We live in Kansas and we know our winters! It can be absolutely cruel to us and our bikes, and until spring comes, we have some recommendations on how to keep your favorite ride in riding condition!
We all know the feeling. It’s getting cold outside, which always puts us motorcycle lovers in a “down and out” kind of mood, and ultimately we must face putting our motorcycles up for the winter.
Before you put your motorcycle in its (what seems like a time-out for all of us) “hibernation spot”, we recommend cleaning it FIRST! This means a thorough wash and wax, which will ultimately protect it from dust. Dust attracts moisture, and the two elements co-depend and react in a VERY un-wanted and negative way: RUST! So make sure you pick a place where it is protected from the weather and from rodents! If you can’t park it in a heated garage or your bedroom, try a well-protected area that isn’t widely exposed to the elements OR rodents! We recommend using our S100 Cycle Care Set, a kit that includes: 1 Bottle of Total Cycle Cleaner, 1 Can of Detailer and Wax Application, 1 Drying Towel, 1 Bottle of Corrosion Protectant, 1 Yellow Sponge, and 1 Finish Restorer Surface Formula, for 52.99 you get all you need and THEN SOME! And don’t forget your pipes! Exhaust systems are notorious for being susceptible to rust issues. Spraying into the muffler ends with a lubricator or corrosion protection spray and softly putting a plastic bag into the opening will keep moisture from getting inside the exhaust. Then with plastic or our (we have many options listed in the next section) We like to use “Atlantic Radglanz” Corrosion Preventive Oil Spray.
Another important thing, that often times, goes over-looked: THE FUEL, as well as, all your motorcycles fluids. Start with the gas, first fill the tank, then add a stabilizer. We use Profil’s Fuel-Max and Carburettor System Cleaner, which is designed for ideal internal conservation and the prevention of residue buildup over longer, standstill, periods of time. Once this additive is in the tank, ride your motorcycle for several miles; mixing the fuel and additive and working through the fuel-delivery system (best with fuel injectors). Another way, or option, is to drain the fuel tank; running the engine dry. This method can help keep the carburetors protected from varnishing. For metal fuel tanks, you can also, spray the inside with a rust inhibitor, such as WD-40 or we also offer an Anti-Corrosion Additive. Make sure to check your bike for any leaking and other important liquids like your brake and clutch fluids, THESE ARE WIDELY KNOWN TO ABSORB MOISTURE, which could contaminate the fluids and will cause major corrosion! Also, check the anti-freeze; make sure it has the correct amount for your liquid cooled bike.*May not apply to all motorcycles.
“Any oil, is better, than no oil. And clean
oil, is better, than dirty oil. Check it and change it!”
And don’t forget to prep the engine! This includes changing the oil. Changing it before you store your bike AND when you ride it afterwards, prevents moisture from condensation and mixing with the oil, which compromises it. Oil is cheap, however, new bearings aren’t! Any oil, is better, than no oil and clean oil, is better, than dirty oil. Check it and change it! Make sure to ALWAYS use the correct OIL! NEVER use car oil on motorcycles! It contains friction modifiers which will cause the clutch to slip and cause major cost in restoring and fixing your bike. To the rest of your engine, simply, replace the spark plugs. To do so, warm up your engine, then remove the spark plugs. Squirt engine oil into each hold, slowly turn the bike over with the plugs out by putting the bike in gear, raise the rear wheel, and spin it a few times, then replace your spark plugs with new ones.
A reason we mentioned storing your bike in a place protected from rodents, should be self-explanatory, they like to get into any small spaces they can and burrow through wiring and especially air boxes and battery boxes. This brings us to our next step, of winterizing your motorcycle, the battery. The best way to ensure your batteries life support isn’t drained is, to either disconnect it and store it in a safe warm place (protected from freezing), or connect it to a trickle charger. We have a few options to choose from if you find yourself in need of one.
A few more things to keep in mind are the tires and pipes. Keep your tires off the cold ground during cold winter months; this will help keep them from cracking during the dry and freezing weather. We have many, many stands to choose from! Moisture caused from climate change can cause cracking it is good to keep them in running shape by checking your tire pressure and inflating them to their max recommendations. If you plan on riding your motorcycle during cold weather, we urge you NOT TO USE tire dressings such as Armor-All or cleaning foam, as it could potentially freeze the surface rubber of your tires and this could end catastrophically if met on the road.
Now, cover your bike: we offer many bike covers that are specific to winterizing. Check out the following products and our website to protect your motorcycle. If you have any questions or need products you cannot locate give us a call today!