Winterizing Tips for Your Motorcycle

quotes from zen and art of motorcycle maintenance

 

Well, here is a subject I figured I would never write about, mostly because it is inapplicable to me. But, with the cold winters of Colorado in my future and the warm winters of south Florida soon behind me, I realized I had to look into this and figure out what to do come winter time.

With temperatures dropping fast, it’s that time of year for some motorcycle riders. So, as you get ready to put your bike away, here are some tips to keep your motorcycle in tip-top shape for the winter.

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Garage

Obviously this is the first choice if and when possible. Whatever house I end up in, it will have a garage, if not, I would need a storage shed for two motorcycles that I can run electric to in order to keep the battery tenders connected to my motorcycles. If not, worst case scenario, since I’m buying a cargo trailer, I can store it there and run extension cords to it.

I’ve looked into the possibility of storage facilities, but haven’t found any that have electrical hookups, but I don’t feel like driving to one on a regular basis either.

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Dealerships

Living my entire life in Miami, I had no idea dealerships will store your motorcycle during the winter months. Sounds like a great idea. Make it their problem and they will maintain it as well. That is the perfect time to put any upgrades on your motorcycle or required maintenance.

Speaking with someone online a few days ago, I told him I never did upgrades to my motorcycle because I never wanted to be without it for two weeks since Florida is year-round riding weather. Now, I can finally do everything I always wanted to do to my motorcycle.

Motorcycle Cover

Even if in a garage, make sure to get a motorcycle cover. Years ago I kept my Goldwing in the garage but without a cover, until I dropped something on the tank and it chipped the paint. Never again.

Now, for covers, believe it or not, I prefer thick bed comforters. You could buy the standard nylon motorcycle cover, but I hate removing it, tying the straps to the rim so the wind doesn’t lift it, or clipping it together. If not, I’m trying to figure out which is the front part. With a thick cover, it slides right off and if something falls on it, the comforter is thick enough to protect it. Just buy one at any Goodwill store.

Outside

If you have to have your motorcycle outside, one option is the portable garages that cover your motorcycle. They are pricey, but at least it protects your motorcycle somewhat from the elements; moisture being your biggest enemy.

Try using water repellent spray and that should help somewhat with keeping moisture under control.

Batteries

As mentioned above, make sure to have a battery tender. It is cheap, twenty dollars or less, and probably the best investment you can make since current continues to flow through the battery, keeping it charged. Sealed batteries have zero maintenance basically, so that is enough. If you are old school, I’ve been told by friends that live up north to rub some Vaseline on the terminals to prevent corrosion.

Radiator

Anti-freeze is a must to add to your coolant. I should add gas stabilizer to my generator too, but I admit I don’t. But, I’ll make a note now to do so and make sure you do to.

Oil

Change it- it’s that simple and the filter as well. And don’t forget to lube the chain as well.

One final thought, I ride a lot less in the summers in south Florida because the weather is brutal. The same way some cannot ride in the winter because of the weather is the same for us in Miami since one hundred degrees does not make for good riding weather. Thus, I like to start up my motorcycles and I also move it from its position since I have read before that keeping the motorcycle in the same spot will flatten the tires over time.

MC Atty