With winter approaching fast, now’s a good time to prepare your motorcycle for winter storage. If you’re putting your bike into hibernation for a few months, why not reap the benefits of self-storage, where it will be secure, safe, dry and ready to use as soon as spring rolls around?
After your final ride of the year, change your motorcycle’s oil. Every bike’s different, so check your owner’s manual first to find out the type of oil you need and the oil filter’s size. First, using a socket wrench, remove the oil drain plug, allowing the oil to drain completely from the engine into an oil pan. Then, unscrew the oil filter from the engine and dip your finger in the old oil, rubbing some around the O-ring of the new oil filter to help seal it properly.
Then screw on the new oil filter as tight as you can and put the oil drain plug on, using a socket wrench to tighten it. Locate the oil cap and pour the new oil into the engine using a funnel. Replace the oil cap. It’s also beneficial to clean the carburettors too, particularly if you’re planning on storing your motorcycle for more than three months.
Next, wash your motorbike. Cleaning off the previous season’s dirt and grit will ensure it won’t damage the paintwork during the winter. Rinse thoroughly with a hosepipe, letting it dry properly before you put it into storage.
It’s also a good idea to fill up with petrol, as leaving your tank half empty can lead to rust forming inside the tank when the bike’s not in regular use.
When you drive your motorcycle to its winter storage location, let the engine and muffler (or silencer) cool down and place motorcycle exhaust plugs, or a plastic bag secured with an elastic band, over your muffler.
Remove the seat from your motorcycle, unscrew the battery connectors and remove the battery, noting to which side the red wire is attached, remembering that red is positive. Replace the seat. Connect the battery to a charger to ensure it’s not flat when you take your motorcycle out in spring.
You can wax your motorcycle before storage to create a protective barrier against moisture and rust. Also, lightly spray WD-40 on the engine parts and frame to further protect against corrosion.
The cold temperature can lower tyre pressure, meaning the air in your tire will compress, causing premature wear, so use a motorcycle stand to raise the tyres off the rigid floor. Finally, cover your bike with a specially designed motorcycle cover to prevent moisture absorption and possible paintwork damage.
Contact Your Store Exeter for more information on how to prepare your motorcycle for winter storage and save yourself the hassle of having to store it in your garage.