Reviewing and comparing motorcycle cleaners, polishes and wax products is an extremely difficult task. Let’s face it: wash your bike and spray on just about any ol’ wax or polish, and it’s going to look good! The same goes for metal cleaners, plastic cleaners and polishes and similar products.
There just isn’t all that much we can say about each one of these products (very uncharacteristic for webBikeWorld, I know!). They either work or they don’t. So we’ve grouped them together in one huge grouping and we’ve tried to cross-link the various products by type; i.e., metal cleaners, degreasers, waxes and polishes, plastic cleaners, etc.
Look for the links in the right-hand column of each mini-review for links to similar products. Note that some of the products are multi-purpose and may be listed in more than one category. For example, ProtectAll works as an all-around cleaner and polish for painted surfaces, windscreens and helmets. Also, like all webBikeWorld reviews, these are completely subjective, as we have no way of scientifically evaluating the characteristics of these products. The results are based on subjective comparisons of one product to another. See scoring chart below.
Note also we now have a few ties, with products scoring equally in the Polish, Swirl and the Spider Web (scratch) remover category. This is a good thing and it shows that the competition is catching up to our favorites!
Disclosure: We make money (and keep the site running) through ads and affiliate links. That means that when you click a link to sites like RevZilla or Amazon you are supporting us because we may get a commission if you purchase. We have developed a policy that you can find here but the gist is that our reviews are 100% unbiased and we don’t take payments or allow potential commissions to dictate what we say about products.
From “A.L.” (June 2012): “Well, since I just finished getting my bike cleaned up, I thought I’d share what I’ve found to be some of the best products on the market for this task.
The first task is to get the bike clean. There are two products that I use when it’s time to clean. Being one that likes to do things the easy way, I start with P21S Total Motorcycle Wash. It’s very easy to use. Start with the bike cool to the touch (if you lay your hand on the paint and keep it there, it’s cool enough to clean and wax).
Actually, I start with the wheels first and use P21S High Performance Wheel Cleaner. Spray the wheels with the P21S, enough to put an even coat on the wheels. You really don’t need to leave it on any more time than it takes to get the hose ready. I do both wheels and let the cleaner sit for less than a minute, then spay it off. If there is some stubborn dirt, I give it a rub with a sponge/rag to get it off.
I’ve also found that WD-40 does a great job of getting things like road tar off my wheels and bugs off the headlight and paint. The P21S cleaner takes the WD-40 off too. After finishing the wheels, the P21S Motorcycle cleaner is sprayed over the entire bike (again, make sure the bike is cool to the touch, including the engine/pipes, etc.). Again, no need to leave it on the bike. Once the entire bike is coated with the cleaner, spray it off with your hose. (As a side note, Harley Davidson dealers carry the P21S cleaner and wheel cleaner).
Once the bike is clean and dry, I start on the paint. You’d be amazed to see what a difference there is if the paint is “cleaned” with a glaze, before waxing. I personally think the 3M 39007 Imperial Hand Glaze does a wonderful job, as it’s not harsh, yet will remove swirl mark and will fill out the little imperfections in the paint, giving it a “wet look””.
When it comes to wax there are three that I use. If I want the best shine, I’ve found none better than P21S Concours Carnauba Wax. It’s a little hard to work with in that if left on too long, it’s a pain to remove; so do one section at a time; i.e. the tank, then a fender, etc. The shine is fantastic. But, it won’t last.
The good news is that if you let the original application set up for 4 or 5 days, you can put another coat over it, which puts depth to the shine. (Don’t ever put another coat of wax over a new wax coat, as the solvents in the second coat will eat through the first coat, and you’ll end up with 1-1/3 coats of wax. If you wait 5 days and put on the second coat, the first coat will have taken a set, and the second coat will go over the first coat).
There are two other waxes that are worth mentioning; One Grand Blitz Carnauba Wax and a relatively new product called Sonax Nano Technology Liquid Wax. I recommend the One Grand for the bike that is ridden daily. It gives a great shine (not quite as good as P21S) and lasts a long time. It’s another wax that additional coats can be put on to add depth.
The Sonax Nano Wax is relatively new on the market and I just used it for the first time. It made sense to me that the micro fine wax particles would get into the “pores” of my paint. I’ll have to wait and see how this wax holds up. I can say that the shine is great.
I must admit that I learned a great deal from my vendor, Larry Reynolds at “Car Care Specialties, Inc.“. Larry’s web site not only has a host of products for taking care of your pride and joy, but he provides very good information on how to use his products as well. Visiting his web page is worth your time.”
From “LJ” (10/08): “I am Love ‘LJ’ Joshi from Bangalore, India; I ride a Royal Enfield Thunder Bird.
I’ve been following your website since quite a while and today I was reading the reviews of the different motorcycle cleaning, waxing and polishing products.
Unfortunately most of these products are not available in India and the idea of shipping these from US/UK means paying more postage than the actual price of the product.
I must confess that I am a very lousy person when it comes to cleaning and waxing my bike. I usually get it washed and polished once a month.
Last week one of my friends came from the US and brought me a bottle of the ‘Kit Scratch out’ ; so one morning I decided to clean the bike myself, try the scratch out and see if it actually works on all the spider webs that have already developed on my bike (the tank specially).
I sprayed the bike with a regular degreaser and wiped it dry and then applied a liberal coat of the scratch out, after just very little buffing I noticed the polish actually seep into the minute cracks and the spider webs and make the paint feel much smoother! The color also deepened and caught it’s 3 year old original shine. I was pretty impressed knowing that this probably is one of the cheapest alternatives from the US (my friend didn’t want to spend too much and still get me a gift)
After reading your review about the Glare Professional polish I am thinking about either getting it shipped it to India or ask someone to bring it along when they drop by next so that I can actually test how the bike reacts to the new polish.
Thanks so much for all the reviews. I’d request if you could review a few slightly cheaper options for the hot weather riding pants (mesh pants?!) so that I and my biker friends back home can order them online and get it shipped here… thanks to you, we now know about NewEnough, RevZilla and motorcycle super store… truly notable customer service!
Cheers! Keep up the good work!”
From “MM”: “I have just been reading your reviews for chrome/metal polishes. I ride a 1985 Goldwing. And kind of like a bit of shiny shiny on the bike, when I bought the bike its exhaust was black and brown over its entire length.
I used Autosol and Autoglym polishes of which I found Autoglym the better as it gave the chrome and stainless steel a whiter and brighter finish, however neither would cut through the blue and blacking near the engine. The only product I have found to actually cut through this bluing is H. G. Hagesan, steel polish which comes in a 250 ml bottle. You can get it in hardware stores and some diy stores ( Homebase) etc.
A little bit of elbow grease is required at the fingertips with a cloth. You may need to apply two or three times a buffing in between each application. If you wanted you could finish off with a good quality chrome cleaner, depending on how shiny you want your final finish.
Another alternative is to mix some Soda crystals in the bucket of water and lower the ends of the exhaust into it, give it a few moments to start working. Then wearing gloves use a sponge scourer gently wipe until the discoloration has gone rinse in clean water, and polish up with chrome cleaner.”