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Winter Storage Tips for Your Motorcycle
With the holidays quickly approaching, the weather has turned colder and the first snow has fallen in many areas of the United States. While some people may celebrate the changing of seasons, this time of year is often disappointing for many motorcyclists, since it is when we take our last rides of the year and then store the motorcycle for the next few months.
In a previous post on the RC Components blog, we talked about safety tips for winter riding. That said, most motorcyclists don’t want to risk being caught in the snow, so they choose to put their bikes into winter hibernation. Today’s post will be for those who store their motorcycles in the winter. Read on to see our tips for winter motorcycle storage, and be sure to browse our site for custom motorcycle wheels and other upgrades to add to your bike this winter.
Change the Oil
In order to get your motorcycle ready for long-term storage over the winter, you will want to first change the oil and oil filter. Changing the oil and oil filter will ensure that there is quality oil in the machine while it is just sitting, which is a good way to prevent problems from developing in the future.
You should strongly consider changing the oil, even if your motorcycle is not yet due for a change. This is simply one of the best forms of preventative maintenance you can perform prior to storing your bike.
Add Fuel Stabilizer and Fluids
Just as you will want quality oil in your motorcycle over the winter, you will want to ensure that there is quality fuel and fluids in the machine as well. Fuel can degrade rather quickly, and impurities in fuel can damage the carburetor as well as make the motorcycle more difficult to start.
In order to avoid this, add new fuel and fuel stabilizer to the motorcycle. Be sure to run the engine for a few minutes to ensure that the fuel stabilizer spreads throughout the engine. Fuel stabilizer is an essential part of long-term motorcycle storage, so don’t skip this step.
While you are servicing your motorcycle, you might as well take time to top off your brake and clutch fluids, as well as the coolant. Doing so will give you peace of mind and let you rest knowing that your motorcycle is sitting with quality fluids in it, rather than old, degrading fluids.
Wash and Dry the Motorcycle
Once you are done performing these routine services to your ride, you will want to get the hose, soapy water, and wax out. Take time to wash the surfaces of your motorcycle, while paying extra attention to make sure all the dirt and grime from a summer full of riding are removed.
After washing your bike, you will want to dry it and get the wax out. This step plays an integral role in safeguarding your motorcycle from moisture and rust that can set in over the weeks and months of storage. You definitely don’t want to deal with rust when you go to ride in the spring, so use extra care when cleaning your bike.
Keep the Battery in Good Condition
Let’s face it — batteries were not designed to be stored for long periods of time. Motorcycle batteries will quickly deteriorate in the winter without the proper level of care. This is especially true if they are exposed to cold temperatures, which can cause them to freeze.
Keep your battery from freezing and losing charge this winter by investing in a small battery charger. Then, disconnect the battery from your motorcycle and store it in an area where it won’t be exposed to the extreme cold. Every few weeks, take a little time to charge the battery. Charging the battery and keeping it in warm storage will allow you to get the most life out of it and avoid changing batteries after every winter.
Get a Fitted Cover and Keep Creatures Away
Have mice ever invaded your home in the winter? Winter is typically when mice and other critters move indoors to avoid the cold. Just like your house, your motorcycle can become home to creatures looking to escape the snowy conditions outside.
Get a fitted cover for your motorcycle to help keep moisture, rust, and creatures away. You should also consider stuffing your exhaust and intake pipes with towels or plastic bags to keep mice from creating nests in those spots. Just remember to remove these when you break your bike out for the summer!
Find a Cool, Dark Place for Storage
Now that you have changed oil, added fluids, washed your motorcycle, disconnected the battery, and found a fitted cover, you are ready to store your ride for the winter. But where to store it?
You will want to avoid areas with direct sunlight, but you will also want to keep it in a place that doesn’t freeze often. Choose a cool and dark corner of your garage or storage unit. The space should also be relatively dry so that your motorcycle doesn’t rust over the coming months.
Don’t Neglect Your Motorcycle
Ready for the most important tip for winter storage? Don’t neglect your motorcycle! Even if you are unable to do some of the things on this list, you can still take a few hours on a weekend to give your ride the care it deserves. By doing so, you will avoid headaches and frustration when you finally get to ride again.
Get Custom Motorcycle Wheels and Equipment From RC Components!
Hopefully today’s post has helped you understand some of the steps you should take prior to locking your motorcycle away for the winter. Follow these tips, talk with your local mechanic, and find a good show to keep you occupied, and the winter will go smoothly for you and your bike.
If you want to make any upgrades to your motorcycle this winter, then choose RC Components. We have been leading makers of custom motorcycle wheels for decades, and we also sell a variety of other upgrades you can add to your ride. With our help, you will be riding in style in no time! Browse our site today to shop for upgrades.