Tips For Protecting Your Motorcycle During Winter Storage

The preparation for your motorcycle's winter storage is an important process that must be done correctly to prevent long-term damage. If you're just coming into your first winter as a motorcycle owner, you may not understand the fundamentals of getting your bike ready for its cold-weather storage period. Here are a few things that you should do before putting the bike away to ensure its proper condition when you're ready to ride again.

Plan a Tune Up

A couple of days before you put the bike away for the season, schedule a tune up at your favorite motorcycle repair shop. The technician will go through the engine components, making sure everything is in good condition. He or she will also change the transmission fluid and oil so that both are fresh.

This is beneficial, because flushing out old oil gets rid of any particles, debris or contaminants that may have been in the oil pan. These can develop from dirt in the engine, shavings of metal from friction and many other things. Leaving them through the winter storage season can cause them to stick to the bottom of the oil pan, creating sludge.

The technician will also install a new air filter and ensure that the air box is clean and sealed. If it doesn't get sealed properly, it can invite rodent infestation during storage. In the final stage of the tune up, the technician will lubricate all of your cables and the chain to protect them during the storage period.

Fill the Tank

You should never store a motorcycle with low fuel in the tank. This leaves space in the tank, and condensation can develop in that space during temperature fluctuations during the season. That condensation can contaminate and destroy the fuel. Avoid this by filling the gas tank completely with a non-ethanol gas, then treating it with a fuel stabilizer so that you don't risk gumming up the fuel, which can varnish the carburetor and clog the fuel lines.

Charge the Battery

Any time you store your motorcycle, disconnect and remove the battery. When you're storing for a long period of time, you should charge the battery using a trickle charger so that it doesn't discharge itself and need replacement.

With these tips, you can keep your motorcycle in its top condition for the spring. That way, when you're ready to take it out again, you can just replace the battery, give it a thorough inspection and start it up.