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Dump Those Rusty Nuts….

March 10, 2010


Oh no its rust!!!!!!!

Kidderminster, England – There are some things that motorcyclists don’t like to talk about. Things like……

CORROSION!! OMG it’s that time of year again, a few weeks before Easter, gingerly lifting the bike cover, in anticipation of those halcyon summer days of riding to come. The first shaft of light hits the ‘mean machine’ you stand back admiring your pride and joy, your ride for the summer. Then you notice, those furry nuts, that crazing lacquer, those spiders on the chrome, despite all those winter hours of polishing, of sprays, of elbow grease its, its arrgh rust!!!

Think that’s bad well trying riding a bike through a British winter and see what it looks like in the spring. I’ve seen grown mean cry over the corrosion on high-end German bikes caused by salt.

So what are the manufactures doing? Well apart from putting stuff in their brochures about ‘avoiding corrosion being a significant part of our design teams brief’ and the odd paragraph in the warranty book about corrosion issues ‘being consider on there merits’. Not to mention the usual 12 pages of cleaning advice in the owners handbook, not an awful lot.

So where are the motorcycle equivalents of the car manufactures anti corrosion warranties, some car makers now offer a 12 year anti corrosion warranty. Can’t say I know of a motorcycle manufacturer who does.

We are paying a lot for our bikes. Is it realistic to expect an owner to wash, clean and dry a bike after every ride – it’s a leisure/commuting vehicle for goodness sake, imagine telling a car owner to do that! Is it acceptable to be told ‘they all do that’? Is it acceptable to be told ‘garage it in the winter and buy an old ‘rat’ bike’? Is it right when you go for a trade in that you lose money because the machine you are offing is rusted and corroded? No on all counts from my perspective.

So perhaps all the paragons of virtue charging around ‘riders rights’ and having ‘meaning full’ discussion with industry not to mention ‘managing through change, could add to their ‘to do list’ something about offering machines that are fit for purpose i.e. able to be used in winter without disintegrating.

Salt it wreaks havoc on my motorcycle. So what does it do to the environment?

We toss more than 2 million tons of salt on our roads every winter. As we all know salt lowers the freezing temperature of water and thus melts snow and ice providing obvious road safety benefits

But what are environmental drawbacks. Well it gets into lakes, rivers and groundwater and effects water quality. It splashes off the road damages soil, trees and vegetation as far as 200 metres away. Road edges can turn into artificial salt licks that are attractive deer and its dangerous birds.

Salt is not the benign substance we like to believe it is. Why are we still using it? Because it’s cheap, or at least cheap at point of application. The real cost of use is paid for by car and bike users and of course the environment.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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