Now that summer has finally ended, and the winter is gradually approaching, most people decide to store away their bikes. They will wait impatiently for the winter to end, so they can start riding again. But to enjoy a stress-free and fun spring and get the best out of your bike, It is essential to store your bike during winter properly. While winterizing your motorcycle for the winter is necessary, it isn't always as simple as just throwing a cover over it and keeping it in your basement. If you want to keep your Motorcycle in excellent working condition, there are some things that you need to pay attention to before putting it away for several months. All these things will help prevent damage and deterioration, such as engine rust, breakage or leakage, etc. You can coat the engine with oil, inspect the antifreeze levels, remove the spark plugs to avoid accidents, and even drain the fuel tank to prevent gumming.
Prepare your Motorcycle for the winter:
- Step 1: Change your Oil and Oil Filter
- Step 2: Stabilize the Fuel
- Step 3: Drain the carbs if needed
- Step 4: Wash it properly
- Step 5: Invest in Coolant/Antifreeze
- Step 6: Bring the Battery In
- Step 7: Proper Storage
Once you have correctly prepared your bike for storage, it'll be sure to function perfectly once the weather begins to warm up again. Different things must be paid attention to, depending on the kind of Motorcycle you own, but we will be sharing some general tips on how to winterize your bike for the winter. The major problem to pay attention to during winter is moisture damage. Hence, most of what we'll be discussing is how to keep your bike away from moisture during storage. Do you need to know how to prepare your Motorcycle for the winter? Don't look too far; in this article, we will show all the necessary steps to follow to prepare your Motorcycle for the winter.
Steps to Prepare your Motorcycle for the winter
We're gradually approaching that time of year that many bikers like less. The weather is getting colder, days are getting shorter, and in just a little while, snow will start to fall. Below are several steps to make sure your Motorcycle remains in the best possible condition throughout the winter.
– Step 1: Change your Oil and Oil Filter
One of the crucial steps to properly winterizing your Motorcycle is by replacing the oil filter and changing the oil. Old oil may contain dirt and moisture, causing the engine to rust faster from the inside. If it is already cold outside, you'll be required first to run the Motorcycle for at least 15 minutes, to make sure the oil gets warm. The reason for this is because warm oil is less vicious and is much easier to drain. Also, it will ensure that all the oil gets removed. Carefully drain the oil into a container, and if you want to, you can recycle the oil for free at some automobile stores.
After draining your oil, there are two different things that you may decide to do, and they both depend on your preference and the model of Motorcycle you own (or what your Motorcycle's owner manual recommends for you). You may decide first to drain the old oil, replace the oil filter, and then fill it with the new oil needed for riding in the following season. This particular method requires that you run the bike for a few minutes after changing the oil to get rid of any residual contaminants contained in the old oil.
The second method requires that after draining your old oil, fill the Motorcycle with any cheap oil. Then once the next riding season commences, you replace the oil again with quality oil that you usually use for your Motorcycle.
Next, lubricate all the metal parts of your bike, especially joints. If you're using a chain-driven motorcycle, make sure you clean and lubricate it using a lubricant recommended by your manufacturer. This will help you avoid any damage that some lubricants can cause.
– Step 2: Stabilize the Fuel
Another essential step to winterizing your Motorcycle is by applying a stabilizer in your gas tank. While some people prefer to drain their fuel tank completely and then fog it, using a stabilizer will most likely make you achieve the same goal. The primary goal here is to prevent moisture from entering into the tank and fuel system, which will cause corrosion. Carefully follow the instructions in your user manual to know the proper usage and ratio of stabilizer to fuel ratio that you must use.
– Step 3: Drain the carbs if needed
While most motorcycles come with carburetors, some do not have one. If you own a bike that has carburetors, it is essential to drain them of fuel before winterizing. If you don't do this, the chance of gumming up your carbs will increase, and this can create severe problems along the way. Another method that some people employ is by physically removing the carbs to remove and drain the float bowls. This is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to make sure all the fuel has been removed entirely from the carburetors. However, you can also achieve similar results by just turning off the fuel petcock and running your bike until it shuts down by itself.
– Step 4: Wash it properly
The next step is to wash your bike off before putting it away for the winter. When you're preparing to winterize your Motorcycle, it is a great idea to wash it clean. This is because impurities like grease, salt, and debris may have gradually built up on the Motorcycle during the regular riding season, and can cause corrosion and wear. Giving your Motorcycle a good wash not only provides you another chance to see your Motorcycle all clean and shiny for the season, but it also protects the paint job done on your bike. Dirt and debris on your bike can cause the paint to fade, and if left on the bike for a while, it can eventually cause corrosion, which will reduce the life span of your Motorcycle. While cleaning, make sure you pay attention to the underside of the bike and the tires. You can also decide to add a coat of wax to the painted areas to protect the paint from fading. Also, invest in top quality covers to cover up your Motorcycle while you store it away for the winter. This will protect your bike from dust and other elements and get scratched where it is being held.
– Step 5: Invest in Coolant/Antifreeze
While preparing to store your Motorcycle away for the winter, make sure you replace all the coolant or alternatives with actual antifreeze. This is undoubtedly very important because when the temperature of the surrounding drops below freezing, the water in the cooling system might freeze, causing the pipes to expand and burst.
– Step 6: Bring the Battery In
Bringing in the battery from the cold weather is usually one thing many bike owners fail to do. If you are storing away your bike for an extended period, you should pay special care to the battery. If you are storing your Motorcycle out in the cold weather, you should bring the battery inside your home or any other warm area. If batteries are left in the cold for too long, they will begin to lose their charge, which can gradually reduce the battery life. You can use a device like a battery tender to get this done. These devices are not very expensive and are worth the cost when compared to the benefits they offer. Before the winter finally comes, disconnect your battery and store it in a cool and dry place, preferably a slightly elevated surface. As stated earlier, a garage or shed would work just fine, and if you know that the temperature in your area drops way below freezing, you should take the batteries indoor.
– Step 7: Proper Storage
If you can, make sure you store your bike in a very dry and cool place, protected from the elements. Your garage is perhaps the best option for this. If you have a shed, that should do as well. If you don't have a garage and will be storing your Motorcycle outside, try to invest in a top-quality cover to keep moisture and sunlight off your bike throughout the winter. Even if you'll be storing your bike at a carport, it is still essential to use a cover to protect it.
Winterizing your Motorcycle correctly before winter sets in will help you extend the life span of your bike and significantly reduce the amount of repair that would have to pay for after the winter. Take out some time and effort to follow the steps highlighted above, and you'll be saving yourself additional stress and money at the end of the day.