Every year around this time my local riding club is always buzzing with the best way to prep their motorcycles for winter. Unfortunately for you, this might be coming a little late as snow has fallen in parts of the country already. Timing is ticking, so let’s get down to business!
The first thing you want to do is make sure your battery will be good to go next riding season. If you have a newer motorcycle you might have it equipped with a system that is the equivalent of a smart charger for your battery. IF you do, just hook it up and you are good to go. If you do not have one of these, you’ll have to remove the battery from the bike. In order to do so, disconnect the negative cable (the one with the “-“ sign) first. Then simply disconnect the positive cable and remove the battery. Store the battery in a safe place, on a wooden block to preserve it.
This is a highly debated part of motorcycle winterization. Unless you have a heated garage and can guarantee you won’t get water vapour build up in your tank, I highly recommend you fill your gas tank before storing your bike. Before you freak out, yes I understand gas has about a month long shelf life before it begins to evaporate and turn into bad gas. This is fixed by adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank. The full tank will prevent water vapour from building up and the fuel stabilizer will make sure the gas doesn’t go bad.
Before you put the bike away, make sure you lubricate all the cables on the bike. Then also make sure to clean and lubricate the chain.
Change the oil
Keep things fresh and do an oil change before you put the bike away. Make sure to rotate the engine a few times to get the new oil in all parts of it.
If you’re bike has a side stand only, inflate the tires about 10 psi more and make sure to move the bike every so often to rotate the tires and prevent flat spots. If the bike has a centre stand, put the bike on it and then put a piece of wood or a jack stand on the front wheel. This will remove the weight from the tires and they won’t form flat spots.
That should cover it and you’ll be back to happy riding in a few months!