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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I'm semi-winterizing the bike, and I've done my usual cleaning (washing & rinsing the bike with a diluted car shampoo, Plexus to clean & protect the plastics, and a coat of Nu Finish "wax") as well as cleaning & lubing the chain. I live in an apartment building, so I have no way of pressure-washing or hosing down the bike, so it's mostly done with a spray-bottle (fun..) & a good wipe down.

That said, I rode my final 2011 ride today through slush/ice and more importantly, a lot of salt. I'm worried about where the salt could have gotten into that I can't easily see/get to. That in mind, what/where specifically should I be paying the most attention to, and what can I use for cleaning/rust-proofing?

A shop I visit occasionally, recommended coating the exhaust pipes, and kickstand/center stand with something; can't remember specifically what (might have been Rust-Check?), but he said WD40 would work in lieu of the specific product he suggested. I know some products aren't meant to be used in areas where a lot of heat is produced -- can either of these be used safely on the exposed exhaust pipes (what can if not), and where else would I be wise to use such a product?

I also noticed a significant amount of what *looked* like orange-y rust/corrosion on my brake discs after riding home, which hadn't been there yesterday, and the bike did feel a bit odd on the way (felt like lugging, but also kind of felt like the brakes may have been sticking somehow...) I'm guessing the salt or just the sheer cold temp (-15C roughly) caused this, but is it possible I've done damage to my brakes? It mostly washed off with brake cleaner & a good wiping down, but I've never seen an accumulation like this before.

I doubt I'll actually have the bike stored for more than a few weeks (the moment there's a day with clear roads I'll be out again), but I want to make sure I keep on top of any rust problems that could arise, especially with the bike being an '05. My 2010 Ninja 250R wound up with a nasty accumulation of rust/oxidization on the back of its exhaust, and I really don't want anything like that happening on the Wee, as I'm hoping to have this bike for years to come.

Thanks a ton for any advice, guys.
 

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I really can't help you with the rust proofing.
I ride year round and wash it on any sunny day about every 2-3 weeks during the winter.
It was nice hear on the ride in at 0-dark-30 this morning, 28F (-2C) and warming to 44F (7C) by the time I ride home.
The rust on the brakes is just that. It will cause them to "grab" a little till is is wore off. This normally happens the first time you apply them. It is just like water on the rotors make them slip a little till wore off. Both happen very rapidly and most people don't even notice. I don't think that rust on the rotors will cause the motor to lug.
Now if you let the rust stay in the calipers, it can cause the pistons to not back off and give you are brake lock up. The only time I have seen this is on cars or trucks, that set for extended period of time (normally years) without being used. The humidity around hear is high so everything that is not coated rusts over time.

I will try to upload a picture of my front brake. You will notice the rust on the rotor, but it is clean where the brake pad contacts it. This picture is in the spring after riding in the salt all winter.

 

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If no response here, try a Google search ' Rust prevention methods ", there are plenty of chemicals out ther. I have not used anything these past 3 years. Just normal cleaning and chain maintenance. WD40 is a good cleaner, removes the chain grease from rear rim very well, the coating it leaves behind will probably repell moisture. As for the orange like stugg around the brakes, I'll get that when i really scrub the bike, a little brake cleaner and AAAA steel wool might help clear that up.
 

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if you can find a product called ACF-50 (it's an aircraft product), it works really well at protecting this kind of stuff. I ride year round and it's great for these mucky, salty roads.
 

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I use Boeshield on my bicycle, snow thrower, and motorcycles. Great stuff. Some Sears stock it, supposedly.

 

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This appears to be another possibility for using DuPont Multi Purpose Lube with Teflon. I've used it and Boeshield T-9 on my cast iron table saw top with great success. ACF-50 is possibly the most referred to protectant for salty riding.
 

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Many enthusiast of Soviet era iron steeds (that rust faster than you can clean/polish them) use Fluid Film with great success. It is quite possibly the most cost effective rust proofing product out there...

ACF-50 can get expensive if you use it a lot.
 

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I used to just wipe down my bikes for winterizing as best as possible or after riding them in the winter salt..paper towels and a little windex. Would not want to put any grease etc on the pipes (maybe a little wax and then buff after cleaning them?). Remember you always have the option of hosing the bike down at one of those do it yourself car washes during the winter (if you are parking underground in a heated garage).
 

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rust over winter

In addition to the remedies mentioned here, which are very good...I would like to suggest the following.

If you use cold storage for your bike (an unheated garage) be sure on those "warmer humid rainy days" do not open the doors to allow the warm air in. It is better to heat the storage area with a torpedo type heater and wait until the humidity decreases before opening up the doors.

Any warm humid air on the exposed very cold surfaces WILL!! form serious condensation which equals serious rust and corrosion.

A cover will help but can, if it is a non breathable material, contribute to moisture trapping and the resulting corrosion.

Best!
Gary
 

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WD 40

As far as WD40 goes, I race enduros and hare scrambles off road and before a particularly muddy race I always spray down my KTM with WD40 - plastics, rims, up under the fenders, frame, etc. Basically everything but the hand controls, seat, and brakes. Makes post-race clean-up 100% easier and faster. Not too sure about road salt, but I can only imagine that it couldn't hurt.

A light film of rust on the rotors is perfectly normal. Just take a look at the disks on a car after it has sat idle in a humid/wet climate for more than 24 hrs. After the first few applications of the brakes, the rust film will be gone......
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you very much for the advice guys, much appreciated.

For the moment I've coated my pipes with WD40, as well as the kickstand and center stand. Seems to have done the trick, after washing salt etc off of course, it got rid of some grunge that I'd been meaning to clean off for a while.

Also, on a similar topic, I've noticed some guys use brake cleaner for purposes other than just the discs; I've seen it used on the rims, engine casing, sprockets, and even the chain. Does anyone else here do this, and is it generally safe? I thought brake cleaner would be too harsh of a substance to be using on the chain, for one thing; it's the Belray stuff I've seen used, dunno if that makes a difference.
 

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Thank you very much for the advice guys, much appreciated.

For the moment I've coated my pipes with WD40, as well as the kickstand and center stand. Seems to have done the trick, after washing salt etc off of course, it got rid of some grunge that I'd been meaning to clean off for a while.

Also, on a similar topic, I've noticed some guys use brake cleaner for purposes other than just the discs; I've seen it used on the rims, engine casing, sprockets, and even the chain. Does anyone else here do this, and is it generally safe? I thought brake cleaner would be too harsh of a substance to be using on the chain, for one thing; it's the Belray stuff I've seen used, dunno if that makes a difference.
I use Brakleen or the store brand regularly on my calipers and as a quick way to get major crud off in other places but I don't "clean" anything else except the brakes, a quick squirt sometimes though cause its higher pressure and gets the first layer off (I don't clean after "every" ride, it would be impractical with my schedule) Brake cleaner is safe for rubber seals but its also a powerful solvent that washes lubricants completely away, I wouldn't use it on a chain or near your axles unless ya got it apart and trying to clean the old grease out



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I wouldn't use carb cleaner or brake clean on the chain as it will dissolve out the lubricant in the rollers. Others will disagree, but I also use WD40 to clean the chain. Typically I gently scrub the chain with a grunge brush and soapy water when I wash the bike. Afterwards i then coat the chain with WD40 to displace the water (the WD stands for Water Displacement) and let it dry over night. The next day I rub it down with a shop rag and then coat it with a good chain lube (I use BelRay Super Clean). I do this for my dirt bikes too. But just like in the case of oil, filters, tires, seats, windshields, etc. every person you talk to on this website will give you a different opinion. But this is what works for me and I have 25,000 miles on my current chain and sprockets with many more miles remaining.

Be careful with carb cleaner and brake clean on the Strom's plastics. My son over-sprayed orange spray paint on my black Wee, and tried to clean it off with brake cleaner. The spray literally melted the plastic turn signal and also my stock windshield. He learned an expensive lesson..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey folks, just following up on my last post where I'd coated the pipes with WD40.

Had a bit of a scare tonight as I started the bike up to run it around for a bit, but before I even really had time to let it warm up, I realized there was some smoke billowing up from under the bike.

It was clearly coming from the exhaust pipes which I'd coated with the WD40. I'm assuming it's just the WD40 burning off, but I'm wondering now, is this dangerous to the pipes/bike, and/or should I have rinsed+wiped off the WD40 prior to starting the bike? I shut the bike off immediately and luckily had a water bottle handy, in case the pipes caught fire or something (which they didn't, but they were still smoking for a few minutes...)

I wound up spraying down the pipes with water and wiping them down afterward, and started up the bike again just to have the same light burning smell + (much less) smoke coming off the pipes. Meant to take the bike out tonight to fill the tank and give it a quick run, but not sure whether I should or not now.
 

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I use Brakleen or the store brand regularly on my calipers and as a quick way to get major crud off in other places but I don't "clean" anything else except the brakes, a quick squirt sometimes though cause its higher pressure and gets the first layer off (I don't clean after "every" ride, it would be impractical with my schedule) Brake cleaner is safe for rubber seals but its also a powerful solvent that washes lubricants completely away, I wouldn't use it on a chain or near your axles unless ya got it apart and trying to clean the old grease out
And don't get it on your headlight or indicator plastics, they'll craze.

Pete
 

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Hey folks, just following up on my last post where I'd coated the pipes with WD40.

Had a bit of a scare tonight as I started the bike up to run it around for a bit, but before I even really had time to let it warm up, I realized there was some smoke billowing up from under the bike.

It was clearly coming from the exhaust pipes which I'd coated with the WD40. I'm assuming it's just the WD40 burning off, but I'm wondering now, is this dangerous to the pipes/bike, and/or should I have rinsed+wiped off the WD40 prior to starting the bike? I shut the bike off immediately and luckily had a water bottle handy, in case the pipes caught fire or something (which they didn't, but they were still smoking for a few minutes...)

I wound up spraying down the pipes with water and wiping them down afterward, and started up the bike again just to have the same light burning smell + (much less) smoke coming off the pipes. Meant to take the bike out tonight to fill the tank and give it a quick run, but not sure whether I should or not now.

The pipes will develop a bit of color from reacting with the carbon, but it's a thin film only and will polish off.
It won't normally flash into flames if you are moving, the biggest risk is idling stopped before it's mostly gone.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The pipes will develop a bit of color from reacting with the carbon, but it's a thin film only and will polish off.
It won't normally flash into flames if you are moving, the biggest risk is idling stopped before it's mostly gone.
Ok, that's good to know. That said, I'd still feel uncomfortable knowing that the pipes are smoking under me while on the bike, so I guess I'll try to rinse/wipe off the WD40 coating before riding after any cleaning session. though, at the same time, I suppose that could be counterproductive to rust prevention...
 

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rust proofing

I read somewhere that WD40 wasn't good for your chain.

As I understand, it was developed for the Army in WWII as a Water Displacement and was the 40th mixture. i.e. WD 40
 

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I read somewhere that WD40 wasn't good for your chain.
Some people think it gets past the O-rings and washes out the sealed in grease. It doesn't. It won't hurt the chain. It will take any chain lube off the surface and leave very little oil behind so I'd use a good chain lube afterwards though some people use WD40 as a chain lube.
 

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WD40 on the pipes

Unless you are saturating them and then immediately riding the amount that would be left on them after 24 hours would not be enough to flash into flame. They will smoke but it wont really hurt anything structurally, it might make them cosmetically flawed but nothing to lose sleep over.

WD40 on the chain

It is a very good cleaner, but not something I would use a chain lube, just as a cleaner.

There is also something made by Ams Oil called HD Metal Protector Spray.

AMSOIL - MP Heavy Duty Metal Protector (AMH)

I have used this in a marine environment (boat on the water in Hawaii) and it does protect the metal but the coating it leave behind would be best suited for long term storage as it is very tenacious and a pain to remove.

If you stick with the WD40 after giving the bike a good wash that should suffice for your needs, but would also look into one of the salt neutralizing washes that are sold if that is used on the roads in the winter. Some of them come in a spray bottle and you could just hit the worse parts of the bike with it between washes in worse case scenario.

Salt Neutralizer Salt Remover for effective Salt Removal

Just my .02
 
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