The autumn leaves are falling; the days are shorter, and there is a chill in the air all the preludes to the entrance of winter. Some of us have already experienced the first few flakes of snow! The time has come for preparing your motorcycle for winter storage. Of course, getting your bike ready for winter is more than just parking it in the corner of the garage and throwing a tarp over it till next spring. Experts suggest that you take the time to do a proper motorcycle winter maintenance program to maintain your bike’s peak performance. The following are some helpful tips in prepping your ride for a long winter’s nap; however you should always refer the bike’s maintenance and repair manual for the manufacturer’s suggestions.
First clean and wax your motorcycle. This will keep all painted surface and chrome parts protected from dust and moisture.
When you park the bike you should put pieces of plywood under each tire, Make sure that the entire bottom of the tires are sitting on the wood, store your bike on a stand if possible. This will protect the rubber from cracking or rotting. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure and if any tires are low inflate to the proper pressure.
Next, drain the oil and flush the crankcase. This will keep the corrosive deposits from building up over the years. Now is the time to also replace the oil filter. So too can old gasoline damage your bike’s engine. The sediments in old gasoline can plug carburetors and fuel lines. Avoid this by either draining all fuel from the tank, carburetors and the fuel lines.
Inspect the wiring by sliding you fingers along all the wiring you can see, and feel for cracks or breaks in the insulation. If you find any damaged casings repair or replace them. Make sure all the connectors are tight and all are free of corrosion. Disconnect and remove the battery and store it in a warm vented place sitting on a piece of plywood to catch any acid leaks. The battery will discharge over the winter months and this can cause the battery to freeze and crack. Clean the battery post and the battery cables. Use fine steel wool or a battery cleaning tool. Once the posts are clean apply petroleum jelly. This will not affect the cable connections when you hook up the battery in the spring.
Prevent rust from forming on the chain or the shaft drive by lubricating with the manufacture recommended oils. Before you lube it, make sure the chain is clean. Any dirt left on the chain will cause the chain to wear faster and speed up the wearing of the sprockets
Take a look at the brakes for any wear or damage to the pads or the rotors. Make sure you top up the brake reservoir. Replace the air filter and wipe out the container it fits in if it has one.
Before covering your bike, make sure you plug the intake and exhaust so critters cannot get in and set up house!
Most insurance carriers offer special rates for winter storage of your motorcycle so remember to let your insurance agent know your bike is off the road for winter.
Take care to prepare your bike for winter storage and as soon as the snow melts in spring, she will take care of you on the open road!
And when it comes to all of your insurance needs, whether automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, business or life insurance, Vargas & Vargas Insurance is always available to answer any of your questions.