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Top Jobs To Do Before Tucking Your Bike Away This Winter!

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It’s that time of year again where some of you might be considering wrapping up the motorbike and tucking it away for the winter. If that is what you are doing over the next few weeks there are some jobs you might want to tend to first.

1. Fill up the fuel tank

Motorcycle petrol tanks can be prone to rusting when not in use. Untreated fuel can break down and become gummy over time. To protect your fuel and your fuel tank you should fill your fuel tank completely and add a fuel stabilizer treatment. Let the engine run for a few minutes to fully circulate through the system.

2. Check your fluids

Double-check your bike’s clutch, brake, and coolant fluids, replacing or refilling if necessary. Remember to always use the brand and quantity of fluid recommended by your motorcycle’s manufacturer. If it’s likely you motorcycle will be exposed to freezing temperatures make sure you check your anti freeze and top up if necessary. This is very important; if you run straight water in your coolant system and it freezes, you could come back to a cracked head in the spring! Lube up throttle, kickstand, gear lever and cables to prevent moisture getting in.

3. Tend to your tyres

If you can get stands and store your bike with the tyres off the ground, that’s great. Taking the weight off your tyres is the best way to avoid flat spots or uneven wear. However, if you don’t have the right equipment, don’t worry. You can fill your tyres to the maximum recommended pressure, place your bike on its center stand. Once a week rotate the front tyre to keep the flat spots away. If you do need to leave your tyres down on concrete, put a piece of carpet or plywood under them to keep any moisture from seeping into them.

4. Wax on, rust off

While all these jobs are being taken care of a this is an ideal time to give your motorcycle body work a good once over. You can fix any stone chips or tar on your body work and give it a good coat of good quality wax and polish. The metal on your motorcycle can accumulate moisture, which can cause rust if your bike is left unattended for an extended period. Check welds for corrosion and clean away and repair rust forming to stop it spreading. Washing, thoroughly drying, and then waxing your motorcycle before putting it away for the winter will prevent corrosion and other damage. Spray your exhaust pipes with WD-40 to keep moisture and rust away.

5) Safeguard Battery

Batteries while out of use can tend to discharge. The cold weather also can cause damage to battery cells and can leave you in need of a brand new battery come spring. The best way to safeguard against this is to invest in a battery trickle charger, or optimate. You can leave this plugged in over the winter months and when you are ready to for your first spin in the spring there won’t be any delay while you go and source a new battery. Before putting on the trickle charger, make sure the electrodes are clean and corrosion free; if necessary, clean them off and give them a light coating of grease.

6. Pick a good dry place

Sunlight can damage leather and cause paint to fade, so if you have a window in your garage, try to park your motorcycle in a cool, dark corner. You could go a step further with a fitted, breathable cover that’ll prevent dings and scratches and protect your motorcycle from dust, grime, and moisture.

7) Block Out Pests

Mice and other rodents are notorious for hiding from the cold inside exhaust pipes and making homes out of air filters. If order to avoid any furry surprises when it's time to ride again, plug up your pipes with an exhaust plug you can also simply stuff your air intake and the ends of your exhaust with some plastic bags - but do use bright colored bags or tie something to them so you don't forget take them out when you fire up the bike! They can also be known for chewing seats and burrowing into helmets, so investing in pest control in your garage is very important!!

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Words by Amy


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