Fall Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist
Fall weather in Colorado is typically beautiful, and there are still ample opportunities to ride your motorcycle before it gets too cold. Whether you’re going for a cruise around Denver or riding into the Rocky Mountains to enjoy some fall foliage, fall riding in Colorado can be an incredible experience.
That being said, cold weather is just around the corner, and it’s important to understand the steps to take to prep your bike for winter storage. End of season motorcycle maintenance is critical and will ensure your bike remains in excellent riding condition once it’s time to take it back out next spring. Keeping your bike in great condition will not only prolong its life, but also reduce your risk of getting into a motorcycle accident.
The following checklist will help ensure your motorcycle is properly maintained before you store it for the winter.
Clean Exterior Surfaces of the Motorcycle
Make sure to thoroughly clean and dry all exterior surfaces of the motorcycle to remove any dirt and debris. The importance of cleaning your bike before storing it for the winter can’t be emphasized enough. This step will save you a lot of time and eliminate unnecessary headaches in the spring, as any bugs, dust or other debris that dries onto the motorcycle after riding season will be much harder to get off after it’s been on your bike for a long winter.
Lubricate All Moving Parts
If you’re not planning on riding your motorcycle during the winter months, make sure to cover all internal moving components with a light coat of oil to prevent unwanted moisture from building up during the offseason.
To lubricate the cylinders:
- Remove the spark plugs
- Place a tablespoon of oil into the holes
- Run the engine and spin the rear tire while the motorcycle is in gear to coat the cylinder walls
- Replace the spark plugs
You should also lubricate the following components right before storage:
This will help your motorcycle withstand the cold, dry winter air.
Fill Up the Tank and Add Fuel Stabilizer
Before storing your motorcycle for the winter, fill it up with gas. A full fuel tank is critical for preventing moisture from developing on the tank walls. After you’ve filled the tank, add a fuel stabilizer and take your motorcycle for a short ride to allow the fuel stabilizer to mix into the fuel system.
Change the Oil and Add Antifreeze
It’s important to change the oil and replace the filter prior to storing your motorcycle for the winter. Storing it with old oil can cause engine components to corrode. When changing the oil at the end of the season, it’s best to use an oil that is optimal for winter use.
You should also add antifreeze to your coolant system, as this is an essential piece of fall maintenance to protect your motorcycle while it’s stored for the winter.
Remove the Battery and Keep it Charged
Keeping your battery charged throughout the winter is important. If you plan to keep it connected, make sure to run your motorcycle once a month to charge the battery. However, the ideal way to store your bike for the winter is to remove the battery, clean the electrodes and connect it to a trickle charger all winter. If you disconnect the battery, make sure to store it in a location that maintains a constant temperature.
Use a Motorcycle Stand to Keep Weight Off the Tires
It’s best to store the motorcycle in a way that keeps the bike’s weight off the tires. This will help you avoid developing flat spots on your tires. Using a motorcycle stand is the easiest way to accomplish this.
If you don’t have access to a motorcycle stand, you can hoist the motorcycle up on the front tire at a height that will alleviate the weight from the back tire. When using this approach, rotate the tire in front every few weeks to prevent uneven wear.
If you absolutely have to store your motorcycle on the ground, fill your tires to the maximum allowed PSI prior to storage, and place carpet or plywood on the floor to create a moisture barrier. You’ll need to roll the motorcycle periodically to rotate the tires and prevent flat spots.
Fill the Air Intake and Exhaust Pipes
To prevent rodents and other pests from getting inside your motorcycle during the winter, you should always fill all open sections such as the air intake and exhaust pipes. This is especially critical if you plan to store your motorcycle outside.
You can purchase muffler covers or muffler plugs to fill these open areas. Make sure to add a line item to your spring motorcycle maintenance checklist that reminds you to remove the muffler cover prior to starting up your bike for the first time next riding season.
Wax the Exterior and Cover Your Motorcycle
The final step to take prior to storing for the winter is to put a coat of wax on the motorcycle. This will provide a barrier against unwanted moisture and prevent rusting. You should also spray down any exposed metal components with WD-40 to prevent moisture buildup.
When you’re ready to put your motorcycle away for the winter, use a cover that is specially fitted to your bike model. This is important even when storing the motorcycle indoors as it will protect it from dust and unwanted scratches. It will also provide an additional layer of protection against rodents.
It’s always best to store your motorcycle indoors throughout the winter. If you don’t have a garage or shed to store it in at your home, we recommend that you rent a storage unit to keep your motorcycle dry and out of the harsh winter elements.
Why Go Through the Full Checklist
We realize that this seems like a lot of work to do before storing your motorcycle for the winter and that it will take a considerable amount of time to complete all the items on this checklist. But it’s well worth the effort to ensure your motorcycle stays in good shape and runs properly when you take it out again next season.
You depend on your motorcycle to provide the high levels of performance necessary to make your rides enjoyable. In order to achieve optimal levels of performance, your motorcycle must be in good condition when you take it out on the road again next spring. Not only will this enhance your riding enjoyment, but it will also reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident when you’re out on spring rides.
If you don’t feel comfortable performing all the work on this checklist yourself, consider taking it to a shop that can perform an end of season servicing for you.
Pushchak Law Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident
You have the ability to control how well your motorcycle performs. Proper motorcycle maintenance is an important precaution you can take to ensure your bike runs properly and allows you to maneuver well in the event of adverse conditions. But one thing you can’t control is the behavior of other drivers, and unfortunately even your most diligent maintenance efforts and defensive riding practices can’t always prevent an accident when other drivers act recklessly.
If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. At Pushchak Law, we can help protect your rights every step of the way.
Brian Pushchak has made motorcycle accidents a primary focus of his practice. He understands the complex laws governing these cases, he knows how to investigate the events of your accident to prove the other driver caused your injuries, and he knows how to assess the total extent of your damages. This level of specialization will give you the edge you need when seeking to maximize the value of your compensation.
You’ll benefit from our unique Informed Decisions™ Approach focused on ensuring you receive the best outcome to your case. As part of this approach, Mr. Pushchak will talk to you about your goals for the lawsuit. He’ll also explain your rights and options in detail so that you understand the strategy recommendations he makes. This approach ensures Mr. Pushchak remains aligned with your needs and goals every step of the way.
While Mr. Pushchak will recommend the strategy he believes will be most effective, you will always have final say on how we handle your case. With our Informed Decisions™ Approach, you remain in control throughout the entire process.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Pushchak Law serves clients in Denver and throughout the surrounding areas of Colorado.
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