have got the bike all washed up now let’s dig into it and see if there’s any water in those components I spoke about earlier the first thing I’m gonna tear into is the intake, it’s going to pull off the watch cap and take a look into the air box boot to see if there’s any water in there.

Here’s the moment of truth just gonna shine a flashlight down into the airbox boot.
I do not see any side the moisture so far that’s good, you see there are still some water inside the airbox but nothing in the air boot that’s actually get lead to the engine so that’s a really good sign, really handy to have those watch caps.

Now for the exhaust not a whole lot to check out, Iam going to pull out the plugs I really didn’t do a whole lot of pressure washing around the muffler here so it’s pretty unlikely that water got inside but it looks pretty dry.

I will pull off the front number plate disconnect the wiring harness in the CI box and take a look inside if there’s any water in there. There is no water inside the connector but if you see any moisture around the connector, you can wipe it off with a dry cloth.

So far everything is checked out fine nothing inside the intake or exhaust and the electronic sealed up pretty good too.

Let see how well the bearing the seals hold up to pressure washing. I’m actually really curious to see this as well I’m going to start at the far end so the front wheels gonna come off I’m gonna check out those Bearings and seals and then inspect the steering stem set as well.

All right let’s pull up the spacers and check things out inside. I just see a bunch of Greece in there I do not see a speck of water down inside of there does come look like water. I’m gonna run a screwdriver in there and see if it’s water agrees. It definitely looks like grease to me if water there usually it be beating up on top of the grease.

Let’s check out the other side now this side looks pretty clean as well. It’s crazy how you can pull it just a couple of bolts and the front end is completely off the bike.

Upper steering stem bearings they look pretty good. Looks like they’re still a good amount of grease in between the two cages but no signs of water which is awesome and up here in the case check any water in there as well.

Now on the lower steering stem bearing looks like there’s a little less grease on this one and definitely there shouldn’t be any no signs of moisture.

Let’s pull apart the linkage and see what we got inside of it. If there’s any part that’s going to have water inside of it. It’s on the bottom so the bike and it’s always super dirty so there’s a ton of pressure washing involved with the linkage.

Everything checked out fine with the linkage and swingarm no signs of any water in those bearings so I’ve got more greased up and the bike is ready to go back together.

I got the bike all back together and another area of concern and pressure washing under bike is the radiators. A pressure washer can bend over the fans if you get too close these ones actually look pretty good after two years of pressure washing.

Like I mentioned earlier you want to stay about twelve inches away from your careful around the radiators you should have no problem pressure washing them there’s also a lot of debate whether it’s safe to pressure wash a chain so I’m gonna split apart a link and check it out.

I’ve got a link for the part of the chain still got the plates over on the chain and then the inner pins and O rings over here. So what we’re looking for is rust or corrosion here on the pans and the inner part.

The pins look pretty good no rest on those the inner part of the chain looks pretty solid as well starting to show somewhere but still plenty functional the rollers on the center part the chain is starting to show some movement.

So the chain is gonna need to be replaced fairly soon but as far as water damage and signs of water in there I don’t see much at all so as long as you stay about twelve inches away from the chamber to pressure washing and then immediately thereafter spray like a double T40v Maxima PPL on there and you’ll be good.

Another thing people might be worried about is pushing water past the gaskets on the engine the file will cover would be the most likely gasket to let water through so exposed the pressure washing and there’s a rubber grommet on the front side of it.

So if there’s no water behind for flower cover I would venture to say the rest of the gaskets are fine.

Now I can say with a hundred percent conviction that pressure washing your bike is absolutely safe there were no signs of any rust corrosion or water damage in all those areas I checked over.

But remember if you just use a hosepipe, I cannot say whether the bike will hold up some water or not because I don’t use it or suggest to anyone. The reason being the normal hose doesn’t have pressure so there might be some possibility of water build up in crucial areas.

Since we are using the pressure washer the force that comes will clean the areas easily and at the same time it pulls out all the water due to the force.

Hope this post would have given a good idea of whether to use the pressure washer to wash your bike.

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