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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its raining right now and my bike is stuck outside in it for tonight. Im wondering what kind of damage this can cause to the bike. The second it stops im planning on running out there and wiping it down, and tomorrow my cover arrives via fedex, but in the meantime is there anything I should worry about? I know that some riders ride in the rain so I figure there cant be anything too bad with it, but what should I focus on wiping down once the rain stops and should I oil the chain or something afterwards? Thanks
 

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Rain won't do damage, but it will add wear and tear on your bike. Basically, anything chrome should be dried off immediately. Pay special attention to the forks. The chain might get rusty, depending where you live (i'm on west coast) so a brush and lube might be good. Your seat will be damp, and if you have tears or holes in it the padding could deteriorate or mildew.

Get that bike covered or garaged as soon as you can. One night isn't going to hurt, but regular inclimate weather will take its toll
 

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Only use a brush if there is visible rust. Otherwise, just use a rag and lube. Any chain lube is fine. You should have some anyway because you should be lubing the chain once a week, right? ;)

I haven't had much experience with X-ring chains, so I don't know if a wire brush will damage the seals, but back when I bought O-ring chains I would use those soft wire brushes from Kragen to clean it up a little. There are also special chain brushes out there. But really, unless there are links sticking this would just be cosmetic. A rag will wipe away new rust easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
*gasp* every week? My manual was apparently lost by the dealership and so they are going to give me a new one whenever I stop by. Perhaps I should do that tomorrow as im missing out on maintenance stuff =p Thanks again
 

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Yeah man, depending on how hard you ride there are daily, weekly, and monthly checks. Modern bikes probably don't have the need for the maintainence overkill the old bikes did, but they are good habits anyway:

Daily:

Tire pressure and condition, brake function, headlamps and signals.

Weekly
Lube Chain, inspect gaskets for leaks, seals (brake reservoir caps too!), oil level, chain slack (no more than 1 inch while sitting on bike), inspect hoses and lines for cracks. Inspect fork seals, chain and sprockets for uneven wear (sign of misaligned rear)

Monthly
Check for loose bolts and screws, Check air filter, change oil, inspect battery. If possible, check spark plugs too.

Its a lot to do, most people don't do it, but its some good habits. I'd be lying if I said I kept to this list. But I do a walk-around inspection before I get on each time and check for things that aren't right (low tire pressure, loose parts, chain condition, brakes and lamps). I have been through a lot with my old dinosaur bikes from the early 80's, from losing shifters on the freeway to headlights burning out on an unlit highway.... to even running over a dead deer! You assume a lot of risk riding a bike, the best you can do is manage it. You have control over the condition of your ride, so do all you can. You never know you missed something until it gets you at the worst moment possible.....
 

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Rain will cause the dreaded water spots! These should be removed by washing your bike, or else other riders will look down upon you with disdain for allowing such a horrible thing to happen to your beloved bike... LOL.

The chain should be lubed every 250-400 miles of riding (depending on conditions - like keeping it outside or riding in the rain). A good rule of thumb is to lube it every other tank of fuel. Spray on chain lube is available at any bike shop or online. Look for one that doesn't "throw off" easily, or you'll spend your life cleaning the rear wheel.
 

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*DO NOT* use a wire brush to clean the chain! (just want to clarify that).. A wire brush will damage the rings and significantly shorten the useful lifespan of the chain. WD-40 and a soft toothbrush to remove surface rust from the chain.. The obvious solution is to prevent it in the first place by lubing it on a regular basis...
 

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I've heard great things about BelRay (or is it DelRay) SuperClean! That's what the dealership uses, and what I recently ordered for my own use..

Makes the chain look white, and sometimes blue. I like that, but would not use it if I had an expensive aftermarket chain, or a chain of any color.
 

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Some people go a little crazy with their chains though. I lube every 400-500 and clean it every other time I lube it and it is fine.
 

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Originally posted by Kalvin00
Some people go a little crazy with their chains though. I lube every 400-500 and clean it every other time I lube it and it is fine.
Do you get much rain there in CA? Here in Florida, it's the rainy season, so if you ride daily, your bike's probably getting wet more often than not (either riding or parked). That will definitely promote rust on the chain.

It's a pretty good bet that in dry, dusty areas, you wouldnt' get rust, but the chain needs lubrication just as much (if not more).

And here's something else that no one's mentioned here yet - aside from chain life, a poorly lubed chain (or one that's not lubed at all) will reduce performance. A well lubricated drivetrain (i.e. chain) will take less power to drive than one that's binding.
 

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Originally posted by anarion55



Do you get much rain there in CA? Here in Florida, it's the rainy season, so if you ride daily, your bike's probably getting wet more often than not (either riding or parked). That will definitely promote rust on the chain.

It's a pretty good bet that in dry, dusty areas, you wouldnt' get rust, but the chain needs lubrication just as much (if not more).

And here's something else that no one's mentioned here yet - aside from chain life, a poorly lubed chain (or one that's not lubed at all) will reduce performance. A well lubricated drivetrain (i.e. chain) will take less power to drive than one that's binding.
I thought about that after I posted. We don't get rain out here for 6 months so water on the chain isn't an issue ;) And true that riding on dirt roads will require more frequent cleaning.
 
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