Unfortunately, for a lot of riders, the riding season is over or is really close to being over. If you are in a cold weather state and haven’t winterized your motorcycle yet, it is probably now overdue. Below are the steps you need to take to winterize your bike:
1) Preparing to winterize your motorcycle – Take a look at the below steps and make sure you have all of the necessary items.
2) Fuel system – First, take your bike out for one last ride, not just to enjoy one last ride before getting into the colder winter weather, but also to use up as much of the old gas in the system as possible. Then fill up your tank with gas as high as possible somewhere near your home, so when you get home, there is fresh gas in the fuel system. By making sure that the level of the gas in the tank is as high as possible, you are more likely to prevent rust in the tank as areas not covered with gas can rust.
Next, add fuel stabilizer in your gas tank. This will help the gas from disassociating and gumming up the fuel system. Then you will want to run your bike long enough so the stabilizer gets throughout fuel system. Finally, shut off your petcock and drain your carbs, if your bike is carbureted.
3) Other fluids – Change the oil – The byproducts of running your motorcycle, over time, can damage metal parts. Note that the motorcycle oil will drain faster and more completely if you do it after it has run for a few minutes. You should also change the oil filter as well as any other oils and/or fluids.
4) Spark plugs – First, remove the wires and the spark plugs. It is recommended to put a tablespoon of engine oil into each cylinder and turn the engine a number of times to get all of the surface area lubricated.
5) Liquid cooled bikes – You’ll want to make sure you drain and replace the water and the anti-freeze. To make sure you have the right amount of anti-freeze, you’ll want to use a hygrometer.
6) Surfaces – Prepare call surfaces for storage. You’ll want to start by washing your bike. Things like bugs and road grime can damage the paint over time.
Wax the painted areas and chrome. Make sure to leave a really thick coat on to protect the metal from rusting. Get out the Armor All, or some other brand of plastic, rubber and leather protectant, and rub it in vigorously and leave a liberal amount on these areas.
Lubricate your cables, fork boots, your chain and sprockets, and the like. You can also spray a light coat on all of the metal surfaces, including aluminum, with WD-40. All of these steps will help prevent the areas from rusting during the winter.
7) Battery – Remove your battery for the winter. Fill the cells up with distilled water and store it inside so it is at room temperature and also in a dry space. To get the maximum life from your battery, it is best to hook up a slow trickle battery tender once a month. As needed, the trickle charger will turn on and off as necessary.
8) Exhaust and mufflers – These also need preparation for winter storage. You can put a slight amount of oil in the exhaust system to protect it from moisture. Once this is done, you’ll want to plug up the entry with a cloth and seal with a piece of plastic. The cloth will help absorb whatever moisture there is in the exhaust and engine and keep bugs and rodents from getting into the system. The plastic will help keep new moisture from coming in and ensure that bugs and animals stay out.
9) Tires – it is best to put your bike on a center stand. They are relatively cheap. If this is not an option, have your bike’s tires either on plywood or carpet. This will help the tires from becoming wet and degrading on the side walls under the pressure. You’ll also want to fill the tires up to the recommended psi to keep the side walls from prematurely aging.
Every couple of weeks, roll the bike eight inches forward. This also helps to avoid flat spots on the tires and keeps the sidewalls from aging. You also do not want to put tire dressing on the tires as it can harden the tires and make them slippery.
10) Cover the bike – You will want to make sure to use a breathable motorcycle cover. If you use a tarp or other plastic to cover your motorcycle, moisture can build up, which can cause rust. Make sure the entire bike is covered so the sunlight doesn’t damage your paint jobs. If you don’t have a cover yet, be sure to pick one up before it too late. We have covers the fit all make and models of bikes, right here.
Properly winterizing your bike will prevent damage to your bike and will also lower the amount of work and expense to get your bike back on the road quickly in the spring. After you get all of the above done, then it is time to hope for a short winter.
And if you need to replace any parts on your bike, check out our huge selection of parts here.