There are motorcyclists that ride every day regardless of the weather, and there are bikers who ride their motorcycle more frequently during spring, summer and autumn. Regardless of which category you fall into, your motorcycle needs care all year round. Winter is no exception! So even If your motorcycle is left unridden for periods of time, it’s essential to care for your motorcycle so that come spring, your motorcycle is in running order. Follow these simple tips to keep your motorcycle in working order all through this cold period.
1. LOOK AFTER YOUR MOTORCYCLE BATTERY
A flat battery is one of those things that always seems to happen when you need your bike the most. To keep your motorbike starting first time, every time, looking after your battery is essential. A smart charger will help prolong the life of your battery. Just plug it in when your motorbike is not in use and the charger will keep your battery in tip top condition. Smart chargers fully charge your battery when it’s drained, then simply maintain your battery when it’s full.
Important: spend a little extra on the charger: The smarter the software in the battery charger the more it will maintain the battery, meaning it will prolong the battery’s life. That makes more economic sense: motorcycle batteries tend to be more expensive than a quality smart battery charger.
Extra top tip: If the posts on your battery are corroded, now would be a good time to remove the battery bolts and clean them up. Also, a little grease on the threads of the bolts will keep them corrosion free. If your motorbike’s battery is not maintenance free, check the fluid levels in each chamber. Top up with distilled or deionized water only. When doing this, please make sure to wear gloves and protective glasses. Top up in a well-ventilated area, beware of fumes!
2. PROTECT YOUR MOTORCYCLE FROM CORROSION
In the winter your motorbike often gets covered in road salt. Road salt means corrosion. To help prevent corrosion you should wash, dry, then spray your bike with ACF50, Scott oiler or GT85 (every metallic surface except anywhere near the brakes). If your motorcycle already has started to corrode, ACF50 helps stop existing corrosion from spreading.
All three options are ultra-thin fluid films that cover and protect your metal surfaces prone to corrode. All are safe to use on any metal.
Developed for the aerospace industry, ACF50 dispels moisture and forms an atmospheric barrier that breaks down corroding acids and moisture. The protection lasts while the chemical ingredients are active: usually 12 months. ACF50 can be applied to wet and already corroded surfaces.
Developed by WD40, GT85 is a water-dispersant spray that forms an oil-based, ultra-thin barrier film on your metal. A PTFE component ensures moisture and corroding substances run off the surface. Re-apply when the film has worn through, usually 4-6 weeks. GT85 Can be applied to wet surfaces.
Scott Oiler F365 forms an oil-based, ultra-thin barrier film on metal. PH-correcting additives combat corrosive acids by neutralising their effect, reapply every 6-8 weeks. F365 can be applied to wet surfaces.
Invest in a quality motorcycle cover. This will not only keep dirt, dust and other muck off your motorcycle, but will help keep moisture out, helping to prevent corrosion. PVC-based motorcycle covers tend to become brittle in the cold. You are better off investing into a more expensive cover made of more durable materials. If you are keeping your motorcycle exposed to wind, also consider the weight of the cover you intend to use. A heavier cover will not ‘blow about’ as much, last longer and is less likely to fly off the motorcycle in high winds.
Extra TOP TIP from GetGeared: Do not store your motorbike near any ozone-emitting devices, such as motors, freezers or electric heaters. The gasses created by these will deteriorate rubber parts.
4. ENSURE YOUR ENGINE STARTS EASILY
Add a fuel stabilizer, like Star Tron to the petrol tank. Simply add Star Tron to the tank before you fill up and you’re done. Star Tron prevents gums and blockages from forming during periods of infrequent usage and wintering.A common problem with many motorcycles is a blocked fuel injector. As a result this fuel additive will stop that happening! It allows you to start your motorcycle engine smoothly and easily every time and is great for motorcycles that you’ve put away for winter.
5. PROTECT YOUR TYRES
If your motorbikes tyres are left to sit in the same position for a long period of time, they could develop flat spots. Keeping your motorcycle tyres, in particular the rear tyre off the ground will prevent this. If you do not have a center stand to do this, using a paddock stand to store your motorcycle will keep the rear tyre off the ground.