Fight The Dirty Grease

Jan 01, 2001 View Comments by


Almost every motorcyclist knows the situation: sooner or later you have to clean your bike. Mud, dirt, dust, and grease are all over the place (rat bikers shouldn’t pay attention to these lines!). Just think about it: a dirty bike can never work perfectly, and while cleaning you easily discover other problems such as lost bolts or broken parts. But how do we get all this greasy dirt off the motorcycle without getting cuts and scratches on our hands? The industry distributes a wide range of cleaners, even for your two-wheeler. And most of them work pretty well. But one solution stands out as extremely versatile: “d-Limonene” by Florida Chemical Company.

For several years, the sales staff from Winter Haven, FL sold their product as a general purpose cleaner, hand soap, a release agent, grease trap maintainer, cleaner for concrete, parts washer, dip bath, printing ink remover, aerosol ingredient, and so on. The cleaner is all natural, biodegradable, and 100-percent citrus extract. That sounds good enough to eat! So shouldn’t it also be good enough for our bikes?

You all know the very greasy spots on the rear wheel that come from the lube of the driving chain (shaft-driven motorcyclists can lean back for a moment). It means a lot of work and dirty hands to remove these spots. One solution is to use d-Limonene at full concentrate and a rag for the real heavy marks. After that you can use a water hose to get the solvent and the absorbed dirt off. Really easy! For safety, always use rubber gloves and avoid eye and skin contact. Also, avoid prolonged breathing of vapors, because the fluid is concentrated and can affect your respiratory system.

Most of the time you don’t even have to use this good smelling product at full concentrate. Just use a mixture of 10 parts d-Limonene, five parts common dishwashing soap (as an emulsifier), and 85 parts water. As soon as you hit the surface with the wet sponge you will feel how effective that stuff is. It degreases without a lot of effort and leaves a slight film of protectant on the rim. That will make the next cleaning a lot easier.

Many products exist on the market that use d-Limonene as a base solvent. These are widely available in hardware and auto parts stores (price: $4–$6) with names such as Citri-Solve, GooGone, and Orange-Glo. In general, if it smells like an orange, d-Limonene is the cleaning agent.

Of course, d-Limonene works great on all the other spots on your bike that will get dirty after a long time of riding. It doesn’t affect your custom-paint job or other sensitive areas like chrome or polished aluminum. After cleaning you only have to think of lubricating your chain (or other parts that require lubrication) if the solvent gets on it. To be honest, we have never seen a cleaner before that did its job so easily. And the nice part is your bike will smell better. And by the way, you really should get rid of the dark spot on your garage floor from your last oil change!

For more information call (863) 294-8483 or visit

Fight The Dirty Grease

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