There are lots of on-line guides and blog entries dedicated to beating corrosion on your bike over winter and an assortment of chemicals to help do the job. But whatever methods and chemicals you personally prefer, the most important thing that makes the biggest difference is still regular washing. Do as much as you can to remove dust and dirt from your bike, even if it’s just a quick hose-down with cold water after a ride, anything is better than leaving it. This is your starting point, the bare minimum that needs to be done. After that, anything else you do will be a bonus.
Corrosion blockers, of which there are many, offer a great deal of help. However they are not all the same and their various performances range from ineffectual to outstanding, depending for the most part on how they are used. Although many of them are oil-based, it’s not the oil that does the work. The additives in them are the dedicated corrosion-blockers, not the oil itself. Consequently, old engine oil is not a useful corrosion blocker, nor is WD40, 3in1, chain lube or anything else like that.
In almost ten years of exclusively valeting motorcycles, specialising in corrosion prevention, I have only found three dedicated corrosion blockers that deliver what they promise;
XCP Rust Blocker;
the newest and arguably the most effective. Thick and sticky, great for large areas and flatish surfaces where it can form a broad, even, protective layer. Best applied very lightly with a compressor and spray gun.
the one that everyone’s heard of. Thinner than Rust Blocker, ideal for fiddly, convoluted and deeply recessed areas where it’s runnier nature allows it to spread over difficult-to-access surfaces and creep into tiny gaps. Best applied lightly with a compressor or spray gun again, but can be used from the aerosol can with the straw to get into difficult-to-access areas such as deeply recessed bolt holes.
A word of warning! These two go like jam if you put too much on and will hold every bit of dirt and grit that gets into them against your bike, look nasty and be extremely difficult to remove. Little and often is the way to go, re-apply lightly after thoroughly washing and drying your bike, wiping each fresh application down with a microfibre to remove any excess. If it looks greasy, you have too much on. You’ll gain no extra protection from using too much, you’ll just make a mess and waste money. Also, never ever get these on your tyres or brakes!
The one that nobody believes in. Being water-based, the behavior of this is very different to the other two. So easy to apply from its trigger-spray bottle, spray it all over your bike, then walk off and leave it. This differs from the other two mostly in that it needs to be re-used every single time the bike has got wet. It’s water soluble, so comes off with water, including rain. However, use it correctly and it does an amazing job at keeping your bike clean as all the dirt that sticks to it washes away as it comes off.
My professional advice for maximum protection is to use a combination of the above as a belt-and-braces approach. Have a corrosion-prevention valet done by a pro, then use FS365 yourself over the top.
Remember, it’s not just the winter road-salt that will corrode your bike. Salt is present everywhere, in all the road-side dust and dirt, all year round. Our prevailing westerly winds come in off the Atlantic ocean, carrying millions of tonnes of rain each year, all of it starting out as salty sea-water.”