Many riders are terrified of winter. Other than the frozen fingers and greasy roundabouts to do battle with, a common belief is that the salt and moisture on the roads will rot the metal on your bike, making it look tatty and resulting in repairs being needed for corroded downpipes, etc. while this may be true if you don’t clean the bike after rides, you can actually easily protect your bikes from the weather fairly easily.
Enter corrosion inhibitors – these are products like ACF50 or XCP Rust Blocker. They effectively put a protective film around your bike’s exposed parts that reacts with elements that cause corrosion and neutralises them. As a result, your ride is rust free.
You could use a service like All Year Biker and have all of the hassle taken care of. Or you could do it yourself and save cash. The result is the same – it just depends on whether you want to put the time in. I’ll walk you through the DIY route.
- Corrosion inhibitor (ACF50 or XCP Rust Blocker)
- 2 x rags / microfibre cloths
- Motorcycle shampoo
- Towles / drying rags
- Tools to remove protective bodywork
- Remove any bodywork that inhibits access to things like downpipes, etc.
- If possible, put your bike up on a centre stand or paddock stand.
- Give your bike a good wash, getting into every nook and cranny you can, removing all dirt.
- Dry off the bike completely. If necessary, leave it for a while to drip dry.
- Spray some ACF50/Rust Blocker onto a cloth/rag and wipe it over every accessible surface on the bike, except the brakes and discs.
- For hard to reach areas, spray directly from the can just to cover it. In general, less is more, but you may need to ‘waste’ a little to reach some areas (it’s better than corrosion).
- Take a clean cloth/rag and wipe off any excess.
- Put the bike’s bodywork back on.
That’s it. Top up the coating on areas that are heavily exposed every couple of months, but other than that, you’re done. Do a full job like this once a year and you should have a pretty well-protected bike that you can ride whatever the weather.
If you’ve been out for a wet or muddy ride, just hose off the worst of it and you should be fine. The corrosion inhibitor will protect the bike from the majority of it.
As a bonus, you’ll also find that doing this shines up your bike pretty nicely, to give it a bit of a showroom look!