The end of the riding season is near for many motorcyclists, and the need to get ready for winter motorcycle storage is at its highest point. Protecting your motorcycle and ensuring it is in great condition is crucial, especially in the winter months. Properly preparing a motorcycle for storage is critical for extended use of the vehicle. Here are some steps that you can take to get your machine ready for the few months that it sits idle until it can be fired up again. Checking the mechanical, and cleaning parts of your motorcycle before storing your motorcycle will ensure that when it becomes prime riding season again you can be ready in the blink of an eye.
Here are the key places that you should start when getting ready for winter motorcycle storage:
Before you store, it is vital to check the manual of your motorcycle to guide you on how to store it. First is to consult the proprietor’s manual for your kind of motorcycle for particular storage tips. Also, ensure before putting in storage, that the motorcycle’s title, license plates and registration are up to date.
Second thing that you should do to prepare for winter motorcycle storage is to treat the gas with a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers prevent gasoline from breaking down during the extended period when it is not used. It’s important that you treat the gasoline in your motorcycle with fuel stabilizer so that the tank and fuel lines do not become clogged with the debris that is created when fuel breaks down. Fuel begins to break down between 60 and 90 days if it is not used, so if you plan on storing your motorcycle for a period longer than this, then the fuel stabilizer treatment will be needed. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to add fuel stabilizer to a fuel tank before storing the motorcycle. Take fifteen minutes to run the engine to ensure the stabilizer has run through the engine
It’s often a good idea to change the oil in your motorcycle before winter storage for the same reasons that you would change the gasoline. Oil, especially used oil, can contain particles that can clog oil lines and perhaps cause further damage if it sits idle for long periods of time. Changing the motorcycle’s engine oil will remove the dirt and sludge in the engine allowing for easier start up when taking it out of hibernation.
If your motorcycle cannot be stored in a heated environment, then you’ll want to at least get it up off the cold and frozen ground either with a motorcycle stand or by putting wood blocks under the tires. This will prevent any hard spots from forming on the tires due to the cold ground. Also, ensure the tires are properly inflated.
Remove the spark plugs from the cylinder and store them in a safe place. When the spark plugs have been removed, plug the holes where the spark plugs were with a lint free towel or another type of cloth. This will prevent air from getting into the cylinders and causing condensation.
If you are storing your motorcycle for a long period, then you’ll want to cover it to prevent dust and dirt buildup. To cover the motorcycle use a sheet or blanket, avoid using plastics to cover as this will allow trapping of moisture under the plastic cover and may lead to metal surfaces being damaged.
Always, remember to remove the battery from your motorcycle and store it at room temperature in your basement or any other type of storage area that is not easily accessible. Storing your battery at room temperature over the winter months will help preserve overall battery life.
You want to make sure that you clean your motorcycle before you store it. Not only does this protect the bike, but when you are ready to get back on the road you will appreciate it. Later, ensure you dry it completely before storing. To avoid rusting, it is recommended you use the WD-40 spray on every metal surface of the motorcycle.
If you follow these easy steps, your motorcycle will be in great working condition for the warmer weather and outdoor riding season.