Only the most hardened of motorcyclists refuse to be separated from their bikes over the winter months.
With the majority of motorcycles being put away to spend the winter months safe in the shelter of a garage or beneath a waterproof tarpaulin, we’ve put together a few tips on preparing your motorcycle for the winter break to avoid any nasty surprises at the start of the season.
Firstly, clean the motorcycle thoroughly. If you are using a pressure washer, stand far enough away and avoid aiming the jet directly at the steering bearings, the swing arm or the hub. Washing it by hand using a soft sponge is safer as it also enables you to detect any damage that may have been caused to the motorcycle. Next, it is important to dry your bike thoroughly to prevent rush from forming.
Next, check all of its functions. The most important parts will be featured in the inspection plan outlined in the user manual. In the event that you do notice any issues, the majority of repair work can usually be carried out immediately over the winter months when the workshops are quieter. A winter inspection should also include the following points: Checking the level of liquid in the cooling system and using an anti-freeze solution. Metal motorcycle fuel tanks can be filled to the brim during the winter months to protect against corrosion. Plastic tanks, on the other hand, should be emptied as fuel components diffuse through the wall of the tank. The fuel valve can also be closed. Leave the engine running until the carburettor is empty. Failing this, it is possible to drain the tank.
Experts also recommend draining before the winter break to prevent any corrosive substances from remaining in the engine. It is important, too, to dismantle the battery or to recharge it on a regular basis using a suitable charger to extend the lifespan of the accumulator.
N.B.: with some models you risk losing important information such as maintenance data when you disconnect the battery. Refer to the user manual for more information. Clean the pinions and chain and spray them with a suitable maintenance spray.
Any bare metal parts, with the exception of the brake discs, can be treated to protect against rust using a cloth soaked in oil. There are also special maintenance products available for treating plastic components. When it comes to polishing your motorcycle, however, this should only be done at the start of the season, in the spring. Finally, increase the tyre pressure by 0.5 bar or position the motorcycle on a bottle crate so that the wheels are not touching the ground.