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How to Maintain Your Motorcycle’s Shine

How to Maintain Your Motorcycle’s Shine

Motorcycle paint jobs contribute to aesthetics and protection. Paint forms a layer that protects the metal and plastic from the elements and hides any flaws your bike may have accumulated over the years.


However, a paint job can quickly become dull and boring if it loses its shine. Motorcycle paint will gradually lose its shine due to environmental factors, frequent use, and inconsistent maintenance. Bird droppings, sun rays, road salt, automotive fluid leaks, and aggressive cleaning can contribute to the paint becoming dulled. But restoring or maintaining your motorcycle’s shine is easier than you think. This article provides five easy tips to help extend the shine.

1. Why Do Some Motorcycle Paints Shine But Others Don’t?

Motorcycle paint jobs are available in various finishes, including holographic, rust patina, metallic candy finish, solid color, and chameleon. These finishes either have a shiny or muted, flat yet smooth texture. Motorcycle paint jobs with a lustrous surface are covered with a lacquer or a shiny clear coat that is wet sanded, polished, and buffed to create a highly glossy look. Paints with a matte finish provide flat and dull textures. To achieve the shiny look, you can apply a fresh coat of paint, then apply a clear coat, or sand the current paint job and apply lacquer on top of it.

2. How Long Does Motorcycle Paint Remain Shiny?

The length of motorcycle paint’s shine depends on several factors, including:

  • If your motorcycle has a factory-grade high glossy paint job or a custom homemade paint job.
  • The quality of the prep work, paint, and clear coat
  • Frequency of paint and clear coat touch-ups
  • Frequency of maintenance
  • Frequency of exposure to sun and rain

Usually, a good-quality paint job can retain its shine for 5-10 years without needing restoration. But without proper care, cleaning, and maintenance, the paint’s shine will only last a couple of months.

3. How to Make Motorcycle Paint’s Shine Last Longer?

To ensure the motorcycle paint’s shine lasts longer, sand the surface well before applying paint. You can dry or wet sand using 400 grit sandpaper or an orbital sander. Once primer and paint is applied, leave them to dry, then apply the clear coat, flake, or lacquer. This final layer of transparent finish paint will function as a sealant to protect the surface and luster of the paint. If you want to improve the shine of the clear coat, use a polisher to buff the surface.

4. Tips to Help Maintain Your Motorcycle’s Shine

Many riders neglect maintaining the paint which can result in peeling, chipping, and color fading. To ensure the paint’s shine lasts longer, use the following tips:

4.1 Don’t Wash Your Motorcycle Every Day

Don’t wash your motorcycle regularly. Washing your motorcycle too frequently can cause its paint to lose its shine. Wash your bike at least once per week with water and once per month with mild motorcycle shampoo suited for high glossy paint jobs. However, you should dust your bike every day with a microfiber duster. These dusters are readily available and affordable on Amazon and other online stores.

4.2 Do Not Park Your Motorcycle in Direct Sunlight

Never park your motorcycle under direct sunlight. Always leave it parked under shade even if you are leaving your bike unattended for only a few minutes. Except for the exhaust and engine, the majority of the motorcycle parts are not sprayed with heat-resistant paint. When you leave your bike out in the sun, the paint can become faded, peel off, and become chipped.


When performing touch-ups or custom paint jobs, try to use clear coats that are UV resistant and can handle high temperatures. This will help restore your motorcycle’s paint and maintain its shine for a long time.

4.3 Avoid Riding in Rain

Try to avoid riding your motorcycle in the rain. If you are on the road and it suddenly starts to rain, try to park your bike in a dry area with cover until the rain stops. If you must ride your bike in the rain, dry it completely upon reaching your destination. Water droplets can leave marks and reduce the paint’s shine. Moreover, if they remain on the metal for a long time, they can weaken the paint and clear coat, dull the shine, and increase rusting and corrosion.


The same principle applies when you wash your bike. Make sure you clean and dry the motorcycle completely, removing any moisture on the surface. Some motorcyclists focus more on cleaning and drying metal parts and neglect the plastic parts since they do not corrode. However, plastic surfaces can also lose their shine if they are not given equal attention.

4.4 Wax the Paint Job Every Three Months

Apply a wax polish every 3-4 months to maintain the shine of your motorcycle paint. Wax keeps the motorcycle paint and clear coat from oxidizing. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that dulls the transparent clear coat due to exposure to sunlight and heat. Wax also helps repel UV rays, automotive fluids, grease, grime, and other elements that can damage your motorcycle’s paint job.


Wax polish is affordable and easy to apply. Spread some wax on a clean microfiber cloth and rub it thoroughly all over your motorcycle.

4.5 Fix Any Chipped Paint Immediately

When on the road, your motorbike may be struck by flying debris or other vehicles that can hit and damage its parts. These can result in scratches and chipped paint. Even if your motorcycle does not ever get in a collision, the paint may chip from being exposed to harsh weather conditions. Look for chipped paint and fix it while the damage is small or it could gradually grow bigger. You must apply touch-ups if you want your motorcycle paint to retain its shine for a long time. If rust forms on these areas, it will reduce shine, cause more paint to chip off, and potentially damage your motorcycle’s parts.

4.6 Apply Teflon Coating

Teflon coating is a sealant that forms a protective layer over your motorcycle’s paint job, protecting it from scratches and damage due to mild impacts. Applying Teflon coating once or twice per year will help maintain your motorcycle’s shine and improve its aesthetics. To apply Teflon coating, wash the entire motorbike, then wipe it dry. Once the bike is completely dry, apply the Teflon coating. You can buy an aerosol can for quick and easy application. Once all the motorcycle parts are covered with Teflon, leave the coating to dry for 20-30 minutes. Then, polish the motorcycle with a buffing machine or polisher until the surface has an immaculate shine. Spend 30-45 minutes buffing the motorcycle to remove any minor scratches and abrasions in the process.

5. Takeaway

It requires little effort and money to maintain the shine of your motorcycle’s paint. However, it is important to be consistent. If you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you can enjoy a good-looking paint job for at least a decade before needing to get a new one. Include taking care of your motorcycle’s paint job in your weekly, monthly, and yearly motorcycle maintenance schedules to ensure you perform the necessary tasks.

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