We’ve put together a straightforward 7-step guide to help you get started if you’ve never winterized before or just need a refresher.
Even though our riding season is longer than most places, winter in New Orleans is miserable whether we like it or not. A large number of cyclists in this area continue to ride all winter long, while others store their bikes during the coldest months.
Simply keeping something inside is insufficient if it will be left out for an extended period of time. In order to keep your bike’s fuel and parts in good shape over the winter, you must winterize it. If you take these few easy steps, you can guarantee that your bike will start up easily the following year and will look and operate as it did in the past.
Tips for Winterizing Your Bike
There are numerous ways to prepare your motorcycle for winter, but if you use our checklist, it will stay in excellent condition all winter long and be prepared for spring.
Store the Motorcycle in a Dry Location
It’s crucial to find dry, weather-protected winter storage when putting your bike away for the year. To prevent the paint from fading over time from constant exposure to light, avoid storing it close to windows.
To avoid moisture coming into contact with the metal and rusting it, the motorcycle should also have a cover. Avoid using plastic because it can trap moisture and allow it to come into contact with the bike.
Plug the Pipes
Many bike owners aim to achieve the ideal exhaust note. The last thing you want after installing the ideal set of pipes on your bike is for rodents to decide to make it their winter home.
When storing your motorcycle for the winter, plug the exhaust pipes with a piece of steel wool to keep unwanted animals out.
Stuff the Airbox
In order for internal combustion to work, you need oxygen. What happens is that over the winter, mice and other nefarious rodents like to sneak into the airbox of your bike and eat the air filter or build a nest.
The bike will either run poorly or not start at all when you press the magic button in the spring if these vile vermin have their way.
Therefore, get an oily rag and stuff it in the intake to prevent animals from entering. Exhaust pipe: follow the same procedure. Additionally, be careful not to put anything inside that you can’t remove in the spring.
Safeguard the Top End
Do you want to prevent rust from forming on the rings and cylinder? To make sure everything is nice and protected, spray some lube down the spark plug hole. If you use a light aerosol or engine oil, this will disappear quickly the next time you start the motorcycle.
Avoid filling it entirely with Bunker C.
Use Fuel Stabilizer
According to Family Handyman, chemical reactions can cause fuel that has been stored to deteriorate. After just three months, you might experience ignition issues. The motor can also be harmed by deteriorated fuel.
According to Motor Biscuit, a fuel stabilizer keeps the fuel fresh by preventing gas and ethanol from separating and harming the fuel. Consumer Reports suggests that you look at the fuel stabilizer bottle itself for instructions prior to use.
Pour it into the gas tank while measuring it out as instructed. Start the engine next to allow the stabilizer to permeate the entire fuel system.
Lube the Chain
The chain on your bike needs to be treated unless it is an electric bike. Do you recall how we mentioned running the motorcycle to warm the chain?
That is helpful at this point. Lubricating a warm chain is simple. The lube is drawn in by the heat and spreads more easily around the rollers, links, and O-rings. During the chilly winter, the lubricant shields your chain from salt and rust.
Replace the Fluids
Your engine oil, transmission fluid, and primary fuel are all considered fluids. These fluids may degrade if routine maintenance is neglected, just like tank fuel.
Your internal transmission components and the engine can suffer damage from gummy and murky oil. The best course of action for you would be to replace each of those fluids before putting your bike away.
Now drain the coolant from the radiator if your motorcycle is liquid-cooled. If coolants are left idle for a long time, they may become acidic. Any delicate aluminum parts in the radiator or cooling system are especially vulnerable to damage from acidic coolants.
Wash and Wax Your Bike
On your bike, you’re likely to find dirt, dust, grease, and even bird droppings. These can all be cleaned up with a good wax and wash. To avoid harming your bike’s finish, you must use bike-specific washes.
Completely wash, dry, and wax your bicycle to protect the finish. Wax keeps the aluminum, paint, and chrome parts polished and in pristine condition.
In this manner, the wax will prevent corroding and ensure that your bike looks good when it’s time to ride in the spring.
Keep the Battery Charged
As soon as you start winterizing your motorcycle, be sure to keep the battery charged by connecting it to a battery maintainer that will automatically shut off to prevent overcharging. By doing so, the battery won’t discharge itself and the cells will be properly taken care of.
Why Should You Winterize Your Motorcycle?
Deposits or sediment may form in the cooling system and gas tank if you don’t winterize your bike and simply store it for a long time. You might have brittle chains, cracked tires, and a dead battery as a result of the oil becoming sluggish.
Your bike will be prepared to ride on the first day of spring or on one of those warm winter days if you properly winterize it and get it ready before storing it.
Update the Address on Your Insurance Policy
You should let your insurer know if you plan to keep your motorcycle at a different address over the winter. According to III, putting a car in a secure garage, especially one that’s used for business, may result in a lower premium.
Because motorcycle insurance premiums are partly based on your location, like auto insurance premiums, this is true.
For instance, according to III, if your garaging address is in a city with a high rate of theft and collisions, your rates may increase because the risk of making a claim is higher.
These costs, however, might decrease if your motorcycle is kept in a secure commercial location, particularly if you aren’t using the vehicle. Be sure to contact your insurer because this varies from company to company.
Conclusion: Winterize a Motorcycle
Check your motorcycle insurance policy or speak with your insurance agent, last but not least. Your vehicle is still vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and physical damage even if you store it indoors.
Once you’ve completed one last enjoyable ride before the winter months begin, it’s time to work on these maintenance suggestions. You’ll be ready to ride when spring returns if you do that.