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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

I am hoping to get some advice on general corrosion prevention, if anyone else has these issues?
I live at the coast, and after just a year and a half going on two years, I have started noticing surface rust in a few spots, which I have been cleaning off etc.

Rear-view mirror stems seem to be taking the most strain, and the other area which is bothering me is a little area on the swing-arm where water collects if I ride her in the wet.
She lives outside, although under a car-port and out of the direct rain/elements.

I'd love any tips and tricks you guys may have in terms of preventing corrosion as best I can.

TIA
 

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Hose it off at least once a week – gets the salt off (even if you can’t see it). We all get water on them, but the salt content in your area will accelerate the corrosion real bad.

That’ll take care of half of it – that plus drying it off in the breeze and sun a bit. If it ‘aint wet, it can’t go rusty.

For some reason, the cylinder heads seem to lose their paint finish – never seen one that didn’t – so no point in tearing your hair out over it.

If you were in the UK, I could recommend several products – but you’re not – and I don’t know the equivalent brands in your country. A good wax on the paintwork maybe, anything else you try to do will probably back-fire. Any oil based coating you could put on her will eventually react with the paint (you have to remember you are putting oil on top of an oil based paint) and plastics – and start to act on the nuts and bolts, the gaskets (get eaten by some mixes), and even the electrics (ground connections). That stuff gets everywhere – with surprising results.

Just keep her hosed down and aired (dried off) – shove a bit of wax polish on the pretty bits (maybe put some in the water you use to clean it so it gets everywhere) – and accept where you live.

Beyond that – you could try a can of “lacquer” on the bare metal (spokes etc) – keeps the corrosion off for a while – but looks like crap when it starts to break off after a few years. If you tried some sort of oil base product on those same spokes, you’d only encourage them to go loose on you.

Opinions will differ on this – so I’m expecting some grief – but you can see where I’m coming from.

A good liquid wax in the water used to wash her down is probably the best over-all fix ……………
 

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A salt neutralizing product such as Salt-Away works very well on all of our vehicles and pit equipment when we race at the salt flats. Their claims seem like hype but they work. The active ingredient is sulfamic acid and the solution is about as acidic as vinegar. There are other products with similar properties. This year I'm going to make my own neutralizer from sulfamic acid crystals to make a 5% solution.

Some people just use vinegar (acetic acid) and claim it neutralizes salt and rust as good as the more expensive products.

I plan to make some steel test panels this year to see how different products (and my concoctions) do. I'm sure I'll post some pics when I get back in late August.

*edit* - I forgot to mention that we use a spray bottle or pump up sprayer (for large coverage areas) to apply the solution, which looks and applies like water, then just let it dry. That's it. After the event we wash everything to get the salt crust off then spray everything again and let it dry.

Also, some areas on a TW have pretty thin paint, especially where stamping burrs weren't removed, like the swing arm and frame gussets & behind brackets. I repaint those areas when I'm working on the bike. If repainting a whole part isn't convenient, just scuff the areas and use a quality rattle can. I use clear.
 

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I can recommend this stuff;

Amazon.com: Corrosion-X Anti-Corrosion Aerosol and Lubricant, 16-Ounce: Sports & Outdoors

Corrosion-X Anti-Corrosion Aerosol and Lubricant, 16-Ounce

I've used it on salt-water boats where the electronics are all corroded in green and it not only lubricated the connections so I could get them apart, they actually cleaned the connections as if I had used a scrubby on them. I now use it on any electrical plug or connection as well on fasteners and moving parts. It's a lube, it's a penetrate, a rust inhibitor, a cleaner.

It comes in a thick version to cling to chains and stuff, but I've not tried that. It also comes in an aviation version and I have seen that in the hanger a few times so I would guess the mechanics are using that too.

Read the reviews and you'll find lots of uses for this stuff.

 

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Yeah, Corrosion X works well, and so does Boeshield T-9. Boeshield is a little more waxy and tends to stick longer, although when I sprayed Corrosion X on my Cessna in 1990 it only came in one weight, so the new thick stuff may be as good as Boeshield for longevity. Either one along with washing often will work better than WD-40, IMHO.

WD-40 is a water displacement chemical, thus its name, and works really great if you don't have fresh water handy, but it is not as good a corrosion preventative as these two, after a good wash and dry.
 

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I'm sure you must be able to get a similar device in the states like the ones available here .... sorta like an 'ionizer', has a small power pack that uses almost no battery power and a sacrificial zinc anode. Works on a similar principle to what you might find on outboard motors.

The 'wash and lube' route is tedious, but it definitely helps .... instead of 'lube' I use paraffin with just a small amount of oil mixed into it - just enough to leave a fine coating that doesn't attract too much dust (I do this in the engine bays and undersides of my vehicles and will probably do the same to the TW after the rebuild). Basically the same as WD40 just a whole lot cheaper. ;)
 
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Its worth noting that surface rust takes a long long time to become structurally problematic especially on the swingarm. Id spray the moving parts(carb, clutch, bearings etc with wd 40 or another product and not lose too much sleep over anything beyond that. A tw is not a bike that most people buy to look pretty. Its a bike that will take you to amazing places and improve the quality of your life. Mine is newer but is proper beat looking for different reasons (gritty silt, and lots of mud and deep water riding, and older Mod parts. etc. I just accept the fact that its scratched and oxidized and keep on riding. I used to live in hawaii and can tell you that ultimately corrosion always wins in the end, regardless of how much trouble you go to to prevent it. You have 2 options: Accept it or move inland.
 
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