Taking care of your bike–even when you’re not able to use it–is key to ensuring years of riding the open road with minimal problems and fixes. When the temps start to drop and the snow starts to fall, it’s time to winterize your motorcycle and store it until spring arrives. Storing your motorcycle over the winter requires certain steps to be taken to help take care of it, even when it is not in use. Here are some tips to help you properly get your bike ready for winter and keep it in great condition until it’s time to ride again!
First, you will want to make sure that you take care of the bike’s battery. Batteries will typically self-discharge over time, so when you are storing your motorcycle, you will want to make sure it stays charged. By using a smart motorcycle battery charger, you will be able to maintain the battery’s charge, even if you left it be for several years. This is a great way to store your bike long-term and not have to worry about a discharged battery come springtime.
You will want to make sure that your system doesn’t freeze if you live where it gets extremely cold during the winter months. Unlike cars that utilize freeze plugs, bikes need special care. Make sure that you have anti-freeze in the coolant for winter.
Next, be sure to protect against rodents that may end up nesting in your tailpipes. You can purchase special rubber plugs to keep rodents and bugs out from the tailpipes while you have your motorcycle in storage. This is a simple way to make sure you’re not cleaning up a mess from your tailpipe when spring arrives.
Over the months, your motorcycle’s fuel tank may be more susceptible to rusting, so it is essential that you fill the fuel tank with fuel that has an integrated fuel stabilizer. This ensures that the inside of the tank doesn’t rust, even with the changes in moisture while in storage.
Before throwing a tarp over the top of your motorcycle and letting it sit unattended for a few months, you will want to make sure that you give the entire motorcycle a thorough cleaning. Anything left on the bike will be harder to clean off in the spring, and certain things can actually damage your bike’s chrome and paint. Make sure to remove any mud, bird droppings, bugs, and dirt from the bike, and care for the chrome with some polish. By giving your bike a good cleaning before storing it, you can look forward to a clean bike when you unveil it as the weather warms up!
Make sure that you don’t allow your bike to rest on concrete. You will want to either lift the bike up off the ground or utilize a carpet remnant to roll your bike on top. This is to help protect the tires. Tires can develop flat spots if they are left sitting for too long, so protect your investment and store your bike accordingly. Also, make sure your tires are inflated properly since the air inside will condense over the colder months.
Cover the motorcycle with a bike tarp or motorcycle cover. This will make sure that it is not exposed to damaging environments that may include extreme temperatures, sunlight and excessive moisture. Make sure you get a cover that is made with a mildew-resistant material to make sure mildew doesn’t accumulate and your bike is not susceptible to rust.
By taking care of your bike during the winter months with proper storage techniques, you can help extend the life of your motorcycle and have it ready to go, problem-free, when the weather warms up and you’re ready to ride the open road! Take great care of your investment, and it will provide you with years of enjoyment!