We’re nearing springtime here in the northern hemisphere, and that means that motorcycles will come out of storage to get cleaned and prepped for another riding season.
We’ve been using a truckload of motorcycle wash, polish and cleaner products over the last few months, and we’ll be reporting on them with a series of short reviews over the next several weeks.
But the first thing that many owners will do is to wash their motorcycle to clean off the dust collected during a winter’s hibernation.
Bugs are attracted to motorcycles like iron dust to a magnet, so a good motorcycle wash product is useful all season long. I resent having to spend time washing and cleaning my bike, but it’s an unfortunate necessity because the bugs, grit and grime just have to go. I dislike a dirty ride more than I dislike washing it, so anything that can make the job easier is alright by me.
The LustreLab “Acrylionic” motorcycle wash products are proclaimed as a “5 in 1” solution: a motorcycle wash, wax, wheel cleaner and degreaser and polish (that is five, no?). The manufacturer claims that LustreLab TBC (in the spray bottle in the photo) is a wash and a polish, with a “unique ability to clean, degrease and shine multiple surfaces including: stainless steel, rubber, vinyl, glass, aluminum, plexi-glass (sic), fiber-glass and more!”
We’ve tried many products that claim to be an “all in one” wash/polish, which I guess means that there are lots of other motorcycle owners out there who dislike washing a bike as much as I do. Unfortunately, not many of them actually work as claimed.
We tried the LustreLab LXR car wash and the LustreLab TBC spray cleaner (TBC = “Total Bike Care”) on several different motorcycles. The directions call for 4 oz. to be mixed in a pail with water and used like any other soap-type car wash.
The directions for the LustreLab TBC spray instruct the user to wet the motorcycle with water, then spray the solution on the dirty surfaces. It is recommended that a sponge or wash mitt is used to remove the dirt, grime and bugs.
LustreLab claims that their “Acrylionic” chemistry will “safely clean and shine all surfaces but also applies a protective acrylic coating which helps repel dirt, bugs and grime. This protective coating is better than wax.” The manufacturer also claims that the TBC spray product “removes dirt embedded in the divots and cracks of your bikes surfaces and replaces it with a clear protective acrylic coating…It also helps eliminate water spotting caused by dirt accumulation that is trapped in water beads resulting from traditional waxed surfaces”.
We used the products as we always do, explicitly following the directions. The LustreLab LXR car wash mixes well with water, and it works just like you’d expect a car wash to work. It has a slightly slippery feeling, and it does seem to work well at removing bug residue, but we did notice more streaking than other car wash solutions we’ve tried, despite the manufacturer’s claims that the product reduces streaking and spotting.
We also tried it on motorcycle wheels, seats, engines and just about every surface. It’s hard to determine if the product is better or worse than its competitors — the bottom line is that it works like a car wash, as expected.
We also used the LustreLab TBC spray to wash several motorcycles that had various coverings of road grime and bugs. The user is directed to first wet down the bike and then spray on the TBC product, then proceed to wash the motorcycle with a sponge or mitt. It’s slightly difficult to pump the sprayer on the TBC bottle, as each pump squirts only a small amount of the solution. We found that our hands would cramp by time we finished spraying the entire motorcycle. Our opinion is that the TBC spray works about the same as the LXR car wash solution.
We can’t verify the manufacturer’s claim that the TBC product “applies a protective acrylic coating which helps repel dirt, bugs and grime”. We haven’t noticed any apparent difference in the amount of grime or bug residue after riding the motorcycles and using the products. The LustreLab website has a statement that reads “never wax your car again”, but we honestly don’t think the results are dramatic enough that one would never have to wax or polish a motorcycle after using either of the products.
The LustreLab website lists various studies or claims regarding the effectiveness of their wash products, so we’ll leave it up to you to determine their efficacy. LustreLab offers a 30 day guarantee, which helps reduce the risk. The products are relatively expensive, especially when compared to “over the counter” car or motorcycle wash solutions.
It’s nearly impossible to take before/after photos of motorcycle wash, wax, polish or cleaning products that display any type of meaningful comparison with the limitations of computer monitor screen resolution. Nevertheless, we took a couple of before/after photos for the record: