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let bike cool down before washing???

15739 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  elle
Can you mess anything up by washing a bike that's up to temp? If I’ve been out riding I usually try to let the engine cool off for about 30 minutes before I wash it...sometimes I'll throw a shop fan on it to speed things up. Last time I washed mine there was steam coming off the cases and exhaust pretty good when I started spraying it down. I don't wanna crack the case or anything like that.
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It's all about the temperature difference. Never wash it immediately after a ride, you're risking the chance of a crack. Even if it doesn't crack you're causing the metal to stress from the rapid cooling. You can crack cold aluminum that has been heated by washing even room temperature warm water over it. Any rapid cooling of metal is going to cause it to shrink at an abnormal rate. When you cool aluminum at a high temperature it causes the aluminum to become softer and often crack(stretch). In stainless and steels rapid cooling causes carbon to build up(heat discoloration area) around the hot/cooled area which makes it more likely to break since it becomes hardened and susceptible to cracking(breaking).
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