It’s once again that time of year. The weather is getting colder, and soon snow will start to fall. This implies that before the worst of winter hits, you must winterize your motorcycle. Making ensuring your bike can withstand the iciest months of the year is key. If you intend to put your motorcycle away for the winter, you must carefully store it to prevent damage from occurring throughout the season.
Many riders neglect to properly winterize their bikes, which can result in a variety of issues come spring, such as dead batteries, rusty gas tanks, and damaged carburetors. A helmet communication system can let you summon help if your bike breaks down in the thick of winter.
No matter how you want to use your motorcycle this winter, it will always be less expensive to keep it in good working order than to replace or fix these crucial components.
A motorcycle’s winterization might be a laborious operation. We’ll look at some of the top strategies for fending off the elements so you can ride all year.
Begin with a plan
Create a plan for winterizing your motorcycle before moving on to each item on the list. Ensure that you have everything you’ll need to finish the project and survive till spring.
Think about how you intend to use your bike throughout the season. If you enjoy riding a lot, you might want to keep going nonstop.
Until the worst of the weather strikes, many bikers will continue to ride. The coldest months or weeks of the year, or as soon as the roads are clear, they will pack up their motorcycles. Everything depends on how comfortable you are and how you intend to travel around.
Motorcycle riding is never advised during a snowstorm or blizzard. It can be exceedingly risky to ride in the snow. Black ice has the same properties. Riding on four wheels is much easier than balancing on two. In icy or snowy conditions, the majority of round motorcycle tires don’t have enough traction.
There’s a strong chance you’ll need to keep your bike for some of the winter, depending on the local conditions. It only remains to be seen when and how long.
If your motorcycle is your only mode of transportation, you might want to plan ahead for when the snow falls and find a different mode of transportation.
Your Checklist for Winterizing
Every rider should be familiar with basic bike maintenance. Take your motorcycle to a professional, nevertheless, if some of the methods listed below make you uncomfortable. According to experts, getting your motorcycle winterized at an auto shop typically costs around $200. When you consider how much you’ll save on prospective repairs, that is more than worthwhile. Even while doing it yourself will save you money, you should always seek professional advice if you have any doubts.
In light of this, follow these instructions to maintain your bike in top shape during the winter:
Care for the Fuel
You can either empty your gas tank or use treated gasoline to prevent the gas from spoiling while you get ready for the winter.
The latter method must be used if your motorcycle is fuel injected because there is no way to empty the gasoline tank. Grab a jerry container and add fuel stabilizer to it. This neutralizes the ethanol that can corrode your gas tank while preventing the fuel from going bad.
Fill up the gas tank as much as you can with treated fuel to keep it full. To avoid rust, the tank’s interior air volume is constrained. For the treated gas to properly pass through the system, let the engine run for a few minutes. As soon as you get back on your bike, the tank will be full.
If your motorcycle has carburetors and a petcock, you can either drain the fuel system to stop corrosion and other types of deterioration or keep the tank filled using the approach described above. When you feel like taking a ride, you’ll need to fill your tank.
Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. While leaving the tank empty can cause the seals to dry out, keeping the tank full puts greater strain on the petcock. Choose one of these alternatives to avoid long-term harm.
Another tip regarding petcocks: To avoid pressure buildup, keep the valve in the off position. The pressure from the gasoline tank will erode the rubber-tipped needles in the carbs if the valve is left open. Over time, fluid may even flow past the needles and into the cylinders, causing pooling and inadequate lubrication.
Wrap the bicycle
Regardless of where you intend to store your bike for the winter, it’s crucial to cover it. The bike should be covered when being stored indoors in a climate-controlled setting. Consider putting your bike in a self-storage facility if you don’t have a heated garage to keep it out of the way. It’s far preferable to putting it outside in the cold.
Put your bike under an awning if you must leave it outside so that it won’t get wet. Never put your bike underneath a power line or tree branch since the snow may cause them to fall. Keep in mind that snow is heavy and will probably move with time.
Wrap your bike as tightly as you can when storing it. Nothing is better than a plastic tarp. To wrap the blanket or tarp securely around the bike, use bungee cords, weights, and other items. To keep moisture out, attempt to seal the area weatherproof.
Whether you should cover your motorcycle when keeping it outside is a topic of some controversy. It is possible that all the extra moisture from the winter will seep into your bike cover and harm the aluminum nuts and bolts as well as dull the paint.
Make sure the bike cover you select is waterproof to ward off moisture.
In the winter, everyone seeks a warm location, even mice and rats. Regardless of whether your motorcycle is outside or indoors, these creatures can get inside. They are capable of eating their way through the bike cover as well as most other metal objects, such as wiring and air filters. Even worse, they’ll poop inside your exhaust pipe.
To prevent these pests from entering your motorcycle, use plugs. Keep a line of mouse traps nearby for added security.
When spring finally arrives, you’ll be so glad you took the time to maintain your bike. You’ll be able to take your motorcycle out for its first ride of the year. Sooner rather than later, the temperature will rise.