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Warp Speed Bug Killer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a feeling the answer is yes but I am still gonna ask this: Are motorcycles designed to be ridden in rain?

If so, would riding in rain accelerate the wear/tear of certain parts? If so what are they?

Would riding in rain require more frequent service of certain parts? If so what are they?

Finally if motorcycles are designed to be ridden in rain, can it be stored outdoors and be exposed to rain, dew, and elements? Not that I would do it to my bike. My common sense tells me that the answer is "no" and I am wondering why.
 

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Three hour tour guide
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Anywhere in the world except North America, motorcycles are an everyday form of transportation, rain or shine.

Yer bike is not going to melt in the rain!
 

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Gee's Don, thanks for helping out the noob! :laughing

The bike will deteriorate at a faster rate if stored outdoors, and you will need to maintain certain things at more frequent intervals such as the chain and cables. Exposed metals will corrode faster, and painted parts will loose their luster sooner. Unpainted plastics will fade from black to grey. Your rotors may get some surface rust, and you may want to consider some quality wheel bearings sealed on both sides.

Keeping up a good maintenance regiment on moving parts will diminish the effects of the elements. My first bike was an outdoors only bike, and faired pretty well.

Make sure it's kept clean. Dirt and grime keep parts moist which accelerates their deterioration.
 

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Warp Speed Bug Killer
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
LOL I kinda figured that bikes don't fall apart as soon as they touch rain water :D that's why I asked the more specific questions such as

"If so, would riding in rain accelerate the wear/tear of certain parts? If so what are they?

Would riding in rain require more frequent service of certain parts? If so what are they?"

;)

Mighty Kentor, do your statements apply to "storage outside" or also to "riding in the rain"?

Don't dirt and dust get into rotating/moving parts, fork seals, and the like?

Manual says I should lube the chain after riding on wet roads. If oil doesn't mix with water why would rain wash off the lube?


I am planning to ride through winter so I guess riding on wet roads will be normal affair for the next months or so. Should I wash the dirt/mud off the bike everytime I go out for a ride?!
 

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Three hour tour guide
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Gee's Don, thanks for helping out the noob! :laughing
Anytime, glad to help out :devillook

Seriously though, in the old days before I could afford a roof over my head, I alway had bikes parked out in the elements and didn't figure it made a whole lot of difference...

As long as the bike can "dry out" between downpours all should be fine I figure. Better to keep it uncovered and open to the breeze than covered with some plastic tarp that traps the moisture in. IMHO, YMMV.
 

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I am planning to ride through winter so I guess riding on wet roads will be normal affair for the next months or so. Should I wash the dirt/mud off the bike everytime I go out for a ride?!

I'd hose off obvious mud but road grime isn't going to kill it. Just have enough grease on moving parts like your kickstand pivot, etc, lube your cables yearly, lube your chain as you do regularly (if you do ) and it'll be fine. Your bike would be a mess of flung off chain lube if you sprayed it after every rain ride! Here in BC any who.

I agree with Don, I feel that more damage is done than good from most bike covers. They trap moisture in and the wind ruffling them wears on the paint.
 

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You need to clean the chain and other parts and do more frequent grease injections to the suspension links. That darn water get in past the seals. Wheel bearings will also fail sooner thanks to the water getting past the seals. Basically if the manual gives you a mileage (kilometerage?) for these items I'd half it if you ride frequently in the rain. Chain cleaning needs to be done far more frequently. That water tosses up a heap of grit. I'd suggest full on cleaning every couple of hundred rain kms. Even at that the chain will be black and gritty. And skip the greasy lubes for the wet winter. The grease is sticky enough to make it just hold the grit that much more tenaciously. Switch to a heavy oil like chain saw bar oil or 90 weight gear lube. I went to that on my bicycle chains and find I'm picking up about 1/2 the amount of grit. Using the oil makes it a lot easier to clean as well.


Now another option is to use chain saw bar oil thinned with about one part oil to two parts kerosene or low odor oil paint thinner. Apply and rub off with a paper towel after every second ride. Repeat one more time. The excess that soaks off into the paper towel will carry a lot of the grit with it and the rest will stay on the chain to lube it. A rear stand to let you spin the wheel around helps a lot. I've been doing this with my dual sport and it's working out nicely.... although I admit to laziness and only do it every 6 to 8 times out. But if I was riding in the rain more often it would be every 2 or 3 times for sure. So far it seems to be working nicely.
 

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Warp Speed Bug Killer
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So essentially: more frequent cleaning/lubing on moving parts. And certain things WILL fail sooner and that's just a fact of life.

Alright. Thanks all... :)

(if anybody having more to add, by all means please do)
 

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Warp Speed Bug Killer
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do the wheel bearings need lubrication? They are major rotation parts as the wheels turn all the time, but the manual never mentions that they need to be lubricated.
 

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Warp Speed Bug Killer
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A few more questions:

In bike's manual under General Lubrication, it says to use "regular grease" or "motor oil" to lube side stand, clutch lever, front brake lever, and rear brake pedal. Can WD-40 do the job? What kind of grease is a "regular grease"? And does "motor oil" refer to.... the engine oil?!

For suspension lubrication (I assume it's "swing arm pivot, uni-trak linkage-lubrication"), the manual simply says it should be done by authorized Kawasaki dealers. Can WD-40 do the job as well? Where do I apply them? Any linkage/joints near the rear shock?
 

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WD40 is NOT a lubricant. It is a solvent. It will remove the lubricant from your application (as well as other crap that makes door hinges squeek etc.) If you use WD40, you need to apply a lubricant afterwards.

I must get this 10 times a day at work.
 

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Warp Speed Bug Killer
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Crap... for the longest time I've always thought WD40 lubricates things. I am shocked to know that it actually is not...

So what's the "regular grease" or "motor oil" that the motorcycle manual refers to? I mean can I just walk in Lordco and ask "do you have regular grease".

Thanks all.... I am extremely not mechanically inclined (as bad as a grandma vs. a computer. Actually when it comes to computer I am quite savvy) so please bear with me.
 

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by motor oil, they mean the same oil you put in your engine. Regular grease is just any type of bearing grease.

WD40 leaves a residue behind that attracts dirt and dust. It was designed to displace water and coat aircraft destined for long term storage in the desert.
 

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I would say buy a factory service manual...99% of your questions will be answered....

+1 i was reading thru mine the other night double checking what needs to be checked at the mileage checkpoint that i'm at, and was informed of several things i wouldn't have otherwise known, taking care of my bike myself. one thing i would point out though when you bring your bike inside and are not planning on riding the next day, make sure you give it a quick rinse/wash before bringing it in. especially now that the salt/brine trucks are making the rounds on the major roads. i followed a brine truck the other day on the highway and when i got home i was disgraced seeing how the salt made it look like i had 2 inch chicken strips on my bike as my top speed behind the truck was under the speed limit! i was 6 cars behind the truck going around cameron lake and it was at 9 in the morning and roads were looking a little slippery for my liking to pass.
 
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