I am not a fanatical cleaner and polisher of bikes, I like them looking good but I also like riding them in the wet - bonkers I hear you say - not at all, it makes you a better rider and it tones your butt muscles!! Because of this I considered it prudent to try and give a helping hand to the shiny bits.
Metals such as steel and aluminium are inherently unstable and will corrode or oxidise over time in the presence of air and water. Add a dollop of road salt to the equation and you have yourself an electrolyte which, as the name suggests, is electrically conductive. This results in the formation of rust on steel or aluminium oxide, the grey powdery coating which we work so hard to polish off. So I purchased a can of ACF-50, the much lauded anti corrosion treatment originally produced for the aircraft industry by Canadian firm Lear Chemical Research, recommended by The Two Wheel Centre in Mansfield Woodhouse. Now it’s over 35 years since my Chemistry GCE but having read the techno blurb on the packaging, my understanding is it works by neutralising the electrical charge present by emulsifying the electrolyte. This prevents further corrosion on rusty or oxidised parts and stops the onset of corrosion on new parts, a bold claim but one which is backed up by plenty of testimonials on the web.
Application is either by spray directly onto the component or by cloth moistened in the fluid. My recommendation is a combination of both. As the manufacturer states on the bottle, the fluid disperses over quite large area so it is easy to be over enthusiastic. A word of warning, keep it well away from brake discs, tyres, footrest rubbers and handlebar grips as ACF-50 is also a pretty effective lubricant. I also recommend that you do the initial application over a weekend, first clean and dry the bike as normal then place plastic food bags on the footrests and handlebar grips.
Can in hand, carefully apply the fluid to all bolts, nuts, chrome plated parts, rear shocks, swinging arm, brake callipers, switchgear and underside of the bike. Leave overnight to allow the ACF-50 to creep into all the nooks and crannies. The following day wipe all the treated areas with the application cloth used previously to remove any excess and spread it further by wiping over the frame, fork legs, wheel rims and spokes. The only areas I didn’t apply it to were the tank, nose fairing and seat hump as these are waxed on a weekly basis.
If, like me, you prefer dry film or wax chain lubes which are great at reducing oil fling on to your shiny rear wheel due to their lack of oil based lubricants they can result in light rusting of the chain following a wet ride or two. My method is simple, grip the drive chain with a cloth moistened with ACF 50 and rotate the rear wheel which gives an even coating to the side plates and rollers. Apply your dry film chain lube immediately after and the chain will be rust resistant for a couple of months worth of wet riding
Be warned, when you crack up the motor for the first time following an application you will be greeted by copious amounts of white smoke billowing off any components which are subject to high heat! Spectacular but harmless. Only time will tell how good the product is.
Three months down the line and no sign of corrosion despite riding through the winter and all the torrential rain of late, not forgetting my penchant for power washing the bike at fortnightly intervals, sooner if needs be. I am a true believer in this product and would recommend it for use on any bike whether you ride in the wet on a regular basis or not.
Posted by: Blind Boy in Products ( Hosted on Hinckley Triumph)