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Vintage Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem simple, but it isn't. How do you get bugs off the front of a bike when there are a lot of them and they have been on there for a long time? I have another bike that is covered with bugs. I even took the windshield off and soaked it in the bathtub overnight, under water. The bugs still won't come off. Some of them did, but the windshield is still badly splattered. It's like the bugs have become a permanent part of it. Same problem with the front fender, forks, and gas tank.
 

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Elbow grease works pretty good
 

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I know that Exavid's suggestion years ago, of draping a soaking wet T shirt or other large cloth onto the screen and leaving it to soak for a while works well for me. I then always use some pledge to squirt on any" left overs" and wipe them off with a clean rag. :)
 

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Anti-Guru
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Bugs are basically flying protien and chitin

Soaking is a good way to soften them, but not always effective and releasing thier splatter marks. You may want to try adding an enzyme-based laundry detergent to your warm water soak (and use warm wetted towels / tee-shirts to soak fenders and such).

Best results for me have been with the Tide Liquid Coldwater, which should have amylase, mannanase, protease, and pectinase enzymes (if I'm reading the label right). The Original Tide liquid seems to work almost as well. Either used in warm water about 120*F and allowed to soak for 30-minutes or so seem to make great headway at releasing year-old bug splatter. I can say that the powder detergents do not work for me, and that I'm not certain about what enzymes may be present in formulations elsewhere on our planet...

If you find your splatter is heavy with wings and body parts (not released by Tide Cold Water as above) try a little white vinegar, or even "CLR" the Calcium Lime Rust remover stuff -- it'll help break down the chitin in the shells and wings and stuff ---BE VERY CAREFUL and minimize exposure times -- Vnegar is a weak acid, and CLR is a corrosive acid - light aplications (I roll CLR on with a Q-tip) and RINSE with clear water and follow with a real wash & rinse
 

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Another safe fluid that is safe to use on the plastics of our beloved Wings is surgical spirit which I use effectively to remove sticky pad glue effectively. It would be perfectly safe to attack those bugs with. Here it is readily available at chemists, so I guess you would find it in yours, ( probably even Walmart, since they seem to sell everything in the world!!)
 

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I usually don't let the bugs stay on for very long but when they have been on the Gold Wing for a while I spray water on them from a garden hose for a few minutes when I get ready to wash the bike. That will get most of them little critters off. I also use [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-Class-Shampoo-Conditioner-64oz/dp/B0009IQXFO"]Meguiars Gold Class[/ame] when I wash it.
 

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Might also try a little WD40, it works well to soften and remove tape glues, sticky or hardened on, and not harmed my paint.

I'd start with the cheapest least harmful method first of course and work my way up if needed.

As probably a last resort if really bad stubborn, as I recall the paint prep stuff may do a good job also and not harmful. Just the cleaner stuff that removes wax before sanding. Should leave a clean bare un-waxed paint then have to wax again of course.
 

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I use pledge to soak them for a while and then buff clean.
 

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I use pledge to soak them for a while and then buff clean.
+1 on ths. :claps:

Using lemon pledge also makes them easier to remove next time. and it makes my wing look purty too ! Save on the windshield too !

PS - don't use pledge when there are lots of bees around -
 

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Vintage Rider
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I let them stay on there for too long, and they have permanently etched the acrylic windshield, and the clearcoat on the tank and front forks. No amount of polishing will make the marks go away.

About windshields, if you have a polycarbonate windshield, be very careful what you put on it. Polycarbonate is what they used to make helmets out of, and the reason they were so particular about not using any kind of solvent or paint on them. I painted an old polycarbonate helmet, and it cracked in several places, just from the solvent in the paint.
 
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