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post #1 of 41 Old May 26th, 2008, 11:01 pm Thread Starter
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Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

WWMD? That's what I was thinking as I stared at the jillions of dead bugs splatted on my LT this evening. WWMD - What Would McGuyver Do?

My LT was in dire need of a bath, having just returned from a 600 miler in insect infested nothern Wisconsin. I was out of bug remover, the stores were closed for the night, and I needed a solution.

As I sometimes do when confronted with a situation that needs an improvised response, I thought WWMD.

Well, I thought, the problem is bugs and how to effectively remove them using something I had in my house. I started looking in cabinets, closets and drawers. Bourbon? No way. Guiness? Ditto. Hair spray? Nope. Crisco? Not gonna work. Laundry detergent? Nope.....wait a minute.

What are bugs made of? Protein, mostly. What does laundry detergent dissolve? Bits of protein in the form of meatballs, steak, milk, eggs, etc. that land on your pants and shirt. It oughta work on bugs.

I dissolved a couple of scoops in a quart of warm water. After spraying water on the LT I used a clean fleece mitt to apply the water/detergent solution, twice, on the areas that had bug splats, including the windshield. Then I rinsed it with cold water and washed the entire bike using the usual car wash soap and water.

Success! The water/detergent solution was flawless, even better than the bug remover stuff I usually buy from the auto parts store, BMW dealer or Wally World. And very inexpensive.

A couple of tips in case you try this method of bug removal: Don't let it dry and wash a cool bike in the shade.

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post #2 of 41 Old May 26th, 2008, 11:09 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_H
WWMD? That's what I was thinking as I stared at the jillions of dead bugs splatted on my LT this evening. WWMD - What Would McGuyver Do?

My LT was in dire need of a bath, having just returned from a 600 miler in insect infested nothern Wisconsin. I was out of bug remover, the stores were closed for the night, and I needed a solution.

As I sometimes do when confronted with a situation that needs an improvised response, I thought WWMD.

Well, I thought, the problem is bugs and how to effectively remove them using something I had in my house. I started looking in cabinets, closets and drawers. Bourbon? No way. Guiness? Ditto. Hair spray? Nope. Crisco? Not gonna work. Laundry detergent? Nope.....wait a minute.

What are bugs made of? Protein, mostly. What does laundry detergent dissolve? Bits of protein in the form of meatballs, steak, milk, eggs, etc. that land on your pants and shirt. It oughta work on bugs.

I dissolved a couple of scoops in a quart of warm water. After spraying water on the LT I used a clean fleece mitt to apply the water/detergent solution, twice, on the areas that had bug splats, including the windshield. Then I rinsed it with cold water and washed the entire bike using the usual car wash soap and water.

Success! The water/detergent solution was flawless, even better than the bug remover stuff I usually buy from the auto parts store, BMW dealer or Wally World. And very inexpensive.

A couple of tips in case you try this method of bug removal: Don't let it dry and wash a cool bike in the shade.
Only downside: Whatever coat of wax you had on the bike is gone with the bugs...

Wolfgang

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post #3 of 41 Old May 26th, 2008, 11:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Only downside: Whatever coat of wax you had on the bike is gone with the bugs
Good point, and true also with many bug removers that have a distilled petroluem base.

I usually do a quick re-wax after bug removal, although the tupperware isn't prone to rusting.

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post #4 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 2:25 am
 
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

If you REALLY want to see some great results removing bugs, try this! Use a dryer sheet instead of your fleece mitt. There's something about a dryer sheet that just makes those dead bugs jump off that shield. Channing (aka 'cfell') showed me this trick while I was down in Texas last Spring. I'm still amazed by the results.
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post #5 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 5:15 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
If you REALLY want to see some great results removing bugs, try this! Use a dryer sheet instead of your fleece mitt. There's something about a dryer sheet that just makes those dead bugs jump off that shield. Channing (aka 'cfell') showed me this trick while I was down in Texas last Spring. I'm still amazed by the results.
Do you still use hot water and detergent with the dryer sheet? I'm guessing so.

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post #6 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 6:00 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

When on LD road trips, I've used hand towels from the motel I'm staying at and soaked them in super HOT water and then placed it directly on the windshield. After the towel cools, the bug guts come right off .

I then throw the towel away so as not to have the next guest dry their hands with a formally bug encrusted towel.

Rob V.B.
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post #7 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 7:03 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Towels soaked in super HOT water and then placed directly on the windshield. After the towel cools, the bug guts come right off
That's my usual method of bug removal. I use the micro fiber towels that you can get at Sam's or Costco. I usually carry a few with me in the saddle bags just for that purpose.

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post #8 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 7:04 am
 
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbuttwannabe
Do you still use hot water and detergent with the dryer sheet? I'm guessing so.
Yes sir...
Just a very small amount of detergent on the dryer sheet.
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post #9 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 7:19 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_H
WWMD? That's what I was thinking as I stared at the jillions of dead bugs splatted on my LT this evening. WWMD - What Would McGuyver Do?

My LT was in dire need of a bath, having just returned from a 600 miler in insect infested nothern Wisconsin. I was out of bug remover, the stores were closed for the night, and I needed a solution.

As I sometimes do when confronted with a situation that needs an improvised response, I thought WWMD.

Well, I thought, the problem is bugs and how to effectively remove them using something I had in my house. I started looking in cabinets, closets and drawers. Bourbon? No way. Guiness? Ditto. Hair spray? Nope. Crisco? Not gonna work. Laundry detergent? Nope.....wait a minute.

What are bugs made of? Protein, mostly. What does laundry detergent dissolve? Bits of protein in the form of meatballs, steak, milk, eggs, etc. that land on your pants and shirt. It oughta work on bugs.

I dissolved a couple of scoops in a quart of warm water. After spraying water on the LT I used a clean fleece mitt to apply the water/detergent solution, twice, on the areas that had bug splats, including the windshield. Then I rinsed it with cold water and washed the entire bike using the usual car wash soap and water.

Success! The water/detergent solution was flawless, even better than the bug remover stuff I usually buy from the auto parts store, BMW dealer or Wally World. And very inexpensive.

A couple of tips in case you try this method of bug removal: Don't let it dry and wash a cool bike in the shade.
Water works well too! Dishwashing detergent (Dawn brand for one) also does an excellent job of removing old wax preparatory to polishing and waxing painted surfaces.
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post #10 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 7:36 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Vinegar and water 50-50 works great too!


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post #11 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 8:57 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Maybe I am just in a mood this morning but it seems to me you are over thinking this...

If you want to clean the bugs off your bike.... get a soft cloth and wet it with hot or warm water. Wipe the bugged area with the cloth. Move on to the next area. By the time you come back to the first area the bugs will be soft enough to wipe off.

Most motels have old towels they supply for this purpose. Just ask the desk clerk when you check in. Chances are they will give you several just to keep you from ruining the good wash cloth.

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post #12 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 9:09 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

When I am at home I have my very own towels, lovingly given to me by my wife, after she caught me in her hamper one time looking for the oldest towels I could find, so she decided it was either loose a few towels she didn't mind losing, or a complete loss of her good towel inventory.

While I am on the road, Super 8 and Best Western hotels are great about giving you a bucket of water and a bunch of towels (a lot of Best Western's have set up bike wash stations now). I just soak a towel, lay it over the plastic a couple of minutes, then wipe off. I go over the bike with some Wash & Wax All and I am done, washed and waxed in about 15 to 20 minutes.

Jerry
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post #13 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 9:16 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlbushey
That's my usual method of bug removal. I use the micro fiber towels that you can get at Sam's or Costco. I usually carry a few with me in the saddle bags just for that purpose.
What they said! Bugs come off faster than they arrived!

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post #14 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 9:28 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

A friend of mine showed me this trick.... Lemon Pledge, and a soft cloth. Works great, AND has that pleasant lemony aroma!

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post #15 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 10:20 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

I always use a pair of my DW's old panty hose balled up. Works great and doesn't scratch.
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post #16 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 11:54 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopz
Maybe I am just in a mood this morning but it seems to me you are over thinking this...

If you want to clean the bugs off your bike.... get a soft cloth and wet it with hot or warm water. Wipe the bugged area with the cloth. Move on to the next area. By the time you come back to the first area the bugs will be soft enough to wipe off.
Or you can take a warm, damp cloth and let it sit on the wind screen for a few minutes. The bug guts get come right off.

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post #17 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 11:59 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

I just use a spray bottle with tap water. Give the front a heavy spritz, wait few minutes, then wipe with a microfiber towel. Clean as new.

I buy the towels in 25 piece bulk and wash them as needed. I thow out any I use that might have embedded particles in them from cleaning.

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post #18 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 1:22 pm
 
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I just use "Rejex" on my LT, vehicles and RV. Reduces the amount of road grime that sticks in the first place. Bugs and road grime rinse right off with just plain water. In a good rain, it cleans itself of bugs and grime. Best application method is to strip bike of other wax applications. Apply and let cure for 12 hours. It was developed for the airplane industry.

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post #19 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 2:52 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
When on LD road trips, I've used hand towels from the motel I'm staying at and soaked them in super HOT water and then placed it directly on the windshield. After the towel cools, the bug guts come right off .

I then throw the towel away so as not to have the next guest dry their hands with a formally bug encrusted towel.

I've gone to the housekeeping office and asked if they have any towel "rags" with my specific purpose. I have been obliged many times and they just throw them away from there! Sometimes they even come out to watch me clean up the bike

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post #20 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 3:09 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

At the Fall gathering in Torrey, UT last year I checked into the Days Inn and on the Main Desk they had a stack of old towels and a nicely printed sign saying Towels for Motorcycle Cleaning.

I was impressed, or should I say wiped out.

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post #21 of 41 Old May 27th, 2008, 4:32 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Several motels have handed over rags & expressed appreciation to me for not using their good towels on my bike.
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post #22 of 41 Old May 28th, 2008, 9:49 am
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Soak a towel and let it sit, hava drink, then hose or wipe off

What many have said for bug removal. If the bugs are relatively fresh after a day of riding, simply soak a few old towels ( I keep several just for this purpose) with water and let them remain on the windshield and other front end areas for about 15-20 minutes. It's that simple. Everything will then easily wipe off of if I'm in the mood, hose off. No soap or special material, just water. Works on the Love Bugs of Florida and they will literally eat into whatever they are on if left for too long.

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post #23 of 41 Old May 29th, 2008, 9:53 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

I'm scared to even post this but I use...errr...I ..uh.. I use...Honda spray Polish! OK, I said it. That's right, I spray on the Honda Spray polish and let it set for about a minute and then wipe them off. A nice soft towel or a microfiber one and just rub them off and when you are through, there is a nice clean wax job done.

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post #24 of 41 Old May 29th, 2008, 10:03 am
 
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

OK my 2 cents worth, In arkansas 2 years ago I had a guy tell me use baby wipes, I found some last month when bringing my LT home, & they work great, they do seem to leave some residue but with regular winsheild cleaner it looks brand new, but for something to carry on the bike for fill up cleanings it works pretty well
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post #25 of 41 Old May 29th, 2008, 11:07 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Danno,

You have Love Bugs in Florida too?!?!?!?!?! I thought those were reserved for us southern Texas riders. I had never even heard of them until I moved to the Houston area and my first Ultra got hundreds of them on a RTE. I didn't wash them off right away and you should have seen my forks when I finally got around to washing them off. Ruined!!! I could see spots on the finish of the plastic where the wax was gone. Anything that wasn't chrome or rubber was slowing being eaten away. Nasty bug to have to live with...twice a year. Now I carry a small spray bottle of Wash & Wax All and spritz down the forks at every fill up. I know I should go with the chrome forks, but Momma has other ideas.

Jerry
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post #26 of 41 Old May 29th, 2008, 12:09 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

FW-1 containing carnauba. The front of my bike is so "slick" that bugs just bounce off rarely leaving anything more than a small mark. A can easily fits in your saddle bags and makes a bucket and water obsolete.

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post #27 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 12:14 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Laundry detergent should never be used on auto paint, unless you are washing it prior to sanding it down for a repaint. Laundry detergent is so harsh that it not only removes any wax on your vehicle, it also draws out the oils in the paint, drying it out and can cause it to crack, check and/or spiderweb.
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post #28 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 6:30 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Morley is right. Laundry detergent is caustic. We have some detergent from Zep at work that we use in our parts washer. The dust from it will choke you but man, does it clean up aluminum and steel parts!!.......

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post #29 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 1:04 pm
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Zep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler50
....We have some detergent from Zep at work that we use in our parts washer.....
Speaking up Zep.....ever tried it on oil stains on a concrete driveway? Amazing! Oil long gone....

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #30 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 1:36 pm
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Re: Zep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
Speaking up Zep.....ever tried it on oil stains on a concrete driveway? Amazing! Oil long gone....
Sounds like just what I need. So where can I buy the Zep products locally as I've not seen them previously.

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post #31 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 1:49 pm
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Zep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurKnowles
Sounds like just what I need. So where can I buy the Zep products locally as I've not seen them previously.
Yes, I have never seen them at the local "evil" super center. Not cheap but works great.

http://www.zep.com/products/products.aspx?

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post #32 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 1:56 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

It would have been even easier if you had put the whole thing in your washing machine. Although the spin cycle might have been a bit noisy.

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post #33 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 3:30 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Can´t say I approve of Rob using motel towels and then throwing them away.

It will give the rest of us bikers either a bad reputation or higher room fees.

Also, many establishments lease their towels and linen off the laundry, so at the end of the day the laundry loses out, not the hotel.
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post #34 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 6:45 pm
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Re: Zep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurKnowles
Sounds like just what I need. So where can I buy the Zep products locally as I've not seen them previously.
My local Home Depot carries Zep products.
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post #35 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 8:50 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Back to Love Bugs - Once everything is clean, during the Love Bug season, I wax the front end of the bike (not windshield) several times and then leave the last coat on without buffing. My bike is green and the wax just looks like a film of white dust. Bugs don't penetrate and simply hose off... Windshield, Just Water.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #36 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 10:22 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Come to think of it, a real BMW rider simply lets rain wash them little critter parts away.



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post #37 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 10:32 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Come to think of it, a real BMW rider simply lets rain wash them little critter parts away.


Man-o-man where has this been?

I remember riding in the 70's during the "55 mph" nazi rules. My uncle walked up to me and asked...
"You riding the speed limit?"

I replied:
"yes, sir..." before I could say "at least" he said:

"bugs don't do that at 55!" and simply walks away...

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #38 of 41 Old May 30th, 2008, 11:19 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
It would have been even easier if you had put the whole thing in your washing machine. Although the spin cycle might have been a bit noisy.
I am glad that someone else thinks like I do...

Wade
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post #39 of 41 Old May 31st, 2008, 6:57 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Come to think of it, a real BMW rider simply lets rain wash them little critter parts away.


A good coat of wax (left on and not polished off) on the body, allows the rain to do it's job on my bike. I really don't wash it often, prefer to be riding, and when it rains, recent bugs do seem to slide off...... I get the rest at the semi-annual wash.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #40 of 41 Old May 31st, 2008, 4:22 pm
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morley
My local Home Depot carries Zep products.
I always did like H/D--I mean other than all the illegals you have to run over to get into the store!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
....I wax the front end of the bike (not windshield) several times and then leave the last coat on without buffing....
Yes, Dan! Me two. Talk about a conversation starter...."Hey dude....like what happened to ur bike, man....like." I find that if you wax the windshield also it REALLY confuses them....
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
....remember riding in the 70's during the "55 mph" nazi rules....
Correct me if I'm wrong, Channing, but weren't these the predecessors to the Kamera and anti-smoking Nazis?!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #41 of 41 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:42 am
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Re: Excellent Way To Remove Bug Splats

Quote:
Originally Posted by hallzee
A friend of mine showed me this trick.... Lemon Pledge, and a soft cloth. Works great, AND has that pleasant lemony aroma!


Are you using the Pledge on your windshield?
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