Prepare Yourself: Winter is Coming to Cache Valley
The time for motorcycles is about over for the year. There are still a few weeks left before you must, but once the road conditions become unsafe for it, you have to stop for the winter. Since there’s a few things you ought to do before you put it away, it might be best to do it sooner rather than later. We spoke with the folks at S E Performance to learn more about what you need to do before the Cache Valley Winter comes.
Clean Your Motorcycle
Water spots, dust, and squashed bugs can all corrode your paint job if they sit too long. Before you put your motorcycle away, you should make sure that you give it a thorough cleaning. Wash the bike and be sure that you dry it off completely. A leaf blower is a good way to make sure you get all the water out of the little spaces.
After you finish washing it, apply a coat of wax. Wax will protect your bike against rust while it sits in storage. Finally, spray some WD-40 onto any exposed metal part to help repel any moisture and protect it against corrosion.
Change the Oil and Filter
The oil in your bike is probably not in great condition after a full season riding it. Before you put your motorcycle away, change the oil and filter. It’s better for your lubrication system overall if it has fresh oil in it while it sits. It also means you won’t have to worry about changing the oil when the riding seasons starts, letting you get back out there much faster.
If you’re going to put your bike up for more than 4 months, it’s also a good idea to protect your engine. Lightly coat the inside of it with oil to prevent the pistons and cylinders from attracting moisture and rust.
Lube It Up
If you keep the moving parts of your bike lubed during the winter, that will also help keep moisture from building. The parts that most need lubrication are the chain drive, cables, controls, fork surfaces, and any other pivot points. Do this before storage and you shouldn’t have any issues with rust.
Prep The Fuel System
Gas breaks down faster than oil does. As it does, it becomes gummy and can cause the fuel tank to rust. Some people recommend draining your fuel system, but this is very time consuming. You also need to treat the inside of your tank with fogging oil. If you’re going to put your bike up for 6 months or more, this is the best method. The winters in Cache Valley don’t normally last that long, though. Fuel stabilizers are the better option. On your last ride, add the appropriate amount of stabilizer to your tank, then top it off. This will keep the gas stable during storage so you don’t have to worry about it in the spring.
The batteries will discharge themselves if they sit over time, especially if they stay hooked up to the bike. You can remove the battery and store it in a dry location, but if you don’t want to go to the trouble, consider getting a battery tender. These devices monitor your bike’s charge and keep it powered without overcharging.
If you leave your bike sitting on the hard ground for an extended period, they’ll develop flat spots. To avoid this, it’s best to use motorcycle stands to keep the tires elevated. If you don’t have any stands, you can avoid flats by rotating your tires every couple of weeks. Roll it around to make sure the tires aren’t consistently resting on the same spot. You can also reduce the chance of flats by putting a piece of carpet or plywood under the tires.
Cover Your Bike
To protect your bike in storage, you’ll need to cover it. First, to keep pests from getting into your bike’s innards, plug up the pipes with an exhaust plug. If you don’t have a plug, you can make do with plastic bags, but make sure they’re brightly colored. You want to see them when you bring it out in winter, lest you forget they’re there. Afterward, cover the bike with a good motorcycle cover. A quality motorcycle cover will keep dust off and keep moisture out. If you’re storing the bike outside, be sure to tie it down so the wind can’t blow it off. It’s better to store it inside if you can, though.
Beware of Thieves!
This is another reason why it’s a good idea to store it inside if you can. It’s much harder for people to steal your bike if it’s in a garage or shed. If you can’t store it inside, a good motorcycle cover will help hide it from casual passers. Use a good, strong chain to tie it down to something as well. If you aren’t already locking your steering wheel every time you park your motorcycle, then get in the habit of doing that now.
Putting It Up For The Winter
Cache Valley doesn’t have as bad of winters as some places in the United States, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Follow the steps above and your bike will be protected from the hazards of the cold and the snow. If you need any help with these steps, check with a local mechanic. Any good mechanic will know what to do and be more than happy to help you out with it.
If you take care of things now, your bike will be in much better condition when the spring comes. You’ll get back on the road much faster that way.