Winterizing Your Motorcycle
With snow and cold comes the time to put your bike away for the season. To ensure it’s ready to go when you are in the spring, follow these steps to winterizing your motorcycle.
You’ll need the following: cleaning cloths, spark plug wrench, trickle battery charger, high quality oil, new oil filter, oil can, chain lube (if your bike has a chain drive), fuel stabilizer, a spray can of WD40, a breathable motorcycle cover, plastic wrap, rubber bands, gloves, and things for cleaning and waxing your bike.
1) Place your bike on the main, centre stand.
- You can get aftermarket kits if your bike doesn’t have one.
- A rear paddock stand is a good alternative, as it helps get the weight off the tires.
2) Clean your bike.
- Protects the finish.
- Don’t spray water in the muffler opening.
- Make sure the bike is dry before storage - dry it by hand.
- Clean and polish with appropriate metal polishes.
- Wax all painted and chrome.
- Treat leather.
- Clean and lube the chain if you have one.
- Use WD40 to spray off any built up residues.
3) Drain the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer.
- This protects the tank from rusting.
- Add a fuel stabilizer to the tank to help prime it for the next season. Run the bike so that it can reach the carburetor and fuel injectors, then run it dry.
- Also drain your float bowls, if you have them.
4) Change the oil and filter.
- Make sure the engine is warm, so do this after you run the fuel stabilizer through.
- Leaving old oil can corrode engine parts as it becomes more acidic over time.
5) If possible, pull the battery or attach it to an intelligent charger.
- An intelligent charger will kick in when the battery’s power level drops below a certain percentage.
- If you don’t have an intelligent charger, make sure you charge the battery every 4-6 weeks so that it does not become totally depleted.
6) Wax, lube or grease all moving parts.
7) Cover the bike with a dust sheet.
- If you can’t store it inside, invest in a quality cover that is breathable and waterproof.
- If the cover doesn’t adequately cover the exhaust outlets, use plastic bags to prevent moisture from getting in.
8) Store somewhere dry and preferably inside.
- Heated and secured garage is ideal.
- Avoid storing your bike where it is exposed to chemical fumes, mildew, dripping water, wind, and critters.
- If you’re storing on concrete, consider placing plywood or thick carpet beneath your bike.
- Don’t store next to any motors, freezers, fridges, furnaces, or electric heaters as the ozone gas produced by these appliances may damage rubber pieces.