With temperatures dropping in most states, the riding season is coming to a close for many riders out there. This time of the year is when many dealerships or community moto garages start to open up space to house lots of bikes during the coldest months. This is a great option for those who don't have a garage, the only drawback is that it can get pretty pricey! Most of what is done in these locations can be done by almost any rider. Let's get into the 7 tips for winterizing your motorcycle.
07. WASH THE BIKE
This seems like something that can be easily skipped. While that is true, it does help to give your bike a nice rinse and wash before you throw the cover over it for several months. Removing the dirt and grime from the last season will help keep things shiny and ready to go the next season. A pro tip is to wax the bike after you wash it. This will keep surfaces like metal or chrome well kept and protected during the off season.
06. CLEAN & LUBE THE CHAIN
Seeing that you've already drenched the bike in soap and water from the previous tip, cleaning and lubing the chain should be next. A motorcycle's chain should always be cleaned and lubed frequently to keep the drive train working smoothly. This is even more important if you're about to let it sit untouched for several months.
05. FILL & TREAT THE GAS TANK
Most motorcycles on the streets today are fuel injected. Those who have bikes with carbs can simply drain the tank and the carbs to keep the tank from getting all gummy from sitting still over time. This is not so easy to do for FI bikes. The best thing to do is to actually fill the tank up and then drop in a fuel stabilizing substance in it. Be sure to run your bike for some time until the treated fuel runs through the system for it to work properly.
04. CHARGE THE BATTERY
A bike's battery can loose charge pretty quickly if not tended too. During the winter months if you have the bike stored - it's always best to attach a trickle charger to it. This keeps the battery healthy and charged at the proper amounts while it is not in use. If your bike is somewhere that has no power for you to attach a trickle charger to it, the next best thing is to remove it from the bike and take it inside so that it can get a good charge.
03. CHANGE THE OIL
If your motorcycle is getting ready to spend the off season under wraps, it's always a good idea to change the old oil. Dirty oil can become corrosive and cause damage to the engine in the long run. Changing the oil will keep the engine fresh and good to go when it comes to starting up the bike next season!
02. CHECK THE TIRE PRESSURE
A side from all of the above, another thing to do is to keep an eye on your tires and tire pressure. Be sure to check the pressure frequently and look for things like dry rot over time.
01. COVER THE BIKE
Now that you've done all of the above, it's time for the last and easiest step...put a cover over your bike. A cover seems like a simple thing but they do a lot more than just do as their name suggests. Motorcycle covers protect your bike from the elements and dust. No one wants to come back to a dusty or weathered bike from winter break so cover them up!
The honest truth is that if you just leave your bike to sit there with no prep all winter long...next season may start off not so well for you. It's important to make sure that you prep it as much as possible to keep your vehicle fully functioning once the riding season is back on. I hope this article helps you in your winter storage journey!