I tore down my '97 KRS 2 or 3 years ago after 36K miles and saw some bad things caused by salt corrosion.
BMW silver paint is extremely hard, thick and very difficult to remove, so don't think you can just get those parts re-sprayed - it is paint for life. However, if you get a 'ding' on the paint (stone chip), the salt gets in and you will start to get a white blister which is aluminium oxide from the salt reaction. If left, the blister gets bigger and the ali gets eaten away. Many vehicle manufactures use average to poor grade ali castings and rely on the paint coat to cover up porosity, once the paint surface gets damaged the problems start.
There are some particularly sensitive areas you need to look at and take care of:
1. Around the stand mountings and under the gearbox. The stand bolts go through part hollow part tube castings on the gearbox underside. Obviously serious corrosion there has bad potential and could mean a new gearbox.
2. The stands can sieze up if they aren't kept greased. I've not found you can do this on the bike, so every couple of years I've taken the stands off and dismantled the pivots to grease the bushes.
3. Up around the started and alternator. That's a difficult area to see, but it seems to be where corrosion can start.
4. Underneath around the clutch bell housing.
5. Wheels if the paint surface is broken from stone chips.
6. Most of the exposed BMW steel hex bolts will eventually get their thin ali coat eaten away and go rusty making the bike look a mess. I replaced mine with stainless steel. I like stainless steel for UK salty roads.
I did have to strip paint off a gearbox and swingarm to get re-painted, but it was no easy job.
When I got the whole bike back together with new silver paint I went out and bought a tin of Waxoyl, put it thinned in my paraffin blow gun and went around underneath and in orifices. Waxoyl does add a dull finish to paint like a new car that hasn't been prep'd, but mostly isn't seen. Every couple of years I lay on another coat of Waxoyl.
WD 40 is too thin in my opinion and doen't stick for long. It can actually wash away heavier greases in pivots etc.
In Winter my bike is parked up next to the hose and after even short runs I will hose underneath particularly around the stand, swingarm and the wheels. I've also seen some salt attack around the front spring mounts and steering parts too.
If you haven't got one already, fit a rear 'hugger' it stops road muck getting on the rear shock.
I HATE salt on roads
But I love stainless steel
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