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Top Ten Best Practices for Preparing Motorcycles for Winter

EagleRider Shares Tips on How to Properly Store Your Bike for the Off-Season

Hawthorne, CA – EagleRider, the world’s largest motorcycle rental and tour company, has compiled an expert list for motorcycle enthusiasts on how to properly care for and store their bikes throughout the winter months.

 

“At EagleRider, we not only offer motorcycles for rent and for sale, but we also love motorcycles ourselves, and we understand the importance of protecting them,” said Chris McIntyre, President of EagleRider. “Owning a motorcycle is a huge responsibility, and we believe it is our duty as motorcycle experts to educate our consumer-base and fellow motorcycle owners on the best practices for keeping their bikes in mint condition year-round.” 

 

For those motorcycle owners who reside in cold, snowy regions and will have to put their bikes away for the season, EagleRider has declared the top ten recommendations for motorcycle preservation and maintenance. 

 

1.      Storage location: Check your local EagleRider location to see if they offer storage space. When possible, choose a location away from windows, as ultraviolet light can fade the paint and plastic parts.

2.      Oil change: Even if the oil is not due for a change, byproducts of combustion produce acids in the oil which will harm the inner metal surfaces. If your motorcycle runs well with a cold winter grade oil (5w30), then changing the oil to this grade will help startup and running in spring. Also, remember to dispose of the drained oil and old filter, both of which can typically be recycled at the place it was purchased.

3.      Add fuel stabilizer and drain carbs: You only need to drain the carbs if your motorcycle will be stored for more than 4 months. Otherwise, simply add stabilizer to the gas tank, run the bike for 10 minutes so it mixes and gets into the carbs, and you’re good to go.

4.      Lube the cylinder(s): You only need to lube the cylinder(s) if your motorcycle will be stored for more than 6 months. If the cylinder wall is left unprotected for a long period of time, it will rust and cause premature piston and ring wear. Remove the spark plugs and pour a tablespoon (5 cc) of clean engine oil or spray fogging oil into each cylinder. Be sure to switch off the fuel before you crank the engine or else you may refill the drained carbs. Turn the engine over several revolutions to spread the oil around and then reinstall the plugs.

5.      Battery storage: Make sure to remove the battery before storing your motorcycle as batteries often carry a small current even when the ignition is switched off.  Battery charging should be performed at least every two weeks using a charger that has an output of 10 percent of the battery ampere hour rating. Elevate the battery to keep it from freezing.

6.      Surface preparation: Apply wax prior to storage to act as a barrier against rust and moisture. Lightly spray all metal surfaces with WD-40 to protect them from corrosion.

7.      Exhaust and mufflers: To ensure the exhaust and mufflers do not rust throughout the winter, spray a light oil (like WD-40) into the muffler ends and drain holes. Lightly stick a plastic bag (shopping bag is fine) into the end of each muffler hole to keep moisture from getting inside the exhaust. Then, cover each muffler with another plastic bag to keep outside moisture off.

8.      Tires: Check the air pressure gauge on both the front and rear tires to make sure each tire is properly inflated to the maximum recommended pressure. Place a 1/4"-1/2" piece of cardboard or wood board under each tire to help keep the rubber raised up from a freezing floor. Do not use a tire dressing on the tires as this will make the tires hard and slippery.

9.      Service all fluids: You only need to service the fluids if the brake or clutch fluids haven't been changed in the last two years or 18,000 kms (11,000 miles). If your motorcycle is liquid cooled, the coolant requires changing every two years or 24,000 kms (15,000 miles). A mixture of 50/50 with distilled water will ensure a clean system for the next two years or 24,000 kms (15,000 miles).

10.  Cover it: Cover your bike with the cycle cover. A specially designed motorcycle cover is made of a mildew resistant material that is slightly permeable, so it can breathe.

 

Once all ten steps are complete, bikers can endure the winter months knowing their bikes are safe and sound, ready to ride come spring.

 

ABOUT EAGLERIDER

In 1992, EagleRider pioneered the Harley-Davidson® motorcycle rental concept and the guided motorcycle tour business. Today, we are the world’s largest motorcycle travel and tourism company. EagleRider understands the needs of motorcycle enthusiasts and adventure travelers; offering over 4,000 perfectly maintained Harley, Honda, BMW, Triumph and many other motorcycle models in more than 100 locations worldwide. Our vast network of EagleRider locations allows us the unique ability to offer One-Way Rentals, Guided Tours and Self-Drive Tours from the most desirable tourist destinations in the world.

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