The Auto Finesse detailing academy has been open for almost nine months now and has already welcomed some seriously awesome sights in that time - more dominantly of the four wheel nature - so it was about time we got a Harley Davidson into the academy for a full detail.
Prior to letting our master detailers loose, the bike's owner employed a ventilator rain sock to stop any water entering the filter.
As with any of our details, the process begins with a good pre rinse to ensure that any loose debris has been washed away prior to any contact washing. We never go in at the contact stage as this is just asking for swirl marks. The first Auto Finesse product to make an appearance is our trusty Citrus Power Bug and Grime Remover. This is sprayed liberally to the front area of the motorbike, the underside and the fairing covers - purely as these areas will see the most bug splatter. While that soaks, our Imperial wheel cleaner is applied to both the wheels and left to dwell.
Once dwelled somewhat, it's then rinsed off ready for Avalanche Snow Foam. We've helped to penetrate the snow foam solution further by using a hog hair brush in the more intricate areas of the motorbike. Once the snow foam has dwelled, it's rinsed off ready for a good contact wash. Two buckets are filled individually; one with Lather shampoo and one with clear clean water. Our lambswool wash mitt is dipped into the soapy bucket ready to wash; washing every area possible with the mitt, it's then rinsed off and taken inside the Academy to the bay to be blow dried off to make sure it's bone dry ahead of any polishing.
Because a motorbike is much easier to dismantle, we got the owner to take off the fairings and side parts so we can access each part, allowing us to intricately clean and give it a proper detail. One Step was then used to go over all of the gloss black surfaces, plastics, as well as the headlight surround and indicator housings. It's really important to remember that motorcycle paint is much softer than that of a car so you do need to be much gentler when conducting any sort of detail. For example, you'll need to use a finer cutting compound than that which you may use on a car. It's also wise to avoid any silicone-based products as it makes things slippery. Features such as the seat, handle bars and levers in particular should not be slippery - for safety reasons, if anything else.
In terms of finishing and protecting the bike, Caramics Paintwork is used across all gloss black and painted panels, offering durability of up to 12 months. Caramics Wheels is also applied to the wheels, as well as the exhaust and any other brightwork as extra protection. Finally, the bike is then reassembled for a final buff off and a final check over with a daylight to make sure there's no residue been left behind.