It’s been a long, hot summer for us in southern California. As recently as last week we had some days that reached into the 90s. In October! But for many of us the leaves are changing, the nights have become cooler and before we know it, it will be time to put away our Wings until next riding season. Of course, if you live in California, Florida or another area with similar weather you have the luxury of riding all year long. If that’s you, take a moment to be thankful and remember that there others less fortunate than you! For the rest of you, it’s edging closer to the time when you will need to let your Wing hibernate for the winter. Before you do that, here are six tips/steps to keep your Wing pristine until the next riding season.
Step One: Keep Your Fuel Stable
Over the long winter months that your bike sits, the fuel in your tank can begin to turn a brownish color and thicken. Gross. Over a long enough period of time it may even lead to corrosion, build-up and rust inside your fuel tank. As a result, the gas would no longer be suitable for use. Furthermore, it can end up clogging and ruining parts of the fuel system. If you want to avoid the possibility of this happening, we recommend that you mix some fuel stabilizer into your tank along with some fuel. Once mixed, fill the tank up the rest of the way with gas and run your engine for about 10-15 minutes to be sure that the stabilizer runs its course through the fuel system.
Step Two: Change Your Oil and Filter
After the many memories and miles of riding season, the oil that is left in your bike will likely have contaminants, pollutants and condensation that can lead to engine corrosion. In the same way, the oil filter will be in need of replacing. With this in mind, be sure to replenish your ride with fresh oil and a new filter before storing for the winter months.
Step Three: Replenish Your Coolant
There is another culprit that can cause some havoc to your motorcycle’s engine (as well as radiator) if you aren’t prepared. In colder climates coolant will freeze, resulting in cracks and engine/cooling system damage. To prevent this you will want to ensure that your bike is put away with a fresh supply of low temperature-rated coolant.
Step Four: Care For Your Battery
If a battery drops only a few volts below its rating, it can freeze in the cold, causing permanent damage. Keep your battery plugged into an automatic smart charger to maintain voltage and keep it from freezing.
Step Five: Protect and Preserve
Before saying adieu to your Wing for the season, take some time to wash it clean of all the dirt and bugs you accumulated on your final trip of riding season (if you haven’t already). Once it’s all shiny and pristine, apply a surface protectant to keep it looking that way.
Step Six: Keep It Covered
If you store your bike outside you definitely will want to throw on a waterproof cover. If you can afford it, a retractable shelter or clamshell is great option for outdoor storage. It is the most ideal way, apart from storing inside, to protect your prized possession from the elements. Even if it’s kept in a garage or somewhere similar, we recommend a cover to safeguard it from dust, moisture, pets and people. Be sure to consider your region’s climate and storage location when determining the right cover for your needs.
Follow these six steps and your ride will be in pristine condition when riding season rolls around again.
What did you think of the article? Is there anything you do in addition to these 6 steps to protect your Wing from winter?