AMERiders knows how important it is to Winterize your Ride to Protect it from the Cold during the Winter months. So we offer you these tips to help keep the Motorcycle Doctor at Bay! We may not want to admit it but Winter is coming! For some of us, it is already here or will be in the next couple of weeks. As the air starts to cool off and the snow starts to fall, some of us will begrudgingly store our bikes. Then sit there tapping our feet waiting for warmer spring weather to ride again.
If your idea of storing your bike for winter is just throwing a cover over it, you may be in for some nasty surprises come spring time. The last thing anyone wants to find out when riding season starts is that their bike won’t start. So use these tips to make sure your ride is as ready as you are when it’s time to hit the road. To keep your motorcycle in peak running condition, there are some thins that need to be done before storing it.
Steps to Winterize your Ride
Depending on what kind of motorcycle you have there may be different things you will need to address. However, there are some general things to do to get ready for storage. The main enemy during winter storage for any bike is damage from moisture. So most of our winterizing efforts will be aimed at keeping that away from your bike. In addition, the fuel system, battery, tires, and all your moving parts will get some love as well. With a little prep work, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle come spring time. Plus your bike will be ready to hit the road as soon as you are!
1) Surface Prep
Washing your bike before storage is important; as letting bug guts or water spots sit on your paint can corrode the finish permanently. Wash your bike and dry it completely to get all the moisture off the surfaces (an electric leaf blower is a great way to get all the nooks and crannies really dry.)
Next add a coat of wax, which will act as a deterrent and a barrier against moisture and rust. Lastly, spray exposed metal surface with WD-40 to displace all moisture (did you know: the WD in “WD-40” stands for water displacement) and to give them a protective coating against corrosion.
2) Change Oil and Filter
Change your oil and filter. It’s better for your lubrication system to have fresh oil sitting in it for several months than to have used, broken down oil in it. Not to mention the last thing you’ll want to do when riding season begins is change the oil before you can go ride. Using a winter weight oil like 5W30 can help it start up easier come spring time as well.
If you’re going to be storing your bike for a long time (4-6 months or more) you will want to protect your engine’s internals against moisture by coating them lightly with oil. You may not be able to see it with your naked eye, but the cold winter air is perfect for moisture to gather in your engine and cause rust to form on your pistons and cylinder walls.
In order to do this, remove the spark plugs and put a little squirt (about a tablespoon) of engine oil into the holes, then turn your engine over a few times to coat the cylinder walls by spinning the rear wheel with the bike in gear. Once everything is coated, replace the spark plugs.
3) Lube Moving Parts
Ensure that moving parts are lubed for winter, this will help keep moisture from building up on them. If not lubed they can cause rusting or binding. Any part of your motorcycle that needs to be lubed at any point should be lubed again before storage. Some parts to check are the chain drive, cables, controls, fork surfaces, and any other pivot points.
4) Prep Fuel System
Another important step to Winterize your Ride is to prep your fuel system. Gas tanks have a tendency to rust when not in use, an untreated pump gas breaks down and becomes gummy over time. To prevent rusting and make sure your fuel is ready to run after a few months in storage, you’ll want to fill your tank completely with fuel treated with a product like Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer.
On your last ride of the season, stop in at the gas station nearest to where you will be storing your bike and add the proper amount of fuel stabilizer, then top off the tank. A full tank will keep moisture from building up on the tank walls, and adding the stabilizer before the short ride home will help mix the gas and stabilizer together and run it through your fuel system before storage.
5) Safeguard Battery
Batteries have a tendency to self-discharge when sitting over time, especially when they remain hooked up to the bike. The easiest way to combat this is to hook up a battery tender to monitor the charge and keep the battery topped off without overcharging. Normally you should pull the battery from the bike for storage, but with a smart tender, you can also connect the tender with the battery left in the bike. Before doing this, make sure the electrodes are clean and corrosion free; if necessary, clean them off and give them a light coating of grease.
6) Protect Tires
If your tires are left to sit in the same position all winter long, they could develop flat spots. Keeping the tires off of the ground will prevent this. One way to do this is with Motorcycle Stands, raise the bike up on them for storage. If you don’t have stands, then at least try to raise the rear tire off the ground. When that is not an option then rotate your tires by rolling your motorcycle slightly every few weeks. And If the motorcycle needs to be down on concrete, put a piece of carpet or plywood under it to keep any moisture from seeping into the tires.
7) Check Coolant/Anti-freeze
If you’ll be storing your bike somewhere that gets below freezing, ensure you have adequate levels of antifreeze in your coolant system. This is very important! If you run straight water in your coolant system and it freezes, you could come back to a cracked head in the spring!
8) Plug Out Pests
Mice and other rodents are notorious for hiding from the cold inside exhaust pipes and making homes out of air filters. If order to avoid any furry surprises when it’s time to ride again, plug up your pipes with an exhaust plug like the BikeMaster Rubber Muffler Plug. You can also simply stuff your air intake and the ends of your exhaust with some plastic bags – but do use bright colored bags or tie something to them so you don’t forget take them out when you fire up the bike!
9) Keep it Covered
Since you have made all the preparations to Winterize your Ride, it is smart to invest in a proper motorcycle cover. A quality motorcycle cover will not only keep dust off the bike, but will keep the moisture out so it doesn’t get trapped underneath it, and create corrosion or rust. If you’re storing it outside, be sure to get a cover with tie downs to prevent it from blowing loose in wind. If you’re storing it inside you’re in much better shape, but you should still use a cover to prevent dust from building up on it.
Don’t forget Halloween is around the corner!
Don’t forget Halloween is just around the corner and we all know that Bikers like to dress up too. We have a Halloween Sale going on from 10/6-10/21/2016 (keep and eye on the ticking clock above as it is counting down to the 21st). AMERiders is bringing spooky savings to you, on various items that are of the spooky nature. Look for our skeleton, ghosts, and or skulls as well as this ( ** On Sale for Halloween until 10/21/16** ) tag above the product description. Items have been taken from all over the site Apparel, Headwear, Helmets, and much more.
We would like to thank all of you that are taking advantage of the savings we are offering in the store. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet please go and check see what we have to offer you, and look for the ** On Sale for Halloween until 10/21/16** sale tag.
And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders be your spot for information on how to Winterize your Ride.
And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.
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