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Still Not Dead.
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Discussion Starter #1
Slightly odd, rambling post here - bear with me on this - but I've been idly browsing and reading about various bikes with a vague idea of replacing one of mine, and I've beginning to notice something:

Nearly every review or description of bikes I read seems to include something like "finish will suffer if you ride it in winter" or "if used in the winter will look scruffy quickly" or similar. Over and over again.

I've seen that written about models from : Buell, Piaggio, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Kawasaki, Triumph, Honda ... pretty much everyone.

Now, I know road salt is pretty evil for bikes and that not much can be done apart from trying to wash it off and keep the bike clean, but - in peoples general experience - is this really the case? Does anyone know of a bike that doesn't rot straight away if ridden any time after September? Or is this just something that we have to put up with?

Just curious ;)

Cheers.
 

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yet another Dave
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i ride my varadero through the winter, the only thing that stops me is the snow and ice.
my bike comes up like new after a wash, even the fasteners are good quality unlike my ex bike, triumph, or my mates new v-strom which both had furry fasteners after a month.
i use a pre winter drenching of ACF50, then jet wash the salt off every few days (if there is any, seems to have been a lack of it down here this year, or they were using that new salt/detergent stuff that doesnt make such a mess) and give a liberal spraying with scottoil F365 after every wash or rain drenching. then give all hinges and control rods a squirt with spray silicon grease.

#NOTE ON JET WASHING AND SALT#
use a jet washer carefully and dont let it dwell in any one place because
1/you can blow out sealants and grease from your bearings
2/you will be washing off your expensive ACF and oil/grease that are keeping your bike protected
3/watch out for any stickers or transfers!

when washing your bike when theres salt on the roads only use cold water and lots of it. cold water from a hose or jetwasher disolves and washes away salt, warm water from a bucket and sponge disolves the salt fine but makes a nice hot acid dip that eats into metal a treat.
 

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...when washing your bike when theres salt on the roads only use cold water and lots of it. cold water from a hose or jetwasher disolves and washes away salt, warm water from a bucket and sponge disolves the salt fine but makes a nice hot acid dip that eats into metal a treat.
Salt in water makes acid?!? New one on me! LOL

In general bikes don't survive winters as well as cars. The car can go washed for weeks or months and doesn't seem to be affected; any washing is cosmetic anyway and I would never dream of washing the exhaust or suspension.

Honda and BMW bikes in general aren't too bad, but you have to wash the exposed metal from time to time, paying special attention to exhaust and suspension. Fasteners generally survive quite well.

Bikes from other manufacturers can be variable. I guess Suzuki and the Italian marques have the worst reputations, but even that can vary from model to model. Perhaps a top-of-the-range tourer will last well but a cheap two-stroke commuter may become a ball of corrosion in two years!
 

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yet another Dave
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Salt in water makes acid?!? New one on me! LOL
im no chemist, but as i understand it although salt crystals are neutral being a compound of acids and alkalis, when disolved in solution the resulting gloop is sometimes far from neutral, depending on the fluid used.
saliva is a good one- the United Nations dental council lists table salt as "highly acidic" and sea salt as "moderately alkaline".
i do know that bikes, cars, and roadside plants dont like the stuff!
 

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hedgerow specialist...
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echo what said above:thumbleft:, use mine allyear and wash slat off daily, basically the problem is stopping the salt eating into the metal .

Either buy a cheap bike and get most of it Powder coated or invest in ACF50 but WHATCH THOSE BRAKES or you`ll have non:cheers: :eek:

The worst bikes are Suzuki and Yamaha [my findings].

Or get 2 bikes:D:D one for winter one for the good times:eek:ccasion8:
 

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Still Not Dead.
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Discussion Starter #7
echo what said above:thumbleft:, use mine allyear and wash slat off daily, basically the problem is stopping the salt eating into the metal .
Oh yeah, you've got to watch out for that slat. Evil Stuff :thumb:

Either buy a cheap bike and get most of it Powder coated or invest in ACF50 but WHATCH THOSE BRAKES or you`ll have non:cheers: :eek:
yeah, that's what I do - I ride this in the winter, usually:



But some days even I give up:



The worst bikes are Suzuki and Yamaha [my findings].

Or get 2 bikes:D:D one for winter one for the good times:eek:ccasion8:
Or three :rolleyes: (at the moment - might have to get rid of one)

Ok, so sounds like plus points for Honda and minus for Suzuki and Yam so far ... be interesting to see if everyone agrees with which makes are best/worst for this...

ta,

rodent.
 

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Salt in water makes acid?!? New one on me! LOL
im no chemist
I'm not either... but my bro is, and this what he says about this...

Salt (NACL) & Water (H2O) will react as a constant equilibriam, but normally at such a slow rate that it wouldn't bother your bikes.

Basically the salt (NACL) & water (H2O) will react as follows:

NACL (Sodium chloride) + H2O (water) = NAOH (sodium hydroxide) + HCL (hydrocloric acid)

This reaction would normally take a fairly long time to conduct when you use cold water, which means that by the time this reaction would have taken place the solution is usually off the bike and down the drain, and also would only create a weak acidic solution... however... when you use hot water the reaction is speeded up by the heat, and could mean that some of the reaction takes place whilst still on your bike. Although as said would only be a weak solution and shouldn't cause any problems on the odd occasion, BUT if you ride every day, and wash it every day, then the solution is produced every day, and gets more chance to cause damage.

Hope this clears up why you should first wash/rinse the road sh**e from your bike first with cold water, then wash properly... or just invest in some ACF50, or some other decent wax polish, so the road sh**e just flows off the wax, and not your lovely paintwork/metalwork.
 

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yet another Dave
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its not the stuff eating into your metal thats the problem, its the +/-0.5ph that turns every dissimilar metals touching eachother into a little tiny battery fizzing away
 

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Fine, upstanding member
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I believe Triumph has the thickest paint (more than BMW) and uses more stainless steel bolts (rather than galvanised ones).

This thread gives me an opportunity to vent an annoyance of mine. It seems to me that everyone follows everyone else in talking about salt. I live in central London and this year was the first year I can remember where there has been any salt used on the roads whatsoever. And yet my bikes rust slowly away.

I am convinced that though the average British rider South of Birmingham will get about five days per year of a bit of salt coming off the road, the real culprit is the bikes never getting dry. For instance, if my Kwak sits in the street - dead-end, never been salted - the cast-iron brake parts will rust in about three days. With a cover, they'll take about a couple of months if it has been wet and remain rust free if not.

Having said that, even if you do get better results from cleaning it, that is because if the kak that came off stayed there, it would hold the moisture against the metal parts and speed deterioration.

Using a protective coating and regular cleaning will preserve the bike, but logically the salt effect can only be a very minor part of it. :confused:
 

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I believe Triumph has the thickest paint (more than BMW) and uses more stainless steel bolts (rather than galvanised ones).

This thread gives me an opportunity to vent an annoyance of mine. It seems to me that everyone follows everyone else in talking about salt. I live in central London and this year was the first year I can remember where there has been any salt used on the roads whatsoever. And yet my bikes rust slowly away.

I am convinced that though the average British rider South of Birmingham will get about five days per year of a bit of salt coming off the road, the real culprit is the bikes never getting dry. For instance, if my Kwak sits in the street - dead-end, never been salted - the cast-iron brake parts will rust in about three days. With a cover, they'll take about a couple of months if it has been wet and remain rust free if not.

Having said that, even if you do get better results from cleaning it, that is because if the kak that came off stayed there, it would hold the moisture against the metal parts and speed deterioration.

Using a protective coating and regular cleaning will preserve the bike, but logically the salt effect can only be a very minor part of it. :confused:
That is one reason I have always polished my bikes.
If you dry the bike and polish it the polish acts as a barrier reducing the air metal interaction.
 
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