We’ve enjoyed a warm Autumn but all good things eventually come to an end.
As a motorcycle accident lawyer who is also an avid cycle rider, I thought it may be interesting to some of my readers to know some the steps I recommend to winterizing your motorcycle.
This yearly routine will keep your motorcycle safe during the winter, and ready to ride at first sign of warm weather in the spring!
Simple Do It Yourself Tips
1. Change the oil
I know, not the most fun you can have with a motorcycle… but this is important, because broken down motor oil is not the best lubricant for your system. Fresh oil will protect the interior workings of your engine from condensation that can rust your pistons and cylinder walls.
While you’re at it, lubricate your spark plug receptacles by pulling out the plugs and putting a little oil in the receptacles, then replace the plugs and fire up the engine. Be sure to replace your plugs with new ones.
Speaking of lubrication, check your cables, controls, fork surfaces, chain drive, and pivot points to make sure they are lubricated to prevent rust.
2. Disconnect Your Battery
To preserve your battery charge, disconnect it for the winter. Clean the electrodes and inspect the cables to make sure they are in good condition. This easy step should ensure that you have a charge when you first re-connect the battery in the spring.
3. Protect Your Gas Tank Inside
To prevent the possibility of rust gaining hold inside your fuel tank over the winter, fill it with gasoline and add fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizer prevents deposits that can clog your fuel injectors, from forming in your tank. It also slows the evaporation of gas from your tank. Just add the stabilizer to what’s left in your tank and top it off with gas after your last ride.
4. Check Coolant and Antifreeze
News flash, New Jersey winters can get cold. To protect your engine head from cracking over the winter, top off the anti-freeze in your coolant system.
5. Restore the Beauty
Now that you’re done with the messy stuff, it’s time to clean your ride so you can look more impressive than all the other cycles on the road first thing in the spring! Get the bug guts, dirt and water spots off your paint to protect it from permanent damage and corrosion.
Wash it, dry it completely, and for good measure, wax it with a high quality wax. Take a look at your leather and rubber… those elements may need a reconditioning treatment. Now, protect your chrome with a good quality chrome polish. The final step is to coat all other exposed metal with WD-40 to seal it against condensation.
6. Put Your Motorcycle on a Stand
Did you know that leaving your tires resting on a hard surface without rotating them can cause flat spots in the curvature? You can take the easy route and get a motorcycle stand, or simply rotate the tires by rolling your bike every few weeks.
If you keep your bike on the ground, put something like carpet or cardboard or plywood down to keep the rubber off the moist ground to prevent the moisture from seeping into the rubber, which can make your tire rubber more brittle when it dries.
7. Say Good Night
Covering your motorcycle over the long winter hibernation with a motorcycle tarp will keep dirt off, and add another layer of moisture prevention. Use a tarp even when storing your bike in a garage.
Of course if you store it in your living room, you can skip the tarp. It’s okay, admit it, you want to admire its sleek lines and metallic gleam over the winter.
Motorcycle Safety Prevents Accidents
Remember, a properly maintained bike is not only more enjoyable to ride, and a showpiece, it is also a safety factor to prevent motorcycle accidents. As your New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney, I highly recommend you winterize every year.