Is your Sport Bike Ready for winter?
Are you ready? Winter is coming. Is your sport bike ready for the long cold period ahead? There are several things you should do in order to get your sport bike ready for winter. It does not matter if you own a Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Aprila, Ducati or Suzuki; there are some things that all bikes need before they are ready to be stored for the winter. If you want to keep your bike in good running condition you cannot just cover it and forget it for the winter. If you prepare well, it will be a breeze to get your bike ready to ride again in the spring.
A good place to start is the lubrication system. You can do this by changing your oil and filter before cold weather begins. Good winter oil, like a heavy 5W-30 weight, can help you get started on your way a lot easier in the spring. In order to protect your pistons and cylinder walls from moisture that can cause rust to form, you need to lubricate them. You can do this by removing the spark plugs. Next, spray a little fogging oil in each hole or place a few drops of motor oil in. Gently rev the engine for a few minutes to spread the lubricant through the entire system. Finally, replace the spark plugs and your lubrication system is ready for spring.
Before you store your bike you should take it out for a good ride to warm it up and remove any moisture from the system. When you stop to fuel it up you should make sure your gas tank is full because the tank can rust when it is sitting all winter. A fuel stabilizer added to the tank can help prevent the gas from breaking down and becoming gummy. Adding the fuel stabilizer to the tank and running the engine for a short distance can help mix it with the fuel and spread it through the rest of the fuel system before you store your bike. It is safe to store both fuel-injected and carbureted bikes with full tanks of gas all winter. If you choose to drain your carbureted fuel tank for the winter then you will need to use fogging oil on the interior walls of the gas tank so it does not rust. For fuel-injected bikes there is no good way to remove the gas so draining the tank is not an option. If your tank is full it will be ready to go when you start it up in the spring for that first ride of the season. If you ride your bike during the winter make sure you remember to re-fill and re-treat the tank after each ride.
Your battery may self-discharge over time if it is hooked up to your bike. If this happens, you may not have enough of a charge left to start your bike in the spring. In order to protect your battery, you can remove it from the motorcycle and store it separately for the winter. Another option is to buy a smart charger to make sure your battery gets recharged every time it drains. If you bike is running on a lithium-ion battery you may just need to disconnect the negative battery terminal because they have a very low discharge rate and can sit for the winter without draining the battery.
Next, make sure to use WD-40 or another lubricant to oil all the moving parts on the bike including all pivot points, fork surfaces, cables and controls. Make sure you thoroughly lube your chain to protect it and keep it working smoothly. If the chain is warm it can be easier to lube. Check to make sure you have anti-freeze in your bike or you can end up with a cracked head by spring time.
Protect your tires from the elements. The first step is to make sure that they are properly inflated. Tires can develop flat spots or dry rot if they sit all winter in one position. In order to prevent this it is good to elevate the bike on motorcycle stands. If you cannot elevate the bike try to rotate the tires every few weeks during the winter. Also sit the bike on wood or carpet to try and keep moisture from getting into your tires.
Wash and dry all your motorcycle fairings. If you let dust and bugs sit on your paint it can become permanently stained over time. Washing the bike thoroughly with soap and water and drying it completely can help prevent this. You can also apply a coat of wax to act as a barrier against moisture and rust. Spray all of the exposed metal surfaces with WD-40 to protect it from moisture and corrosion. This will also help protect the bike from road salt if you take it out during the winter. If you do take it out, make sure you remember to wash it, dry it and re-wax it before you store it again. Place bags in all the air intakes and exhaust outlets or place bags over them and seal with rubber bands so pests do not curl up inside the openings. Always keep your bike covered when storing it for the winter. A high-quality cover will help keep off dust and prevent moisture build-up.
Before you leave your bike sitting in the cold for 4-6 months you need to protect your bike from moisture. This will help prevent rust build up during the winter months. You also need to make sure all your fluids are replaced and ready to go. Lastly, it is vital for you to protect all your moving parts from rust and corrosion before putting on the cover. Taking the time to prepare for the cold winter months can save you lots of time and money getting your bike ready to go in the spring.