Beantown Baggers

Salt – Bad News for Ice, but Worse for Motorcycles

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When I was a kid I was at an ice cream stand on the Cape when a guy pulled up in a stunning red convertible.  I was really young so didn’t know much about anything and when I asked him about his car he told me it was a Ferrari.  He went on to describe the car and when he got to the maintenance one thing that stuck out was his rule of thumb – if he took it out for 30 minutes he needed to spend 2 hours cleaning it.  What a pain in the ass.

I think we all know this guy never rode his Italian stallion past October.  Why?  Sodium-friking-chloride – that’s why.  Any of you guys who drive a rig can attest to what salt does to vehicles and this is specifically why our riding season is over once road salt is laid down. For some science so we can all be more smahhht – salt is a mild acid which attacks surfaces – concrete, buildings, your bike.  Secondly, salt is hygroscopic meaning it attracts water so it’s more difficult to dry it off.  Thirdly, salt accelerates the carbonation process which reduces pH levels through contact with carbon dioxide (air) which contributes to corrosion.  Lastly, chlorides which salt is a primary source of aggravate the condition for pitting corrosion of most metals by enhancing the formation of growth pits.  Sounds gross. There’s more, but I think that’s enough.

How do you clean off unwanted salt?

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