The Two Bucket Rule

So what is motorbike detailing? Quite simply it's cleaning and polishing taken to the extreme with multiple time consuming steps and dedicated products, each of which is designed to thoroughly clean, to make each part super shiny or to protect the end result from the elements.

Motorbike detailing scratches

Following these tips you can:

  • Remove all the bugs, salt and road grime from your bike
  • Give it a good clean without ruining the paintwork
  • Make sure there are no nasty detergent residues left on it
  • Protect the end result

Why Use Two Buckets?

Heard of the Two Bucket Rule? No, well that's the most important place to start. One has your warm soapy water of choice and the other simply has clean water. Some people get two labelled buckets the same so they stack and others go for different styles / colours so it's really obvious which is which.

The sponge goes into the soapy water, on to the bike to dislodge any dirt and then straight into the clean water before repeating. By dipping it into the clean water after washing the bike all the dirt coming off ends up at the bottom of the clean water bucket, leaving your soapy bucket nice and fresh to repeat the process. If you just use one bucket some of the dirt and particles can make their way back onto the bike and cause those annoying circular scratches you often see in bright sunlight.

To make it even easier to avoid dirt making its way back on to the bike consider using a Scratch Shield in the bottom of each bucket. They are plastic mesh structures which sit at the bottom of the bucket and prevent your sponge accidentally making contact with the layer of grime that has sunk to the bottom.

Hand washing is the simplest and cheapest option but if you want to take it up a notch you can coat the bike in snow foam first. Check out this video from Chemical Guys to see the rule in action:

Motorbike Deatiling Stages

  1. The Two Bucket Rule
  2. Hand Washing
  3. Snow Foam
  4. Sponge Or Mitt
  5. Brushes
  6. The Rinse
  7. Drying
  8. The Clay Bar
  9. Polishing and Waxing
  10. General Protection
  11. Specialist Protection
  12. Chain Maintenance