You’ve seen them out there – the hard-core riders who hop on their motorcycles in the rain and the cold and hit the road. There are also plenty of riders who limit their road time to the spring and summer. After all, riding is about enjoying yourself.
If you’re going to put your bike away for the colder months, make sure you do it right. These tips will help ensure your ride is ready to go when our days start getting longer and the weather starts getting warmer.
Keep it covered
Ideally, motorcycles should be garaged when put into storage. If you don’t have that option, make sure you have a breathable cover designed for motorcycles to protect it from the elements. Tarps or cotton sheets can trap moisture against the vehicle, which can let mildew or rust build up.
Check the fluids
The American Motorcyclist Association recommends specific actions for the various fluids your motorcycle holds. For gas, top off the tank and add a fuel stabilizer, then run the engine for a few minutes to spread the stabilizer through the system. The engine oil should be changed just before you put the bike away. And be sure to check your coolant to ensure your bike is protected against freezing weather.
Stay in power
If your motorcycle has an alarm system or other features that can drain the battery, you might want to invest in a charger to keep the battery alive. Otherwise, the AMA says, make sure it has a full charge when you put it away and recharge it once a month.
Honda recommends changing your brake and clutch fluids if it hasn’t been done in the last couple of years as well as cleaning the area around the outside of the spark plugs to ensure debris does not get into the cylinders.
Ideally, you should store your bike with both wheels off the ground. If that’s not possible, use the center stand and rotate the tires every few weeks as needed to avoid flat spots, the AMA says.
Keep it clean
Both Honda and the AMA say you should clean your motorcycle thoroughly before putting it into storage. Special treatments are available to help avoid oxidation, fading and other threats to your bike’s appearance.
A little preparation now and throughout the time your bike is stored will ensure that when it’s time to ride in the spring, you won’t have anything to worry about – except where to go!
Cooped up? Come see us!
While you’re taking a break from riding this fall and winter, why not come into The Wickstrand Insurance Agency and talk about your coverage options? If it’s been a while since we’ve done a review for you, let’s talk about how we can save you money on not only motorcycle insurance, but home and auto as well. Just give us a call at 757-417-6501. We’re here to help!
Some content provided by Safeco Insurance