How To Store Your Motorcycle During Winter
Do you want to save money on motorcycle maintenance every time spring rolls around? When riding season starts? Every motorcycle owner should prepare his bike for winter, a season of inactivity. As we all know, can cause motorcycles a lot of maintenance issues if it is not thoroughly prepared for winter storage. Batteries for example, when not in use for a considerable time and leave it where it can freeze will cause the case to crack. Acid will come out of it and may spill on the bike. Just a drop of acid gets on the chain and will render it useless.
Wipe any grunge off the terminals of the battery and battery box. Spray on protectants to the connecting hardware and on the battery’s terminals. Keep your battery plug into a charger like Battery Tender. If a Battery Tender is not yet on your budget, incrementally charge the battery overnight every other week. If your battery is the kind where it requires fluid to be added, fill it up to the brim before storing. If your battery just goes blah during winter time, a Harley Davidson maintenance-free battery is one favorable replacement if you can find one that is compatible with your model motorcycle.
These days a lot of gasoline they are peddling at the pumps contain ethanol. Ethanol absorbs water from the atmosphere. If you ride your motorcycle regularly during summer, a few tanks of gasoline burn and its accompanying by-product which is water will go straight out to the exhaust.
But when it is winter and the bike is inactive, the water just settles in the tank and fuel system. That results in all kinds of maintenance problems. The fuel and water will mix,creating gum-like deposits in the fuel nozzles and carburetor. Although adding a few drops of gas preservative or fuel stabilizer (Stabile and Sea Foam) into the tank before each fill up, might prevent gas tank corrosion.
Changing oil and filter at proper interval during cold months will prevent unwelcome by-products we call gunk from mixing into the oil. In warmer season the gunk just burns off when the engine starts to warm up.
But during winter, ambient frigid temperature won’t help the engine to warm up enough to evaporate the gunk. So drain the old oil and filter,replace it with new oil. Ride your bike around the block to be sure fresh oil has diluted the nasty by-product. Slosh it around and coat everything inside the tank.
Tires are also another thing to consider. Traction during winter is dodgy. So check tire pressure and tread depth. Use a reliable tire gauge. At least fifty percent of the tread left is minimum, before venturing out on a slimy slurry winter roads. Inflate tires at suggested maximum pressure.
To avoid developing flat spots on tires, get your motorcycle blocked up off its wheels by using a work stand. Roll the motorcycle or rotate the tires every other wheel if you can’t get them off the floor. Store tires away from compressor,washing machines, freezer etc. away from all source of ozone.
If the brake fluid changes from its amber color to a darker hue, it means the brake fluid has absorbed that much water. It should be also be replaced. Same with hydraulically operated clutches wherein accumulated fluid impairs clutch dis-engagement particularly when engine is hot. Before storing the bike or right before riding it again, either way, old brake fluid should be replaced.
If a weekly rub-a dub on your motorcycle is not convenient, hit the do-it-yourself car wash. After that, make sure your motorcycle is thoroughly dry by taking a long fast ride. An effective way to get all the nooks and crannies dry out.
Apply wax to painted parts and chrome polish the chrome components. Replace the lubricants of cables,chain,control lever,drive shaft,locks,linkages,saddle hinges etc. Move it in a circular motion as you apply the lube just to get it into mechanism. Buy a variety of lubricants like WD40,LPS3 or S100 corrosion protectant, Maxima’s chain wax and other smaller components can be lube with Vaseline. Exhaust pipes could be sprayed with WD40. Keep the lube away from tires,grips and foot pegs.
Dirt, dust,road salt absorb moisture and are corrosive. It will eventually damage paint and metal. So to forestall rust, corrosion and aesthetic damage to your motorcycle, bucket wash and wipe clean your bike regularly.
So in conclusion, any moisture, water,gunk,contaminants or whatever you may want to describe the corrosive compounds that can invade your carburetor, fuel tanks,exhaust pipes, fuel nozzles etc. will send many motorcycle owners to their mechanics every spring and the repair costs is often quite enormous.
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