Protecting your bike during winter is one of the most important things to do if you want to enjoy smooth rides throughout the rest of the year. Given the fact that it is going to be stored away for a longer period of time, there are some things you should keep in mind in order to make sure that, once spring kicks in, you are ready to go.
First of all, you should choose the right location. Of course, somewhere indoors is the best option. However, if you don’t have this alternative, you can always opt for a storage shed which will provide the necessary protection.
The things to keep in mind about the location are that it has to be covered, dry and protected from falling elements. At the same time, the location should also be ventilated so moisture doesn’t stick around.
Protecting different parts
Once you’ve established the location, take your bike for a ride one last time and get it to full operating temperature. Fill the gas to almost full and add a fuel stabilizer once you’re home. Keep it running for another five minutes which allows the stabilizer to fully mix with the fuel. This will prevent the fuel from degenerating and it will protect the inside of the tank.
It might also be a good idea to give your bike an oil change, while the engine is still warm from the ride, but cool enough so that you can handle the parts. Drain the old oil, fit a new filter, add the new one and let the engine warm up again. Some riders recommend not using an expensive one as you’ll most probably change it again for the summer.
Once the exhaust pipes have cooled, spray some WD40 down the exit and cover it with a plastic bag, as this prevents moisture from creeping through the pipe into the engine.
Removing the battery is also a good idea. You can trickle charge it all winter to maintain it or, if you choose to store the bike with a fully charged battery, just give it a charge once a month.
Give your bike a wash by hand and then wax the paint. Make sure it’s 100% dry before you lock it away in order to avoid any kind of corrosion. Apply a light mist of WD40 to the chain, frame and wheel rims, but not on the brake rotors, brake pads or tires.
Once the summer rides start and the outside temperature reaches high levels, make sure that your bike is well tuned up, top off your tire pressure every few days, make sure the chain is well greased and the gears well adjusted so you can use all of them. Most of all, enjoy plenty of rides.