Review: Liquid Performance Products
To sport bike enthusiasts, it is sometimes as much about looking good while riding as it is the actual activity. Purists recognize the connection between man and machine and the feeling “as one” with your bike can make or break your experience. With this type of cosmic relationship, it only makes sense to cater to the needs of your ride; take care of her and she’ll take care of you. After all, you are placing a lot of faith in your ride, why shouldn’t it look good? Scuff marks, bug guts, dust, dirt and any other blemishes can have you singing “You’ve lost that loving feeling”. Don’t despair, we aren’t crooning the Righteous Brothers yet, there is still hope.
In our world of sport bikes there is a heavy emphasis on aftermarket. When we talk about ponying up greenbacks for modifications or “mods”, the category typically falls into hardware. Exhausts, brakes and the like take precedent over some basic needs, at times. Fluids, such as oil and coolant, play a critical role in your bike’s performance. Yet oftentimes the complexity and science behind these products creates more confusion than confidence. And, often overlooked are the simple items such as motorcycle care products. You know… soap and wax.
A couple of our test subjects, after using Liquid Perormance products.
There are a multitude of products on the market that play to many specific needs. As we’ve come to find out, the many manufacturers develop car care products and piggyback their claims to the motorcycle world. How many sport bikes have you seen welded steel stamped body panels and a painted clear coat finish? Short of the tank, most of our beloved rides are plastic. And when it comes to bike care, one size does not fit all.
If you read our reviews regularly, you know that there are exceptions to the rule. There are companies in the market that recognize motorcycles are different and create care products accordingly. Is there a really a difference? In our opinion, yes. We’re not talking apples and oranges, maybe oranges and tangerines, but there is a difference. One such company is Liquid Performance Products.
Based in Roanoke, Virginia, Liquid Performance Products was, “formed by a group of motorcycle racing enthusiasts that demand only the best for their bikes”. The “only the best” philosophy is what Liquid Performance aims to engineer into their products. Liquid Performance makes a variety of products from bike wash to chain lube to coolant and even microfiber towels. We had our way with the Streetbike Cleaning and Detailing kit consisting of: Spray Cleaner and Polish, Metal Polish, Premium Street Bike Wash and Microfiber detailing cloths. According to Liquid Performance, it includes "all of the products needed to keep your street bike looking like new."
Premium Street Bike Wash
The first product we tested was the "Premium Street Bike Wash", which comes in a non-aerosol spray bottle. The directions say to simply wet the bike, spray on the cleaner, and rinse it off; no scrubbing required. The instructions warned not to let the product dry on the bike, and also recommend drying to avoid water spots. Easy enough, we can handle that.
The test bike was filthy, covered with bugs, road grime, and plenty of dirt. As instructed the bike was hosed down, just enough to wet the machine; no high pressure soaking. A generous application of the cleaner followed. We let the cleaner sit for moment before the rinse stage. For the rinse we used a hose nozzle with moderate water pressure.
After a thorough drying with a microfiber towel the test bike looked good. The product did a good job of removing the dirt and grime, as well as the bugs. We suspected the drying might rub away anything the cleaner and rinse didn't, but surprisingly, the towel remained relatively clean - a testament to the cleaning power of the wash.
Our clean ride, and what it looked like before.
The product did not yield great results when challenged with brake dust and chain lube, as it didn't remove much of either. We didn’t expect great results here as these types of substances typically require more harsh chemicals – the kind you wouldn’t use on your bodywork.
Overall the wash did an admirable job, and lived up to its promise. It was easy to use and left our ride shiny and clean. The proprietary formula is safe for all bike surfaces when used as directed. It's also non-corrosive and bio-degradeable. A 32 ounce bottle can be found for under $10.
Spray Cleaner Polish - Quick and Easy Detailer
Next up was the aerosol based Spray Cleaner Polish. This product is specially formulated to remove road grime, dirt, bugs etc. on contact. This is a no-water product which means it's great for on-the-go spot cleaning. The directions instructed to just spray on a dry bike and wipe away. Again, pretty simple.
Click an image for SUPERSIZE!
This time the test bike was mostly dusty, but still had some bugs and grime from riding. The spray polish had a waxy smell as it was applied to the test bike. The polish easily took care of dust and light dirt and grime. However, even with moderate pressure and scrubbing there was a bit of bug residue left over. Baked and caked bug guts are going to require a bit of elbow grease.
As with the 'Street Bike Wash' the quick detailer performed well overall. For a roadside quick clean sans hose and water, you can’t go wrong.
The detailer protects against sun damage, ozone damage and dirt accumulation in one step. You can also use the Spray Cleaner & Polish on painted surfaces, street bikes, chrome, watercraft, automobiles and other applications. Street prices, for a can, hover in the $7 range.
The metal polish rounds out the product test. This product is for many types of metal including: chrome, aluminum, and stainless steel, and others. The instructions tell you to rub the product on the metal until it turns black, then using a clean cloth rub off and buff to a shine. We used a 3 cloth system: One to apply, one to remove, and a third for final buffing.
The polish comes out of the bottle very runny; a light viscosity. It took a good bit of rubbing before the polish began to turn black, but it did. The directions stated we should let the polish dry. Much like application, the product required a fair amount of rubbing for removal as well. However, the end result is a very nice mirrored finish. Good things don’t always come easy!
The polish performs well and brought out a brilliant shine in the aluminum frame and stainless steel exhaust pipe on our test bike. This is a great multi-use polish and beats the heck out of multiple metal polishes taking up valuable real estate in the garage. Overall we rate the product as 'good' because of the end result. We’d rate it higher if not for the amount of “elbow grease” required to reach the shiny end. Neverthess, the end-product looked great.
Microfiber Detailing Cloths
The cloths we tested were incredibly soft and exactly what you want to clean your bike. In fact these are the types of cloths you would use to clean you sunglasses or helmet visor. They performed well throughout the product application. These detailing cloths are the product of recent developments in the manufacture of detailing towels. In fact, you can use them on almost any surface and they work great on reflective surfaces as well. And the most interesting fact about them? They can absorb up to seven times their dry weight in water!
If you're considering Liquid Performance products, we'd recommend trying them. They're not as easy to find as some of the bigger names, but the performance to price ratio is worth a look, in our opinion. As with any detailing product we've tested, the best results require a little rubbing. If you use cotton swabs to clean your bike, there isn't anything on the market will allow you put them away. But, we believe the Liquid Performance line of products will provide you with a good compromise.
The Liquid Performance line is as good as anything that's come through our doors. The performance of the cleaner, polish and metal polish was admirable and we intend to continue using all of them.
Liquid Performance also makes Racing Coolant and Antifreeze (not tested) that's abuzz in the industry at the moment. The formula includes "LP3" and in addition to reducing heat claims to reduce friction and engine wear. It's already pre-mixed with de-ionized and ready to go and is also non-toxic/biodegradable.
It's also worthy of mentioning, Liquid Performance makes a line of marine care products and industrial cleaning products as well. If these products perform as well as the motorcycle products, we suspect you'll be seeing a lot more Liquid Performance in the future.
Ease of use:
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