K2.26M Pressure Washer
Cleaning Bikes Is A Chore Few Enjoy. Pressure washers make the task a lot easier, but they can add their own problems. We’ve used gas-powered washers that can quickly take off layers of grime and paint (as well as decals or stickers) from your bike. They can also overpower seals and gaskets, forcing water into areas you don’t really need or want it to go. Karcher markets a line of electric-powered washers for the do-it-yourselfer. We tested its $119.95 K2.26M model to see if it could do the job and simplify our lives. The K2.26M is rated at 1500 psi. Simple assembly (pop on the plastic wheels and telescoping handle) and we were ready. The unit connects easily to a garden hose with a quick-coupler, and the 25-foot high-pressure hose has a smaller quick-disconnect that attaches to the spray handle. Two included spray wands give you a choice between low-pressure and high-pressure washing. The unit comes with a 25-foot power cord with a built-in GFI receptacle that will instantly cut off the power in the event of a short circuit. Good to have when water and electricity are in close proximity to one another.When running, the pump motor makes some noise, but it’s nothing compared with the sound of a gas-powered sprayer. We’ve been using both wand heads without the loss of a single decal, and subsequent wheel bearing checks have shown no signs of water getting into where it shouldn’t.Although not as powerful as a gas-operated unit, we found the Karcher more than capable at cleaning a bike after a day at the track, even with caked-on mud. If you’re the type to put your dirty bike away for days before cleaning it, you might have a little more difficulty getting off the gunk, especially on the tires. The Karcher is small enough that it will take up very little storage space and light enough that anyone can handle it. The unit is virtually maintenance-free, as well.We had only two gripes with the K2.26M: The lack of a place to store the two spray wands could result in their being lost or damaged while floating around a crowded garage, and we found the washer to be tippy since it’s three times taller than its footprint. There’s no warning against operating the unit while it’s laying down, but knocking it over enough times could eventually cause damage. The pump unit and electronics are covered by a one-year parts and labor warranty with the hoses and attachments covered for 90 days.