May is motorcycle safety awareness month, and spring marks the start of prime riding season in many areas of the U.S. It’s a good time to note that keeping your bike road-worthy is key to ensuring safety on the streets. Beyond routine mechanical maintenance and cleaning, that means proper motorcycle storage – with a decent cover. The best motorcycle covers on the market are those that not only deter theft and prevent damage caused by direct exposure to the elements, but also safeguard against rust and corrosion. Make sure when you buy that it offers VCI – vapor corrosion inhibitor.
Why Motorcycles are at Risk of Rust
Many types of corrosion – rust included – are chemical reactions triggered by the trifecta of metal + oxygen + moisture. Other elements, like salt and mud, can act as accelerants.
Rust is like a cancer for motor vehicles. Motorcycle rust can creep up quickly, be tough to spot, and do notable damage before you realize what’s wrong.
As mentioned in a previous blog on our motorcycle covers, bikes are often made with numerous components that contain ferrous metals (those containing iron, and thus susceptible to the specific form of corrosion we all know as rust.) This includes the cast iron brake shoe liners and the steel camshafts, gears, sprockets, oil tanks, headlamp housing, exhaust valves, and mudguards.
While many of the visible metal parts on a motorcycle are likely lined with ceramic coating or other protective compounds, that’s not always true with interior workings. Beyond that, all it takes is a few stray pebbles to scratch and pock a metal surface, making that area especially vulnerable to corrosive damage.