As I am just about the enter the Harley Davidson world for the first time, I am slightly nervous about the rusting experiences of others from the past.
If you live and ride in a dry atmosphere then it isn’t an issue, but put Harleys on wet wintery roads with salt to bite its way into the paintwork like we have here in the UK, and it’s a whole different story.
Harley has a bad reputation for many years but improvements in their production process and increased knowledge y owners and better advice from dealers…and the problem can be dramatically reduced.
One of the first things to do is wash the bike regularly. It doesn’t have to be with fancy shampoo either.
You can pressure wash them but try not to get the jet too close but once dry, a quick wipe over with a chamois should help matters too.
A regular basic polish will also help tremendously too but again there’s no need for ultra expensive auto polish. Just use some furniture polish and that’ll do the trick for weekly post wash action.
Luckily at my Harley dealer they have a dedicated wash bay and detailing service for all of their bikes. They are a friendly job too, so if you need any advice, just go ask the blokes who wash bikes regularly and what equipment and chemicals they use too.
Another service you may wish to consider is getting a ceramic coating treatment over the bike and the dealer can do that or they can arrange for a higher spec treatment to be done too which should protect the bike for about 3yrs.
When autumn arrives and before the cold weather sets in, regardless of prior treatments, you should invest in large cans of WD40 and ACF-50 which are really good coating a and moisture repellents too.
Spray the bike liberally and get into all of theirs nooks and crannies and keep it on there over winter too.
Anytime you wash the bike during the autumn to spring, let it dry then reapply the ACF-50 and or WD40 for total protection…or as best as possible, just keep it off the brake discs/rotors.
Many might consider this to be a big headache but it really isn’t. You just have to be mindful of the conditions that will eat into your bike…and this applies to all bikes too.
Of course you may choose never to ride in the wet or winter, and that’s absolutely fine too but regardless…if you are able to store your bike out of the elements in the dry garage, the. That will be all the better too.