Quick & Dirty – Winter Cleaning

By Dave Tomlinson, Social Secretary

Hi Folks,

Thought it might be useful to have a trawl through my cleaning materials that I use on the “Ghost”. These are not official products as such, just stuff I have been using over many years and keep the bike clean through the winter months…..

ACF 50

I’m lucky enough to have a “big blue” lift (see article on the club website https://bmwcluboxford.com/bike-lift/) which allows me to lift the bike to remove both wheels and spray ACF 50 everywhere (no, not tyres or brakes…). ACF 50 has proved itself year after year so it’s part of my normal winter maintenance schedule!

I tend to buy the large bottle and decant some into my trusty paraffin sprayer (you will need a small compressor) which gets everywhere, deep into the bike but doesn’t seem to use much – great!

ACF 50 is widely available but here’s a starter link: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162764136075

Copper Grease

You may have seen in a previous newsletter, Bob Mack’s excellent article on Front Brakes and winter use. Think “keep em” clean was the idea! https://bmwcluboxford.com/winter-motorcycle-maintenance/

Copper grease is a very useful complement to the tool kit. Apply sparingly on the back of the brake pads and hey presto, no more brake squealing when applying the brakes….. Please note on my K1600 there is no need to apply this to the rear pads which are exposed to the elements.

Copper grease is widely available in various formats; this one is available through Opie Oils which has a discount for club members: – https://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-140354-granville-copper-grease-0149.aspx


Been using this stuff for years as an electrical connector protector and generally smelling the garage out.

Recently, I have discovered its solvent capabilities. Have you seen what this stuff does to hard baked on tarmac, brilliant for exhausts, headers, bright metalwork, wheel rims? Anywhere the tar goes this stuff is magic and adds a nice protective film so it’s easier next time – a definite go-to product!

You can find out more about the product and its uses at:- https://www.wd40.com/uses-tips

Wurth Ultra 2040

A great little product for protecting my switchgear on the handlebars, a quick squirt into the left and right hand handlebar mounted controls e.g. indicators, cruise control, main beam, mode button etc., ignition, fuel cap and pannier locks makes them as “smooth as a baby’s bum” ……

Wurth products are readily available from a number of outlets on the internet; below is a link to their own website and e-shop:- https://eshop.wurth.co.uk/Product-categories/Multi-purpose-lubricant-Ultra-2040/31083008070902.cyid/3108.cgid/en/GB/GBP/

Fuchs RENOLIT Aqua 2 Water-Resistant Grease

As the name suggests, this is a serious waterproof grease, used in the marine industry and liberally used on all my fasteners e.g. fairing, front mudguard, main stand, side stand etc. as an anti-seize agent.

Makes a wonderful seal against the rainy elements and makes disassembly easier.

This product is available through Opie Oils which has a discount for club members: –


I use this everywhere in the house, hinges, locks, children’s bikes etc, but on the bike its main use is to keep the brake and clutch levers in tip top condition, not allowing the rain and dirt to spoil the fun and smoothness of lever action!

It also appears that Bahnstormer use it on pivot joints such as the side stand!

This product is widely available on the internet:- https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282838842089

Swarfega Wipes

When you have been out in the rain, and on one ride to the NEC this year snow flurries, the last thing you want to do when you get home, is get the pressure washer out and various other summer cleaning tools.

I find a decent wipe down, to dry and clean the bike off with these wipes, minimises corrosion and allows you to pop the WD40 etc on asap to protect your pride and joy.

I and others, have also used baby wipes, which are just as good if not more effective!

This product is widely available on the internet:- https://www.screwfix.com/p/swarfega-heavy-duty-hand-wipes-70-pack/31368

Fairy Liquid

First off, do not use this to clean any part of your bike. It’s far too aggressive and will strip away the protective layers….. not good if winter riding or even storing!

However, if you want a spotlessly clean visor or windscreen it’s hard to beat especially if you only use your fingers to wash, perhaps followed by a microfibre cloth and some visor cleaner for that added sparkle and minimal scratching.

Pro Green Motorcycle Wash

This stuff is amazing and makes you incredibly lazy…..power wash the bike; being careful around the bearings etc. and simply spray the Pro Green spray on, its PH neutral and won’t hurt your bike, so spray it anywhere, brakes, tyres etc. etc.

After 20 minutes, power wash the bike again and hey presto nice and clean. Vehicle cleaning has come along a long way since 2000. These days, environmentally friendly surfactants make this part of bike ownership very easy indeed!

I tend to purchase direct: – https://pro-greenmx.co.uk/

I hope you find these tips useful. These are not BMW recommended products; this is an article, based on personal experience, of what works for me on my bike. Please ensure that you are comfortable with the intended use of any products on your motorcycle. Try on a small area first and read the instructions carefully and enjoy trouble free winter riding!


Author: Dave Tomlinson

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