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1. It’s been 20 years since Germany’s S100 Total Cycle Cleaner hit North America, and the stuff still works like a charm. The spray-on, spray-off liquid makes quick work of bugs and road grime, and is a great first step in winterizing a bike. Price: $13.95. More info: www.s100.com.
2. S100 Polishing Soap is great for polishing up and protecting mufflers, case covers, handlebars, forks, basically any metal surface that isn’t painted or anodized. Price: $9.95. More info: www.s100.com.
3&4. S100 Shine-enhancing Cleanser and Carnauba Paste are designed to work together to protect painted parts. The cleanser removes water spots, small swirl marks and imbedded road grime without scratching clear coats. The wax is made of a blend of carnauba and bee’s wax and is free of abrasives and cleaners. Price: $9.49 for cleaner, $15.95 for wax. More info: www.s100.com.
5. Moto Glaze provides a protective coating designed to withstand moisture and a huge range of temperatures. Think of it as a shell for glazed surfaces. Price: $7.99 More info: www.bikebrite.com.
6. STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer, a blend of additives designed to stop the formation of varnish and prevent corrosion, is a must for winter storage. Put it in the tank and run it through the carbs for a winter’s worth of protection. Price: $3.49 and up. More info: www.goldeagle.com.
7. For wintertime tinkering, the Lift-Buddy 1000 provides a deck built from 8-gauge steel, a 28.5in maximum working height, and four castering steel wheels that allow movement of the lift even when it’s loaded. A Pro-Vise tire grip is standard equipment, ideal for long-term storage of a restoration project. Price: $664, including shipping and handling. More info: www.lift-buddy.com.
8. Unlike vinyl and canvas coverings, which can trap moisture on a bike’s surface, Bullfrog motorcycle cocoons are made of a three-layer material that protects against corrosion by moving moisture away from the bike. The inside layer is designed to protect against abrasions. Price: $175. More info: www.bull-frog.com.
9. Superior XL-900 Chain & Cable Lubricant isn’t nearly as cheap as a certain water displacement aerosol that uses a letter-and-number designation, but its manufacturers say it’s infinitely better for motorcycle applications. The Superior spray is actually a solvent that leaves behind lubrication when it dries. It’s designed not to drip on application or fling off afterwards. Price: $59.99 for a two-can pack. More info: www.superior-industries.com.
10. Deltran’s Battery Tender Plus 1.25 amp charger maintains a battery at proper storage voltage. Technology includes a four-step charging system and temperature compensation. The unit comes with a 10-year warranty and a powder-coated aluminum chassis. A handy adapter allows easy connection to your battery without removing side covers. Price: $59.95. More info: www.batterytender.com.
Top Pick: S100 Paste Wax and Shine-enhancing Cleanser
Remember when Jackie Stewart pitched that car polish that could withstand a “raging inferno,’’ as he so dramatically put it?
Well, if you set your bike on fire, I don’t think you could magically restore the finish with S100 Shine-enhancing Cleanser and S100 Carnauba Paste Wax.
But the stuff did do a nice job on the 1982 Kawasaki GPz550 I bought last summer. The bike hadn’t been torched but had definitely been ignored, as evidenced by the tennis-ball-sized wad of chain-lube sludge my son and I dug out of the chain guard and sprocket compartment.
The plastic parts weren’t that bad, but they showed the usual dull areas and minor scratches that can accumulate over 20-plus years.
So how did the S100 products fare? Not bad. The Cleanser comes in a bottle (with a rather confusing slogan: “Prepare your car for the ultimate showbike shine!’’) and is touted as being able to increase the shine of the final wax job by removing stains and swirl marks. It did just that, and it was nice and easy on my bike’s aging clearcoat.
The wax, according to its container, is supposed to provide the “ultimate’’ shine with its mix of carnauba and bee’s wax. To test that boast, I used it on one side panel and treated the other one with a one-step wash and wax product from another company. You could definitely tell a difference. The panel treated with the S100 was cleaner, brighter and had a deeper shine.