Preparing Your Motorcycle for Storage – Few experiences can top rolling down a highway on a motorcycle during a pleasant summer day. However, when winter approaches, motorcycles are typically not the convenient mode of transport. When it’s time to place your motorcycle in storage for the winter, it’s essential to do some preparation first. Certainly, maintaining your bike while you’re not using it is equally as important as when you use it regularly.
It can be aggravating to take your motorcycle out for a first ride in the spring only to discover flat spots in the tires. Or, fluid that’s become paste-like or foul smoke coming out of the exhaust. In order to prevent problems like these here are some tips on effective motorcycle storage:
-Clean all outer surfaces of debris and dirt. First, fully wash and dry all the surfaces of your motorcycle. Certainly, this step probably seems quite obvious, but we can’t overstate its importance. Cleaning a motorcycle that won’t be ridden for a while sounds counterproductive. However, it’s will conserve your time and save hassles in the long term. For example, dust, dried bugs and spots tend to get harder to remove over time.
Preparing Your Motorcycle for Storage – If your motorcycle is going to storage for a few months, cover internal components with a light coating of oil. This will help avoid excess moisture accumulation.
One way to accomplish this is by removing the spark plugs. Then, apply a tablespoon of motor oil to the holes. Turn over the engine over and then coat the cylinder walls by rotating the rear tire with the bike in gear. Then simply put the spark plugs back in. Basically, lubricate the parts of your motorcycle that you typically do anyway before putting into storage.
Inspect the chain, controls and cables to confirm everything has fresh lubrication to withstand the dry, freezing air of winter. Even if you put your bike in a climate-controlled storage facility, lubrication is still beneficial for Preparing Your Motorcycle for Storage.
-Conserve your bike’s battery’s charge. Some newer bikes tend to experience a slight degree of battery drain. It can occur even when the ignition is off. It serves to maintain features such as the clock and the radio presets. You could remove the battery from your motorcycle and “trickle charge” it during the winter. Alternatively, you can store your motorcycle with a completely-charged battery. If you decide to do this, remember to charge the battery each month when it is not in use.
-Top off the fuel tank. After putting some fresh gas in your bike’s tank, remember to add the proper amount of fuel stabilizer. It helps keep the fuel from deterioration, which can leave a layering of sludge on the carburetor’s components. Run the motorcycle for about ten minutes to allow the fuel and fuel stabilizer to properly circulate.
Top of the other fluids too. Double-check your motorcycle’s clutch, coolant and brake fluids. Replace or refill the fluids as necessary. Note to always apply the amount and type of fluid as your motorcycle’s manufacturer recommends. You can drain all of your bike’s fluids completely. Then simply refill when you’re getting ready to ride it again.
-Because winter temperatures in Illinois can reach below zero, check your motorcycle’s antifreeze to avoid engine freezing. Lubricate the throttle, shifter, kickstand and clutch cables to avoid moisture collection and rust.
-Drain old oil. Over the passage of time, engine oil can go from a clean fluid to filthy, dark sludge. Certainly, the contaminants in aging oil can cause corrosion on engine parts. Consequently, it can do some significant damage. Change your oil and filter plug prior to storing your motorcycle to prevent problems later on.
-Maintain your tires. Fill your motorcycle’s tires to the max recommended volume. Place your bike on its center stand, and rotate the front tire occasionally to prevent flat spots from forming.
-Apply wax to prevent rust. The metal components of a motorcycle can tend to collect moisture. As a result, that can lead to rust if the bike remains unattended for a lengthy period. Cleaning, fully drying, and then waxing your motorcycle before putting it in storage prevents risk of corrosion.
-Spray your motorcycle’s exhaust pipes with some WD-40 to shield against moisture and prevent rust. For more protection, put a clean towel or plastic bags into the bike’s intake and exhaust. This helps keep moisture out.