Prep your motorcycle for winter

A dedicated owner will want to protect the motorcycle inside and out from any form of damage over the winter months.

Here is a quick check list of what to do before parking your motorcycle for the winter:

Ride to a nearby gas station and fill up your gas tank with fresh gas. Add some fuel stabilizer and ride home at least a few miles to give the stabilizer the chance to mix with the gas and work its way through the fuel system and into the carburetor. This ride also warms up the motorcycle and all the fluids in the engine and transmission.

Once home drain the warm oil out of the engine and the separate transmission. Refill it with fresh oil of the proper weight. Leaving old oil inside the engine could cause etching in the metal by the acids and water build up that develop in the old oil over time.

Wash the motorcycle thoroughly from one end of the other. Any dirt or grease left on the metal can trap moisture which can damage the finish and cause rust. After washing be sure to dry it thoroughly and cover all metal parts – painted, chrome or raw – with a coat of auto wax and polish it as much as possible. This is one more layer of protection from the elements. Cover the ends of the exhaust pipes so small critters can’t crawl in and make a nest in your pipes.

Top off the battery. clean the posts and battery box (if the battery sits in one) and connect a “smart charger” to keep the battery’s charge level up.

Lube and adjust the drive chain to minimize the chance of developing rust over the winter.

Pump up the tire pressure to higher than usual to keep the rubber from flat spotting from sitting too long without enough tire pressure.

Roll the motorcycle to a safe place in your garage or shed where it is not likely to get bumped into, knocked over, or be in the way. And cover it with a cover that allows air to circulate around the motorcycle.

Assuming your motorcycle was in decent operating condition when you put it away for the winter, following this simple basic steps will make the first Spring ride more enjoyable and safer. Good luck and remember that if you take good care of your motorcycle it is more likely to take good care of you.

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