If you live in a humid climate you already know the struggle of riding on a hot day. The sweltering heat, the thick air, it’s not the most pleasant experience, but are you keeping your bike protected from the humidity when you’re off the bike?
First a little background; engines are greatly affected by the air they intake, and it follows that heavier, humid air has a big effect. In more humid environments the bike will run hotter as a result of the retarded cooling effect caused by the engine coolant. Once the engine gets too hot, it produces less power, forcing it to work harder. So it’s not just you having a bad time because of the heat!
If you’re using a bike cover, it’s important to have one with good ventilation. Humidity can cause condensation if the bike is cooler than the outside temperature. If the cover doesn’t have good ventilation it creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to build up on your bike; moisture, and humidity. This also applies if you’ve been out in the rain. You want to keep any excess moisture off of the bike, and make sure that wherever it’s stored it can breathe. A cotton dust cover is your best bet to combat humidity.
Besides proper storage, there are a few other steps to keep in mind when performing your standard maintenance. Always make sure that your bike is dry and free of moisture when working on it, and while stored. After washing and drying your bike, a good way to keep all of the gears running properly, especially the chrome and aluminum ones, is to give them a light spray of WD-40 or other lubricant. It helps to prevent moisture from building up as well, which is always a plus. Another major way to keep everything in top shape is to wax your bike. Just like with cars, it’s important to keep a new coat of wax on your bike at least once a year. This helps to prevent the paint from being damaged by moisture and humidity. The easiest method though, if you’re keeping it stored in a garage, is to install a dehumidifier. It creates an optimal environment which makes it harder for your bike to succumb to the elements.