Winter is fast approaching. Driving a motorcycle for transportation will be coming to a halt and you’ll need to store your bike for the icy season. Come wintertime, if you think storing your motorcycle in your garage under a cover will protect it, you’re in for a rough surprise in the spring! If your motorcycle is exposed to winters harsh elements, it could cause irreversible damages to your investment and therefore, prolong the start of riding season.
Follow these tips on how to properly store your bike for the winter months, so when it comes time to ride again, there’s nothing holding you back.
Coat the insides: Gas tanks are one of the most commonly overlooked motorcycle parts to prep for storage and without treatment it can break down during the off season. Fill the tank with fuel and the suggested amount of fuel stabilizer. Take your bike for a spin to ensure the gas and the stabilizer mix and coat the interior properly. This will also save you time in the spring by removing the task of filling up for gas.
Oil up your bike: The parts you lube throughout riding season need one last oil swipe before being stored for the winter. For example, chains, controls etc.
Go for a pre-storage checkup: Make sure your motorcycle has a fresh oil change and filter change before you store it. Fresh oil won’t harm your bike, compared to dirty oil that’s no good for the interior if it sits for months. When spring approaches, you’ll have one less task to do before starting your engine and getting back on the road.
Give the tires a break: Put tire stands on your bike to refrain from having the tire flatten out from consistent pressure on the same part of the tire.
Save the battery for spring: Remove your battery from the bike and keep in a dry and safe storage space to avoid a drained battery.
Give it a wash one last time: Clean your bike to ensure no left over irritants, dirt, or bacteria will not damage the paint and finishes on your motorcycle. Ensure your bike is left completely dry without water hiding in tight spaces. Moisture is your biggest enemy for storage season and will cause more damage than you think. To protect the paint from dust, natural rusting and water, coat your bike in a thin layer of wax. To protect the metal finishes, apply a thin layer of WD-40 which will stop moisture from corroding the metal.
Prepare for below zero temperatures: If your motorcycle is being stored in a garage, shed or unit that will be exposed to freezing temperatures, ensure you use anti-freeze for protection. Your coolant system needs antifreeze to ensure the interior of your bike does not freeze.
Close doors to pests: Cover up your exhaust pipes with a proper exhaust cover or rolled up mini towels can also suffice. This will limit little critters who seek out your exhaust pipes as a safe haven during the cold winter months.
Cover it up: If you store your motorcycle outside, ensure you purchase a good quality motorcycle cover. This investment will protect your bike from moisture, dust, and winter elements. Without one, your bike is subject to conditions that will cause corrosion, rust or damages. If you’re storing indoors, using a cover is still a good idea to avoid having to dust it down the road.
Insure your investment: Don’t forget motorcycle insurance! Protect your bike from risks like theft during the off season or unforeseen damages that could be caused during the winter. At Oracle RMS, our licensed professionals understand the value of owning a motorcycle and can custom tailor the coverage that’s right for you.
It’s almost hibernation time for your motorcycle. With these tips, you’re on the right track to protecting your motorcycle from the harsh elements of winter and the regular wear and tear of storage. Don’t forget to consider motorcycle insurance if you don’t already have it, to protect your bike from things out of your control. By following these tips, you’re one step closer to a smooth start for the new riding season.