If you want to ride that first warm Spring day, you should prepare your bike now. With the amount of snow flying around these days, motorcycling season will soon be over in much of the country. If off-season motorcycle storage is a part of life in your neck of the woods, the knowledgeable crew at K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) can hook you up with the supplies to do the job right. Your other choice – park your ride in the corner with the lawn mower until you’re ready for your first ride next spring. You will be sorry because while everyone is out enjoying the day, you will be scratching your head wondering why your bike is D.O.A. What could you have done to prevent this? Here are a few ways to prepare for the first day of the new season:
1) Make sure you put your Battery on a Smart Charger. By cleaning and inspecting the battery and using a battery charger like the Battery Tender JR with Super Smart technology that incorporates a microprocessor to maintain the battery at full charge capacity during storage. (Part # CC-2851011). You may say, why do I need a Battery Tender JR? A steady-rate battery charger may over or under charge an AGM battery, again keeping you from the road.
(Helpful Hint: You should never attempt to charge the batter by starting and running the bike for a few minutes while it is in storage. These short run cycles leave the battery in a discharged condition, and susceptible to sulfation. This is one of the most common causes of battery failure. Such conditions can leave moisture and combustion acids in the engine that may have corrosive effects.)
2) Make sure you change the oil. Dirty oil is like dingy, dirty underwear. It’s no good for anybody! Fuel and acids in dirty oil can accelerate engine corrosion during long-term storage. A fresh fill of quality oil will help protect the engine, even when it isn’t running. If you choose to change your oil yourself, there are many quality Oil Change Accessories available that will simplify your job.
- Part# 16-0585 is a 2.5 Gallon capacity Oil drain pan. With a Low Profile design, filter drain shelf, and sloped drain floor with a center hole, this pan will work under almost any bike.
- Part # 89311 is an anti-drip oil filter funnel. This funnel greatly reduces the amount of clean up time because the draining oil from the filter is carried away from the bike, not left on the frame and drive train.
- Part # 89304 is the filter wrench. Attaches to any 3/8″ drive ratchet and keeps your hands free of the confined space around the filter housing. It also makes removal and installation easier.
3) You will want to stabilize the Fuel. Today’s Ethanol blended fuels hate your motorcycle. The best thing you can do for your bike is fill the tank with fresh gas and add a product like Lucas Oil Products Fuel Stabilizer (Part # 05259). This not only protect the fuel by stabilizing the damaging properties, it also protects the fuel tank, fuel lines, carburetor and injectors from long-term exposure to the adverse affects of ethanol-blended fuel. If your motorcycle is carbureted, drain the fuel line and carburetor by letting the engine idle with fuel valve turned off until the engine quits. This prevents harmful deposits from accumulating inside the carburetor.
(Helpful Tip: If you store a motorcycle with the fuel tank less than full, moisture may collect in the tank and expose the bare metal interior to potential corrosion. Rust in the fuel tank can cause headaches down the road.)
4) Make sure you have cleaned your motorcycle thoroughly. The dead bugs that were there before, can leave a lasting impression unless you remove them as soon as possible. Give the motorcycle a good scrub to remove road grime, dirt and insect remains that can attract moisture and cause corrosion during storage. Part # 05238 is Bike Wash from Luster Lace products specifically formulated for use on a variety of motorcycle surfaces, including plastic, chrome and paint. Pay special attention to unfinished aluminum (like wheels and the fins of the engine) and chrome (especially mufflers) to minimize the onset of corrosion. For those areas you will want to use a product such as Simichrome (P#05235) or Never Dull (P#41-0119). You will also want to allow your motorcycle to dry completely before covering it for storage.
5) Now its time to cover your bike for the long slumber. You aren’t 12 anymore and you should not treat things like you are. By installing a quality cover intended for your motorcycle you are protecting it from scratches, dust and dirt. Using a quality motorcycle cover like one from Dowco or Ultragard with its breathable polyester fabric promotes air circulation to reduce moisture build-up and minimize corrosion during long term storage. Covering your motorcycle with a blue tarp will trap moisture that promotes corrosion, and could also scratch the finish.
(Helpful Hint: Never store a motorcycle near agricultural fertilizers, swimming pool chemicals, salt for icy roads or water softeners, or any other chemicals that may emit caustic gases that greatly accelerate corrosion. You may want to consult your owner’s manual for advice on long-term storage procedures specific to your model. If you don’t want to deal with all this on your own, long-term storage prep is a service provided by many servicing dealers.)
When it comes time to finally put your bike up for the winter, there are some guidelines you will want to follow. K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) is here to assist you with everything you need to complete the job. Contact us today so you don’t get left behind this Spring.