|BOM Cleaning Products
Review by Fred Harmon Feb 26, 2005
BOM products are available from:
PO Box 2383 Naples, Florida 34106 - USA
Tel. 1-888-694-6377 Fax 239-435-0797
Lets face it, cleaning a bike can sometimes be a real chore. Especially if you are like me and ride almost every day. It seems to be a never ending task trying to get the days bugs off the bike and get the shine back on your steed. BOM products have some cleaning and polishing products that are worth looking at. So I got my hands on their complete kit and tried them all out myself. Oh, and in case you are wondering why it is called BOM, it stands for ďBest Overall MethodĒ.
First, letís look at what they offer and what each product is for. The first product is the BOM. It is an ammonia free spray on, wipe off cleaner/polish. It is advertised as a steak proof, smudge proof product that will give you six months of protection. Three cloths are provided to assist you in the application of the product. One of them is a specialized cleaning rag for applying the BOM and the other two are micro-fiber polishing cloths. We will look at these a bit more in-depth later.
The second product is called BOMS AWAY, and it is a metal cleaner/polish/wax that is good for cleaning aluminum items like wheels and leaves a protective coating when done.
The next two products are cleaners only, the first one is called Capt. Richardís Cherry Bike Wash. It is a spray on rinse off soap to aid in cleaning bugs and dirt off your bike. The last product in the line up is called Shock and it is multipurpose deep cleaner and de-greaser that will strip all oils and dirt and wax build up off and is for use when you want to remove all dirt and wax off the bike and start over with a fresh wax coat.
Cleaning and polishing microfiber cloths
First let talk a bit about the cleaning cloths that are provided with the product kit, as they are one of the key components for making the BOM cleaner/wax work. The first product is the yellow application cloth. This is a very specialized cleaning cloth made in Germany and is somewhat difficult to find in local stores. It is an absorbent cloth that has the ability to trap and hold dust and dirt deep in its fibers and it has an almost woven texture. It can be washed and reused multiple times by simply rinsing it out under warm water. The instructions say to dampen the cloth, and then spray the BOM on it and apply it to the surface you want to clean/polish. The cloth is fairly large (15 Ĺ x 15 inches) so I prefer to cut mine into four smaller cloths that make it easier for working in the bike, and it also allows me to keep the other sections clean and unused until the first one wears out.
The other two cloths provided are the microfiber polishing cloths. These cloths have become more popular these days, and you can now find them in many department and home repair/hardware type stores. They consist of a polyester and polymide mixture and if you look at them though a magnifying glass you will see that the secret to them is the millions upon millions of fibers in them. This is how they trap and hold dirt. I have seen these type cloths advertised for everything from drying the family pet to cleaning windows, as they are very absorbent and do not leave streaks or scratch like other cloths. They are great for cleaning windshields as well, however I do have one warning about this. Since these cloths are so good at capturing and holding dirt, they can become mildly abrasive when they are dirty and will leave very minor swirl marks on a plastic windshield if they are not absolutely clean. I suggest that you not use the same one to clean your windshield that you use on the rest of the bike, and instead keep one in pristine condition and use it only on the windshield and nothing else. These cloths can also be washed and dried and reused, however, in my experience they are never really quite as soft and absorbent as they were when new. I usually wash them once or twice by hand and then just replace them with a fresh one. They are easy to find locally and usually only cost a few dollars. Another thing to be careful of is to try not to drop them on the floor as they will latch onto any dirt on the floor and trap it in the cloth immediately.
Ok, so how do all these products actually perform?
Well, mostly I am very impressed. The BOM cleaner/polish is the jewel among them and really holds up to its promises. When used with the supplied cleaning cloths in the method outlined, it allows you to clean and polish the bike in record time. Unless the bike is just extremely dirty or bug covered, you really donít have to clean it at all before applying the BOM. In one step you can clean and wax the bike at the same time. The other real benefit of the BOM is that you can put it on rubber or vinyl portions of the bike without worrying about how you will get it off. With a normal wax product you have to be real careful not to get it on any surfaces except the paint. Not so with BOM. You can use is on any of the surfaces you like and it wipes off and leaves no reside. No more wax to clean out of crevices and hard to get spots. The microfiber polishing cloth works like magic and leaves the surfaces looking like you just hand waxed the whole bike. I can do the entire bike, front to rear, in about 3 Ĺ minutes. Try doing that with any other product. If the bike has smashed on bugs I might first have to soak them a little and get them off, but in many cases you donít even have to do any preparation work before hand. BOM can also be used on the windshield and does a nice job on it as well, as long as you are real careful to only use pristine clean cloths on it. The BOM kit also comes with a smaller spray bottle that you can tuck into one of the glove boxes on the bike with a microfiber cloth so you can clean the bike when you travel. This is a nice touch, and I have used it on many trips. It is nice to be able to rinse the bugs off at the hotel at the end of a 700 mile day and put a quick coat of BOM on before calling it a night. I always like waking up to a clean bike ready for another days ride and this is a good product to help you keep your bike looking good through the whole journey.
I also found the BOMS AWAY metal cleaner to be an excellent product for cleaning the wheels and any other aluminum parts you want to. It does a real good job of not only cleaning, but also polishes and leaves a protective coating of carnuba wax when you are done. My wheels were fairly dirty and starting to show some signs of corrosion when I began, and I did no prep work to them at all. The product does have to be shaken well, and it will have some small lumps of carnuba wax that wonít fully dissolve so donít be surprised if you see some clumps in it when you use it. It does take some elbow grease if you want to do a good job, and I find it works similar to other metal polish cleaners I have used. The one thing that makes it stand out is how it continues to protect after you are done. The carnuba wax seals the surfaces, so the next time after a ride all you have to do is rinse off the wheels and all the dust and dirt just washes away. The following photos show how it worked for me on my wheels.
Front rim before application of BOMS AWAY
Applying BOMS AWAY and rubbing for about 30 seconds or so
Cherry Bike Wash
Capt. Richardís Cherry bike wash seems to be a good way to soap up the bike for cleaning, however, I am not convinced it lives up to all its claims. The instructions say you can simply spray it on a dirty bike and rinse it off and you are done. I donít believe there is any such product in existence that can really do a good job without some wiping involved. I did however, give it the benefit of the doubt and try spraying it on my bike and washing it off, and it did not do a very good job when used like that. It is however a very good way to soap up the bike and if you take a couple minutes to wipe it while it is soaped up, you will indeed end up with a good result. It is PH balanced and has surfactants in it that allow it to lift off dirt and stuck on bugs so they can be wiped off. The product sprays on through the pump sprayer nozzle that attaches to the bottle and as soon as you spray some water on the bike, it instantly foams up and makes a nice sudsy layer. If you rinse the bike just enough to make it sudsy and then wipe it with a cleaning rag, then you can then finish rinsing it off and it will be all clean. It does do a good job of softening up and breaking down stuck on bugs and the suds do make washing easier and help loosen and lift the dirt. All in all, it is a good aid in the washing phase of the bike and is easy to use.
The last product in the BOM kit I tired is the Industrial Strength Shock multipurpose cleaner. This product is not a motorcycle or auto specific product, but is more of a general cleaner. The label indicates it is good for wood, carpet and upholstery and it says it will clean any surface not harmed by water. It is a powerful degreaser and as such should be used with care. You definitely would not want any of this product to wash down into any wheel or steering bearings on the bike, as it would break down the grease in the bearings. Additionally, I do not know exactly what the ingredients are and I am not certain that this would be a good product to use on aluminum. Any cleaner that is highly alkaline or contains chlorides or bromides should not be used on aluminum as it can cause pitting, corrosion, and weakening of the metal. However, if properly diluted and only used on the areas where you want it, this is indeed a good cleaner and a useful way to do a deep cleansing after a 10 day multi-thousand mile journey. But I donít think I would recommend using it on a regular basis. This is something that I might use once or twice a year to do a thorough deep cleaning.
All in all, I would say that the BOM cleaner/polish and BOMS Away are the two most notable products in the line and the provided cleaning and polishing cloths make all the difference in the world. I doubt you could find any easier way to clean and wax your bike and I think you will be happy with the results of both these products. Personally, I keep the small bottle of BOM packed on the bike with the cloths and use it on the road with me when I travel. I was in Glacier Park Montana recently on my bike and a couple guys stopped and talked to me while I was gassing up and noticed my Texas license plates, and then asked me how I keep my bike looking so clean on such a long trip. Their bikes were both plastered with bugs and covered all over with road grime. A few minutes and a little BOM at the end of each day sure makes all the difference in the world. At home I even use it on my cars as it allows me to essentially wax two cars in about 20 minutes or less.