I have a bike but the question is also for a car of my neighbor. Both are parked in the garage where, sadly, some moron proved his moronity by doing something moronic, which caused a fire to flame.

Luckily, my beloved yellow vroom was spared of the heat but it's less yellow now. More precisely, it's dark brown. Very dark brown. It's because of the soot, of course.

So, I was about to ride to the wash but then I remembered something about the carbon being conductive for the electricity and I'm worried that if I ignite my sweetie. I'll turn it to a frying pan. And I prefer not to do that. The number of fires in our neighborhood has been sufficiently high already and we don't need another one.

I might be worrying for nothing but I rather ask this question than what to do when the bike is fried up.

1 Answer 1


I think the thing you need to look at is not the carbon on the bike, but rather the condition of the parts. Look at the rubber and soft parts on the bike. Are any of them melted from the heat? Did any of the paint bubble on the tank? If not, your bike is probably in good shape and doesn't need anything special but a good washing to remove the soot.

If the bike did suffer any melting or paint bubbling, you'll need to look further at the bike. See if any exposed wiring suffered a similar fate. If the wiring has taken a lot of heat, it could be that the wiring has become brittle and will crack easily. This could cause your bike to become the molten lump of metal you fear.

Since your bike wasn't burnt to the ground, I'd suspect it's probably in okay shape. I would personally take a hose to it and rinse as much of the soot off of the bike as I could, then it should be good to take to the car wash for a complete bath and some well deserved TLC.

  • The bike was at good 20 meters from the center of the fire, so there's no melting nor heat related damages. So, I'll go and hose it really well (it was time anyway because I've got bugs smashed on the front shield from all over Europe now). What is TLC? Sep 5, 2015 at 17:05
  • @KonradViltersten - Sorry, an American English term. TLC = Tender Loving Care. Sep 5, 2015 at 17:13
  • In a way, the road grime from the European travel may have saved it some, in that the suet buildup would be on top of that, which means when you give it the thorough cleaning, all (most) of it will be gone without further worry. Procrastination sometimes pays off :D Sep 5, 2015 at 17:15
  • 1
    Hahaha, good point (+½) and a great term for loving care (+½) to a total of +1. Also - procrastination always pays off. It just can take a while (get it?)... Sep 5, 2015 at 17:16
  • More importantly than the electrics - if there is any burnt/melted rubber on the bike - don't touch it! Burning rubber makes some very nasty chemicals that you REALLY don't want to get on your hands...
    – Nick C
    Oct 19, 2015 at 9:21

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