Preventing and/or Dealing with Aluminum Oxidation and Rust

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Newbie rider here. During the winter (and part of Fall and Spring) I live in wet/damp/humid/foggy conditions. My bike is stored in a carport with a cover over it. I didn't ride for about 3-4 weeks. During that time, it has rained quite a bit and when we had one of the few nice days we have during winter, I decided to take the bike out for a ride. When I pulled the cover off, I noticed aluminium oxidation around the carb, engine fins, even my gauges got a little foggy. And, because of how humid and cold it is, even though the bike was covered, it still had condensation on it. I don't really have much options on storage, and I thought under the carport under its own cover would provide best protection I had available. So, if this is something I'll just have to live with and deal with, what methods, techniques, products can I use/do to try to keep the oxidation (alum/iron/steel) to a minimum? I have a dirt ground. I have a multi-layer sheet of thick plastic sheeting on the ground, and I have a piece of plywood on top of that. The bike is parked on the plywood on its center stand, and is covered. I made sure to not let the bottom of the cover hit the ground, so underneath the bike, there is open space/air for ventilation. The cover is also vented. Not sure what else I can do. If this is something I'll just have to always keep polishing/rubbing out, I understand--but I would like to know from you guys what you do when you have flaky oxidation around engine/carb. Or, how you remove rust from the center stand, or a bolt on bottom that looks rusty. Wire brush? WD40? MMO? After cleaning it up, anything I should spray on the bike to protect it from happening again? I haven't done anything yet to try to remove it because I don't want to mess anything up. I do have the cover off the bike, mainly because I was thinking about going out for another ride today. Any help, insight, and/or wisdom would be most appreciated. On another note, I did my very first oil change on the bike yesterday! QSAD 10w40 with a hiflo filter was in the bike originally, and I took a sample to send to Blackstone, which I'll post when I get the results. The prev. owner changed it every 1k miles, and the oil was a nice light amber color--prob had around 100-500 miles on it, maybe? I decided to go with Shell T4 Rotella 15w-40 and a Wix filter, and the bike seems to run and shift a little more smoothly. I also got a jug of GTX 10w40 to try as well at some point.
 
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natas

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Originally Posted by BusyLittleShop
Extreme measures my friends go to protect their prized bikes from the elements...
You win.
 
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Worst Case, Ontario
You could get rid of the plywood or put something over it, as it acts like a sponge for humidity. Use a 2x or a concrete paver if you can. Use Tyvek house wrap instead of woven tarps or plastic sheets. I've been thinking about switching to house wrap to cover things outdoors for this exact reason. You need something that will release trapped humidity.
 
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Colorado, USA
100 to 500 miles on the oil and you changed it, and it didn't have more than 1,000 miles on an oil change in it's life so far. That is a premature disposal of oil. You'll get to try out that other oil you bought pretty quickly if you stay on that schedule. It would be expected for a 15w40 to feel better on shifting than a 10w40, glad it feels better to you. It is a good feeling to change the oil, however it was unnecessary. Absolutely makes the owner feel better and the oil company richer than it ever benefits the bike, lol. I run the oil in my ZRX 1200 5,000 miles plus or minus a few hundred depending when last major ride of the season falls. That new oil goes around 300-400 miles before the weather turns cold/snowy and the bike sits 3-5 weeks at a time between rides over the winter. That stays in the bike through the spring and summer until the 5,000 mile mark comes again. Not saying that's your cup of tea, however that short of an oil change is overdoing it by most anyone's advice around here. I could recommend pulling the cover off of it every few days and letting it dry out and putting something non-porous under the bike versus plywood will keep moist air from rising directly up under the cover and getting trapped. Don't know if there's any type of fogging spray you could coat the external surfaces with that would help with the moisture. But other than that you may just have to accept the oxidation as par for your course.
 
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Deep in the heart of Jersey
My bike is kept in a unheated detached garage . On the cement floor with just a light cover to keep garage dust off it. It will, during the course of the winter "sweat" during cold days, when a warm day pops up. Not much you can do about that besides add some form of constant heat. Being kept outside under a tarp, doesn't lend itself to any heat source. Keeping a coat of wax on it is about all you can do besides wiping off the moisture now and then. An old trick used to be keeping a 60 watt bulb lit under the bike to burn off dampness, but that would only work in a contained garage.,,,
 

natas

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Thank you you all for the suggestions. Yes the oil was changed prematurely because I really didn't know how can one truly "trust" that the oil was changed (or at under 1000 miles) when one bought the bike? It was all what the seller said. So far everything he had done was backed up by a shop I hired to do an inspection. So, for piece of mind, and winter storage, maintenance education (I've changed oil on cars countless times--but 1st time on a bike), etc., I decided I was just going to change it anyway. And to go with something other than QS. But well see how the UOA looks.
 

natas

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Originally Posted by Bonz
Those are all great explanations, thanks for entertaining my post. What bike is this? Really curious!
It's a Fisher Price. LOL It's a 2000 Kawasaki W650. I had some left over Marvel Mystery Oil laying around (tiny tiny bit) and went around the fins, carb, etc with a rag wrapped around a screwdriver, and it seemed to clean up those flakes nicely. The bolts I'll have to be a little more aggressively but it did clean those up a little. Should have taken before/after pics, oh well. I'll prob grab some wd40 or something and spray/wipe it down as well. I might put a small fan under the bike to keep moisture from forming. This might just be something I'll have to do every x often--welcome to the world of owning a bike..hahaha.
 
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natas

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Didn't have time to ride today, so put it back under carport and covered--but I put a small fan under the bike pointing upwards.Have it placed roughly at 2/3rds back of bike on the ground with the cover around it a little. The cover will <hopefully> help channel the airflow and hopefully keep condensation from forming. Cover is about 4/5ths around bike, with about 1/2 foot or so open air. Gonna rain tonight, so we'll see how everything fairs over next day or 2.
 
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477
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I learned a hard lesson in 1976 storing a new Z900 over winter and thinking putting it away clean was enough. It wasn't, for storage almost anything in the way of wax or oil sprayed on the alloy would have prevented corrosion. I now ride right through the winter and prepare the bike by spaying all metal parts with waxoyl or similar. You just have to keep the air and salt away from the bare metal surface. The waxoyl doesn't easily wash off and lasts the whole winter even if the bike does look scruffy. When it's cleaned off with white spirit in the spring the alloy comes up like new.
 
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South Carolina
Be careful about covering the bike, you do need air circulating which you know or else your electrical system will get laden with moisture. Here you go, problem solved, just copy and paste into any search engine the following- Quicksilver 802878Q55 Corrosion Guard Rust Inhibitor This product is amazing, wont harm paint if you get it on some, dries less then tacky to the touch. Truly amazing product. Also you dont have to worry about it catching on fire as its used to spray marine engines to prevent salt corrosion on EVERYTHING including electric connections. I would be willing to bet on a bike, one application would last a year or two and the can will last you a decade at that rate.
 
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4WD

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17,049
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Texas
Yeah … that air movement is a big deal. Used to keep a boat under a custom cover and helped some moisture problems with a tiny fan on slow speed.
 
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the canyons
Originally Posted by BusyLittleShop
Extreme measures my friends go to protect their prized bikes from the elements... [Linked Image]
I just want to know how they go about getting it down to ride. Or is it just a static art display at this point, which would be a shame, IMO. I have a bike in my home office. But I can just take it off the rear stand, and push it down the hall, on the way to the garage.
 
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Ca USA
My friend not only owns the RC30 in this motif display but also an RC45... so he alternates between riding one and displaying one thanks to double wide doors and a forklift...
 
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3,298
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West Michigan
Originally Posted by Donald
WIpe it before storage with one of many products. Boeshield?
Boeshield works as does many others. My go-to is a rag soaked with fluid film. I can either wipe it on heavy to leave a wet finish for HD protection or you can buff it to leave a thin layer. Works extremely well for me and I have used it on bicycles, motorcycles, stanchions, tools, knives, firearms, etc. To date it is my preferred protection for exposed metal in storage.
 
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