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MCN  says:

You Ask/You Answer: Winter Cleaning?

"My friend runs an old ‘winter bike’ and garages his prized R1 during the cold months as he says the salt etc. damages his bike too much. I want to ride all through winter, but don’t have enough spare cash to buy a second bike, and neither do I have any idea how to prepare my bike for to survive...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (13 November 2012 16:55)

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Mar 10

Posts: 1033

bmwgs says:

just wash it down and put more protection spray on alike 3times aweek

i wash my bike down after ever other ride and respray the bike with protection spray  to keep it from rusting.

it just a pain to cover the bike in protection spray then ride the bike in the rain the next day then have to come home and put more on. i use muck off winter protection spray.

plus some time time in dec / jan i will have to stop running the bike as the back road will never get gritted so it be unsafe to ride it.

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May 05

Posts: 51

r6buz says:


The biggest problem is that salt water is electrically conductive. Aluminium parts are held by steel bolts and this causes bi-metalic corrosion. When new bikes are built all the bolts are put in dry and will corrode in place making them very difficult to remove. This is especially troublesome where the bolt goes through a bearing or bush (axle bolt, suspension link etc) because you can't break it free by turning, meaning the only option is a big hammer.

Remove and grease as many bolt as you can.

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Mar 10

Posts: 100

jahagon says:


I swear by the stuff. Fantastic fizzing purple foam that keeps even the most exposed parts completely rust free.

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Feb 05

Posts: 223

Bob_1 says:


At the courier company where I worked some years ago we used to buy 5 Litre cans of WD40 and an applicator pump. With plastic bags over the brake discs and calipers we would spray it eveywhere inside and around the bike, getting it into all the nooks and crannies. Then we'd wash off the bodywork, tank, fairing etc, with car shampoo and leather dry. The bikes used to go right through a winter of rain, snow and salted roads with this cleaning regime used whenever they were mucky. In the Spring a thorough wash off with hot water or a jet wash if you know what you're doing and some wax polish would have the bikes looking like new. The layer of WD40 and crud seemed to keep the salt corrosion in check.

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Aug 12

Posts: 13

psychoSam says:

I like to soap it all over and give it a good buffing.

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Aug 02

Posts: 2

jeremyr62 says:

ACF50 works but you have to reapply it pretty frequently IMO. If you want a one time solution then you can try Waxoyl. I paint the corrosion susceptible parts of my FJR with it in October and then leave the bike pretty much alone until March. It will look awful as crap sticks to the Waxoyl but underneath the paint/steel/aluminium alloy will be protected. If the bike get covered in road salt I just hose it down with cold water. The hard parts comes in getting it off. It takes a nice hot day and some white spirit and a few hours. Rather that then pratting about with ACF-50 every few days.

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Nov 03

Posts: 2154

saturn392 says:


I endorse the coments on WD40 by bob_1     I have used it over several winters and it's the best thing I've tried.

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Sep 12

Posts: 124

Rotop says:


1 application at the start of winter and it was fine. Washed it off in spring to reveal lovely clean shiny bolts.

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Oct 11

Posts: 2486

Piglet2010 says:

@ r6buz

Use a proper anti-seize grease wherever dissimilar metals are in contact (such as your example of steel bolts in aluminium alloy threads).

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Aug 02

Posts: 2319

Hedgehog5 says:

+1 on the ACF50...

... apply at start of winter... give one good wash/re-apply during winter... wash it off in spring.

If you're using it every day for work chances are you're starting & getting home in the dark & half the time the hose is frozen so washing every ride is not practical. ACF50 does the job (so long as you don't water it down by spraying on other products like WD).

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