If you’re going to be braving the elements by riding your motorcycle throughout the winter months there are steps you can take to ensure that both you and it remain in good condition.
One of the biggest threats to your bike’s metalwork in winter is the salt spread on roads to deter and reduce ice. If salt deposits are left on your machine’s metal surfaces it won’t be long before corrosion begins to set in. Therefore, regularly rinse your bike down paying special attention to chrome-plated areas such as wheel rims and fork tubes. You can protect susceptible areas against corrosion by rubbing on synthetic oils such as WD-40.
Being made of metal, its chain can be corroded by salt so ensure that it’s kept well lubricated and clean. Try to give it a quick clean after you’ve made your journey home if at all possible.
See and seen. Check your bike’s lights to ensure that they are all working properly. Inspect its tyres and check for any damage and tread wear.
Best of all though, why not let the technicians at your local motorcycle dealership give your machine a thorough service this winter? They’ll carry out all the checks for you during the service leaving you to do the metal protection work only.
Storing Your Bike Over Winter
If you decide that your motorcycle is going to ride out the winter in storage, there are still a number of important steps that you can take to ensure that your bike remains in optimum condition come the spring time.
Store your bike with as little fuel in the tank as possible as unleaded petrol has a tendency to decay when left for any length of time. If this occurs within the carburettor, it can sometimes mean having to fork out for new spark plugs and it’ll be necessary to drain the fuel system. It’s best to drain any fuel out of the carburettor through the carb’s drain screws. Then use a fuel stabilising product to protect any fuel left within the tank.
Many experts recommend that the bike’s wheels should be off the ground where possible. This is to prevent uneven pressure causing damage to tyre walls.
It might be worth investing in an Optimatic trickle charger, or a similar device. A bike’s alarm system can flatten the battery if your machine is left unused for a lengthy period of time. The charger will keep the power-pack at its optimum level which also ensures that your anti-theft device remains operational.
When the sun comes out again and winter passes, why not provide your bike with a spring service? Then you can relax safe in the knowledge that your motorcycle is ready to offer you good reliability and a pleasurable riding experience during spring, summer and autumn.