How to Clean Motorcycle Tires (9 Easy Steps)

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Tires are a major component of motorcycles. If you want your motorcycle to look well-maintained and clean, you must pay attention to the tires. In addition to sharp appearance, cleaning your tires can also enhance optimal performance and durability.

In this short article, it’s my delight to show you how to clean motorcycle tires and rims. I have been in the motorcycle business for over 40 years, so I understand how to make bike tires shine or look new. To top it up, I will also share with you some things to keep in mind during cleaning and things to avoid so as not to damage your tires.

Let’s begin by looking at the steps involved in cleaning bike tires.

Steps on How to Clean Motorcycle Tires

Cleaning motorcycle tires requires following some steps and procedures. These steps are all you need to make your bike tires shine and look new. Below are the 9 steps on how to clean motorcycle tires:

1. Preparation

2. Rinse the tire

3. Apply cleaner

4. Scrub gently

5. Rinse thoroughly

6. Dry the tires

7. Apply tire dressing

8. Inspect and lubricate the chain

9. Final Inspection

Let me explain each step for proper guidance and better understanding.

How to Clean Motorcycle Tires

Preparation for the Tire Cleaning Process

Before you begin cleaning, gather all the necessary materials. This includes a bucket of water, mild detergent or specialized motorcycle cleaner (I will give you some recommendations below), a soft brush or sponge, a microfiber cloth, chain lube (if applicable), and tire wax or dressing.

Here’s a chart of my recommended materials needed to clean motorcycle tires:

ProductCheck and Shop Now
PowRyte Electric Pressure WasherAmazon
Flexilla Garden HoseAmazon
Muc-Off bike CleanerRevZilla | Amazon
Wheel and Tire Soft BrushAmazon
Microfiber Cleaning ClothAmazon
Motul E10 Shine & GO SprayRevZilla | Amazon
Motul Racing Chain LubeRevZilla | Amazon

Rinse the Tire

Now that all your materials are ready, the cleaning process should start by rinsing the tires with water to remove loose dirt and debris. To achieve the best result, use a hose or a pressure washer as this will ensure you cover the entire surface of the tire.

The PowRyte Electric Pressure Washer or the Flexilla Garden Hose will do a perfect job at this stage.

Apply Cleaner

Get a bucket of water and add some mild detergent or motorcycle cleaner to the water. Now, get a sponge or soft brush and apply the cleaner or solution to the tires, working in small sections at a time. Your focus should be on areas with visible grime or stains.

I use the Muc-Off bike cleaner because it is free from acids and cleans quickly with little scrubbing.

Scrub Gently

Use a sponge or soft brush to scrub the surface of the tire. Scrubbing must be done gently to prevent damage and maintain tire integrity and performance. While you scrub, you should pay attention to the sidewalls and tread patterns of the tire.

You can find good brushes that are not expensive at all. Here’s a good wheel and tire soft brush you can use.

Note: I have had a bitter experience cleaning my tires with abrasive materials and wouldn’t want you to have the same. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive materials at all costs.

Rinse Thoroughly

Once every part of the tire is cleaned, rinse off the cleaner with clean water. You should rinse thoroughly to remove every trace of the cleaner left behind as these can attract dirt and cause streaking.

How to clean motorcycle tires

Dry the Tires

Use a microfiber cleaning cloth to dry the tires thoroughly. We want the tire to dry faster, hence the need for this cloth to wipe away any remaining water on the tire.

Apply Tire Dressing

While this might be optional, I strongly advise bikers to apply a tire dressing or wax to enhance the tires’ appearance and protect them from UV damage. For those who care about shiny tires, you should apply tire dressing to achieve shiny tires. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application to ensure even coverage across the entire tire surface.

Here’s a good tire shine spray to use for your tire dressing.

Tools & Supplies

The motorcycle tools and supplies I recommend provide a perfect balance of affordability and unwavering quality, ensuring the utmost value for your investment. These are items I've become well-acquainted with during my more than 50 years of motorcycling experience, where I've led and consulted for reputable companies in over 25 countries, in addition to being an avid rider.

Inspect and Lubricate the Chain

This might seem off the cleaning process, but I think it is a necessary thing to do. While cleaning the tires, take the opportunity to inspect the motorcycle chain for any signs of wear or damage. If you see the need to lubricate the chain, please do that with a suitable chain lube to maintain smooth operation.

You can find dozens of chain lubes on Amazon or any other store for around $10. The Motul Racing Chain Lube is one of the best-selling chain lube in the market.

Final Inspection

Now that the tires are cleaned and dried, you should do a final inspection to be sure you did a good job. In case you find any remaining dirt or blemishes, do a quick touch up to achieve a uniform appearance. And that is it on how to clean motorcycle tires!

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Things to Keep in Mind About Motorcycle Tire Cleaning

Knowing how to clean motorcycle tires requires that you keep some things in mind. This will ensure you get the best from the rubbers underneath your bike. Below are the things to keep in mind:

  • Steer Clear of Harsh Chemicals: Never use harsh chemicals to clean your tires because they can cause damage to the rubbers.
  • Regular Maintenance: Get used to cleaning your tires regularly, especially after riding in dusty or muddy conditions. Doing this will prevent the buildup of dirt and prolong tire life
  • Be Cautious: Be careful with cleaning chemicals to avoid skin irritation or injury. You should wear gloves and eye-protective gear during cleaning.
  • Store Cleaning Materials Properly: Store cleaning materials in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain their effectiveness. Also, keep it out of reach of children.

How to clean motorcycle tires

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Should you wash your motorcycle tires?

Yes, washing motorcycle tires is essential for maintaining traction and removing dirt buildup, which can affect handling and safety.

Q2: What is the best thing to clean motorcycle tires with?

The best cleaner for motorcycle tires is a mild detergent or dedicated tire cleaner, avoiding harsh chemicals that can degrade rubber.

Q3: How do I make my bike tires look new?

To make bike tires look new, clean them regularly with a gentle cleaner, and apply tire dressing for shine and protection from UV rays.

Q4: How do you degrease motorcycle tires?

Degrease motorcycle tires using a degreaser specifically formulated for rubber surfaces. Apply, scrub gently, and rinse thoroughly to remove grease and grime.

Michael’s Summary and Conclusion

How to clean motorcycle tires is something every rider should know and do regularly. Apart from making your tires new and shiny, it also adds to their performance and durability. It takes between 15 and 30 minutes to clean motorcycle tires, depending on the dirt level and thoroughness. Luckily, the process is easy and simple, and the materials needed for it are readily available and super cheap.

AGVSPORT Knee and Body Armor

I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, corporate, and non-profit organizations:


Picture of About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

Click Here for the Complete AGV Helmet & AGVSPORT History

Click Here for All AGV Sports Group Social Media Information

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