You and your bike might be hibernating for the winter, but have you winterized your bike? Winterizing your bike can save you unpleasant surprises this spring.
There is no denying it is cold outside, which is probably impacting your riding, however, did you know that if you don’t prepare your bike for the winter it could lead to a dead battery or corrosion.
Preparing Your Bike for Storage
Wash and Wax: Did you know that bug splatter and water spots can permanently corrode your paint? Use automotive soap to thoroughly clean the surface of your bike and then dry it completely. A coat of wax can be applied to protect against moisture and rust. Spray WD-40 on exposed metal surfaces to stop corrosion from moisture.
Fuel and Fluids: A full tank of gas will prevent condensation. On your last ride of the season, add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer to your tank when filling up close to home. On the ride home, the fuel stabilizer will circulate through the fuel system before storage. If your bike is carbureted, follow your owner’s manual to drain the carbs. If your bike is water-cooled, you will want to make sure that you have enough antifreeze in your coolant system.
Oil and Lubricate: After you get home from your last ride, change your engine oil and oil filter while the oil is still warm. You will want to lubricate any moving parts to prevent rust from forming. Make sure to clean and dry your drive chain well before applying lubricant.
How to Store Your Bike
Elevate Tires: Keeping both tires off the ground relieves pressure from your suspension and tires. You might use the bike’s
Charge Your Battery: When batteries are left inactive they can self-discharge. You can use a battery tender to monitor the charge and keep it topped off without overcharging without removing it from the bike. You can also remove the battery from the bike for storage.
Block and Cover: Make sure air intake and exhaust pipes are covered to keep critters out (make sure to remove the plugs before starting the engine!). Cover your bike with a quality cover to protect from debris and moisture.