Winterizing your bike is an essential process to maintaining your bike and ensuring it'll be ready for spring! Follow these quick and simple steps to help prepare your bike as you store it away for the winter.
As winter slowly begins to creep up on us here on the borderland, most of us will have to start thinking of how to safely store our motorcycles for the weather that lies ahead. A lot of us will not have access to temperature-controlled storage units where our babies can sit until temperatures start to rise again. Follow these steps on how to winterize your motorcycle whether you’re storing it in a shed, garage, or outstide in a driveway.
Clean all exterior surfaces of dirt and debris.
- This first one may seen like kind of a given, but we cannot simply emphasize this step enough. As you prepare for the winter, it is important to go ahead and ensure that all debris and dirt found on the bike is removed. It is better to do it now, than have it sit for couple months, freeze, and then attempt to remove it. Imagine trying to remove frozen bug carcasses that were there during your last outing in the fall? Don't let the stuff season through on your bike, remove it now and rest easy later.
Make sure all moving parts are well lubricated.
- A common concept you'll hear throughout this read is the fight against moisture buildup. Properly lubricating internal and external moving parts will help prevent moisture buildup as your bike sits there getting hit by the the cold, dry air that winter will bring. Check your cables, chains, and controls to be sure everything is freshly lubricated.
Top off the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer
- For this step, take a ride to your nearest gas station and fill your tank. Then, add some fuel stabilizer and ride it back. The ride back will help the stabilizer mix into your fuel system. Topping off the tank will minimize areas where moisture may build up over time and potentially cause rust. Don't like the idea of leaving a full tank on your bike? No problem. In that case, you can completely empty your tank and use a fogging oil to line the tank and help prevent rust from any moisture buildup.
Change the oil and replace the filter.
- Engine components can corrode with old oil that sits there for months. So, before you park your bike for the winter, change the oil and replace the filter. Choose an oil that is primarily for winter use and follow the instructions carefully.
Remove the battery and place it where the temperature won't fluctuate.
- This one is completely your choice. Whether you decide to keep the battery on your bike or take it off, just make sure to keep an eye on your battery so it doesn't experience voltage drop and, sadly, a potential total loss of a battery. If you keep it on your bike, make sure you turn the bike on at least once every month to help charge the battery. if you opt to take the battery off your bike, store the battery in an entirely different location that won't have fluctuations in temperature. This is the preferred method of battery care and maintenance during the winter months. You can even connect to a trickle charger to help maintain battery voltage
Take the weight off the tires to avoid flat spots.
- You've probably seen it before where a junked car has been sitting in a place for a while and, when moved, the tires have developed a flat spot. This is one thing we need to try and avoid as we store away our bikes for the winter. the best way to store a motorcycle is by taking it completely off its tires, which prevents uneven tire wear or flat spots. The back tire is the one that is taking most of the weight. If you have a stand available place your attention on this tire and make sure to rotate the front tire every couple of weeks. If the only option you have is to leave the bike on the ground, fill the tires to their max PSI. One other thing you could do is line the floor with carpet or plywood to act as a barrier from moisture.
Plug the air intake and exhaust pipes with muffler plugs... or other things.
- Any open section of the bike that leads to internal components is an open doorway for rodents and bugs to come on in and camp out during the winter. This step is essential if you having to store your bike outside or in a barn. Look into investing in some muffler covers, any price or quality will do. You could also try simple plastic bags and stuff them into these open sections. Just don't forget how many you used and to remove them before starting up your bike in the spring!
Use wax on exterior surfaces and invest in a quality motorcycle cover.
- Waxing down your bike one last time for the winter will act as a barrier against unwanted moisture, preventing any rust formation. Any exposed metal can be protected with a good coat of WD-40, which acts the same as the wax to prevent moisture build-up. The cherry on top to this would now be investing in a quality motorcycle cover that is made to specifically fit your model bike. No matter where you store your bike for the winter, a good quality cover with provide the extra protection you didn't know you needed from dust, debris, bugs, and rodents.
Think about what storage location works best for you and stick with that.
- Take the time and think about where would be the most feasible and financially sound location would be to store your bike for the winter. Sometimes, simply storing it at home, in your garage, is the best option. For others, we may consider renting out a storage unit. Wherever you decide to store your bike, following these simple steps will ensure your bike is ready to go in the spring.
Still have some questions on storing your bike for the winter? Feel free to reach out to our expert staff at Moto Sage. We can answer all your questions when it comes to your ride. Also, don't forget, if you need new tires we are your one stop shop, providing same day installation so you don't miss a beat!