Winter has come and that means giving your bike a break. Yes, it’s a bummer but spring will come around sooner than you know. Until then, it’s important to keep your motorcycle stored and protected from the harsh conditions of the winter season. The following steps from the experts at Motorcycle-Licenses.com will help you put your bike into hibernation and ready to spring into action when the time is right.
Prep The Fuel Tank
Unused gasoline in the tank and in the pipelines for the carburetor and fuel injections turns to sludge and water over long periods of time. That in turn causes corrosion, varnish, rust and other damage in sensitive areas leading to the engine. Make sure to drain the gas from the tank and to run a stabilizer through the system so that any remaining puddles of gas and water in the fuel injectors and carburetor get burned out.
Change The Oil
Replacing the oil and filter on your bike before storing it for the winter is useful for avoiding corrosion and damage in the transmission gears and on the metal surfaces. When you ride your motorcycle during the driving season, the oil creates carbon deposits that go through the combustion chamber. If you leave those carbon deposits behind, then they dissolve and turn to an acidic substance that damages key parts of your motorcycle. The Motorcycle-Licenses.com team also believes changing the oil before storage saves you the hassle of doing so come springtime and leaves your bike ready to go right away.
Keep The Battery Charged
An unused battery loses charge and by springtime you’ll discover your bike has a dead battery. The easiest way to prevent a dead battery over the winter is to disconnect it from your motorcycle and keep it connected to a trickle charger in a warm, dry area. This is the best method to use if your bike will be stored somewhere with freezing temperatures. If you prefer to keep the battery plugged into your bike, then your best option is to manually charge it at least once a month during its storage.
If your bike uses a lead acid battery, then it’s important to note that battery fluid levels must be checked and restored. The experts at Motorcycle-Licenses.com recommend doing this maintenance before storage because low levels of battery acid can lead to a short and make the battery malfunction.
Protect The Tires
The best way to protect your motorcycle’s tires is to elevate it on a stand of some kind during storage. It’s important to keep pressure off the tires so as to avoid flat spots that can turn into permanent flat tires that can’t be saved or fixed. If you don’t have a stand or any kind of tool to elevate your bike, don’t worry. You can always do periodic maintenance by rotating the tires weekly wherever you are storing your motorcycle. Make sure your tires are filled to the maximum recommended pressure if you’re using this method.
Clean The Surface
Washing your motorcycle only to store it away may seem silly, but is in fact important to remove dirt, dust and leftover bugs from the surfaces. The dirty elements hold water and leaving them on the metal surfaces of the bike can cause rust and corrosion. Make sure to clean your bike thoroughly and dry off any moisture that might get left behind from the wash. The experts at Motorcycle-Licenses.com recommend coating the metal and painted parts with a corrosion protectant as a final measure of precaution.
Cover Up For Storage
Whether you’re storing your bike inside or outside, a breathable cover is important to protect the surface from collecting dust or moisture. A plastic tarp is not recommended as it allows moisture to collect on the surface of your bike. It’s best to store your bike inside in a shaded corner so that sunlight doesn’t fade the paint or damage the leather on the seat. If you’re storing your motorcycle somewhere that is prone to rodents and other small animals, then you should use a plug to cover the exhaust pipe so that the animals don’t hide or make nests in your bike.