Many bike owners put their cherished bikes away for the winter. If you are a new motorbike owner, or just want to reduce the repairs you will need to make in the spring due to poor storage, then you need this five-step guide to proper motorbike winter storage.
1. Get an Oil Change
Remember to drain your oil and get a new filter. Even if your motorbike is not due for an oil change, it is necessary to prevent corrosion of parts. Further, fresh oil in your engine over the winter will ensure a clean start without issues come spring.
2. Fuel Stabiliser
If you are planning to store your motorbike for more than four months you will need to drain the carburettor. If you are planning on storing for three months or less, then simply adding a fuel stabiliser will prevent issues with the engine come spring. Remember to drain the carburettor and fuel lines. After reconnecting them, fill the gas tank up to just level and run the bike for a few minutes to mix the stabiliser in. Winterising fuel stabiliser will prevent fuel evaporation and residual fuel from clogging up fuel lines and the carburettor.
3. Battery Storage
Remember to remove the battery before storing the motorbike. If you leave the battery on the bike you risk corrosive liquids leaking onto your bike and destroying the paint, tyres, plastics, and more. Further, the small current drain will drain the battery life if it remains connected. Charge the battery before storing it separately, or simply buy a new one in the spring and trade the old one in.
4. Bike Cleaning
Remember to fully clean, wash, dry, wax, and lubricate your bike. Cleaning and waxing your bike will prevent it from rusting due to corrosive road dirt or moisture. Wax adds that bit of extra protection to your motorbike while using WD-40 on metal surfaces protects them from rust too.
Remember to pay special attention to the muffler and exhaust systems and components. These especially tend to rust while in storage due to corrosive road materials and exhaust fumes sticking to them. To further protect your muffler and exhaust systems completely dry them, wipe them down with WD-40, stuff them with a plastic bag and tie another bag around them to prevent moisture damage.
Remember to fully clean your tyres, elevate them off of the ground using cardboard or small boards, and fully air them up prior to storage. Rubber is especially sensitive to cold and will crack and freeze. By keeping the tyres fully inflated, clean and off the floor, you can prevent a lot of winter storage damage.
DO NOT use any tyre dressings, oil-washes, shining products, greases or oils on your tyres before storage. These can become corrosive to your tyres and will make them crack and break down.
Storage is Key to Your Bike’s Longevity
Usually a garage or storage unit is the best place to store your motorbike. Your bike needs to be away from windows, to prevent sun damage to plastic and paint. You also need to store the bike where it will not be exposed to extreme temperatures, which can ruin the gaskets and hoses.
Further, avoid using a sheet or tarp to cover the bike, as this can hold moisture and cause rust and mildew to form. Instead, buy a specially designed motorbike cover made to wick moisture away from the bike that’s also fully resistant to mildew. There are several unique bike storage options on today’s markets, including bike garage kits and storage solutions. If you do not have a basement or garage to store your motorbike in, consider investing in a motorbike garage to install on your driveway.