Let’s be honest – fall is here and the weather is getting colder, but that’s not going to stop us from riding our motorcycles. However, winter is on its way and it’s important to prepare our motorcycles for what lies ahead.
We’re not trying to rain on your fall motorcycle ride parade, but winter is coming soon. Here we provide tips on fall motorcycle maintenance so that you are prepared for the inevitable – storing your motorcycle for the winter.
#1 Give Your Motorcycle a Good CleanFind a quiet day over a fall weekend to really give your motorcycle a good clean because chances are, it’s covered in dust, dirt and bugs from all your rides. If you don’t clean your motorcycle before you store it, it will settle during the winter and make cleaning it during the spring an even bigger nightmare.
#2 Is the Gas Tank Half Empty or Half Full?Actually, your motorcycle's gas tank should be full! We suggest not draining your motorcycle’s gas tank because an empty tank allows condensation to form during the cold winter months. You can add a fuel stabilizer to a full tank to help keep the gas from going stale while in storage.
#3 Oil Change Time
Before you park your motorcycle for the winter, you should change the engine oil because used oil has contaminants in it that can adhere to parts of the engine. Once you change the oil, you shouldn’t run the engine for a long period of time as the oil could become contaminated again. However, you can start up your motorcycle periodically during the winter months to help lubricate the engine.
#4 Don’t Neglect Your Tires
It’s best to elevate your motorcycle’s tires with front and rear stands while it’s in storage to avoid creating flat spots. If you don’t have motorcycle stands or you don’t want to invest in them, move your bike around so it’s not sitting on the same part of the tires all winter long.
#5 Lube the Chain
If your motorcycle has a chain, make sure you lubricate it before it sits all winter. You’ll also want to lube other parts of the bike that are prone to rust and corrosion such as cable, bolts and switches.