Tips for Winterizing your Motorcycle

There are the fortunate among us who are blessed to ride year-round. And then there are the rest of us who are forced to park their rides at the end of Autumn. However, if you’re going to have to let your bike sleep for three or four months, you need to follow a few essential steps to winterize your motorcycle to prevent damage and excess wear.

Don't know how to winterize your motorcycle? Here are some helpful tips to ensure you can get back to road with less trouble in the coming spring.

#1. Gather all the necessary tools

You will need a trickle battery charger, a new oil filter, however many quarts of high-quality oil your bike holds, an oil can (to put oil in the cylinders), a sparkplug wrench, chain lube, cable lube (and a cable luber), kitchen plastic wrap, vinyl or plastic gloves, clean rags, rubber bands, and the items you use to clean and wax your bike. Lastly, you’ll need a place where you can park your bike through the winter – a heated, secure garage would be an ideal place.

#2. Clean your motorcycle thoroughly

Use gentle detergent and water to remove road grime from the bike. Avoid spraying water directly into the muffler's opening; if the baffles get wet and don’t dry before storing your bike, it can lead to rusty mufflers. Similarly, avoid moisture in the airbox, as it can lead to hard starts in the spring.

Before you store your bike in winter, make sure it’s thoroughly dried off and clean; make sure to polish stainless and aluminum surfaces with metal polish. Once done, apply a coat of good wax polish to seal the polishing job. Then clean and lube the chain with good-quality chain cleaners and lubricants.

#3. Change the oil and filter

Manufacturers recommend changing oil and filter before storing the bike —the dirty oil and resulting acids stagnating in the engine all winter can corrode and score engine parts. So go ahead and change the oil. You don't need to change the oil if it's pretty fresh; however, make sure it's topped up.

#4. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank

The next thing you need to do is fill your tank with gas as full as it can go. A tank full of gas doesn't leave any room for air and/or condensation inside the tank, reducing rust formation risk. You can also add a fuel stabilizer. A quality fuel stabilizer will prevent the gas from going bad and neutralize the ethanol, preventing all kinds of nastiness from affecting your fuel system.

#5. Drain the float bowls (if your bike has a carburetor)

Once you fill your gas tank, shut off your fuel petcock and drain the gas from the carburetor bowls. Check your manual to find the exact location of drain screws. This step isn't needed if you have a fuel-injected bike.

#6. Lube your engine parts

Did you know that moisture can collect in your engine during cold winters and make your bike’s pistons and cylinder walls rusty or corroded? To avoid this situation, remove the spark plugs and put a little squirt of engine oil into the holes. Now turn over your engine a few times to coat the cylinder walls with oil. Once done, install the new spark plugs.

#7. Safeguard the battery

Most motorcycles depend on lead-acid batteries, and they tend to self-discharge when dormant. As the battery is draining off voltage, lead sulfate crystals can form in the cells, leading to battery failure. You can keep this situation at bay by connecting a trickle charger to the battery, keeping your battery adequately charged without the danger of overcharging. Not all chargers are suitable for long-term storage, so be sure to use a charger that turns off once the battery gets charged and only feeds current when needed. 

#8. Check coolant/anti-freeze

Drain, flush, and replace your anti-freeze if necessary. It's suggested that you replace your coolant/anti-freeze every couple of years. Do not leave the coolant level low or empty; this could lead to rust or corrosion in the cooling system. It is a good idea to check all other fluid levels at the same time.

#9. Lube the cables

Use grease to lube suspension, pivot points, and the drive shaft (if you have one) of your motorcycle. Also, don't forget to lube your control cables (throttle, clutch, and choke) with cable lube and a cable luber.

#10. Protect your wheels

Tires left sitting in the same position all winter long could develop flat spots and rot. You can prevent damage to your tires by using motorcycle stands. If you don't have a stand, try to get the rear tire off the ground. If this doesn't work for you, you can change your tires position by rolling your motorcycle slightly every few weeks. Also, put a piece of carpet or plywood under the tires to prevent moisture from seeping into them.

#11. Plug out rodents

Rodents are notorious. They can hide and make nests inside exhaust pipes or airboxes and munch on wiring. You can avoid these situations by plugging your pipes with an exhaust plug. If you don't want to invest in an exhaust plug, you can simply use a plastic bag to stuff exhaust pipes.

#12. Keep it covered

Lastly, invest in a high-quality motorcycle cover. It will keep out dust and moisture, reducing the risk of corrosion or rust. If you are storing your bike outside, be sure to get a cover with tie-downs to prevent it from blowing loose in the wind.

With your bike fully prepared to stay in hibernation mode for a few months, winter is also the perfect time to upgrade your bike with accessories or other projects you've had on your mind. Motowheels sells a wide range of top-quality aftermarket products and accessories for your motorbikes. Explore and shop all Motowheels aftermarket parts and products here

Reader's Comments (2)

zoey. 2024-05-17 06:06:36

Winterizing your motorcycle is crucial for its longevity and performance. I recommend storing it in a dry, sheltered area, preferably indoors, to protect it from harsh weather. Perform product photo editing service thorough maintenance, including oil change, fuel stabilization, and battery maintenance, to ensure it's ready for the road when spring arrives.

stella. 2024-06-29 18:27:22

Winterizing your motorcycle is crucial for protecting it from harsh weather conditions. Ensure proper storage in a dry, sheltered location, and consider using a motorcycle how do you get gout cover. Add fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel system corrosion, and remove the battery for storage in a cool, dry place. Regularly check tire pressure and fluids.

Comment Post Comment