Can Rain Damage My Motorcycle?

Fed up with the rain? Your motorbike will be, too, if you make these mistakes.

Although motorcycles are built to withstand rain and are generally fine during a rainstorm, special attention needs to be paid to your bike’s well-being if it is old and the rain is particularly heavy.


Build-quality plays a role, too. A cheaper, more entry-level bike will suffer more when left in the elements than a more durable, expensive bike.

However, if your motorcycle is subject to prolonged neglect in extreme weather, it will deteriorate regardless of its build-quality.

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    What Damage Can Rain Do to My Bike?

    The two main areas of your motorcycle that can be affected by rain are your electrical system and the air filter.

    These two components are essential to the performance of your motorbike, and special care needs to be implemented to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.
    It’s natural to worry about water when riding on a wet day.

    After all, motorcycles are complicated machines that are capable of enormous power and speed, and wet conditions can greatly alter a rider’s driving experience.
    However, bikes are designed to perform in all types of different weather and a little rainwater will not make a difference to the bike’s overall health.

    But, long-term neglect in rainy weather can gradually wear your bike down – putting you, as well as other road users, in danger.

    Rain Can Impair Your Motorcycle's Electrical System

    Constant exposure to rain can cause your motorcycle’s electrical system to short-circuit and fail.

    As the rainwater seeps in and penetrates your bike’s infrastructure, long-lasting and systematic damage can occur.
    Everything from your bike’s suspension, braking system, and switchgear systems can become dangerously hampered by long-term rain exposure.

    Although the damage may not be apparent overnight, it will begin to become apparent as time goes on.

    A motorcycle with a damaged electrical system is a ticking time-bomb and can put you, as well as other road users, in serious danger.

    It is vital that you give your bike sufficient coverage and shelter during inclement weather to help ensure your safety over time.

    Can Rain Damage My Motorcycle's Air Filter?

    Again, this depends on both the age of your motorcycle and how much rain exposure it is getting.

    Although light-to-moderate rain (such as riding on a wet day) won’t damage your bike’s air filter and will not affect the performance of your bike whatsoever, constant exposure to it can impair your bike’s performance and endanger you on the road.

    However, it’s important to remember that such filters are designed to accommodate moisture as well as other natural elements such as sleet, sand, and ice.

    Generally, these filters won’t be affected by the elements unless the damage is prolonged and severe.

    Your vehicle can stall and long-term build-up can cause your bike to fail completely.

    If you’re worried about your air filter getting damaged by heavy rainfall, try to ensure that your bike has sufficient shelter during a storm.

    Chain lubrication can is another potential danger that rain exposure can produce. Not only will this make it difficult to ride and affect your braking, but it will also endanger other road users, especially when you’re traveling at speed.

    Is Driving in the Rain Bad for My Motorcycle?

    Driving in the rain isn’t too much of a concern.

    Motorbikes (even vintage ones) are built to last during the heaviest of rainstorms, and the infrastructure of your motorbike won’t get infiltrated by a short, temporary ride in the rain.

    Of course, driving in the rain does come with its inherent problems (such as an increased risk of skidding and sliding), so make sure that you’re driving as safely as you possibly can be.

    It is important to ensure your vehicle is drained and dried sufficiently after your ride.

    This will remove any excess water and make your bike suitable for future use.

    Is Parking in the Rain Bad For My Bike?

    Whilst motorbikes are designed to be driven in the rain, they’re not designed to be left in the rain indefinitely.
    How much damage your bike endures when parked completely depends on how long it is left there.

    Parking in the rain for a few minutes will not cause any damage but leaving it in the rain for a long period of time will cause the aforementioned problems after a while.

    If you have no choice but to park in a rainy setting, make sure your bike is covered adequately and protected against the unforgiving elements.

    How To Protect Your Motorcycle During a Rainstorm

    The most obvious purchase you can make in this situation is to buy a waterproof motorbike cover.

    Although these covers do not offer 100% protection, they still protect your bike’s internals significantly.
    Motorcycle covers are not expensive and are perfect for when you’re parked outside on a rainy day.

    Many waterproof covers have anti-theft features, too, giving you peace of mind when parked.

    The other obvious place to store your bike is a garage.

    They offer 100% protection from the rain and are considerably safer than a mere waterproof cover.
    They do, however, present their own share of problems. Garages can still be moist, humid environments that are perfect breeding grounds for rust and other damaging elements.

    Furthermore, rain can still seep into garages and run-down your motorcycle.

    Water and Motorcycle My Thoughts

    Rain can only be a menace to your motorcycle if you allow it to be.

    Moderate rain exposure and the occasional wet ride won’t cause any significant damage to your motorcycle, but high levels of neglect in torrid weather can, and will, run down your motorbike’s internals and significantly alter its performance for the worse.

    In order to ensure that your bike is as healthy as it can be over the years, make sure it has adequate shelter in the form of either a waterproof cover or a garage.

    However, it’s still important to remember that neither of these solutions is perfect and that it is impossible to keep a motorbike completely free of rainwater all the time.