Storage

WINTERIZE YOUR MOTORCYCLE

By Danman | December 20, 2013 | Motorcycle basics
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So riding season is over and you are going to put your bike up for a while (4-6 months).

There are a few things you might want to do that will make getting your bike out in the spring a lot easier then if you just lean it some where and forget about it till next time. Here is the bare minimum you might want to consider doing. It will save you time and money if you want to ride again or just sell it in the spring.

  • Find a good place to keep it. Out of the weather and out of harms way. Heated storage is best, but not always practical or cost effective. An out building or garage is good. Out side under a poly tarp is a bad idea. Your bike will be all rusty because the tarp it traps moisture. Critters will move in and take up residence in your air box, and use seat foam and air filters for nesting. They will eat the insulation off of your wiring harness in the lean months of winter. If a ploy tarp is your only option, build a frame out of wood that will support the tarp and snow weight. Make sure its ventilated top and bottom so moisture can get out, and rain snow can’t get in. Block the intake of your air box with metal screen to keep unwanted varmints out. Be creative you, might surprise your self.
  • Change your Oil. Old oil is corrosive. It will eat aluminum. Get all the dirt and clutch plate matter out of your engine before it settles at the bottom of your engine and turns crusty.
  • Park bike on center stand if possible. This gets one wheel off the ground. If your bike does not have one you’re out of luck there. At least put something under the kick stand to keep it from sinking in to the dirt if you’re not parking on cement. It would suck to come back to your bike later, to find it lying on the ground with a big dent in the tank and a broken clutch or break lever. Put a couple scrap wood planks / plywood under you tires, it keeps the rubber from getting weather checked where it touches the ground.
  • Drain the fuel out of your Carb(s) Why? Because the fuel we have today will gum up and corrode your carbs in less than a month if they are just sitting. Most, if not all, motorcycle carbs have a drain screw or plug of some type. First shut off fuel valve, if that’s an option. Remove the gas supply line and plug it with a bolt. That way if the fuel valve leaks, it won’t fill your carb again and continue to drain into your engine all winter long. Proceed to drain carbs by using the drain screw or plug. Catch the fuel in a container and dispose of properly.( Don’t pour it on the ground). To prevent dirt from getting in the carb through the open fuel line, cut a short piece of fuel line and put a bolt in one end, and slip the other end on the gas line nipple on the carb. If you don’t have an extra piece of fuel line you can use tape to cover the opening. It is ideal not to have any fuel in you tank during storage. The less the better because when you get it out next time you want fresh fuel. So if you’re ambitious, drain the tank and put the fuel in your leaf or snow blower and use it up, cause it won’t keep. It doesn’t hurt to put a squirt of dry gas in you tank. it sucks up any moisture in there.
  • Squirt some oil in each cylinder. Remove the spark plugs. Put some oil in each cylinder. Turn the engine over a few times. This keeps the cylinder wall and rings from rusting.
  • Lubricate your cables. You want them to work good next time don’t you?
  • Remove your battery. Check the level in all the cells and top them off with distilled water. Charge the battery fully. Store it somewhere so that it will not freeze. If you don’t do this, you will be buying a new one in the spring. If you know that your battery is on its last leg, just unhook the leads and leave it in the bike. You’ll need the old battery for a core when you go to get a new one in the spring, and you’ll know where it is. It will be easy to match it up with the new one so you’ll know you got the right one. That saves you a 2nd trip to the store and a core charge.
  • Oil your chain, It keeps it from rusting and it will be ready to go in the spring. Any lube is better than no lube, use what you have.
  • Put your key where you can find it in the spring. It can really sucks on the first nice spring day,  everybody is riding their bike and you can’t find the your key.

Do it yourself motorcycle repair