Don't Forget to Winterize your Bike

Don't forget to winterize your bike!

If you're still riding No. 1 - good for you! But don't forget to get your bike properly stored away so you're not leaving it sitting somewhere cold and damp over the holidays or potentially covered in snow and not protected from the elements inside and out. Below are a few things you can do to keep your bike happy while it's hibernating.

CLEAN YOUR BIKE!

Giving your bike a good clean, followed up with a wax or some corrosion protectant spray will help protect the finishes on your bike from moisture and potential rust or spreading of existing rust.

CHANGE THE OIL / OIL FILTER
Changing the oil before storing your bike is a good idea as used oil has higher acidity level along with all the other crud and gunk that you don’t want sitting in your engine for several months.
STABILIZE THE GAS
Add the recommended level of stabilizer or Seafoam for your tank size and run it through your bike. Turn off the gas and drain carbs by running the engine or empting the float bowls. Tip: It's a good idea to add stabilizer to an empty tank, and then fill her up so it mixes better.

CLEAN AND LUBE THE CHAIN
Clean your chain with your favourite chain cleaner and then lubricate the chain with chain lube.
TAKE CARE OF THE BATTERY
Put your battery on battery tender, indoors if possible. You can top the battery up with distilled water if it's a convential type battery and clean / grease the connectors if needed. A smart tender like the ones we carry from Battery Tender keep your battery topped up and turn off when your battery is charged and comes back on when it gets low. An optimally charged battery will lead to longer battery life!
TIRE CARE
Keeping your tires elevated prevents flat spots on tires. If your bike doesn't have a centre stand or you don't have a separate stand or jack use some wood or carpet to keep tires off of cold concrete. If bike is on its side stand it'd be a good idea to rotate the tires every couple of weeks so they don’t develop flat spots. Also check your tire pressure and make sure it is at the recommended levels. A properly inflated tire will also help keep it in good shape if it's sitting in a cold spot with the weight of the bike on it. Most bikes have the recommended tire pressure on a sticker on the steering stem, chain guard or rear fender. Don't use the PSI measurement on the tire.
CHECK THE RADIATOR LEVEL
Add aluminum safe antifreeze as necessary.
ADD OIL TO THE ENGINE CYLINDERS
To protect their engine cylinders and internal engine elements you can pour a couple of ounces of fresh oil or some fogging oil into their cylinders and then turn the bike over with the spark plug caps off so that the oil is evenly distributed on the cylinder walls, valve seats, pistons etc.
FIND A GOOD PLACE TO STORE YOUR BIKE
Try to find a dry and if possible, not a freezing place to store your bike away from wind, water, pests. A good cover will keep moisture out and dust and other dirt off. Spray some corrosion protectant in pipes before covering to help in case any condensation builds up.
REPLACE YOUR BRAKE FLUID IF NECESSARY
Most newer bikes say you only need to replace your brake fluid every couple of seasons, but now is a good time to check the state of your brake fluid. if it’s low or dark in color it’s time to add more brake fluid and bleed the old stuff out.
PLUG YOUR EXHAUST
Keep mice and other critters from making a home in your exhaust over the winter use an exhaust plug or stuff the hole with steel wool, cover with plastic bag etc. Just remember to unplug before starting up in the spring! If you have any questions about putting your bike away or any of the products mentioned in this post please feel free to come by the shop and pick our brains.