Hose, Wash Bucket, Wash Mitt, WD-40, Clear-Coat Safe Tar and Bug Remover (optional), Armor-All (optional), Soft Cotton Rags, Chrome Polish (optional), Aluminum Polish, Cleaner Wax (optional), Regular Wax and Wax Applicator Pads.
Detailing your bike is easy- but it takes a while. You can achieve professional results with a little bit of time and attention to detail. Plus, it's practically free!
The first step to any detailing job is a good wash. But, the problem with washing your bike is that there are so many 'no-zones' for water-electricals, brakes, fuel tank, etc. This is what I do: I take a bucket of soapy water and just start lightly coating the paint with it and kind of brushing it down the side so that all the dirt slides off. I avoid all areas that I don't want water, such as the engine, gauges, underseat area, etc. You also don't need to grind the paint with the soapy mitt- the wax will take care of any caked on or stubborn crud. This is just a rinse to get rid of the loose dirt. I also take a plastic baggie and place it over my K&N crankcase breather (not necessary on bikes with emissions equipment still on). Once I've attacked all the painted surfaces, wheels, and tires, I move on to the rinse.
The rinse is even harder because you have less control over the water going everywhere. I use just a little trickle and carefully wash away all the soap residue. Don't spray the water into any crevices or
the exhaust either.
Drying stage one consists of drying off the entire bike with a clean cotton towel. The key when drying is to be gentle- you
don't want to try to buff off stubborn crud with a dry towel — that is what the cleaner wax is for.