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  • Writer's pictureRussell Westbrook

Winterizing Your Motorcycle: Tips for Storage and Maintenance

Updated: Feb 20



As the winter season approaches, it's imperative to ensure your cherished motorcycle is adequately prepared for hibernation. The process of winterizing your motorcycle is not just about stowing it away; it's about preserving its integrity and ensuring it's ready to hit the road when the warmer days return. In this comprehensive guide, we will meticulously explore the essential steps required to winterize your motorcycle effectively, covering everything from storage to maintenance. Let's embark on this journey to safeguard your two-wheeled companion!

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Winter Storage

Clean and Protection

Before tucking your motorcycle away for the winter, embark on a crucial mission - giving it a thorough cleansing. Eliminate every speck of dirt, grime, and the remnants of road salt that may have adhered to your bike. This step is pivotal in preventing corrosion during the storage period. Once cleaned, apply a top-notch wax or a protectant specifically designed for motorcycles. This protective layer will shield your motorcycle's paint and metal surfaces from the harsh winter elements.

Change Oil and Filter

Your motorcycle's engine needs love before its winter slumber. Replace the oil and the oil filter. Fresh oil is essential for preventing moisture buildup and potential engine corrosion. After the oil change, it's advisable to run the engine for a brief period to ensure the new oil effectively circulates throughout the entire system.

Fuel Stabilization

Fuel is another aspect that demands your attention. Adding a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank is paramount. Running the engine for a few minutes ensures that the stabilizer permeates the carburetor or fuel injectors. This action is crucial in preventing fuel deterioration and the subsequent clogging of the fuel system.

Battery Maintenance

Batteries tend to lose their charge during prolonged periods of inactivity. To counteract this, it's wise to remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry location. Alternatively, consider using a battery tender or maintainer to keep it charged throughout the winter months.

Tire Care

Tires can develop flat spots if they're overinflated and left stationary for an extended period. To prevent this, reduce the tire pressure to the manufacturer's recommended level. Additionally, if possible, employ a center stand or motorcycle lift to take the weight off the tires during storage.

Storing Your Motorcycle

Find the Perfect Storage Spot

The choice of storage location plays a pivotal role in the winterizing process. Ideally, store your motorcycle in a climate-controlled garage. If that's not an option, invest in a high-quality motorcycle cover to shield it from the harsh outdoor elements. Regardless of where you store it, ensure the area is dry and free from any potential moisture sources.

Elevate Your Motorcycle

Elevating your motorcycle is an often-overlooked aspect of winter storage. Utilizing a motorcycle stand or paddock stands can help keep the tires off the ground, thus preventing flat spots from forming during the extended idle period.

The Importance of a Quality Motorcycle Cover

Investing in a premium motorcycle cover is a wise decision to protect your bike from dust and potential damage. Make sure the cover is breathable to prevent condensation buildup while in storage.


Regular Maintenance Checks

Monthly Inspections

During the winter storage period, it's essential to perform monthly inspections. Examine your motorcycle meticulously for any signs of corrosion, leaks, or unwelcome rodent infestations. Don't forget to lubricate moving parts and ensure that all components remain in pristine condition. For a deeper inspection of your motorcycle's condition, ANCEL's Motorcycle Scanner is an indispensable tool! Click it! https://www.ancel.com/collections/motocycle-diagnostic-tool



Start the Engine Periodically

If possible, make it a habit to start your motorcycle and allow it to run for a few minutes every couple of weeks. This routine helps circulate the oil and keeps the engine in good working condition.

Preparing for Spring

Remove Your Motorcycle from Storage

As winter bids adieu and spring emerges, it's time to prepare your motorcycle for the upcoming riding season. Carefully extract it from storage and perform a thorough inspection to identify any issues that may have arisen during the dormant period.

Recharge the Battery

If you remove the battery during storage, it's essential to recharge it fully before reinstalling it in your motorcycle. A charged battery is vital for a smooth start when you're eager to hit the road.

Check Fluids and Tires

Before embarking on your first spring ride, take the time to check all fluid levels, including oil and brake fluid. Additionally, verify the tire pressure and adjust it to the recommended levels to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the process of winterizing your motorcycle is a labor of love and a vital step in preserving its longevity and optimal performance. By diligently following these comprehensive tips for storage and maintenance, you can safeguard your valuable investment and look forward to many more exhilarating miles on the open road.

FAQs

How often should I start my motorcycle during winter storage?

Starting your motorcycle and letting it run for a few minutes every couple of weeks is a good practice to circulate the oil and prevent engine issues.

Can I store my motorcycle outdoors during winter?

While it's best to store your motorcycle in a dry, climate-controlled garage, if outdoor storage is necessary, use a high-quality motorcycle cover to protect it from the elements.

Do I need to change the oil before storing my motorcycle for the winter?

Yes, changing the oil before winter storage is recommended to prevent moisture buildup and engine corrosion.


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