At Smart Motorcycling Guide we encourage all weather, all year round riding. You can ride your motorcycle through the winter, protect it with anti corrosives, wash it well, clean and dry it thoroughly and continue to make sure your chain is well protected. BUT we appreciate that wet and cold weather riding is not for everyone.
Even if you do plan to ride your bike through the colder weather, the article below still provides some good advice for the other times when short term storage is still needed.
Nah, too much work .. I just want to park it.
The good news is that proper storage shouldn’t take more than a few hours of work..not a massive investment of time to be sure that your motorcycle will remain in tip-top condition in terms of looks, mechanical condition and trouble free future riding.
Fuel for a “stable” relationship
On carbureted bikes, drain the carbs , fill the tank filled with stabilized fuel. Start by turning off the fuel line at the tank tap (petcock) , unscrew the drains at the bottom of the carb float bowls and drain them out (this is a good chance to check that your carbs are clean, the drained fuel should have no specks or rust, dirt or grime. If it does, time for a carb clean). With the fuel line still turned off at the tank side, run the bike until it dies (to suck the rest out of the carbs). Mix in your stabiliser in the tank You are aiming for a full tank as far as possible, but no need for it to be so full that it is squirting out when you close the filler cap. (If you can’t drain your carbs for some reason, just run the stabilized fuel through the system by letting the bike warm up for 5 mins).
Fuel-injected? Same as above, but no carbs to worry about. Fill that tank, add stabilizer, run it through the machine for 5 mins or so. Done.
Each stabilizer manufacturer will tell you how much to use, how long the fuel is usable when treated, read the instructions. Just buy some and use it guys.
Get your motor running, but no need to get out on the highway.
Unless you’ve got a temperature and moisture controlled Garage .. you will always have some condensation to worry about..this can cause rot from the inside out, so it is always a good idea to start the bike and give it a good warm up every few weeks. You don’t have to take it out of your garage, but open the garage door so that fumes can escape, and let it warm up for a good 10 minutes. Remember to allow the bike to cool before re-applying corrosion protection and covering it up again.
Keep it clean gentlemen
Next be sure and clean you motorcycle thoroughly. Use a good automotive washing agent to get rid of all that grime that collected over the past several months. Grime can hide and harbor damp..damp leads to rust. After washing make sure that your bike is completely dry. If you have compressed air available, use it. If you’ve no compressed air – this motorcycle dryer is a really fantastic alternative, which I use myself!
Lube me up
Re-lubricate the motorcycle; check any pivoting joints and your chain. I use chain lube for almost everything needing some lubrication on the motorcycle. It’s not corrosive to rubbers and plastics and usually good enough for most moving parts and surfaces. Finally, we highly recommend the use of an anti corrosion treatment – ACF50 is amazing stuff, messy, but amazing. (This is some seriously slippy juice – DO NOT get it near your brakes or tires, cover them up before using this stuff)
Wax on Wax off
Use a good wax to coat and polish the surfaces. Again, avoid the brakes.
You raise me up, so I can stand on
mountains paddock stands.
Get the tires up and off of the ground. If you have a center stand, great. If not, invest in a pair of stands to get the bike up (you’re reliving the suspension). They will pay for themselves numerous times over.
Take a Power nap
Save yourself the grief of needing a new battery come spring by using a battery tender. Like getting the tires up, this investment will pay for itself over and over again.
Finally, invest in a cover for your motorcycle. Make sure it breathes so condensation won’t occur.
These are just a few ideas to keep your bike in great shape when not being ridden for an extended period. A small amount of time and investment will result in a huge time and money savings later.
Ride smart, ride safe.
Smart Motorcycling Guide.