6 Tips for Winter Motorcycle Maintenance

Clear your schedule on October 10 because it’s National Motorcycle Ride Day! This day is set aside for bike enthusiasts to hit the road one last time before hanging up their helmets for the colder months. Then, you’ve got to start winter motorcycle prep so your machine stays in excellent shape for your first spring ride. Check out the following tips for storing your bike for the upcoming season.

 

Find a good place to keep the bike.

 

It’s best to store a motorcycle indoors—in a climate-controlled area, if possible. If you don’t have a heated garage, consider renting a storage space. Just keep it away from electric motors, freezers, refrigerators, and anything else that might emit ozone gas and deteriorate your rubber.

 

Fill your tank with a mixture of gas and stabilizer.

 

A full tank will help keep your seals from drying out, and a stabilizer will keep the fuel from going stale and losing volatility.

 

 Change the fluids.

 

Over time, oil breaks down, produces condensation in engine compartments, and leads to rust. Make sure to change your oil and filter as a part of your winter motorcycle maintenance routine.

 

Plug your exhaust pipe.

 

You don’t want mice running through your bike for months. Use steel wool or plastic bags to plug the openings of your exhaust pipe and air intakes.

 

Take care of your battery.

 

Take your battery out of your bike and store it in a dry environment or hook it up to a battery tender. That will keep it fully charged and ready for your next ride.

 

Cover your motorcycle. 

 

Although your bike is indoors, it’s still best to cover it during the winter. This will keep it clean and moisture-free. Just make sure to use a breathable fabric, like a cotton sheet. Don’t use plastic.

 

BONUS: Take stock of your insurance.

 

This might not be a tip for winter motorcycle maintenance, but you should still make it a part of your bike’s regular care. Take a look at the accessories you’ve purchased for your motorcycle—such as saddlebags and a backrest—and decide if you should extend your motorcycle insurance policy to cover them. You can even talk through it with one of our agents and get solid advice.