Snyder's Riders - Top 5 Motorcycle Winter Storage Tips
As winter arrives and we have to put our bikes to the side, here are a few tips to ensure you're ready to roll, once spring arrives!
#1) Fuel Up Your Motorcycle
A full tank is a happy tank ... as long as you add a quality fuel stabilizer to the mix before putting your baby to rest. Corrosion is your main enemy here and unless you are prepping your ride for a museum-like, years-long nap, it's best to avoid totally draining the tank. If you have a carbureted bike, be sure to at least turn the fuel supply valve off. Those in the know can likewise drain the carb bowls. Add the stabilizer and allow the bike to run the allotted time then turn the fuel off. Continue to run the bike until it has drained the fuel in the system (check the directions on the stabilizer bottle for specifics). If you have any petcock issues, be sure to address those before your bike is put away for the winter.
#2) Use a Battery Tender
Best to use a battery tender to keep your bike's electrical system at the ready. If you don't have a reliable power source near where you store your bike, then you'll want to remove it and take it to a (safe) place indoors to charge. Important that you purchase a quality battery "tender" rather than a "trickle charger". The tender will automatically adjust it's capabilities to avoid over-charging and perhaps damaging your battery.
#3) Change Your Oil and Oil Filter
Often neglected until the spring, changing your oil and filter before storage is highly recommended. Combustion gases have a tendency to seep into your oil forming carbonic and sulfuric acids. Not an issue when you are regularly riding your bike. But when left idle for longer periods of time these materials can quietly damage your bearings. Change it now and you'll go a long way to ensuring your bike is happy and ready to ride when the weather breaks!
#4) Clean and Cover
Taking the time to thoroughly clean, wax and/or polish your ride before storing is another highly recommended task to complete before that winter nap. Leaving dirt, moisture, or, even worse, salt dust on a bike will only add headaches to your spring to-do list. Water and grit are two of a motorcycle's worst friends. Make sure they are not invited to the party! And once clean, invest in a quality, motorcycle specific cover intended for long-term storage. Optional is to use 100% cotton bed sheets. Our goal is to avoid moisture and allow air to circulate around the bike to eliminate condensation.
#5) Step Away from the Bike!
Depending on where you store your bike, allow it to sleep peacefully without constantly peeking/removing the cover or having it go through unnecessary temperature changes. This will only (literally) open the door to that dreaded condensation you've been working so hard to keep at bay. Also avoid starting your bike up just to hear it roar. Not only is a cold-weather start hard on the motor, but if not running it up to full operating temperature, you again risk inviting moisture into places it doesn't belong (like your exhaust system). Unless you're taking it out for an extended ride, allow your bike to hide where it resides. Resist the temptation. Both you and your bike will be glad you did!
When in doubt, check with your local dealership or mechanic for specific recommendations based on your make and model. We wish you and your bike a safe and secure winter season and look forward to seeing you on a happy, clean and sparkling machine come next spring!
And to help you expand those skills during this offseason, contact Snyder's Riders to schedule your FREE group presentation. A variety of topics are available with these fun and interactive workshops. We are currently filling our December through March seminar schedule. Email us TODAY at SnydersRiders@gmail.com to get in the game!