How to Winterize a Motorcycle

row of motorcycles in winter

Storing your bike in a clean, dry place for the winter may seem safe enough, but the truth us, there’s a whole process that you need to follow to properly winterize a motorcycle.

Unless you plan on riding motorcycle in winter, you may be thinking it’s time to start preparing your bike to be parked for a few months. We’ll walk you through the proper winterization procedure here.

Choose a Safe Location

The first step to storing your motorcycle for the winter is to find a place to keep it. An indoor location like a garage or storage unit is the best place to keep a bike. You’ll want to cover it completely, including the air intake, to keep it free of insects and rodents.

Give it a Good Clean

After your last ride of the season, you should plan to thoroughly wash and detail your bike. The bike should be dried carefully by hand and all metal parts, except the brakes, should be treated with an anti-corrosive product. The bike should then be thoroughly dried before storage so moisture doesn’t get trapped and cause rust.

Take Care of the Battery

Your motorcycle battery will eventually die if it sits in a cold storage place all winter and will corrode quickly. To prevent this, you can either remove the battery completely or use a trickle charger to keep the battery juiced up.

Drain the Brake Fluid

Brake fluid can attract water, so it’s best to drain the system and bleed the lines with new fluid when you bring your bike back out in the spring.

Change the Oil and Filter

Old oil sitting in your bike’s lubrication system for months is not advisable. This is why we recommend that you change the oil, add in fresh, unused oil and give it a new filter while you’re at it. You’ll be glad you did when spring rolls around and it’s all ready to go.

Pro tip: Use a heavier weight oil like a 5W30 as it will help your motorcycle start-up quicker when it comes out of storage.

Protect the Brakes and Raise the Wheels

To protect your brakes, place cardboard or paper between the pads and the discs to prevent them from sticking.

Additionally, if possible, raise your wheels off the ground using paddock stands to protect your tires during storage. If this isn’t possible, plan to rotate them one-quarter turn every month to preserve them.

Risks of Riding a Motorcycle in Winter

While our winters here in Sacramento are certainly mild compared to other parts of the country, we still get cold temperatures that can impair your ability to properly operate your motorcycle. Some risks include:

  • Diminished visibility due to wind, rain, and fog
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Distraction due to being too cold or wet to think clearly

If you do plan to ride your bike throughout the winter, be sure you’re wearing proper winter motorcycle gear to protect yourself and keep your body temperature up. Proper care and maintenance of your bike are always good motorcycle safety practices.

The Motorcycle Accident Lawyer You Can Count On

Unfortunately, even the most prepared motorcyclists can experience an accident. If you suffer a motorcycle accident, you need the team at Frank Penney Injury Lawyers on your side to make sure you get the fair settlement and representation you deserve.

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