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Metal Guitarist
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Salt is corrosive. How's that for stating the obvious? We say that because the last time we were in Daytona during "Speed Week" we saw some less than bright riders washing their bikes on the beach and using ocean water. Wrong.

If you do ride close to the coast you'll need to wash your bike more frequently and more thoroughly. You'll also need to make sure your paint has a heavy coating of wax and the chrome and aluminum pieces are well protected too. Aluminum is especially vulnerable to salt corrosion. Most of the OEM aluminum parts have a clear coat over the bare metal but all too often it's been polished off. Abrasive polishes like Semichrome, do a great job on bare aluminum but offer little salt corrosion protection. If you've been using any form of polish that requires buffing we suggest you apply as much non-buffing wax as you can. You know, the type where you wipe it on, wait for it turn into a white powder and then wipe it off.

If possible, go to a car wash that uses ionized water. We suggest that because there are less electrostatic properties in ionized water, therefore less attraction of salt and the other enemy: sand. Rubber tires running on asphalt roads in high humidity areas acts like an electrostatic generator. This causes a statically charged bike, which attracts oppositely charged particles of salt and sand.

If you use a pressure washer, do take care to avoid pointing the wand at the seals on the forks and wheels. The water may well seep past the seals and wash out the lubricants. Use plenty of sudsy soap on both paint and metal parts and be sure to rinse it off. Salt causes corrosion and so do some soaps.

Salts also dries out tire sidewalls and treads. You can't do much about the tread but you can use some of the special preparations on the sidewalls to help protect the elasticity of the tire's sidewalls.
 
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