While it’s not a great idea to blast your wheel bearings or electronics with a pressure washer, there are areas of the motorbike that can be safely and more easily cleaned this way.
Thing is, going to the effort of digging out your corded washer, finding an extension lead, and then uncoiling the hosepipe seems like a lot of effort to go to if all you want is to blast the bugs off a few panels. And that’s assuming you’ve got an outside tap in the first place.
Cordless pressure cleaners are not a new thing - Karcher has a 12v model and there’s even a smaller version of the Worx unit on test available – but neither shifts enough water to replace a corded machine entirely, even when it comes to cleaning relatively delicate things like motorbikes. So what’s different about this one?
Well, this more powerful, brushless Hydroshot caught out attention not because it produces a higher-pressure jet (it claims the same power as the smaller brushed model) but because its flow rate is nearly two times higher. Plus, the battery lasts longer and can be charged in a fraction of the time.
Is the Worx Hydroshot good at cleaning motorbikes?
The 22 bar of pressure both Hydroshot models produce is more than sufficient to loosen bird dirt, ground-in grime, and caked-on mud. However, the more powerful version can move 210 litres per hour instead of 120 litres, and this is what makes it more useful at blasting things clean, simply due to the larger volume of water it can move.
If you’ve got no access to outside water then it’s a really easy thing to recommend because it can run off a bucket or a water butt. A once-over with a pressure cleaner like this makes quick work of stuck-on dirt before you move to the soap and bucket stage, or you can use the included shampoo bottle to coat the whole bike in a thick lather. It’s certainly easier than using a watering can like I used to use when I lived in a flat with no garden tap.
However, I reckon the brushless Hydroshot is preferable to a corded pressure washer even if you have outside electricity and water, purely because it’s so much more convenient. I’ve hung this gadget up on my garage wall where it’s as easy to retrieve as a pair of pliers, before dunking its 6-metre hose into a 25-litre water container I bought separately.
The container itself is more than large enough to clean a motorbike (I actually managed three cars with it before it ran out) so it’s usually at least half full and can be positioned near my bike on the driveway as opposed to the hosepipe, which even at full stretch barely reaches. And gets tangled around my Karcher’s power cable.
Plus, because the Hydroshot’s hose has a filter on the end, I reckon I can connect the container up to my guttering and then use rainwater to clean my bike instead.
How very green. What’s the Hydroshot like to use?
Slightly heavier than the brushed Hydroshot (2.5kg vs 1.7kg) but the battery is located further forward on the unit so it feels nicely balanced in your hand.
That’s important because the battery itself is a bit of a whopper – a 20v, 4.0Ah item that has double the capacity than the one you get with a brushed Hydroshot. It also survived the three car washes I mentioned earlier, so a motorbike clean barely dents it.
Even if it did, it only takes 40 mins to charge on the (admittedly quite large) base station, and you can use it with a variety of Worx battery share tools too.
You get a long lance with this washer (the brushed one gets a shorter version) but both have five spray patterns – a powerful zero-degree mode, then 15, 25 and 40 degrees, plus a shower setting. I just use the 15-degree one as it seems to cover all bases.
This is where a pressure washer makes a case for itself over a hosepipe – the spray pattern is so accurate and consistent, it’s easy to get the cleaning spray directed where you want it.
The bundle on test is the not-memorably named WG630E.1, which gets you a six-metre hose, Powershare battery and charger, plus a special fitting so you can run the Hydroshot from a plastic bottle.
This screws into the unit and then accepts the thread from a supermarket water bottle. I’ve got a three-litre bottle for this purpose which ramps up the portability benefit even further, but bear in mind it adds a kilogram of weight for every litre of water. Plus, because the brushless model gets through water so much quicker, it’s more useful on the lower-powered brushed Hydroshot.
Finally there’s a three-year warranty included, which is a lot of washing.
How did you test it?
I cleaned my motorbike with it! I did this with the Hydroshot connected to my garden hose, as well as dunked into a 25-litre water container and finally with a three-litre bottle attached as described above, in order to find the best method (the water container, if you’re wondering).
In order to test the shampoo bottle, I filled it with Muc-Off and hosed the motorbike down before sponging and rinsing off again. This left it pleasingly clean given the minimal effort that went into it.
As I said before, if you’ve got no outside water then the Worx Hydroshot brushless will make scrubbing your motorbike down significantly easier, and even if you do have a hose, it’s still more convenient than digging out and setting up a corded cleaner for small jobs like this.
It’s very much like a cordless vacuum cleaner – easier to store and deploy at a moment’s notice, it makes cleaning your bike so easy you’ll do it more often, and then it’s less of a task.
I still reckon a corded pressure washer is better for jobs where you mostly stand still while cleaning a small area (the driveway for example), but as this is Motorcycle News and not Patio Slab News, I won’t hesitate to recommend it.