Best Motorcycle Waxes: Add Some Shine and Protection to Your Ride
High-quality waxes for your ride
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Motorcycles are just like cars when it comes to the exterior: They get dirty, they can be cleaned, and you have a lot of control over the finished look with the right products. A good wax, for example, can give your motorcycle the same type of deep, wet shine that cars enjoy. If you want to explore the high-gloss potential of your ride, check out these top motorcycle waxes.
- Best OverallMeguiar's Motorcycle Care KitSummarySummaryA complete motorcycle care kit that includes a good liquid wax for quick application.ProsProsEasy to apply in specific, controlled amounts to avoid wasting any wax. Can be applied by hand or with a power applicator.ConsConsThe small bottle doesn't leave much for more than two applications on an average-sized motorcycle. Kit includes some cleaners that may be useless.
- Best ValueWash Wax ALL WaxSummarySummaryA near do-it-all type of wash and wax combo that is equally at home on motorcycles as other vehicles.ProsProsThe easy spray-on design offers a quick and simple solution to protecting a motorcycle without a lot of work. The wax formula is friendly to many types of materials.ConsConsThe versatile design leaves something to be desired in terms of final results. The protective coating doesn't last as long as other options.
- Honorable MentionTurtle Wax 50751 Ultimate Motorcycle Cleaning KitSummarySummaryOne complete motorcycle care package that includes a great wax at a decent price.ProsProsSpray-on wax has an effective spray pattern that covers a lot of areas quickly. The finish responds well to hand application.ConsConsWax doesn't respond well to different types of materials on a motorcycle. Glass and plastic components, in particular, make it difficult to remove the wax.
Why Buy a Motorcycle Wax
- Give your bike a nice shine. Like any other vehicle, motorcycles can benefit from a fresh coat of wax when it comes to looking good. Waxes do a good job of bouncing light off of the surface, creating a deep shine that is sure to catch some passing eyes.
- Protect the exterior. A good wax about more than just the looks it provides to a motorcycle. The protective layer can help protect the paintwork from UV and water damage, especially if you leave it outside for long periods of time. Combined with other cleaners and treatment solutions, you can give your bike better exterior protection.
- Extend the paint's life. A protective coat of wax benefits the paintwork in the short and long term. Wax layers combat oxidation and general surface degradation. The more you wax a bike regularly, the more the paintwork will stay fresh and healthy.
Types of Motorcycle Waxes
All-natural wax tends to be made with carnauba, a hard substance derived from plant leaves found in northeastern Brazil. For some purists, this is the only type of wax worth checking out if you want the ultimate look and durability. While others may disagree with the magical properties of carnauba, this is a good type of wax to check out if you want a high degree of durability and protection.
Synthetic waxes, also known as paint sealants, use man-made substances like resins and polymers. Much like home paint sealants, these waxes are designed to create a uniform barrier over the paintwork that's easier to apply than many natural waxes. Most budget-friendly options use a synthetic formula or some kind of blend with carnauba to save money on ingredients.
Top Brands of Motorcycle Waxes
Started in 1944, Turtle Wax's claim to fame is producing one of the first (if not the first) bottled car waxes. Since that time, the company has continued to focus on offering high-quality automotive car care products. As a result, the company's lineup includes a number of wax types meant for different applications. For motorcycle use, check out the Turtle Wax 50751 Ultimate Motorcycle Cleaning Kit for a complete bike care kit.
With a history spanning back over 110 years, Meguiar's knows a thing or two about proper car care and quality cleaning products. Back in the day, the company got its start making furniture polish under the direction of Frank Meguiar, Jr. Over time, the company expanded into the automotive market, where it now dominates as one of the most recognized brand names. Check out the Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit to see what the company makes for motorcycles.
Motorcycle Wax Pricing
- $25 and under: Dedicated motorcycle waxes can be difficult to find in this price range. Most options are for general use (i.e. with cars), but can still produce great results on a motorcycle's finish.
- $25-$50: There are plenty of high-quality motorcycle waxes in this range. Some higher-end options come in a single bottle or jar, while others come in entire kits that include other cleaning products for different parts of a motorcycle.
- $50 and above: If you want a complete kit to get your motorcycle looking good again, this is the price range to start with first. Singular waxes aren't too common here, but there are plenty of motorcycle care kits that include nearly everything you need to clean, polish, and wax the bike to your liking.
Most motorcycle waxes match the form of normal automotive products: spray-on, liquid, and paste. Spray-on waxes tend to be easy to apply quickly without a lot of skill or equipment needed for a decent shine. Unfortunately, quantity can be an issue depending on the bottle size. Liquids, on the other hand, take more time to apply and can be more difficult to spread evenly. Durability, however, is top notch. Pastes are a good compromise between the two since they are easier to apply than liquids but last longer than spray-on waxes.
The specific ingredients that go into a wax's formula are generally safe. With that said, some manufacturers use toxic ingredients that can either harm you or the bike. As a result, it's good to check the ingredients list and compatibility of the wax for different bike components and materials. If you have an allergy to an ingredient, stay away from it. If an ingredient can harm a specific part of your bike, take care to avoid getting it on that part when waxing the bike overall.
- Application: Once you have a good wax to apply to your bike, the next step is to actually apply it. The wax application can be done by hand with a microfiber towel or with a power applicator. The best choice is often a personal preference that depends on your skill and available equipment, but make sure the wax you choose can be applied with your chosen method to get the best results.
- Frequency of Use: How often you wax your bike depends on the longevity of the wax you choose and your personal preference for a waxing schedule. Some waxes can last up to six months or a year, so you don't need a large supply hanging around your garage. Most waxes, however, have a shorter lifespan (some down to a month or a few weeks), meaning you should opt for a larger supply in a bigger container or larger number of containers.
Best Motorcycle Wax Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Motorcycle Wax Overall: Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit
Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit is the type of bike care setup you buy for top-to-bottom detailing. Offering more than just a great wax for the main surfaces of a motorcycle, the kit comes with other cleaning solutions like surface treatments for leather and plastic. In total, the kit includes six different cleaners or waxes and a couple of towels to round things out.
The wax itself is a liquid variety that does a good job leaving a noticeable high-gloss shine without too many extra swirl marks and water spots that need to be treated. The liquid application also makes it easy to use just the right amount without wasting the solution and can be done by either hand or with a power applicator depending on your personal tastes. In combination with the other products, the wax does a good job of protecting the finish from UV damage as well.
The main downside to the wax itself is the amount: With a small bottle, there's only enough for a couple of washings before you will need to buy a replacement kit or individual replacement bottles. As a kit, you may find some of the extra cleaning products aren't too useful, depending on your motorcycle setup. For mostly metal motorcycles, for example, the plastic polish is fairly useless.
Best Motorcycle Wax Value: Wash Wax ALL Wax
The Wash Wax ALL combination wash and wax represents a great, versatile value purchase that is as close as a do-it-all type of cleaning product as you can get for the price. Coming in a handy 32-ounce spray bottle, the wash and wax combo offers a large amount of cleaning solution, especially when applied to a motorcycle you want to touch up without spending a lot of money.
This combo is designed as a wet or waterless wash kit that can be applied to vehicles, boats, RVs, and of course, motorcycles. The spray bottle has a nice, controllable spray pattern that isn't too weak or forceful, providing an even coverage over a decent surface area. The solution wipes off easily, and the wax leaves a UV protective coating that should last for at least a month.
The wax's real draw is also a major drawback: versatility. Compatible with many types of materials, it's easy to use the spray on a motorcycle without worrying about getting it on parts that may get damaged. Unfortunately, this versatility also detracts from the quality of the wax coat itself. Dedicated motorcycle waxes will offer better durability and protection.
Best Motorcycle Wax Honorable Mention: Turtle Wax 50751 Ultimate Motorcycle Cleaning Kit
The Turtle Wax Ultimate Motorcycle Cleaning Kit offers a great way to buy a complete motorcycle care kit for the price of a single, dedicated wax solution. In other words, you get more for your money with this kit, if you don't mind making some sacrifices with the durability of the included wax. In all, the kit comes with five cleaning products and a couple of microfiber towels.
The Ice Spray Wax contributes the bulk of the resulting protective coating if you work your way through all of the cleaning solutions in the kit. The wax sprays on evenly with a nozzle that has good surface area coverage for a motorcycle. Like many of Turtle Wax's waxing solutions, the Ice Spray responds well to hand application where you rub in the wax repeatedly with brief pauses. The finished result has a good shine and noticeable water beading properties in bad weather.
The wax is somewhat tricky to use on a motorcycle made of different materials. On the glass, for example, the wax is difficult to remove with a microfiber towel. It also requires a dry surface for proper application, so you will have to take your time with the other cleaning solutions (especially the wash) in the kit to get the best results near the end of the process.
- Wash (you can use the various bike and car wash soaps) and dry your bike before waxing it. A good polish and leather cleaner doesn't hurt either if it's extra dirty.
- Don't use the same water you wash your bike with to clean off your wax applicator. This can lead to dirt getting back onto the finish of the motorcycle.
- Choose a soft applicator like a microfiber cloth to apply wax. This will help prevent scratches on the surface.
- Divide your bike up into sections when waxing it. Focusing on one section at a time will allow you to get an even coat.
- Avoid applying wax in direct sunlight if possible.
Q. Do I really need carnauba wax for my motorcycle?
A. It's not required to get a good finish or protective coating, but it is a great all-natural solution to do so. Any high-quality wax will do, it usually just comes down to individual preference.
Q. How can I tell if a wax will be harmful on my motorcycle or not?
A. You can try wax on something made with similar materials as your bike to get an idea of the final results. Certain tools, for example, have the same materials as most bikes you can use as a testbed for plastic and metal polishes
Q. How do I get a deep shine on the bike?
A. The finished look partly depends on the wax itself. Many liquid and paste waxes offer a better shine than budget spray-on. A good polish before the wax also helps start the shine. Since waxes are primarily for protection, look at other steps to enhance the painted surface's look before applying the protective coat.
As a top-performing wax, we selected the Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit as the best motorcycle wax for its all-around look and protective results.
If you'd like to save a few dollars, check out the Wash Wax ALL Wax instead.
What's your experience with motorcycle waxes? If you have your own preferences, share them in the comments below.
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