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How to Winterize your Motorcycle for Winter Storage.

October 12, 2009 1 comment

650GSstorage

As the leaves change colours and winters icy chill approches, the over whelming feeling of dread comes upon you. Knowledge that you wont be able to feel the wind, the freedom, or the absolute joy of flying on the road is creeping. With that comes the responsibility that seasonal motorcyclists must endure, the winterizing of your beloved bike. This is suprisingly easy and can be done with minimal tears if you just follow these simplified points.

TOOLS AND SUPPLIES

– Cleaning cloths
– Spark plug wrench
– Trickle battery charger
– Four of five quarts of high quality oil
– New oil filter
– Oil can or device to get oil into the cylinders
– Chain lube
– Fuel stabilizer
– Can of WD40
– Breathable motorcycle cover, specific to motorcycles, not a tarp.
– Kitchen plastic wrap
– Rubber bands
– Vinyl or plastic gloves
– Items to clean and wax you bike
– A location to store your bike. A heated garage would be great but if you dont have that then be sure to avoid wind, water, vermin, mildew, and chemical fumes.

LOCATION

– If you are storing on concrete, put it on a piece of plywood, MDF, or old thick carpet to prevent moisture
– Remove all of the weight from the wheels
– A bike stand or some blocking works
– A centerstand and blocking works
– Do not store you bike near ozone emitting devices such as motors, freezers, furnaces, or electric heaters. These gasses will deterioate your rubber parts.
– Keep your bike out of direct sunlight, this can fade the plastic and painted parts.

GAS TANK

– Add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank.
– Fill your tank as full as you can.
– As fuel ages the volatile components change and leave sludge and gummy substances that clog the carburetor or the fuel injectors.
– Run the bike so the gas and fuel stabilizer get the the carburetor and fuel injectors.
– Turn off the fuel line and run it dry.
– If you have a carburetor, drain the float bowls, shut off the gas petcock and drain the gas from the carburetor bowls. Consult your manual to find where your drain screws are. If you have a fuel injected bike there is nothing to drain.

ENGINE

– Remove spark plug wires
– Carefully remove the plugs
– Get some motor oil in the cylinders. Approximately one teaspoon of oil will work well
– Tuck the plug wires away somewhere safe so they do not arc
– Spin the motor with the rear tire and clutch in gear for a few revolutions to get the oil spread around
– Keep your face away from the spark plug holes. Oil will squirt out
– Clean and gap the plugs and put them back in. Replace plug wires

BATTERY

– Possibly remove the battery.
– Some batteries require charging every four weeks with a “battery tender” or “trickle” type of charger
– Built up sulfates on the plates can ruin a battery during inactivity or cold storage
– A thin coat of vaseline on the terminals can prevent corrosion

PAINT AND FINISH

– Clean your bike thoroughly
– Don’t spray water directly in the tail pipe, it could rust
– Aviod getting the air cleaner housing wet
– Dry completly with a good chamois
– Clean and polish all metal surfaces with metal polish
– Put a good coat of wax on painted and chrome surfaces

CHAIN

– Clean the chain.
– Spray the built up residues with WD40
– Lube the chain

SUSPENSION

– Put oil on the front fork tubes, the part that goes inside
– Get on the bike, compress and decompress the front suspension several times
– This keeps the rubber seals from drying out and protects the front fork tubes

LEATHER

– Clean and treat all of the leather with a high quality treatment and dressing

MUFFLER

– Make sure it is dry to prevent rust
– Seal the tail pipe with plastic wrap and a rubber band

ANTIFREEZE

– If your bike is liquid cooled, check its antifreeze levels
– Drain, flush, and replace antifreeze if neccessary
– This replacement should be done every two years
– Do not leave the antifreeze level low or empty
– Check all other fluid levels, brakes, etc

EXTRA ADVICE

– Do not run the engine for short periods during the storage period
– Seal the air intake with plastic wrap and a rubber band

SPRING TIME

– Remove the storage cover
– Remove the plugs on the air intake and muffler
– Check tire pressure
– Give bike a good wash
– Install battery if applicable
– Give it a good tune up,
– Enjoy the new riding season!

I would like to thank the good folks at www.650gs.com for allowing me the pleasure of publishing this article for them. If you want to know more about the BMW 650gs then check out www.650gs.com

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