While there are still various lengths of the riding season left, our friends in the Northeast and Upper Midwest are already starting to think about putting their bike away for the winter. Here are some reminders if you haven’t started considering them already:
- Clean it – a thorough wash and wax (metal and paint) will help keep out moisture later.
- Park it – keep it out of the cold and protected from rain and rodents. The latter like to house themselves in the exhaust.
- Fuel it — fill the tank, add fuel stabilizer, then run the engine to let the mixture work its way through the engine and fuel delivery system. You could also drain the tank dry, then spray the inside with WD-40 to keep it from rusting.
- Change the Oil — do this before you park it, then again in the Spring before you ride it. Condensation can get into the oil over a long period of time and compromise its integrity.
- Prep the Engine – ride the bike just enough to warm it up. Then take out the spark plugs and squirt a bit of engine oil into each hole. Raise the rear wheel and spin it a few times to turn the bike over with the plugs out. Then replace the plugs.
- Battery protection – disconnect it and store it where it won’t freeze. Use a trickle charger as an option.
- Save the Tires — use tire stands front and rear to get the weight of the bike off the tires.
- Seal the Pipes – use a non-edible material to plug or seal the openings of your pipes to prevent critters from climbing insider. (See #2 above.)
- Cover It — even if your bike is going to be indoors, keep it covered to prevent scratches and dust buildup over the time it’s just sitting.
Thanks to The Total Motorcycle Manual for all of the above.