If it is really dirty, you can clean it like any other motorcycle. I haven't really ever cleaned mine, because of it's condition. All the grease and dirt are probably what is holding it together. You can spray all the water you want on it, as long as it is not high pressure, like a car wash. The actual electronics are sealed. When doing a serious wash job on any bike, I usually remove the battery first, but I have never had any electrical issues from washing a bike. I do spray WD-40 into all the electrical connections I can get to afterward, including the handlebar switches.
I'm too paranoid to use water on mine :?. It takes a bloody long time, but every time I clean mine I do it by hand with simple green and paper towels. Then, for the paint work, a polish and waxing. For the plastics (inner fairing, speaker boxes, trip computer, so on...) I use armorall cleaning wipes followed by natural finish protectant. I've been using "invisable glass" on the windshield/mirrors, but I'm considering the pledge...
My 86 SEi was 26 years old when I sold it, the last 13 years in my possession with 120,000 miles. I always used water from a regular hose to wash it including spraying the travel computer and never had a problem. I agree with JerryH in that I wouldn't use a high pressure car was system on it.
Yep, I clean mine like I clean my car. A light spray with the hose, then a soapy rag, then a light spray rinse. I'm a bit more careful around the electronics but not too much. They get wet like anything else. I figure it can't be any worse than that 5 and half hour ride I made to Kentucky in the rain. :action:
Then it's just a good wax and some plexus on the windshield.
I used to have a 85 LTD which is the same bike as the SEi. I would wash it with a hose but with a slow stream and not spraying the bike with it. Was especially careful around the trip computer, radio, CB etc. Never caused any trouble by washing it.
I once was on a road trip and it came a hard rain overnight. The bike didn't have a cover over it and the next morning when I started it the trip computer started flashing and then quit working. When I got back home I found a used trip computer at a salvage yard but the outside of it was very faded and was generally in bad shape. I took the inside electrical circuit board out of it and put it in my original one. It was still working fine when I sold the bike about 10 years later. I was careful after that episode to cover the bike or at least the trip computer if it looked like it might rain when I stopped for the night.
Typically, lemon pledge for me.
I do do the occasional soapy bucket/hose job on it. I use a 'fan' type hose attachment for watering flowers. It rinses the soap great and you can adjust the pressure. Also this makes it easier to keep the seat dry if you choose.
I will add one thing to watch for. The recessed spark plug areas have their own individual drain holes. You'll want to make sure that they are clear. If not, water builds up and the bike starts to run badly.