Caring For Your Motorcycle When It's Being Stored
As the weather gets cooler, is your motorcycle ready to be put up for the winter? Even if you plan to ride your bike through the cold winter months, here are some ideas on winter care. Or, maybe your have another reason for not riding your bike: travel, business or family commitments. The good news is that this shouldn't take more than a few hours of work to be sure that your motorcycle will remain in tip-top condition in terms of looks, mechanical condition and trouble free riding. First, be sure the fuel system is drained and conditioned. The best way to do this is to get the level as low as you can, then add a fuel stabilizer additive. Then run your bike for a few miles to be sure the additive gets into and through the entire fuel system.
Then, when your ready to ride, simple fill up with fresh gas and you're ready to go. Next be sure and clean you motorcycle thoroughly. Use a good degreasing agent to get rid of all that grime that collected over the past several months. Be sure to remember to get the brakes and suspension systems. Clean out the brake calipers with a brake cleaner and re-lubricate.
Make sure that your bike is completely dry. If you have compressed air available, use it. Next re-lubricate the motorcycle. Be sure to cover the brakes (calipers and discs) to protect them during this process. Be sure to get all of the joints and pivots points. Regular chain lube is usually good enough for moving parts and surfaces. Finally, the use of a corrosion treatments is recommended (not for brakes). Use a good wax to coat and polish the surfaces. Again, avoid the brakes. Get the tires up and off of the ground.
If you have a center stand, great. If not, invest in a pair of stands to get the bike up. They will pay for themselves numerous times. Save yourself the grief of needing a new battery come spring by using a battery tender. Like getting the tires up, this investment will pay for itself over and over again. Finally, invest in a cover for your motorcycle. Make sure it breathes so condensation won't occur. These are just a few ideas to keep your bike in great shape when not being ridden for an extended period. A small amount of time and investment will result in a huge time and money savings later.