Steam clean! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 7:33 am Thread Starter
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Steam clean!

My brother sells these small hand held steam cleaners on a local market.
'what's that do'? I asked him
'Anything - even clean ya bike' he said

hmmmmmm - I wasn't sure

But last night, still waiting for a part, and the bike on the ramp, I gave it a go.
WOW!!!
Stubbon tar, flies, wheels, exhaust now gleems.
BUT
The best bit - the disks - wow, the dirt I got off them. SO easy to do, I couldnt believe it

Anyone used steam on the screen? I am not sure if that would be a good idea!

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #2 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 7:44 am
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I'm not sure what model you used. I bought a McCulloch steam cleaner from Harbor Freight for 99 bucks. Good investment...I used it to clean up an '06 R1150GS Adventure that had some pretty hard dirt and stuff on it (likely never cleaned) and it helped a lot. I think it was less harsh on electronics, etc. than the usual pressure washer which I won't use on a bike. The McCulloch model I have isn't really high pressure, but sufficient pressure to do the job in most places.

A recommended purchase for a bike detailing nut.

To answer your question re: screen. Seems overkill to me. Warm, soapy water does as good a job and less likely to cause problems.

John
Jacksonville, FL (USA)
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post #3 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 7:46 am
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So.. this soften the goop or cause it to drip down and then you wipe it off?

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post #4 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 7:52 am
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Hi Channing...works best where you can't use lots of water, soap, cleaners, etc. You know how your hoses, etc. look under the tupperware...that brownish grimy look. The steam cleaner does a great job there without lots of water. It's not magic, but pretty close to it. 99 bucks a great purchase.

John
Jacksonville, FL (USA)
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post #5 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 8:42 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
So.. this soften the goop or cause it to drip down and then you wipe it off?
Bit of both.
If you can't get into a crack, it will deal with it, on the rotors, I used a clean cloth, still had grime, but the cloth would not have got anything off if the steam had not loosened it first - great when you don't want to use chemicals.
I am not normally bother with cleaning bikes - waste of good riding time!
But this was worth the time

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #6 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 12:39 pm
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I have not read on the LT's, but my R manual said "no pressure washing"! I have washed many a dirt bike, but never a street bike(with a pressure washer).


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post #7 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 1:40 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OU812
I have not read on the LT's, but my R manual said "no pressure washing"! I have washed many a dirt bike, but never a street bike(with a pressure washer).
Read the post - it's a 'Steam Cleaner', not a pressure washer.

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post #8 of 12 Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 8:56 pm
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I like the idea. My question is does the heat and steam also remove any wax on the bike?
Where can these be purchased?
I guess that is two questions

G-Glove
2003 Silver LTC
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post #9 of 12 Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 9:53 am
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We bought a product called "The Steam Buggie" a few years ago to help peel off wallpaper. It was a small canister with a hose and had different attachments on it. I cleaned my rims and it was really easy and wow, they were clean.

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post #10 of 12 Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 10:26 am
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbones
We bought a product called "The Steam Buggie" a few years ago to help peel off wallpaper. It was a small canister with a hose and had different attachments on it. I cleaned my rims and it was really easy and wow, they were clean.
The McCulloch I bought at Harbor Freight for 99 bucks sounds like yours. About the size of a cannister vacuum cleaner, maybe a bit smaller, and a boatload of attachments and brushes which I don't use. There's a measuring cup to fill up with distilled water etc.

For the serious (paranoid) detailer a must-have in their arsenal against dirt!

John
Jacksonville, FL (USA)
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post #11 of 12 Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 10:46 am
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My opinion: you should NEVER use a steam cleaner on a bike. All the things that make it effective at eliminating gunk also tend to wash out bearing surfaces. The steam will sneak through seals and pollute fluid reservoirs with soapy water. Metal parts will rust sooner.

The harshest things I use to clean are a garden hose, a bit of soap and elbow grease.
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post #12 of 12 Old Jan 24th, 2008, 6:30 pm
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Steam = Bad???

I remember seeing an episode of Motorweek on PBS a while back where Pat Goss spoke on this very subject. Of course, he was speaking of cars and not bikes, but his recommendation was NEVER use a steam cleaner!

His logic was this. Electrical connectors on vehicles are designed to withstand water and not allow it to penetrate. However, steam is not water, it is vapor, and it goes everywhere air does.

While a connector may be water tight, it might not be air tight. Theredore, steam can get in, condense, and voila, you've got water in your electrical connections or components.

He was OK with pressure washers, but again, he was referring to cars and not bikes. If tha manual says don't do it, then don't do it.
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