It’s hard to believe, but it’s officially December 1st. And as we’ve already seen so far this fall, the temperatures are really starting to drop as winter makes it way over.
As a result, a majority of the nation’s millions of registered motorcycle owners will be saying goodbye to their motorcycles for the time-being, at least until the warmer weather returns. But in order to ensure it comes out of storage in as good condition as it went in, it’s important to properly winterize your motorcycle, as the harsh effects of Old Man Winter can do a number on a bike’s performance.
We’ve put together a few ways to make sure your bike stays healthy this winter:
Change the oil
Your motorcycle’s engine oil lubricates all of its working parts, a critical component to maintenance. But when old engine oil is allowed to sit for months on end, it can adversely affect its performance when the engine gets revving again, due to chemical breakdown. Assuming you’ll be off your bike for at least three months, swap out your used oil for a fresh batch. You should also change your oil filter while you’re at it.
Wash it down
If you took your ride out several times this past summer, it’s sure to be covered with dust, dirt, and debris that’s collected in various crevices and surface areas. Rather than let it stay covered in dirt all winter – which can corrode your motorcycle’s finish over time – take it out for one last wash, making sure to dry it completely afterward to avoid water spot stains.
The function of your motorcycle’s battery is a lot like the appliances in your house: Even when they’re not in operating, they still drain energy. A battery’s stored energy dissipates slowly over time to varying degrees, to a point in which it may no longer contain the charge it had when you put your bike away. To avoid this, consider installing a battery tender – which helps maintain a battery’s charge – or remove the battery from your motorcycle completely.
Pump up tires
Think back to your high school days. You may remember something about the ideal gas law, which refers to how air inside of a cylinder condenses under cold conditions. That’s the reason why your car’s tires may need to be refilled a few times over the course of the winter. The same standard applies to your motorcycle’s tires. Be sure to fill them up to their peak capacity so that they’re not flat when the time comes to saddle up again.
Don’t give your motorcycle the cold shoulder this winter; provide it with the care it needs to get through the season in healthy condition. And don’t forget, protecting your bike goes beyond just storing it properly – find out how motorcycle insurance from Elephant can help keep you and your bike safe all year round.