Has your motorcycle ever had stains that are tough to remove, even after a good washing?

Hello, everyone!

You may remember our previous article on the basics of washing your motorcycle.

Washing Advice - Caring for Your Motorcycle -

In this article, we will talk about stains that are hard to get out with normal washing methods, and provide some tips on how to remove each type of stain.

For the shiniest ride, ensure you check out the entire article!


  1. Stain Types
  2. Removing Liquid Stains
  3. Removing Dead Insects/Bird Droppings
  4. Removing Brake Dust
  5. Summary

1.Stain Types

The air we pass through and the roads we travel over on our motorcycles have all kinds of impurities, and those will unavoidably stick to the motorcycle as we travel. Below is a list of typical elements that will make your motorcycle dirty.

Stain Types

  • Liquid Stains
  • Dead insects
  • Pitch
  • Iron dust
  • Bird droppings
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Pollen
  • Brake dust

The more time passes, the more difficult it becomes to remove these stains with an ordinary wash. No doubt many of our readers have had a stain come out of nowhere and stubbornly stick to their motorcycles even after a rinse. Of the above, this article will deal with how to remove liquid Stains, dead insects, and brake dust.

2.Removing Liquid Stains

There are two types of liquid Stains: water-based and oil-based.
Water-based stains are frequently caused by:
・Mineral deposits from water and rainwater left over from car washes
・Dirt in the air adhering to and accumulating on the motorcycle, as well as other substances accumulating and drying on the dirt already on the body
The below image is an example of a water-based stain.

Water-based stain

Water-based stain

Next, oil-based stains are frequently caused by:
・Wax and coatings that have been applied to the motorcycle
・Grease that has melted on the parts
The below image is an example of an oil-based stain.

Oil-based stain

Oil-based stain

If a stain has not been on the motorcycle for long, a car shampoo or neutral detergent may be successful in removing it. An older liquid Stains will resist removal. Do not scrub your motorcycle hard just because a stain won't come off. Hard scrubbing can cause scratches in your motorcycle's body paint. For stubborn stains, we recommend buying special cleaners available in stores that are designed for each kind of stain. But, we also recommend washing your motorcycle regularly before these kinds of stains take hold.

3.Removing Dead Insects

Have you ever checked your motorcycle after a ride and found something like the image below stuck to the vehicle? This is the remains of an insect that collided with the motorcycle while in motion, stuck to your motorcycle. The below image is an example of an dead insect stuck to a motorcycle.

Dead insect

Dead insect

Just like a liquid Stains, if a dead insect has not been on the motorcycle for long, a car shampoo or neutral detergent may be successful in removing it.

If it still won't come off, try soaking a soft cloth in hot water, wringing it out,
and leaving it on the dirty area. Steam softens dead insects, making them easier to just wipe up and remove without any further complication.

If the dead insect still won't come off, there are specialized dead insect cleaners available in stores.

Like a liquid Stains, leaving a dead insect on your motorcycle for a long time will make it harder to remove. Also, some kinds of insects can cause serious damage to your motorcycle's paint job if left unattended, so we recommend you get dead insects off your motorcycle as soon as you notice them.

4.Removing Brake Dust

As we mentioned in a previous article, the braking mechanism on your motorcycle squeezes the brake disc between the brake pads to stop the motorcycle.

The Role of Brake Fluid: What is Brake Fluid?

Brake dust is the powder that is produced by friction when brake pads are pressed against the brake disc. The below image is an example of brake dust on a motorcycle.

Brake dust

Brake dust

Unlike other types of dirt, brake dust is generated by friction, which makes it very hot when it is created and scattered around. After it adheres to the vehicle body, it cools and hardens from exposure to air. As a result, it is more difficult to remove than other stains.

While car shampoo or a neutral detergent may remove brake dust that has not been on the motorcycle for a long time, a store-bought specialized brake dust cleaner may be necessary for more stubborn instances.

We recommend frequent cleaning in this area, especially since it is part of under body inspections.


So, what do you think?

Letting dust, stains, or other unclear elements accumulate on your motorcycle unattended can lead to damage to the paint job and prevent removal through ordinary washing. The key to keeping your motorcycle clean and shiny for a long time is to wash it regularly before that happens.

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