Winter in Indiana is almost upon us. This time next week, Thanksgiving will be over, making it finally socially acceptable to put up the Christmas decorations and prepare for the end of the holiday season. Soon, Indiana’s roads will be coated with snow and ice, and the Hoosier state will look like a winter wonderland.
While you’re snacking on Thanksgiving leftovers next week, you may decide it’s about time to put your motorcycle away for the winter. Although Indiana weather is fairly unpredictable, it’s a safe bet that the weather will only get colder, windier, and wetter from here on out. Riding season is over, and it’s time to let your bike hibernate until the spring.
There’s plenty that needs to be done to make sure your bike is ready for storage. Here are four tips to make sure your motorcycle will still be in good shape in the spring.
1. Find a Good Place for Storage
The best place to store your motorcycle is somewhere where the winter weather won’t affect it. Although a cover may keep direct rainfall or snowfall at bay, it likely won’t protect against high winds or drifting snow. A garage, shed, or storage facility is the best place to keep your bike safe from the elements.
2. Clean and Maintain
Your bike is going to sit for months; no need to let the dust accumulate. If you store your bike while it’s dirty, the exterior may permanently corrode. Wash your motorcycle, and wax it if you can. Make sure your bike is completely dry to keep moisture from causing more problems. You may want to use WD-40 to clean and protect your motorcycle.
You’ll also want to get your motorcycle in near perfect condition. That means filling your gas tank, changing the oil, and doing your best to prevent corrosion.
Ride your bike to the gas station, making sure the motorcycle warms up, and fill up the tank to nearly full. Then, ride home and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from deteriorating and the inside of your tank from rusting. Run the engine for a few minutes to let the stabilizer and the gas mix properly. If you don’t want to fill your gas tank and use a stabilizer, empty the tank and make sure it’s completely dry to prevent corrosion.
Change your oil. You’ll still want to change your oil again when you get your bike out in the spring, so consider using cheaper oil for this change. Let the engine run again for a few minutes to let the oil circulate.
Lubricate things like the throttle, kick stand, shifter, and clutch cables to prevent corrosion. Consider coating the engine with oil to prevent it from rusting. Put a small amount of oil into your spark plug holes and turn the engine over to coat the cylinder walls. Then, replace your spark plug wires.
3. Charge Your Battery and Inflate Your Tires
Your battery will lose its charge during storage. Recharge the battery and remove it from the motorcycle. Make sure that the place you choose to store the battery doesn’t get below freezing. If your garage isn’t heated, consider putting the battery elsewhere. (Speaking of freezing, make sure to check your antifreeze once the temperature drops this winter to make sure it’s still working.)
You should also check your tires and reinflate them to just a little less than your motorcycle’s maximum pressure. Keeping your bike on a stand will prevent your tires from developing flat spots. If you can’t keep your bike on a stand, rotate your tires regularly while your bike is in storage and make sure your bike is resting on carpet, not concrete, to keep moisture away.
4. Cover and Wait
Finally, your motorcycle is in perfect condition and ready for storage. After cleaning the exhaust pipe, consider plugging it or wrapping a bag over it to prevent moisture (or rodents) from getting inside. Cover your bike with an indoor cover to protect it, and start counting down the days until spring.
Help from an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Maybe you like to wait a little longer before putting your motorcycle in storage. Be warned that it can be difficult to control a motorcycle in rain, snow, and high winds. But even if you’re a pro, you can’t control the vehicles around you. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s recklessness, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation.