We’re bummed to say it, but colder weather is officially upon many of us, and for some, that may mean the end of riding season. Hopefully we’ll still have some great riding weather before winter fully hits, but in the meantime, it is crucial to know what you need to do when it comes to prepping your bike for storage. We’ll give you some tips to keep your bike in great shape as we ride out the winter.
Enjoy One Last Ride
This may sound like a no-brainer, but putting the bike away for the season sucks – yeah, we said it. Enjoy one last long ride of the season and savor every moment.
Prep the Exterior
Before storing your bike, you’ll want to make sure it has had a detailed cleaning. That means breaking out the brushes and sponges to get into those hard-to-reach areas of the bike. You don’t want mud, or who knows what else, to tarnish or corrode the finish. When you’re finished washing your bike, you’ll also want to make sure that you dry the bike thoroughly, and throw on a fresh coat of wax so you can avoid rusting.
Fill Up Those Fluids
You’ll want to make sure after your last ride of the season you’ve filled up your gas tank completely. A half-empty tank can cause major issues in the long run – including rusting. You’ll also want to treat your fuel with a good fuel stabilizer before storage as well. Last but not least, make sure to check your antifreeze levels.
Change the Oil
Even if your winter season doesn’t last very long, it’s still important to change your oil before any type of storage. Dirty oil can increase your chance of corrosion, which can lead to engine wear. So, run your bike until the engine warms, then drain the old oil, change the filter, and refill it with fresh oil. Once spring rolls around, you’ll already be ready for your first ride.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Keep the moving parts of your bike lubricated during the winter months to avoid rusting or binding. Any basic chain lubricant from PepBoys or somewhere similar should do the trick.
We recommend removing your battery before winter storage to avoid any damage the cold could cause. We also suggest investing in a trickle charger that will provide a low, steady stream of electricity to your battery which will allow it to stay charged during long periods of inactivity.
Don’t Forget Your Tires
Tires can be easy to forget when it comes to storage, but they are important to protect through the winter. Grab a motorcycle stand to put your bike on so you can keep your tires off of the ground to avoid flat spots. If you can’t invest in a motorcycle stand, we suggest rolling your bike around slightly every couple of weeks.
Cover Your Ride or Find Shelter
If at all possible, the ideal place to put your bike in hibernation is in a heated garage or storage facility. If that’s not an option, an unheated garage or shed will work. Avoid leaving your bike out in the elements if you can, but if this is unavoidable and you have to park in the street, invest in a high-quality cover for your bike – you won’t regret it.
We’re obviously sad the season has come to an end, but if you follow these winter prepping tips, your bike should be in great condition when warmer weather hits. Until then, we’ll be anxiously counting the down the days until spring.