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Storing Your Motorbike For Winter – 11 Essentials
The nights are drawing in and there seems to be endless cold and wet weather on the horizon. For many riders, that means it’s time to hang up the leathers for a few months. But you can’t just leave your motorbike in the garage and expect it to be ready and waiting when the weather perks up. Instead, here are 11 essentials you need to do if you’re storing your motorbike for winter.
1) Give it a clean
Your first task is to give your motorbike a good clean before storing it for winter. You need to do this because mud and dirt can harbour moisture, and that can lead to rust. If you’ve continued riding your bike into the start of the winter you may also have encountered salted roads. Washing this off can also help to prevent corrosion.
2) Dry it properly
Even more important than washing your motorcycle is to make sure it is completely dry afterwards. Storing it damp is like inviting rust to come and party. As the wash may have removed grease from cables, make sure you re-grease them. Again, it’s vital that these parts are dry or you’ll trap the water under the grease.
3) Take charge
Cool temperatures can make batteries go flat surprisingly quickly. Then when you do want to start her up, you’ll find nothing happens. A trickle charger will help to keep your battery in tip-top condition and ready to get your engine roaring into action. You’ll need a power point near to where you store your bike to use a trickle charger. If you can’t do that, you might want to consider removing the battery and storing it somewhere warmer.
4) Regular starts
If you can, start up your motorbike regularly through the winter. In cold weather, condensation can build up in the exhaust and start the rot from the inside out. Starting her up will help to blast away condensation, keeping the exhaust dry.
5) Petrol tank decisions
There are two schools of thought when it comes to what to do with your petrol tank. Some say fill it up and others recommend draining it so it’s empty. Both are based on the same reason. Moisture in the tank can condense in cold weather and start to rust the tank. If it’s full, there is no space for the condensation. If it’s empty, there is no moisture to condense. What you choose to do is up to you, but don’t leave it half-full.
6) Block holes to stop vermin
Your motorbike makes an attractive home for mice and rats looking to shelter from the winter cold. Avoid the problem by blocking up the air intake holes and exhaust using an oily rag. This will stop mice from making a nest in your pride and joy and can also help to limit damp.
7) Write a note to remind you that you’ve blocked up the holes!
Your next job is to write a note to remind you that you have blocked the holes. You don’t want to start her up without removing the rags first.
8) Stop flat spots
Leaving your bike parked up over winter can quickly lead to flat spots on the tyres. These are caused by the weight of the bike pressing down in just one area. The best way to prevent this happening is to lift the tyres off the ground whilst it is being stored. You can buy lifting blocks made specifically for this purpose quite cheaply. Another option is to simply roll your bike forward every week to move the tyres around. You could also try placing an offcut of carpet under the wheels so the tyres are not in direct contact with a cold hard floor.
9) Tuck it up
If you’ve got a dry garage or shed, these will be the best place to store your motorbike for winter. You can cover your bike to protect it from spider droppings and dust. Some experts recommend avoiding covers made from cotton. That’s because cotton can absorb moisture, holding it against your bike paint and metalwork. Instead, look for a breathable, man-made fibre cover. You might also want to consider investing in an airflow chamber. This is like a big bubble that surrounds your motorbike. It maintains a constant airflow around your bike, ensuring humidity is kept at bay. You’ll need a mains point nearby to plug it in. An added bonus of using an airflow chamber is that the ‘bubble’ offers an extra layer of protection against bumps and knocks. That’s useful if you’re storing your bike in a garage that gets frequent use.
10) Don’t forget your insurance
Just because you’re not planning on going out on your bike for the winter, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to cancel your motorbike insurance.
Your motorbike is still at risk of damage due to fire or theft. Cancelling your insurance could also cost more than you save with increased premiums when you come to renew. That’s because some insurance companies consider leaving a motorbike uninsured to be a risky action. As your premium is based on risk, it can mean higher prices.
11) Insurance again
Winter days when you can’t get out on the road are the perfect time to do that paperwork you’ve been putting off. For example, finding the best price for motorcycle insurance. Whether you need an agreed value for your classic motorbike or are looking for cheap cover for every day, we can help. Our specialist team at Easy2Insure will shop around on your behalf to find you the best price on quality cover you can rely on. Call our team for free on 0800 917 9522 or get a quote.
Don’t just leave your motorbike in the garage over winter. Instead, follow our 11 tips on storing your motorbike for winter and you’ll be ready to get back in the saddle in spring.
For more handy advice for motorbike owners, read our blog on How To Clean Motorbike Leathers.