Funny... just washed mine today. First big washing since I bought it last month. I used Bike Bright and was amazed at how well it worked. Its a biodegradable degreaser and cleaner. You just spray it on and wash it off with a lot of water. It didn't get the tar, but what do you expect for spray and rinse? In the future I plan to just use it on the engine and wheels - soap and water on the tank, seat, etc. (the directions say to use it on the whole bike). Then I dried it with a chamois and waxed the main painted surfaces.
Oh baby... she's looking might fine!
I took it on a short spin to evaporate the leftover water and warm up the chain for cleaning (with WD40) and lubing with chain wax. This is what was suggested by one of the guys in the service dept where I take my bike. I definitely need to get a rear stand to make this easier.
Only bummer is that water got in the dash board assembly and now my time/temp and odometer displays are completey fritzed (i.e. instead of "12:45" it more or less looks like "LL:0]"). Freaky. Both the speedo and tach windows were fogged as well as the "idiot" lights. Looks like I get a new dash board assembly (warranty).
I should probably think of washing my girl one of these days. Guess I just like to leave the dead bugz on it in case I need a snack while I am riding. I'll probably give it a good detailing before I store it for the winter hibernation.
One thing I tried the last time I washed my girl was to lift the tank and put one of those shower caps with the elastic edges around the top of the airbox. Works wonderfully!
See, I have the 'totally open' airbox mod, which isn't much more than a frame to hold the filter down. I used to put a towel over the filter, but that still lets the filter get wet and even absorbs some of the k&N's filter oil.
I did actually experiment with two differnt kinds. The ones with thicker plastic are much better. Oh, and I slip a sandwich bag over the K&N breather filter and seal it with rubber bands.
Can you tell I'm paranoid about water in my engine? If you ever saw what water can do to a Toyota 4x4 you'd understand, but that's a different story...