How to Prepare Your Motorcycle for Winter Storage

Harley highway cruiser, Japanese crotch rocket, no matter what kind of motorcycle you ride. Preparing it properly for storage now will mean it’s ready to go when the snow melts next spring. Any true Harley enthusiast will tell you the only place to store your pride and joy for the winter is in the living room. To be able to polish it, turn it over daily, to just run your hands over its robust fuel tank and occasionally sit in the saddle. After all, it is your precious baby.
Not many wives will go along with that idea, so as a second-best alternative, a list of common sense alternatives will have to do. Darn those sensible wives.

First, determine where you are going to store your bike

How to Prepare Your Motorcycle for Winter StorageAs where it will be stored is going to affect how you prepare it. If at all possible store it in a heated garage, heated basement, semi-heated attached garage. As a last resort an unheated, uninsulated shed with no floor in the backyard. What your looking for are a stable temperature and dry environment. When something is warmed, then cooled, back and forth it may create condensation. Both on the bike and inside the fuel tank and engine of the cycle.

If you are able to store it in a dry stable place, go take that last ride and come home when the gas tank is down pretty low, but not on the reserve tank. If you are forced to store it in a tin shed out back, go take that ride, then fuel it up to the top and come home.

When you get home and the engine is still warm, its time to change the oil, and if equipped, the oil filter. A warm engine will keep particulates in suspension and they will drain out with the oil. Refill with new oil after you reinstall the plug and new filter.

Break out that bottle of Sta-bil, or similar gas stabilizing chemical and treat the gasoline as the directions indicate.

Obviously, the almost empty tank will take much less chemical. Now the reason for NOT being on the reserve tank is because it’s really hard to pour sta-bil into the tank only getting it in the side that is the reserve side. If the fuel level is above reserve you can just dump it in and swish it around. After treating the remaining gas, go for another short ride to allow the chemical to work its way through the carburettor or injector system.

Now give your motorcycle a good bath, wash it thoroughly and set it out in the sun to dry COMPLETELY. When dry a good wax job will protect the finish and aluminium parts.

Check the chain tension or belt tension.

If it has a drive shaft, your lucky. Check the tires, are they due for replacement? If so might as well do it now, so when that first warm day arrives next spring you can head right out for a ride. Make sure your drive chain is well lubricated, spray WD40 into cables, and onto joints, such as rear brake pedal attachment point, grease any fittings, the swing arm is a likely place for a fitting or two.

Check all fluid levels, brake fluid, battery water level, if it has a radiator, check the coolant too. Refer to the manual, how about any engine maintenance that might be due, valve adjustments, timing chain adjustments. If it needs to go to the dealer for repair or tuneup the offseasonHow to Prepare Your Motorcycle for Storage is their favourite time to do that kind of work.

Almost the last step, invest in a Battery Maintainer.

This is a special charger, very small that is designed to be left attached to the battery and plugged into the wall all the time the motorcycle is in storage. It charges at 1amp or less, make sure you only leave a charger specifically designed for this type of charging unattended for a long period of time. If you try to do this with a larger charger you WILL come home to a pile of ashes as it will burn your house down after the battery dries up and the bike catches on fire.

OK, last step, If your pride and joy is relegated to the tin shed in the backyard, first put down a sheet of plywood so it doesn’t sit on the cold damp ground. Hopefully, it is going to the back corner of the garage. After it’s positioned for the winter place a good cover over it, something that will breathe. DO NOT wrap it tightly in a plastic tarp as moisture will be trapped inside the tarp and things will RUST.

Now next spring, when the afternoon temps jump up to 60 degrees, you can quick like a bunny, pull your wheels out onto the blacktop and head out for that first ride of the season. Just be careful, on that first warm day, when the snowbanks are melting rapidly, there will be ice on the road. When you go through the underpasses, water running across the road will freeze in the shade.

What to Look for when Buying a Used Motorcycle or Scooter

With the price of gas as high as it is, many people are looking for ways to save a little on their transportation costs. Those who are lucky enough to live close enough to a workplace where they can change and shower may decide to ride their bike in. Cutting back on travel will help a little bit, but what about those times when you simply have to travel? The sales of fuel-efficient cars are on the increase, especially as the government places greater fuel efficiency strictures on automobiles produced. Going out and purchasing a hybrid vehicle is not always an option. What then, do you do, to greatly reduce fuel consumption especially when going back and forth to work?

Many people are buying up old scooters or motorcycles to fix up or use.

What to Look for when Buying a Used Motorcycle or ScooterThe age of the vehicle itself matters little. These people are not picking them up as collector’s items. Most people are either renewing or applying for a motorcycle permit or license and are more interested in getting a vehicle that runs. The people buying these bikes are not hardcore bikers likely to get their rides modified body shops such as the one made popular by the TLC show, Orange County Choppers. In most cases, they are young adults or middle-aged people looking for alternative commuting options. Rather than going into a motorcycle shopping and browsing the wares offered by the dealer, they have scoured the classifieds or eBay motors section until they found a bike that fits their price range.

Motorcycles, in general, are easier to work on than the cars and such buyers may not be afraid to put a little extra work into it, but how do you tell when you are getting a good deal or when you should walk away and look someplace else? Even though two-wheeled vehicles may have less that go with them than a car, you still have to check many parts. This link provides a handy sheet that will go into far greater detail than I will. The tires, wheels, brakes, steering and electronic systems are the most important parts. If you have a mechanic willing to go along with you to look at the vehicle that may certainly make things easier, but we do not always have that luxury.

Checking used price guides and reading reviews of various makes and models will give a new buyer an idea of what he or she is getting into. The Motor Book Store recommends taking the bike out for a spin and if possible getting a second opinion from a mechanic if everything else goes well.

Riding Safely – What You Need To Know

A motorcycle can be a great way to have fun, a nice mode of transportation, or a sport, but regardless of the use you give to your motorcycle, it is important to keep yourself as safe as possible. A motorcycle can be deadly as it can be fun. In a motorcycle you don’t have the same protection you would have in a car; in case of an accident you don’t have airbags nor are protected by a cage of steel like you would on a car to protect you, so it is up to you to prevent fatal injuries.

motorbike safety gearPerhaps the motorcycle equipment that has saved the most lives is a helmet. Your head is incredibly vulnerable when you suffer from a motorcycle accident and head trauma can cause death, so having extra protection is a factor that can save your life.

Another safety measure you can take to reduce your risks while driving a motorcycle is to avoid speeding. Yes, I know that speeding on a motorcycle can be extremely fun, especially if you have a racing bike, but the dangers outweigh the excitement. A motorcycle going at high speeds is more likely to lose control, besides there is nothing to hold your body if you accidentally crash so you are very likely to end up severely injured.

Learn to ride a motorcycle before attempting to do anything serious. There are a lot of training programs out there that will teach you the basics about motorcycle riding and tips to avoid accidents; they are conducted by trained people that will help you learn the right way.

Never dare to ride your motorcycle drowsy or drunk, ever! A motorcycle behaves very differently than a car does so you can’t afford distractions or small errors. Being drowsy or distracted in a car, while still dangerous, most of the time ends up with the driver hitting the sidewalk or gaining consciousness before something bad happens. In a motorcycle, the story is very different. A slight swipe of the wheel or a bump in a sidewalk can make the rider completely lose control causing important damage.

Your clothing and the colour of your motorcycle can also be another safety factor to consider. Bright colours make you more visible to other drivers, so it can prevent some of the accidents caused by them don’t see you. If you are a fan of leather jackets because let’s face it, you will look much cooler in this clothing, then you might want to choose a bright coloured motorcycle.