Will Your Motorcycle Rust In The Rain? (Explained!)

Motorcycle in Rain

You have left your motorcycle out in the rain. Or you are just plain hesitant to ride your motorcycle out there in the rain.

Or, you are living in an area where it rains heavily for a good part of the year. And the problem you are afraid of is whether your motorcycle will rust because of the rain.

Will a motorcycle rust in the rain?

Small and minor exposure to rain will not damage your motorcycle since motorcycles are designed to be resistant to water in general.

However, a long and continuous exposure of rain and water particles to the motorcycle components will slowly rust the metallic covers in your motorcycle.

One can use a bike cover to cover their motorcycle in order to reduce the exposure of rain to their motorcycles.

Are Motorcycles Designed To Be Resistant For Rain?

Yes.

Motorcycles are designed and manufactured to be ridden in rains.

The resistance of the motorcycle accounts for the water it can be exposed to. This includes not just rain, but also for dew, humidity, moisture and even the water you use for washing your motorcycle.

The surface of the bike which will be exposed to rain is either coated to resist oxidization or painted like the engine tank wherein the paint will prevent the rusting.

So, the first thing to keep in mind is that our motorcycles are designed to be resistant to water in general and will not rust for some minor exposure to the water be it in the form of rain, snow, humidity etc.

Does Water Rusts Your Motorcycle Components?

Wait, we just discussed that motorcycles are designed to be resistant to water. Why are we going with this again?

Well, here is the concern. While motorcycles are designed to resist the oxidization due to water, a long and continuous exposure of water particles to the motorcycle components is going to have its effects.

Your motorcycle which is exposed to the outside atmosphere will be made up of either of the two materials:

i) Leather or Plastic/HDPE materials; or

ii) Metal.

Furthermore, the metals can be varied and include some of these depending on the make of your motorcycle:

  • Aluminium alloys
  • Mild Steel
  • Chrome Plated Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium
Motorcycle wet due to rain

However, the important thing of note here is that all these metallic components are susceptible to rust and corrosion when exposed to water.

While the coating and paint might prevent or delay the corrosion process for some period, a long duration of water exposure to your motorcycle is not a good thing to have and eventually your motorcycle components will start rusting.

Long Term Exposure Effects Of Rain On Motorcycles

Just to be clear, if your motorcycle is exposed to rain for a day or two, there is absolutely no reason to worry about rusting of your motorcycle. Small and minor exposure of rain or water for that matter is not a concern for your motorcycle health.

However, if the motorcycle is wet due to rain or any other causes for a long duration, say it rains daily for two-three months and you motorcycle is out there exposed all the days, then it is an issue.

Long term exposure to water will make the metallic components in your motorcycle to start oxidizing which will result in rust on the surface.

So, try to avoid long term exposure of water or rain to your motorcycle as much as possible.

This includes washing your motorcycle with too much of water daily, leaving your motorcycle outside to get drenched in the rain for months, etc.

Steps To Prevent Motorcycle Rusting Due To Rain

Now that we know that rain can cause motorcycle rust if exposed for long tenure, here are the steps you can take to prevent such rusting process.

  1. Use a Motorcycle Cover
  2. Lubricate the Chain
  3. Clean the bike regularly

#1 Use A Motorcycle Cover

The simplest solution of them all. Whenever you are leaving your motorcycle out in the open, specially at nights – use a bike cover to cover the motorcycle. This will drastically reduce the amount of rain hitting your motorcycle.

Although, while riding, your motorcycle will still be subjected to rain, the long-term exposure is far reduced with a bike cover since we are protecting the bike when at rest.

Using a motorcycle cover will not just help you protect the bike from rain but also from the sunlight.

Heavy exposure to sunlight will also have its effects on motorcycles. The Ultraviolet rays will damage the paint and also the rubber and plastic components of your motorcycle.

So, investing in a bike cover is well worth it.

#2 Lubricate The Chain

If your motorcycle is exposed to rain specially when you were riding, the most sensitive part susceptible to rusting is the motorcycle chain.

This is because while riding, its not just the rain but muddy particles will also get entangled in the chain and sprockets.

If your motorcycle chain is dry, then the chain can rust within a week or two if left unchecked.

That’s why it is important to keep the chain lubricated specially during monsoon or rainy seasons.

#3 Clean The Motorcycle Regularly

This might actually sound strange because we are asking you to clean the motorcycle with water to remove the effects of rainy water.

But here is the thing. When it rains, it is not just rainy water that is stuck on your motorcycle, there is mud and dirt that comes along with the rain that is sticking on your motorcycle.

Add to it the aesthetic mess of dried rain drops on the surface that looks really bad.

What these muddy particles do is they speed up the rusting process on the components since they have water trapped with them. This is specifically damaging to your motorcycle chain and sprockets.

To avoid these circumstances, just clean your motorcycle regularly whenever there have been frequent rains and your motorcycle has been exposed to the rain.

It never hurts to keep your motorcycle clean.

Summing Up

  • Motorcycles are designed to be resistant to water in general and will not rust for some minor exposure to the water be it in the form of rain, snow, humidity etc.
  • However, while motorcycles are designed to resist the oxidization due to water, a long and continuous exposure of water particles to the motorcycle components is going to have its effects.
  • Eventually, water rusts your motorcycle components that have metallic covers.
  • Long term exposure to water will make the metallic components in your motorcycle to start oxidising which will result in rust on the surface.
  • Steps to Prevent Motorcycle Rusting due to Rain:
    1. Use a Motorcycle Cover
    2. Lubricate the Chain
    3. Clean the bike regularly
  • If your motorcycle is exposed to rain for a day or two, there is absolutely no reason to worry about rusting of your motorcycle. Small and minor exposure of rain or water for that matter is not a concern for your motorcycle health. Only the long-term exposure needs precautions.

What’s your favorite rain incident with your motorcycle? Comment below.