There are two ways to do it. You’ve got the minimum that you ought to do, and you’ve got the “Cadillac way,” as I call it, to winterize your bike.
What Is The Minimum Care You Should Give Your Bike?
First off, don’t just put it in the garage, kickstand down, throw a sheet over it, and be done with it for the season. You’re going to get to spring and probably have a couple of issues if you do that.
There are two things you’ve got to do for the minimum proper winterization of your bike. It’s looking at two things, one, the battery and two, your full fuel system.
Checking The Fuel System
Most of you have fuel injection systems on your bikes, and if you do, all you have to do with your fuel system is top it off with gas, put in some fuel stabilizer in, you’re fine. However, it’s important to fill that tank to the top with gas and then the stabilizer that you’re going to put in.
Why? Because that lets less air into the gas tank and age the gas, which can cause you problems once you start the bike up in the spring.
What To Do With The Battery
The second is the battery. If you’ve got an ion battery in a bike, then all you need to do is unplug the negative terminal, and you’re good to go.
Otherwise, you need to use a smart battery charger and hook that up, so it charges over time as the battery drains down while it’s sitting. What you don’t want to do is do nothing to your battery. Then, you start the season a couple months from now, and your battery’s been drained down.
What About The “Cadillac Way?”
First, you want to wash and detail the motorcycle fully. We’re talking wash it, wax it, wipe down all the chrome. This will keep deterioration from happening.
Also, for all of the plastic parts, you want to wipe it down with a good plastic cleaner. Get it nice and detailed before you put a sheet over it.
Then, what you want to do is store it on blocks, so it’s up, so you’re dealing with the tire. If you just let it sit with pressure on those tires, then you’re going to have warped tires when you start it up in the spring.
Personally, I use 2×4’s. If you’ve got a list system that’s great, use that, lift the bike up and put a sheet down underneath it. That keeps dust from coming up as well. And then obviously, add a sheet over top of it.
What About The Oil?
But, how do you deal with the oil? Well, if you’re more than halfway to a new oil change at the time that you’re going to put it up for the season, then go ahead and change the oil.
If you’re more than halfway to a new oil change, then you’re fine. What you want to do is just like with the fuel, you want to top off the oil to keep air from getting in there.
Some Other Tips For Protecting Your Bike During The Winter Months
You want to block your muffler in the airbox inlet with heavy plastic in a rubber band or zip ties. That’s going to keep critters from getting in there, dust, etc.
Watch those tires. You want first to have them fully inflated to the proper level. Again, get it up on blocks, even makeshift blocks with 2×4’s or cement blocks.
Get those tires up off the ground when it’s going to be sitting for several months. That way you don’t have worked and worn out tires.
These tips will give you the ability to start the new season next year, 2019 off with a bang with a beautiful bike. Everything’s ready to roll. You’re not going to have to worry about fixing it up, changing a battery, having problems with the engine intake, etc.