It’s that time of year to dig out the scarf as the long, chilly nights draw in earlier and earlier. Damp, foggy mornings are becoming the norm. And for many of us with motorcycles, it’s the time to swap two wheels for four for a couple of months. Even if you’re hanging up your leathers for the winter, it’s still just as important to take good care of your motorbike. That way you’ll be ready to hop back on for a spin as soon as spring has sprung. Follow our nine quick tips and store your motorcycle for winter the right way.
How to safely store a motorbike over winter
1) Top up the tank
Leave your bike with a full tank of fuel to minimise the chance or condensation building up inside the fuel tank and causing corrosion.
2) Change the oil
Old oil can contain sludge that could settle in the sump if you don’t ride your bike for some time. If that happens, the sludge will be the first thing into the oil pipe when you do go out again. By changing the oil for fresh, you limit the risk of that happening.
3) Keep it squeaky clean
It’s important to get your bike as clean as possible before you leave it over winter. If you have been tempted to hit the road on your motorbike in the winter, be aware of the potential damage gritted roads could do. The salt will corrode metal so needs to be thoroughly removed.
4) Make sure your motorcycle is completely dry
If you’ve given your bike a good clean, the next thing to do is to make sure it is as dry as possible and given a final polish. This will help to limit the possibility of condensation building up. Remember, water gets everywhere, so carefully dry out with a cloth and leave somewhere that air can circulate freely around your bike.
5) Don’t lose your rag
You’ve washed, dried and polished your motorbike. Now it’s time to prevent new damp getting into the bike parts. Stuff an old rag into the end of the exhaust system to help prevent cold, moist air finding it’s way into the exhaust system. Just don’t forget to remove it before you start your motorbike up again.
6) Take charge
Leaving your bike unused for a couple of months can mean the battery loses its charge. Avoid digging out the jump leads and prevent this situation by hooking it up to a battery conditioner (also known as a trickle charge). You’ll need an electric supply in your garage, but you’ll be pleased to hear it uses only a very small amount of electricity to keep the battery in tip-top condition.
7) Stop the flat spots
Leaving your motorbike in one place over winter can cause excess pressure in just one position on the tyres. Then, when you come to use it, you’ll find flat spots have formed and damaged the tyres. To prevent this, use paddock stands to elevate the wheels off the ground safely. Alternatively, go to your bike once a week to rotate the wheels and avoid pressure occurring in just one place.
8) Cover up
Covering your bike with a cloth can help to protect it from dust and dirt. It’s better to use a cover that is made of a breathable fabric, to avoid the build-up of condensation. Some experts recommend that you avoid cotton, as this can absorb and hold onto moisture and hold it next to your bike.
Another option is a bike ‘bubble’ like the one made by Carcoon. This has the benefit of encouraging airflow around your bike as well as offering an added element of protection against accidental knocks and bangs.
9) Location, location, location
It’s best to store your motorcycle away from direct sunlight, which causes temperatures to fluctuate leading to condensation. If your garage has a window, think about how the sunlight shines through it over the day. Then park your motorcycle away from where the sun shines in.
Another way to protect your motorcycle this winter
Whether you ride a classic or have an everyday run-around, it’s Easy2Insure your motorbike. Our friendly team at Easy2Insure has the knowledge and experience you need to get the right level of cover at the best possible price. As independent brokers, we’ll shop around insurance companies big and small and negotiate the best value prices on your behalf. Call us on 0800 917 9522 or get a free quote now.