Oil

CRAP! It’s almost winter where I live and this will probably be the last week I get to ride. Thus, it’s almost time to winterize my bike. The below steps will walk you through winterizing your bike. The most three most important reasons you would do this is to keep water out of the engine, keep the coolant from feezing and ruining your cooling system, and your battery in top operating condition.

When it gets cold motorcycles are very suseptable to corrosion through the entry of water into your bike’s engine.5891_100995302780_584412780_2152266_6786432_n

The areas of greatest concern are the piston rings, cylinder walls, and valve seats. What you really want to guard from is water. If water get’s in any of these parts it can cause expensive damage. If you don’t winterize your bike and it does get wet you may have a problem with your cylinders pitting from rust and will require for them to be bored out to good metal.

1. Warm up the engine to dry out whatever water may be hanging about and coat the cylinders with oil.

2. Turn off the bike.

3. Remove the spark plugs.

4. Suck 25cc’s of oil with a turkey baster and squirt it into each spark plug hole.

5. Spin the rear wheel by hand to turn the engine over. This will cover everything with oil.

6. Replace the spark plugs.

If you need an oil change or spark plug change now is the time do do it.

Not done yet.

7. Top off your tank with fuel treated with fuel stabilizer. Sta-Bil works great and you can get it at any marine supply store.

8. If you have a carborated bike (pre 2006 R6) you need to drain the float bowls. Unscrew the screw at the top of the float bowl and empty out the fuel. Any fuel left over can turn into sludge that will clog your jets and cost a pretty penny to have cleaned. Fuel injected bikes don’t have to worry about this.

9. Buy a Super Smart Battery Tender to maintain your batteries charge. Since batteries are naturally self discharging this will keep them in tip top running shape. You can leave the battery in the bike. Coat your battery posts with some lithium grease to eliminate corrosion. If you don’t have a maintenance free battery be sure to put water in.

Stands support the bike, making them safer and easier to work on.

10. Clean and wax the bike. Remove all tar, bird droppings, and bugs. Any paint contaminants have small amounts of acid in them and can ruin a beautiful paint job.

11. Make sure your coolant/antifreeze is rated for the temperatures your area gets down to.

12. Consider plugging your exhaust with something solid to eliminate the possibility of a rodent making a home in there.

13. Buy a cover to keep dust and implements from damaging the bike as it sits.

14. A stand can ensure your bike doesn’t get bumped in storage and take a painful fall.

If you have performed all of the above steps you can be sure that the bike you store for the winter will start and run perfectly come spring.

In later posts I will be discussing some modifications and maintenance to get done while the garage holds the bike hostage.

Do you do anything different to winterize your bike? Would you share it with us?