pressure washer question

13 replies to this topic
  • sirthumpalot

Posted December 10, 2001 - 03:25 PM


What do you guys think of pressure washers for cleaning bikes? I know that you have to be very careful around any seals, openings, etc.. but overall are they worth the effort to speed cleaning of the bike? I'm thinking of getting a small electric unit but I'm not convinced that it's worth the $150 yet. Where I ride the dirt really sticks and I'm tired of 1 hour cleaning jobs after every ride.


  • MikeOK

Posted December 10, 2001 - 03:43 PM


I use one, as do most of the other riders I know. There are a few things you want to cover up first, like the tail pipe, the weep hole on the side of the cylinder, and I always try to keep the spray from going directly to the carb area. I also avoid the top of the cylinder where the spark plug cap is, I fouled a plug once because I got this area wet and it got down to the plug. Otherwise it's fine. Just be sure to lube everything that moves right after you wash it. Makes a much cleaner bike than doing it by hand too...


  • RichB

Posted December 10, 2001 - 05:29 PM


I don't know dude. Personally, I prefer some squirts of simple green and the hose. The used 01 426 I bought a while back had some of the linkage bearings and the steering stem bearings rusted and gummed up already. The bike had hardly been ridden by the guy I bought it from (the paint was hardly scratched on the frame it had so few hours on it). I know the guy used a pressure washer because he was pressure washing his 2 strokes when I came to pick up the 426.

The bottom line to me is that you can get away with pressure washing, but you have to be real carefull around the bearings and also the radiators.

  • Odie

Posted December 11, 2001 - 04:04 AM


I've always used pressure washers to clean all my bikes. Just like anything else - be careful and think about what your doing. Don't spray directly into the concerned areas - turn the washers throttle down or simply back up. But when you get under the fenders - blast away. And you don't need a big gas powered washer. I have 2 - a Honda powered one and an electric 1000psi Home Depot special. The electric one works awesome.


  • sirthumpalot

Posted December 11, 2001 - 04:26 PM


I did some shopping today and found models from only one brand in the local stores (time to hit the internet). My main gripe was that none of the models had oil bath pumps (a pump which you can change the oil). Do any of you have or have you seen electric models for $200 or less which you can change the oil in? The idea of "perminantly lubricated" reads like "won't last long" to me.



Posted December 12, 2001 - 07:01 AM


well after moving to the country last year & having so so water pressure even thou i am not on a water well, i decided i needed a pressure washer

i got a Karcher electric pressure washer at home depot about a year ago for 199$$ ... comes with a few diff wands hi/lo pressure, super duper high pressure , roundy round scrubber...

it also has a hose that you can put in a bucket or bottle of cleaning solution & when on low pressure it will suck it out & spray .. then switch to hi pressure & straight water again...

I use it at least once a week to wash bikes, truck & car ... The Karcher will also work without a water hose so if ya have say a 55 gallon drum of water at the track you can just hook up a hose & wash away ...

i got a karcher after 2 of my buddies had them for many years & no problems ... in fact i broke a wand about 3 months ago .. it was out of warranty but i called & they sent me a new one free ...

  • flyinguitars

Posted December 12, 2001 - 07:16 AM


Sounds like I have the same one as Loopout. I havent had any problems with mine yet. Works fine and does a great jod on the driveway, sidewalk, and deck also. I use it when I have a few extra minutes when washing the bike if its covered in clay type mud. It does take a few minutes to get it out and hook it up and then drain the hose and put it away. I still use simple green every time I wash the bike though.

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  • sirthumpalot

Posted December 12, 2001 - 07:20 AM


Thanks guys for the replies! Our local costco has what sounds to be this same model for $150 (and home depot down the street still has it for $199). If it's lasting OK for you guys then I may just go ahead and get it.


  • yzernie

Posted December 12, 2001 - 09:44 AM



I got a gas powered one for about the same price. The nice thing about gas is they can be used at the track too!!!


  • Scott_in_KC

Posted December 13, 2001 - 03:44 AM


Just a side note on the electric ones, check to see how many amps the draw. A lot of them are 15amps and will trip (or run terrible) on a 15amp circuit...20amp+ is much better.

BTW, Simple Green, 409, ZEP, etc. will ruin rubber hoses & parts faster than anything. My Husaberg was bought from a guy that "never used a pressure washer on her", but must have dipped the thing in Simple Green. This bike was only a couple of years old and ALL the fuel line was hard & cracked, both carb boots cracked & more. I'm in the same boat where I live with very sticky mud and it would take me all day to get it clean with a garden hose.

I have a Campbell Hausfeld electric. You can pull the pump head apart and change the oil. I had run hot water through it and had it apart to replace seals.

  • sirthumpalot

Posted December 13, 2001 - 04:36 AM


How much did you pay for your Campbell Hausfeld and is it model PW1375?


[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: sirthumpalot ]

  • Scott_in_KC

Posted December 13, 2001 - 12:37 PM


Mine is the PW1676. Has wheels. Got it at Walmart a few years ago (they still carry them) $160 or so. CH has very good customer service! My father-in-law has the 1375, I don't care for it and it isn't nearly as powerful as mine. Although for bikes only it might be fine. Just the bigger one has like 20' of hose, long cord and you can wind it all up and store it on the machine.

  • So_Cal_Erik

Posted December 13, 2001 - 01:21 PM


Sir, I am a professional detailer (mobile) and I pressure wash my bike after every ride. I have had NO problems with seals and rust, but I always take the usual precautions as the others have mentioned above. (MAKE SURE TO LUBE ALL MOVING PARTS WITH WD-40 OR other lubricant). I do use "spotless water" and although it's not cheap, it makes the job so much easier and the finish lasts much longer. I just use mild carwash soap and a soft horse-hair brush on the spokes and hubs and rinse. I use Stoner detail products now found at most Pep Boys. Try "tarminator" or "Xenit" for removing sticker residue and tough greasy stains, then use "shine spray" on all the black parts and on the plastic. Your tired old bike will look like new. By the way, the Karcher unit is great and will last you for years. I'm sure the Campbell unit is great too. I prefer gas powered because it is more portable, but the main problem with most sprayers is that they dont have self priming pumps and they require water pressure from a spicket or they'll burn up, rather than being able to pull water from a tank. Sprayers with self priming pumps are expensive. Erik

[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: So Cal Erik ]

  • sirthumpalot

Posted December 13, 2001 - 04:10 PM


Thanks again for the replies. I've heard no complaints about the Karcher yet, but honestly I'm a bit partial to the campbell hausfeld only because I've had their brand of compressor and air tools for years and they seem to be lasting great. :)

So Scott you see a big difference between the 1676 and 1375? I like the physical size of the 1375 and it looks very similar performance wise (on paper), but it will get used for things other than the bikes so it would be nice to have enough power to be useful. They have "factory serviced" 1676 models for sale on the cb web site for $142 (including shipping). So the difference is really that big?

Thanks again to everyone for the info!

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