The summer months are winding down and most motorcycle riders will be putting their steel horse away for the fall and winter months in only a few weeks. Some may fight with the frost for a few extra days of riding, but, inevitably, the snow will start to fly and motorcycle season will end.
Although motorcycles are out in full force now, compiling your bike storage kit now isn’t a bad idea. If done properly, you won’t have to scramble getting everything together when the time comes to put the bike away. Your equipment will be ready to go so you can ride late into the year with some peace of mind. Below is a list of things you’ll want to remember having on hand when the bike goes into hibernation. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to ride again next spring.
Cleaning supplies: A rag, soap, and a bucket of water – Giving the bike one last wash before putting it in the garage will help prevent dust from collecting on everything from the chrome to the engine parts. Reminder: if you’re putting your bike under a cover, make sure the bike is dry before covering it. Any moisture that gets stuck between the cover and the bike will settle on the bike and rust it – dry the bike completely before covering.
Chain cleaner: O-ring chain spray, a toothbrush, rags, bike stand and chain lube. Most bikes have O-ring chains, so make sure you get a chain cleaner that is rated as such. Put the bike in neutral and roll the rear wheel while spraying the chain with the cleaner and brushing it with the toothbrush. Use your rage to wipe off any excess grime. Finally roll the rear wheel and lightly spray all the sprockets and teeth with the chain lube. Wipe off excess with the rag.
Fuel Stabilizer: You have two options – either drain the gas out of the tank or put some fuel stabilizer in the tank. Unleaded fuel normally has the shelf life between 3 and 4 weeks. After that point, the chemistry in the fuel begins to break down. Add the recommended amount of stabilizer into a full tank of gas and let the engine run for about 15 minutes so the compounds can work their way through the different engine parts.
Bike stand: Having a stand will get your wheels off the ground, making sure they stay, for the most part, properly inflated and keep them from sitting under the weight of the bike all winter.
Obviously this is an exhaustive list and whatever you think of doing to your bike to winterize it, you could probably do it. One more note of caution: as your bike rests in storage refrain from periodically starting it. The winter might seem long, but you’ll be back on the road before you know it and you’ll be glad you prepared it properly for the previous winter.