Motorcycle Left In Rain And Won’t Start? Here’s Why

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Motorcycles are weather-resistant. Modern bikes have electronic components that are sensitive to weather and this is particularly true. Despite the numerous provisions that are designed to protect against weather, components can still be damaged.

So was your motorcycle left in the rain and now won’t start? Why? The probable reason your motorcycle won’t start after being left in the rain is due to water getting into your carburetors causing watered down gas that can’t be ignited. Short circuits can also be caused by water getting into important electrical components like the ignition system.

Other than a wet seat, rain and other forms can cause unexpected problems. Extended exposure to the elements can cause even more problems. This article will discuss what to do to fix and clean up any damage. It will also cover how to avoid damage from weather, if a garage cannot be found.

How a Motorcycle Does Not Start When It Rains

If you left your motorcycle out and it got rained on and now it doesn’t start, you may be at a loss for what could be wrong. This is most likely a problem with the carb or electrical components. Water can be very damaging to these components.

When trying to get your motorcycle started after a storm, the first thing you need to check is whether any water has got into your carburetors. This is much more likely to occur if you use pod filters rather than an airbox.

If water is allowed to get inside the carbs, it can cause a disruption in the air-fuel mix and then mixes with the gas. A diluted gas will not ignite the engine and cause it to stop turning. Cleaning out the bowl at bottom of your carbs and cleaning the air filter is the best way to stop this. That should eliminate most of the problem water.

If you know water hasn’t gotten into the carbs or your motorcycle still won’t start, another likely culprit for why your bike won’t start after a rainstorm is water in the ignition system. Coils and/or switches are two areas that could cause problems. The coil windings will become shorter if water gets in the magneto or pickup coils. This will result in a no-spark condition that will make it difficult to start the motorcycle. It is important to replace any coil that has been shorted.

The small electrical contacts in the ignition switch are used to signal the on, run and start positions. If equipped, they also indicate the accessory position. The ignition switch may be acting up and it may be difficult to start the bike.

Although these problems may not be very common, it’s important to know what could go wrong. You should keep your motorcycle as dry as possible, and make sure to catch any problems early so you don’t get stuck. To spray trouble areas, keep some WD-40 on hand.

Is it a bad idea to let your motorcycle get wet?

Your bike will not be uncomfortable to ride on if it is wet or rained on. However, some damage may occur if you are exposed to excessive rain or weather.

Oxidation, also known as rust, is a common problem with excess moisture. Although most metals used in motorcycles react to oxygen, the metal is often covered or treated to prevent this reaction. You can use chrome, paint, or lubrication to protect your motorcycle. While it’s a good way to protect metal, it can also cause damage such as chipping and scratches. The metal beneath is exposed to oxygen when this happens.

If the oxidation is not treated, it will begin at the scratch or chip and spread underneath the paint or chrome. This can sometimes be called blistering or rust carcinoma. It can be very difficult to repair depending on how severe the rust spot is.

There are many components that can be damaged, including the frame, wheel rims and exhaust tips, shocks or springs, shocks and shocks, shocks and shocks, fenders and handlebars. In general, components close to ground are most susceptible to damage. They will, however, be more durable and will last for a longer time.

Chain is another component susceptible to rust. Since the chain sees a lot of movement, it’s difficult to keep the bare metal-covered. Any treatment will be lost due to friction between the links and the friction of sprockets against each other. It is also very close to the ground, where water and road grime can splash against it. It’s not uncommon for a chain to have rust on it even when taken care of.

Because of the dangers of oxidation, it’s important to remember that bike makers make bikes that are weather-resistant. The paint job is usually durable and other metals won’t easily rust. Exposed to too much light and not enough protection can pose a danger.

Oxidation can also impact the inside of a motorcycle’s mechanics. The oil can become less effective if water is allowed to get through the carburetor. Rust can also occur, which can compromise the parts’ stability.

Rain can also cause damage to your motorcycle’s electronics. Electronic gauges and displays such as a speedometer or speaker, can be affected by rain. These components can be damaged by water oxidation. These circuits use very little electricity so any oxidation can cause excessive resistance. These circuits can be costly to repair.

Electrical issues that are similar to the ignition system are also related to electronic problems. The corrosion of light bulbs can cause excessive resistance, burned lights, or poppedfuses. Read our other article here for more information about what can happen to a motorcycle if it gets wet.

How to Clean up a Motorcycle after a Rainstorm

Your motorcycle will likely have been drenched if it was left out in the rainstorm. Drying it off is easy. Letting it air dry isn’t bad, but if you are concerned about taking good care of it, there are other methods.

Watermarks can occur when air drying is done. These watermarks are caused when water evaporates and leaves minerals on surfaces. This won’t cause damage, but it does look bad and can be avoided by using other methods of drying.

To dry your bike, you can use towels. After a light rain, this can work well. Simply take some dry towels that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty and start wiping away the water. To get rid of all the water, you will need several towels.

A drawback to this method is the fact that towels aren’t 100% absorbent. Once it’s saturated, it becomes ineffective even if you wring it out. While having multiple towels is helpful, it can become a problem if you don’t have enough.

Compressed air is an option if you want something more intense. High-pressure air can not only move the water, but it also evaporates it. This allows for a more efficient drying process.

The blower works in a similar way to compressed air. A leaf blower, or another similar tool, pushes water off surfaces. High-pressure air can reach places that are difficult to reach in order to remove water.

These tools are required for using pressurized oxygen (a leaf blower or compressor). It isn’t practical to purchase the equipment just to dry off rain. It is possible to borrow the equipment from neighbors, if needed.

Finally, WD-40 can be used to help with any rusty activities. Fun fact: “WD” Water displacement stands for water movement. This means that water is displaced from the material by moving it. It is a good anti-oxidation agent. Spray any spots at risk of oxidation by keeping a spray can nearby.

How to Prevent Rain Damage

Covering your bike when it is not in use is the best way to protect it from rain damage. The best protection is to park your bike in a garage. It will be dry and warm enough to keep it from freezing. This will help it to start up in the mornings.

You can also park your car under a carport or lean-to. These structures have a roof, but not many walls around them. This means that they can be used as a shelter. These kinds of shelters protect against rain and some wind, depending on the number of walls, but won’t protect against temperature.

However, garages aren’t always available, leaving the motorcycle to be parked in a driveway or on the street. It is a smart idea to purchase a cover to protect your motorcycle from rain. You can buy covers online or at motorcycle gear shops. Some covers are made to fit particular models, while others are universal. has the Dowco All Weather Plus Cover.

When picking a cover, it’s worthwhile to spend a bit more on more durable and waterproof material.  Covers made from cheaper materials can be damaged and rendered useless. Covers should always be stored somewhere where they can be easily accessed. You can read our other article here for more information about motorcycle covers.


Motorcycles are generally rain resistant, but that doesn’t mean rainproof. Take care of your bike so that water won’t cause any corrosion on components, especially around the carburetors, ignition system, and any electronics. Get a good cover for your bike if you don’t have a garage to store it out of the weather. Dry your bike with towels and some pressurized water to prevent corrosion if it does get wet.

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