Depending on the area you live in, you may be looking at some motorcycle winter storage blues in these next few months. The fall season is in full swing, so you’re likely out enjoying your bike and loving it! You might be able to ride year-round, and this great. However, for those of us in the more northern states, we’re already thinking about putting our bikes to rest for the winter.
You want to be able to pull out your bike in the spring and just ride it, right? So follow these few simple tips to get your bike ready for winter storage.
Cleaning your motorcycle isn’t so much about maintenance as it is about ensuring that any grime that’s on there from the road or from bugs isn’t going to harden or cause damage to your bike while it’s sitting in storage. Sometimes on the road we come into contact with different corrosive agents that could harm the paintwork on our bike, so giving your bike a good clean before putting it in storage is essential. It doesn’t have to be super thorough; a light cleaning is better than no cleaning at all.
Cleaning your bike before storage is great because not only will it be ready to ride after you follow the rest of these tips, but it will also look pretty decent for having sat around for a few weeks (or months). You’ll be able to pull it out, dust it off, and ride like the wind again!
Take Care of Your Fuel
Depending on how long your bike will be sitting, the fuel could get pretty gunky and gross. This is why it’s important to ensure your fuel stays good so it won’t cause any problems for your bike when you go to ride it again. Simply adding some fuel stabilizer as well as filling the tank before winter storage can be really beneficial. Fuel stabilizer is relatively inexpensive and can save you money from potential problems when the fuel goes bad.
This simple step is important when storing your bike—save yourself time and money in the future by taking care of your fuel.
Start It and Let It Run
If you can take your bike out for a brief ride during the winter, that’s great. It not, you’ll just have to do with starting it every once in a while. This is important and can make a big difference with winterizing your bike. Letting your bike run ensures the battery stays good as well as lets the bike do what it was meant to do—run!
Even just running your bike for a few minutes every couple weeks or so can make a difference. If you’re not going to be starting your bike or are unable to do this, consider a battery tender.
Change the Oil
I know, you don’t really feel like doing it when all your bike will be doing is sitting there, but getting a good oil for winterizing your bike and changing the oil is a good thing to do. Having clean oil in your bike while it’s sitting there is better than having dirty oil in your bike that’s just sitting there.
Changing the oil with the proper oil can ensure your bike stays ready for you throughout winter storage and minimize the work you’ll need to do in the spring to get it on the road again!
Apply Lubricant to Moving Parts
If you’re planning on storing your bike for a while and being unable to ride it, it might be a good idea to get a quality lubricant and lube moving parts. This is because as they sit over time, pivotal joints can become rusted or stuck, especially if they haven’t had a proper cleaning beforehand (you saw where I said clean your bike up there, right?). A good lubricant can keep all your parts moving even after months of storage. Consider lubricating parts such as the controls and cables.
Never forget to inspect your bike after storage to ensure everything is working properly before you get your bike back on the road. Also remember to store your bike safely—keeping it covered, out of sight, and protected from potential theft is essential. Winterizing your bike isn’t the most fun thing to do with your motorcycle, but it’s important to keep it safely stored and ready for you when better weather rolls around!
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