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Salt, rust, and four-letter words

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From Evernote:

Salt, rust, and four-letter words

The angst I feel for oxidation abounds. My motorbike, nearly a year in Florida, looks blotchy with a rash of iron-oxide. Its skinned knees are a bloody brown, its underbody a mix of gray and the signs of metallic decay. I can’t bear to look at the result of my neglect without strong curses to my thoughtlessness. This lesson is a more a setback to my ego than anything else, though the financial toll is in the hundreds.

Dismantling the bike for a scheduled 36-thousand mile service uncovers new problems. A hex-cap screw twists off inside a brake caliper. A pile of rusty dust follows the threads out of one handlebar brush guard. Flakes of black paint on the pannier racks chip away with the brush of my hand. Everywhere I look, steel that was once gray is now red. The black parts are brown. Earth-tone flower shapes sprawl across the shiny silver of the tailpipe.
I could cry.
These fasteners from the Touratech Zega Top Case are rusted.
Rust penetrated the paint of the Touratech Zega Pannier mounting system and rusted through to the fasteners.
The hardware on these Rox bar risers is not corrosion resistant. Rust is inevitable.
The 1-inch fender washers that ship with the Best-Rest Products Peg-Packer system are zinc and will absolutely rust.
This pile of steel includes the SW-MOTECH upper and lower crash bars, the BMW side and center stands, the BMW foot pegs, and the Touratech pannier and top case mounting brackets. All are rusted.
So far, all of this is repairable with elbow grease and paint. The biggest blow is to the stainless final drive axle — now pitted with a substantial amount of rust.

Brian

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