10 Tips For Storing Your Motorcycle In The Winter
Winter will soon be upon us and that means the riding season will be put on hold, so what should you do to protect your motorcycle while it’s in not being ridden?
10 Steps To Prepare Your Motorcycle For Winter Storage
- Location Location Location: Choose your storage location wisely, as you want to ensure that your bike is well protected, safe, and secure. Obviously, indoor, heated, and locked up is the best way to go but not everyone has these options available. And remember, your bike is still at risk, including theft, vandalism and fire, and is not covered by home insurance even if it is parked in your garage, so keep your motorcycle insurance coverage going all year long.
- Bath Time: Take your bike out for one last ride and pop in to the car wash and give it a good cleaning. No sense having your bike sit all Winter long covered in dirt and grime and besides, who wants to start out the riding season in Spring with a filthy bike?
- Fuel Stabilizer: While you’re out for that last ride and washing your bike, stop in to the gas station and fill up your tank after you pour in your container of fuel stabilizer. The ride back home or to your storage location will allow the stabilizer time to mix in and get pumped through your fuel lines.
- Weight Off: If you can take the weight off your wheels it’s easier on the tires, especially if your storage location isn’t heated. Of course, this requires a motorcycle stand and may not be a viable option. If the bike has to stay on the ground, max out the p.s.i on the tires and park on a piece of carpet to keep the tires from getting moisture laden, and roll the bike forward or backward a little every so often to switch up the contact points on the ground.
- Lubricate: Once your bike is settled in spot, lubricate all moving parts to help avoid moisture buildup on the internal components. Cables, controls and the chain should be focus points.
- Oil Change: Drain the oil, install a new filter, and refill with a Winter weight oil. Also, if you have a water cooled bike, check to insure your antifreeze level is adequate
- Remove The Battery: This is a critical step if your storage location isn’t heated, as you don’t want your battery to freeze. Though it’s less of an issue if your bike is in heated storage, it’s not a bad idea to take the battery out or disconnect it, to avoid possible drain. Just remember that you’ll need to reinstall and/or reconnect the battery and attach a trickle charger in early Spring so that you’re ready to roll when the snow clears. If it’s an option, take the battery out and attach it to a trickle charger for the entire storage season so it’s always maintained.
- Stuffing: If your storage location has the potential for visitors of the rodent kind, best to stuff your mufflers and air intake with some sort of plug, even if it’s plastic bags. And speaking of stuffing, you might want to remove your seat and keep it in the house, just to avoid any critter nibbling the leather or removing the padding for their nest.
- Wax On: Give your bike a final wipe down and then give it a coat of wax. A little protective spray of something like WD-40 on exposed metal parts won’t hurt either.
- Cover Up: Even when kept inside a heated garage or storage unit, a good quality cover will add another layer of protection. Look for a cover that will breathe and help avoid condensation build-up, and that has a soft, abrasion resistant liner to avoid scratching your paint.
Protecting your bike while it’s stored away for the Winter will not only give you some piece of mind but also enable you to easily have it primed and ready to go when the riding season resumes in the Spring!
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