When your ride has been accumulating dust and dirt, it’s time to Muc-Off
Muc-Off’s mantra is “clean, protect and lube.” The company designs and produces everything you need to do those three important steps for your motorcycle. Muc-Off has been developing cutting-edge cleaning and maintenance products for motorcycles and bicycles since 1994. And since the company is based in the U.K., the developers have a long history of trying to keep their toys clean, what with all the rain and wet roads in that part of the world.
Muc-Off products include concentrated soap, premixed spray soaps and waterless spray soaps that clean and polish when you don’t have a hose handy. Microfibre cloths, microcell sponges and chain cleaners round out the cleaning liquids. Muc-Off also offers a wide array of cleaning brushes for washing painted bodywork to spoked wheels and a brush specifically designed for cleaning the drive chain. The company even offers specialized brushes for getting into the tightest spots; a couple are particularly useful for getting between the cooling fins on an air-cooled engine.
The protectant part of the equation includes an all-around spray that is sprayed on after washing and leaves a non-sticky protective layer that inhibits corrosion and dirt adhesion between washes. There is also a finish detail spray specifically for matte finishes.
For bikes with final drive chains, Muc-Off offers two chain lubes: one for all types of weather (remember, it was developed in rain-soaked England) that is designed, obviously, for wet conditions, but also for longer distances, and is claimed to withstand the rigours of off-road riding; and a dry chain lube for short to mid-range distances. Handy having the choice if you just run around town frequently or spend many hours at a time on the road. Both products are safe for all types of chains.
In addition to these products, Muc-Off has developed a multitude of other products, including an anti-fog treatment spray, visor and lens cleaner, and a product called Foam Fresh for keeping the inside of helmets, jackets and boots smelling fresh.
Last winter crept up on me and I didn’t get the time to wash my Triumph Tiger 800XC properly before the snow flew. It really didn’t bother me, as that style of bike doesn’t look bad when it’s dirty. But this spring, when I got the Tiger out, I felt sorry for it and washed it on the first decent day. I broke out the Muc-Off products and spent some time trying out the various cleaners and brushes.
Simply spray on the biodegradable motorcycle cleaner on a wet bike and let it sit for a few minutes, agitate the heaviest grime with the appropriate brush and rinse off. I was surprised by how little work was required to get last fall’s grime off, even after it sat all winter. Almost all of the dried-on bugs lifted easily, although I had to work slightly harder to remove some of the more stubborn ones.
Between the Muc-Off soap and the biodegradable chain cleaner spray, the grease on the rear wheel and chain guard that had been splattered with last year’s chain lube cleaned up nicely. The stiff chain-cleaning brush is designed to clean three sides of the chain at one time and has longer stiff bristles on the other end of the handle for getting into hard-to-reach areas.
The only thing left to do was to lube the chain when it dried – all-weather chain lube, in my case – and spray the protectant spray over the whole bike (except the brake parts, of course).
The bottom line: all of the products I used did exactly as they claimed. I cleaned a very dirty bike to a gleaming shine with minimal effort. Then I immediately went out on some muddy forest trails because, well, the Tiger looks just as good dirty.
Muc-Off (muc-off.com) also makes many more products than are listed in this review and are distributed in Canada through Kimpex. Products range in price, and prepackaged multi-product kits are also available. Go to your favourite motorcycle shop, dealership or kimpex.com to pick some up.