Winter Storage Motorcycle Guide
Keep your motorcycle in first
class condition this winter (or if not in
use for any long period of time). Follow these
simple steps to help you ensure your bike
or scooter is properly protected.
Prepare to put your bike
in storage for the winter months but do not
be tempted to regularly start it up. Instead,
get it warmed up on your last ride as this
dries the condensation from the exhaust systm.
Try to fill your tank right to the top just
before you get home as unleaded petrol can
evaporate when in contact with air and leave
a residue that may clog-up your carbs. For
the same reason, turn off the fuel tap and
run the engine until it stalls, then drain
any remaining petrol from the float bowls.
If the bike is more than four years old, consider
emptying the tank instead because water can
accumulate in the base of the tank and may
cause enough rust to create a leak. The best
way to do this is to unbolt it from the bike
and after draining, turn it upside down, it'll
also give you the chance to clean a load of
otherwise inaccessible areas.
Apply a penetrating
oil spray (WD40 or similar) to all exposed
metallic surfaces of the machine, except,
of course, the working surfaces of brake
discs, control levers and footrests. The
film of protective chemicals left behind
slows down corrosion, but small regular
doses are better than one drenching.
Regularly inspect and
keep brake components clear of a grit
and grime build up. Cold and wet conditions
promote the collection of grime, which
make brake components seize up if neglected.
Clean individual components
where muck and water tend to collect even
more frequently than the rest of the machine.
The engine and radiator, plus the shock
absorber linkages need special attention,
as this is where road dirt thrown up from
the tyres pepper the machine.
Ensure that all electrical
connectors receive a dose of penetrating
oil, especially on 'naked' machines, where
there are more exposed components than
fully faired models.
Fit mudguard extenders
to protect the bike from being 'sandblasted'
by salt and road grit.
Try to wash the salt
and traffic film from the machine after
each ride (first cold then warm). If you
use a pressure washer, be careful to avoid
exposed bearings and brake callipers.
During the cold and wet winter season
it's also best to wipe your machine dry
Pay special attention
to the tyres in winter, as they have to
work harder in cold and wet conditions.
Over inflation is as bad as under inflation,
reducing grip levels and making for a
harsh ride. Winter tyres are a good option
for both motorcycles or scooters when
temperatures are consistently below 7
Keep the drive chain
well lubricated, as rust attacks the exposed
surfaces of the hardened steel at the
first opportunity. Again, little and often
beats one big application, then weeks
Make sure all pivot
points on the bike are well lubricated
with grease, with footpeg pivots needing
special attention, as road salt and dirt
collect there from the soles of your boots.
Act at the first sign
of corrosion, to prevent its further spread,
and make sure you inspect behind panels
and fairings. Rusty or furred-up fairing
fasteners, being mounted on or embedded
in brittle ABS or plastic, cannot simply
be forced to separate like engine or chassis
fasteners, or you run a strong risk of
breaking the plastic.
These practical winter tips
do not claim to be comprehensive, rather they
are a general guide to good bike care. Proper
maintenance and servicing always require you
to visit your motorcycle/scooter service dealer.
They will be able to advise you on all aspects
of keeping your bike running smoothly all