Winterizing your motorcycle is an important part of ownership for those of us shacking up where the seasons change. It’s important to tackle all the necessities before Old Man Winter rears his ugly head. To help ease the pain of stowing your baby away for four to six months, we’ve compiled a list of items offered by Küryakyn to make sure the basics are covered so when spring comes around, your ride is ready to hit the streets and not the shop.
Before getting into the process of fuel preparation, start by giving your bike a thorough cleaning. Storing your ride all winter without removing grime and dirt will ultimately result in more time spent cleaning it come spring. The longer dirt and grease stay caked on your motorcycle, the tougher they are to remove. Make sure you give all exposed metal/chrome a good polish, and clean and treat any leather products like seats, bibs or saddlebags. Luckily, Küryakyn has you covered when it comes to selecting the right solutions for the ultimate spit-shine:
To drain, or not to drain? That’s the long-debated question regarding what to do with your motorcycle’s fuel during winter storage. Some say draining the fuel is the best way to ensure that bad gas won’t be in your tank come spring. Others will tell you that an empty tank is the best way to allow condensation, which can subsequently cause rust. Removing fuel also creates the risk of drying out/damaging the rubber fuel lines, leading to leakage and costly repairs. Another side to consider is that most fuel-injected bikes can be a major pain to rid of fuel unless you’re running them down to empty.
A topped-off tank with the proper fuel-stabilizing additive is the way to go. More open volume in your tank means more condensation, and thus more water in your fuel come spring. Topping off the tank will alleviate the threat altogether. We suggest adding our LHP Fuel Treatment and then keep the bike running for around five minutes to circulate the stabilizer throughout the system.
Battery Maintenance and Upkeep
Without use, a motorcycle’s battery will naturally discharge and lose voltage over time. If you leave the battery in your bike all winter without a trickle charger, the bottom line is that it will be dead come spring.
Depending on battery type, the rate of voltage discharge can vary greatly by month. It’s important not to overcharge either, which is why C-TEK Battery Chargers are the ideal solution. When using “Winter Mode,” the C-TEK chargers are designed to maintain your battery’s voltage and keep its optimum level without overcharging. C-TEK chargers monitor and apply accurate current and pulses when needed, prolonging the life and reliability of your battery.
Once you’ve taken care of the jobs above, it’s time to cover your bike and bid it farewell for the next four to six months. Protect it from dust and other abrasive substances with a quality, breathable cover like our PrimoShield Full Covers that feature a soft fabric liner on the interior to protect your bike’s windshield and/or fairing from abrasions. Bottom panels feature an elastic hem with reinforced grommets and shock cords to ensure a perfect fit.
Last, But Not Least
Don’t forget to also check and adjust tire pressure. Tires sitting for the winter can develop flat spots, so the best prevention is to inflate to the proper PSI and check the pressure periodically throughout winter. Also avoid parking directly on concrete to elude dry rot. Pick up a garage mat/rug or use some spare pieces of carpet to place under the tires. The best bet is to elevate your bike on a lift if possible to avoid prolonged concrete exposure. If you don’t have a lift, consider it a good idea to move your bike around a few times throughout the winter to alleviate stress on the tires.
Also make sure to check your engine’s oil. Temperature change during winter months can result in condensation on the interior of the engine cases. Fresh oil can hold more water and, as a result, will better protect your engine from condensation.
Lastly, and perhaps most important, DO NOT START YOUR BIKE! Unless you plan on going for a ride, one of the worst things you can do to your motorcycle is start it in the middle of winter for a few minutes. Resist the temptation—it’ll be springtime soon enough…