For many motorcycle riders, winter is just around the corner, which means it's sadly time to put your favorite ride away. Before you do so, taking the right winterization steps will ensure you that your bike will be up and running the second the snow melts in spring.
Taking your motorcycle to a shop for a winterization package can cost hundreds of dollars. However, there are more affordable ways to keep your ride safe through the winter. Here are five tips:
1) Clean Your Motorcycle Before Storing[mageProductLink sku="126-cs11" title=""][/mageProductLink]It would add insult to injury if you stored your bike for months and on the first sunny spring day, you pull your bike out to see if covered in dead leaves and debris from the fall, forcing you to clean it before you went on a ride. Instead of getting stuck cleaning on the first day you can ride, take all the proper cleaning steps before you store your bike.
When riders let water spots sit on their motorcycle, it can corrode over time and especially during intense winters. Unless you have a climate-controlled storage area, wash your bike and clean all the water spots and dead bugs off your windshield and tank. Also, make sure you dry it completely to get the moisture off the surface.
To prevent any rust, add a coat of wax to tanks and fairing parts while using WD-40 on surface metal to displace moisture.
2) Change Your Oil And Gas Up
It's a lot simpler than many riders think, but changing your oil is a key part toward winterizing your motorcycle. According to Family Handyman, even if you have recently changed your oil, you need to do it again before putting your bike away for the winter. Over time, combustion gases gather in your oil, which forms to an acid. When you let your bike sit for months, the acid will eat away at bearings and other costly parts.
Look on your motorcycle's manual to locate the oil lug nut underneath your bike and make sure you have a small oil pan to catch the old oil once you unscrew the nut. Oil will begin rapidly pouring out, so hold on to your lug nut and clean it before screwing it back in.
Sit on your bike and lift it upright so all the oil drains out. Pour in the correct amount of clean motorcycle oil, but if your bike has a kickstand that makes your bike tilt, get another person to sit and keep it upright while you put in new oil so your oil gauge isn't improperly measured. This will prevent a lot of damage if you put in the right amount of oil.
Slide on a new oil filter and let your bike run for a good amount of time to get the oil in the engine.[mageProductLink sku="353-0051" title=""][/mageProductLink]The gas left in your gas tank helps prevent water moisture from building on the tank's walls, which could lead to rust. So if you fill up before your put your bike up you'll be in good shape. Over the winter, the fuel in your gas tank could evaporate, and leaving your ride on empty is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately there are fuel additives you can mix into your gas to help prevent this. Also, adding a fuel stabilizer at the station will help it get through your motorcycle's carburetor on the ride home.
3) Block Off Exhaust Pipes
Before you throw your cover on the bike, make sure you block your exhaust pipes so mice or other small critters don't make a home out of your pipes. If you don't have an exhaust plug that fits your pipes you can simply stuff some steel wool in a sandwich bag and put it in the pipe with the steel wool exposed. This will prevent anything from digging into your exhaust pipes.