Drying the bike properly is important because you don't want it covered in water spots and it has to be properly dry before you start the polishing step.

Drying The Bike

It is crucial to get all the soap / detergent off the bike and to dry it thoroughly before applying any wax or protective coatings. People usually start with a bunch of clean micro fibre clothes to get the worst off. Micro fibre is a great material because loads of tiny fibres all crammed onto the surface give the towel a massive surface area with which to wick up the water droplets. Buy in bulk though because you'll go through a lot!

To finish the job quickly many people then go over the bike, especially the tricky cracks'n'crevices with a bike dryer. It's basically a big hair dryer / air compressor with a long flexible hose for getting the air to where it's needed.

The pressure forces its way into the cracks to expel any water back out, so watch where your face is and the heat helps what's left to evaporate more quickly. They come with different power ratings so do some thorough research before splashing any cash on one. Cheaper alternatives include old leaf blowers and even pet driers.

It will depend on the exact bike model however the chances are there will be certain bits that collect more water and certain bits it's a good idea to start with first. For instance the screen is generally designed to deflect wind blast around the bike so it can be a good idea to dry that bit first to avoid a cloud of fresh water covering the back of the bike after you've spent ages drying it. Individual bolts, the fuel filler cap and the radiator will also likely collect water as will the fins on air-cooled motors. Check out this video from TheMissendenFlyer:

Motorbike Detailing Stages