Motorcycle Winter Maintenance

4390085795_97be9abe4c_oIt’s important to keep your motorcycle maintained during the winter months. There are several actions you can take to make sure your vehicle remains in top condition. 

First, choosing where to store your bike is top priority. It’s best for a bike to be stored in a heated storage area. However, if this isn’t possible make sure the bike is covered and put in a sheltered area not exposed to the elements.Second, perform routine maintenance outlined in your owner’s manual before storing the bike away. Make sure the cables and chains are lubricated. Check the tires for wear and proper air pressure. It also doesn’t hurt to do a solid wash and wax job on the bike, either.A major component to maintaining a bike for storage revolves around changing the oil. Dirty oil can cause premature engine wear and increased corrosion. There is no special oil for winter storage, but it’s a good idea to ensure this is completed before putting the bike away.Adding fuel stabilizer to your bike before storing it is extremely important. If left unchecked, excess fuel left in the engine during storage can cause a lot of mechanical problems in the engine. This is the result of evaporation and oxidation which can severely impact the components of the bike’s engine. Follow the instructions for the fuel stabilizer closely, and consult a professional if you’re unsure about how to use it.

The final step in storing the bike is choosing the right cover. You want to make sure not to get a plastic tarp since plastic traps moisture. This action can lead to corrosion to the exterior paint and chrome. It’s in your best interest to invest in a breathable cover for long-term storage. These are available from your dealer or an aftermarket supplier.

Finally, make sure to check the battery during the storage time. If the battery is kept charged, it will last longer. However, don’t overcharge the battery or you can risk complications later. There are battery minders available that operate in cycles, keeping your battery optimized when the bike isn’t in use. Follow these simple steps and you will keep your bike in great condition for the road come spring.