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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 13 Dec 2006
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Riding on salt!

I have a question about riding on salt lakes. Isn't this catastrophic for the bike? I have hearded that the bike rusts away very quickly. Do you do something for protecting the bike when you ride on salt?
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Old 13 Dec 2006
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Wash it afterwards...
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Old 13 Dec 2006
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salt and peppered frame......

Salt, if remaining completly dry wont be too bad, but it is extremely suseptible to moisture. the 1st damp night or splash of rain and you will be able to hear it corroding. hence don't clean your bike with washing up liquid because the thickening agent is salt!
If your bike is salty, when cleaning you must get ALL the salt off in one go.
I smother my bike in wax and grease prior to the winter trip, it gets well caked, and then degrease and wash on return. It is surviving amazingly well on wet salty roads. (but it is a honda to be fair)
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Old 14 Dec 2006
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Originally Posted by furious
Do you do something for protecting the bike when you ride on salt?
Have a look at this stuff:

It gets good reviews in the motorcycle mag tests. I use it now on my UK bike when I put it away for its hibernation. Not a very scientific evaluation on my part but it seems to keep the rust away. Before that I was spraying with WD40 and putting vaseline on the exposed metal but this is easier (and smokes less on start-up).


Last edited by Stephano; 14 Dec 2006 at 06:12.
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Old 14 Dec 2006
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WD40 does it for me. I ride on salt strewn roads during the Belgium winters and a good spraying of WD40 has seen my bike lasting very well. It is a good tip to rinse with COLD water after a salty trip. Hot water helps the salt to activate it's corrosive qualities whilst cold just washes it off. Once rinsed give it a proper wash and smother in WD40 ahead of the next trip
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Old 14 Dec 2006
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ACF-50, an aircraft product now being sold for bikes.
Seems to be doing the trick (i only wash my bike a couple of times a year )


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Old 22 Dec 2006
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Do you mean that before riding in Salar de Uyuni or anything similar, you spray your bike with these products??? Or do you have with you so much water to wash it afterwards??? Both of them sounds me extreme but if this is what you are doing, ok!

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Old 21 Feb 2007
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I'm faced with the same problem. I believe Smellybiker had his entire electric wiring system ruined driving through the salt lakes. So it's not just the metal frame and parts. You're wiring is at risk as well. And depending on how much of that you have, it's a collosal task weatherproofing that.
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Old 22 Feb 2007
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Before riding on salt (if you really have too)

Spray everything with WD40, wax or whatever protective thing you have

After riding on salt

Clean the bike with COLD water .. hot water will speed chemical reactions .. so cold water. Clean it well .. then take off as many panels as possible (sump guard, side covers mud guards, seat .. and wash it again! Then use soap. Then rinse with plain water .. then I hope you have ALL the salt off ..

For the wiring .. I'd get some dielectric grease and separate each and every electrical connection and clean them then coat them with the grease before reassembly.

That is a lot of work for a ride on salt.. I'd rather not do it .. to lazy! So I avoid the slat pans in OZ.
Regards Frank Warner
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Old 22 Feb 2007
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I had the same worries before I rode on the Salar de Uyuni a few months ago, but the salt was dry and packed as hard as asphalt. I rode over 200 miles on the salt flat, and had no issues whatever. Hardly any salt got on the bike, and what did was like dust. There are several people in Uyuni that wash the trucks that the tour guides use, and they washed my bike afterwards for a few bucks. If it had rained lately it would be a different story.
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Old 5 Mar 2007
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I ride year round in MN, so for protection I treat my bikes with ACF-50 before the winter months (salt season). The ACF-50 protects and also will neutralize corrosion. It does leave a film on so it collects all the crud but a quick spray with a hose cleans it all up.

Great stuff but don't get anywhere near your brakes with it because it does spread - I guess that why it works so well.

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