In several of the Northern states, snow has already begun to fall. Many people have put their bikes away for winter or have started on projects to upgrade their motorcycles. It’s a good time to check and see if you’ve done everything properly to winterize your bike.
Many dealers have storage plans, which save you time and hassle. But, you’ll pay for it. You can winterize your bike yourself within two hours and save $200 or more in the process.
Follow our checklist of ways to prepare your motorcycle for winter. If you missed a couple – or all – of the steps, it’s not too late. Winterizing your bike will not only keep it in good shape and looking nice, but it also will make your ride safer when spring arrives.
A Few Simple Motorcycle Storage Pointers
- Store your motorcycle in a place that is dry and not in direct sunlight – preferably indoors
- Make sure you have a high-quality cover. It should be breathable and waterproof, especially if you plan on keeping it outdoors
- Fill the tires to the maximum recommended pressure, and move the bike around every few weeks. This will keep the tires in good shape and prevent wear-and-tear
- Clean and wax your bike to remove dirt, grime, salt, and other harmful substances. You don’t want that stuff eating away at your bike all winter
- Park the bike on top of a wooden board or put it on stands. The tires should not sit on a surface that will become very cold, such as a garage floor
Winterizing Your Motorcycle Checklist
Follow these steps to winterize your motorcycle.
- Fill the Tank and Add Fuel Stabilizer - Fresh fuel is best. Make sure that you use fresh stabilizer as well – a bottle is only good for two years after you open it.
- Change the Oil Filter - You should change your oil and filter, even if you did it recently. The byproducts of used oil are very corrosive, and you don’t want that sitting all winter.
- Drain the Carburetor - Turn off the main gas valve from the tank. Next, open the petcock and close the valve when it stops flowing.
- Keep the Mice Out - Fill a few sandwich bags with steel wool, and put them into the air intake and tailpipes. Stick a piece of brightly colored tape or caution tape on so you remember to remove them before you begin to ride the motorcycle again.
- Lube the Chain and Pivot Points - Spray chain lube on the chain and all pivot points. It prevents rust from forming.
- Remove the Battery or Install a Maintainer - You can do either. A battery maintainer charges the battery only when it needs it; connect one to your battery, and you’ll be able to start the bike right up when spring arrives. It’s fine to remove the battery entirely as well.
- Check Antifreeze and Coolant – Dip the suction tube of the coolant tester into the radiator. Suck up enough to make the indicator float, and read the protection level. Change the fluids if they’re not up to par.
- Spray the Bike With WD-40 – Do this after you’ve washed and waxed the motorcycle. It helps prevent corrosion. In the spring, take it to a car wash and hose it down – and you’ll be good to go.
Taking care of your motorcycle properly between seasons is an important part of the biker lifestyle. Winterizing your bike will help save wear-and-tear, time, and money. It also will help keep your ride safe. For more motorcycle safety tips, visit EdgarSnyder.com.
Remember to follow these simple steps to winterize your motorcycle, and stay tuned for more helpful tips on projects to tackle during the off-season.