Unfortunately not all of us live in parts of the country where we can ride our motorcycles year round. I want to share with you the steps I take to prepare my bike(s) to sit a few months over winter.
1) Change the oil and filter – I like to have clean oil in my bike while it’s sitting over the winter instead of dirty oil with contaminants. The nice thing about changing the oil before you park it is that once spring comes you can hop on the bike without having to worry about your next oil change for a while.
2) Clean your bike – Before putting your bike away for the winter, give it a good cleaning. A fresh coat of wax will help protect the finish plus having a clean bike will help you notice any leaks or other problems before they become major headaches.
3) Fuel Stabilizer – Here in the US it’s no secret that ethanol isn’t the best for motorcycles. Ethanol can really gum up a carburetor and it’s not exactly kind to fuel injectors either. While I also use an ethanol stabilizer every few tanks of fuel, I definitely like to add it to my fuel tank before parking the bike over winter. Be sure to follow the instruction label and then allow the bike to run a while after adding it to the tank. Also remember to park the bike with a full tank. I’ve used K100, Stabil and Star Tron Enzyme, all with good success.
4) Put the battery on a Battery Tender – While there are other devices like Battery Tender, I prefer the original. Battery Tenders cost of fraction of what a new battery costs and can really help extend the life of your battery saving you a ton of money in the long run. Battery Tenders are smart chargers to you don’t have to worry about your battery overcharging. I know some friends have told me they’d just save the money and start their bike once a week. There are two problems with that 1) most forget to do it 2) the charging system of a motorcycle sitting at idle isn’t really doing much to charge the battery. Do yourself and your bike a favor and get a Battery Tender. When spring rolls around all you’ll have to do is unplug it and you’ll be ready to ride. They range in price from around $30 for a Junior to $70 for the Plus models. I have a few of both and either will work fine.
5) Throw a cover on it – It doesn’t matter if you put a motorcycle-specific cover over it or an old bedsheet, placing a cover over your bike will keep all of the dust off of it over the winter.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Comment below if you have any tips of your own.