With cold weather and snow right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your end-of-season motorcycle maintenance. Here are our top tips to help you keep your bike in the best condition through the winter months:
Clean and Dry Your Bike
Drying is a critical part of your end of season maintenance. A lot of steam is released when the bike is wet and the engine is hot, especially if it’s stored in a cold garage, creating the perfect conditions for corrosion to form. The warm steam can easily condense in certain areas and create water spots where you wouldn’t normally find them, such as fuse boxes and electrical connections.
If the bike isn’t fully dry when you winter cover, this moisture can get caught in pipes and cause rust inside your gas tank or can cause corrosion elsewhere as temperatures drop.
Before putting it away for the season, you should give your bike a thorough wash and let it dry fully before putting the cover on.
Check Your Battery
Ensure that the battery terminals are completely clean and away from any direct heat sources or chemicals. Keep the batteries charged if the bike is only being used for short trips, and, if you are not planning to use your bike at all during winters, removing the battery completely is a good idea.
Remember to lubricate any points that need it, such as brake pivots and gear linkages, to help make sure they don’t dry out or get stuck over the cold winter months.
Take Care of Your Accessories
As riding season winds down, it’s important to prepare all your gear for storage too, especially your helmet. For the most part, the shell, visor, and vents can all be cleaned with gentle soap, and the inner padding can usually be thrown in the wash or soaked in a solution of water and baby shampoo. Abrasive cleaners and harsh chemicals tend to strip the color and can compromise its protection capabilities. Be sure to dry the helmet completely- inside and out- before packing it away to prevent mold and corrosion.
If you own a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet, you should refer to the owner’s manual for optimal cleaning techniques and end of season care. Never store it when still wet as that could damage the electronic parts.
For oil changes, fluid services, and other end-of-season motorcycle maintenance, you’ll need professional service. At V&F, we’ll put your motorcycle on an effective maintenance schedule that’s perfectly suited for your vehicle and your driving habits. Our technicians replace spark plugs, transmissions, fuel filters, inspect clutch cables, air filters, brake pads, and much more! After our thorough inspection and diagnosis, we can perform any repairs, replacements, and adjustments that are needed. Our friendly experts will make sure you receive the answers, maintenance services, or repair solutions you need. Feel free to stop by our facility next time you’re in the area- we gladly accept all of our walk-ins, and look forward to serving you and servicing your bike!
This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated.