Is Your Motorcycle Ready for Winter?
December 8, 2011
Now that your pride and joy has given you your fill of summer frills and thrills, it’s time to hunker down to give it a much needed dust off, clean up and conditioning for its wintry siesta. Just as nature has a way of preparing the trees and outdoor animals for every change of season, you have to take charge of the needs of your set of hot wheels so that it is in top notch condition when you peel back its covers for the next summer’s road trips.
Each bike winterizing has its unique requirements but without a doubt, they all need to be cleaned and conditioned prior to storage. Otherwise, you may end up with costly and unavoidable problems such as rust in your gas tank, deformed tires, corroded metal parts, or even worst clogged carburetor. During spring break, the last thing you want to be doing is hauling your bike to the workshop while your buddies are planning their spring break bike rides.
7 Must-Do’s: To get Motorcycle ready
- Inspect for Damage: After the months of hard riding, any mean machine would have picked its fair share of stresses, dirt, tar, grease and grime. If ignored, you take the risk of their presence eating into the exterior surfaces and causing structural damage, which may need professional attention.
- Change oil and filter: Drain and replace the old dirty motor oil, which is prone to becoming acidic and harmful to the vehicle and it can in turn wreak havoc to the performance and durability of your engine. Change the filter while you are at it.
- Fill up gas tank plus add fuel stabilizer: Moisture is the nemesis of your metal gas tank and to avoid the condensation that is likely with the wintry temperatures, you need to fill the tank up and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent it from turning into muck.
- Lubricate cables: Lubricate all moving parts such as the cleaned chain drive, throttle can clutch cables, other linkages as well as its pivot points i.e. shifter, kickstand and foot-pegs with recommended lubricants.
- Fully inflate the tires: Since your bike is going to be resting in a certain position for the winter, you want to ensure the tires can bear the brunt of its weight. Normally, you would also want to change its position from time to time to prevent them from going out of shape. The ideal solution would be to have it stored in a motorbike stand but if not, at least make sure it sits on top of a wooden board to keep the rubber from cracking.
- Detailing: Obvious as it may seem, a thorough cleaning and conditioning of the bike goes beyond mere aesthetics. The entire process will remove harmful corrosive components while simultaneously, blocking against the condensation and subsequent mildew, rust or cracks that can occur from winter air, which can be humid or dry.
- Remove and store battery indoors: The batteries should be removed, terminals cleaned and stored in a warm, dry place. If not, they will lose their charge over time and even cause corrosion to your motorbike.
It is important to us use a decent quality cover to keep your bike safe from the elements. Don’t forget to plug any openings against insects and rodents seeking refuge or worse still, wanting to chew away at the cables.
Tedious as it may seem, but by methodically going over each and every section of your bike, from front to back and from top to bottom, you are giving your vehicle a much needed once-over after the months of hard or not so hard but definitely fun-filled biking, and you are making it ready when the spring season swings into action again. Having vehicles and especially motorcycles professionally detailed before storing is key for good maintenance.