As winter draws ever closer and the weather starts to get colder and wetter, it’s time to think about putting your motorbike into hibernation to protect it. If you’re thinking about putting your bike away, here are some handy motorbike maintenance tips to ensure you can take to the roads safely as soon as the weather perks up in the spring.
Keep it slick – Oil left to rest in the engine can form a thick black sludge, which over time can corrode parts of the engine and cause serious damage. Therefore, I recommend changing the oil before the bike goes into hibernation for the season. The best time to change the oil is just after your last ride so the engine is still warm, making the oil easier to remove or alternatively you can leave the engine to run for a while before you get to work.
Don’t let it drain – When your bike is left in storage in a cold environment, the battery will start to drain flat. The best option is to remove the battery and store it somewhere safe and dry until it next needs to be used. You can also use a trickle charger to feed the battery with a low stream of electricity throughout the winter months – this can help lengthen the battery’s lifespan.
Tread carefully – The performance of tyre rubber can be detrimentally affected when exposed to cold/freezing temperatures. It’s therefore best that paddock stands are used to keep tyres away from the cold temperatures of the flooring – especially if stored in a garage. If you don’t have any paddock stands to hand, you can also use safely secured blocks of wood to keep your bike raised from the ground.
Protect – Ensure you remove any dirt and grime from your chain and lubricate it for an added layer of protection. Clutch and brake cables can be protected by spraying a small amount of, say, WD-40 down the cable housing. Operate the levers to work the lubricant as far down the cable as possible – this prevents any damage caused by moisture.
Wash and Wax – Clean your bike thoroughly. Once the surface is dirt free, give your motorbike a polish to repel any water should it become exposed to damp conditions, leaving paintwork streak-free and with a glossy shine.
Last but not least, invest in a bike cover for an extra layer of protection from any dust and dirt. This will ensure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste and your bike is ready to ride as soon as the weather starts to clear.