As winter arrives, most of us bikers feel like an offseason with the cold wind outside making it difficult to ride and when the snow falls its finally the time to store the bike for the next spring. But if you are just thinking about storing your bike by putting a cover on it you are in for quite a trouble the next spring. This statement is for the people who are unaware that there is a proper process to follow in order to winterize a motorcycle otherwise you would have to spend quite a lot of money replacing various parts like batteries and carburetors.
How to Start?
You need to put in a proper plan in order to winterize a motorcycle. We would try to explain the whole process step by step so you can easily understand. In order to make a proper plan, you need to know for how many months you are storing your ride, particular parts that could get rusty in such a while, and do you have a place where there isn’t much moisture in the air. If you’ve got all of these things straightened out you can start following the process.
Washing the Bike and Changing Lubricants
You may find it quite boring to wash your bike before it is going into storage for a long while but the dirt, bug guts, and water spots need to be washed out as in the coming months even one of such bugs or spots could become the agent of corrosion in the finish. Dry the bike completely and place a coat of wax to provide extra protection against moisture. Change the oil and filter to provide fresh oil to the engine while the bike waits for you to ride on it again after several months. You can even coat the bike with oil to enhance the protection against rust and moisture as 4 to 6 months is quite a long time period.
Keep a Check on the Bike
One of the worst mistakes bikers makes when they winterize a motorcycle is to just keep it locked in a place until spring arrives. It is necessary to keep on checking your ride and regularly lube the moving parts. Double check the chain drive, cables, controls, fork surfaces, and the pivot points to prevent any kind of rusting and binding that could create a problem for you the next time you start your ride.
Fill Your Gas Tank
There is a chance of the rusting of gas tanks when the bike isn’t in use so before storing the bike do visit a fuel station and get the gas tank filled completely. Add the fuel stabilizer too before closing the gas tank. The fuel will keep off the rust from building on the tank walls while the stabilizer will get completely mixed with the fuel and provide your motorcycle a nice overhaul effect while your ride home.
Keep the Batteries Charged
One of the parts of your motorcycle that requires your special attention while you winterize a motorcycle is the batteries as they tend to discharge on their own while not being in use. Using a battery tender is a great way to keep the batteries in check as it is easily available on various shops as well as online. The battery tender keeps you updated regarding the charge in the batteries with its smart technology. It is ideal to pull off the batteries and connect them to the battery tender but you can also connect it to the batteries while they are plugged in.
Protect the Leather Parts
Try to protect the leather parts of your bike by using a leather protectant which can be purchased from a general store. The leather protectant will keep your seat and other leather parts in useable condition even after you take out your bike from the storage after 4 to 6 months.
Cover the Bike
If you are storing your bike even in a garage you need to purchase a proper motorcycle cover and use it to prevent any kind of damage to your ride. If you live in an area where the temperature gets below the freezing point in winters you should also make sure that you’ve got proper anti-freeze mechanism in place in your coolant system. Because if the water in your coolant system freezes you could be looking at a big expenditure coming spring.
We have tried to provide you all the necessary details in order to winterize a motorcycle properly and once you have gone through all these steps. You can also make use of winters by upgrading or customizing your bike when you aren’t riding it to get a totally new ride vibe once the winter is over. One last thing it would be quite useful if you can keep the tires off the ground as it would cancel out the chances of them getting flat or any moisture seeping into them. We hope these tips would be definitely useful for them and you can update us in the comments section about your experience.