Winter can be hard on your motorcycle, even when it’s not out on the road. Properly wintering can not only help prevent costly repairs that improperly stored motorcycles may face, but also extend the life of your bike!
Drain the Fuel
Modern gasoline contains ethanol, which is an ingredient that helps cut back on pollution but doesn’t store very well. Leaving gas in your tank or elsewhere in the fuel system can result in sticky deposits that can cause lasting damage. Therefore, it’s important to be thorough, emptying the carburetor and fuel filter, and then setting them aside to dry completely. This is also a good time to change your oil and check your fluid levels, such as your antifreeze. Old, stagnant oil can become acidic and corrode your engine.
Preserve the Battery
We highly recommend giving the battery a full charge before shutting it down for the winter, and then removing it from your motorcycle. Connect it to a battery maintainer and keep it in the basement or another part of your home where it won’t freeze.
Monthly Winter Maintenance
It’s a good idea to take some time every month to rotate the wheels, turn the engine over by hand a few times, work the brakes, and open and close the gas gap and fuel petcocks. Machines are meant to move, so even though your motorcycle isn’t getting regular use, it’s wise to keep them moving occasionally.
Tip: Don’t run the engine! Turning it over by hand prevents doesn’t cause condensation, which is best to avoid in the winter.
Other Maintenance Tips:
- Store your bike on blocks.
- Tires can develop permanent flat patches when sitting on the floor for months. Storing your motorcycle on blocks can eliminate this problem – just be sure to secure it so it doesn’t fall off!
- Cover the tailpipe.
- Small animals (especially mice) seek out warm areas like your garage when it gets cold and like to create homes in your vehicles. Covering the tailpipe helps prevent them from being able to do so.
- Protect your motorcycle from wear.
- Use leather treatment to condition and moisturize the leather on your bike to prevent it from becoming dry and cracked.
- Wipe down all the metal on your bike with a light machine oil.