When the cold weather arrives, it is common to give your bike a seasonal break. It is out of the question to simply leave it in the garage! Even when not in use, your pretty bike will need regular maintenance. Pamper it before it goes to sleep, it will be grateful when spring comes!
A well-ventilated cover: Motorcycle cover
Once your motorcycle has been stored in a dry place and sheltered from the weather, you can cover it with a special cover. It is advisable to choose a ventilated material to avoid the accumulation of moisture that would lead to corrosion. Make sure that the cover has reliable seams to ensure that it is watertight. If you wish to use it all year round, you can invest in a cover with eyelets for an anti-theft device. Thermally resistant parts are also a good idea when you don’t have time to wait for the bike to cool down completely before covering it.
Taking care of your battery
It is important to disassemble the battery from your favorite two-wheeler and store it in a frost-free place, or at the very least, disconnect it. Motorcycle batteries are vulnerable when not in use for an extended period of time. To keep yours in good condition, it is customary to keep it fully charged during the winter by using a charger, also known as a « battery optimizer ».
To avoid sulphation, battery optimizers are equipped with systems that detect when to charge it. This ensures that the battery is kept connected all winter long. Be careful not to use a car charger, the amperages and voltages are different. Only use an optimizer that exactly matches your battery configurations.
In addition, in the case of a conventional battery, also remember to check the water level. If it is too low, add demineralised water. And of course for so-called maintenance-free batteries, there is nothing to do!
The usual overhauls before the big jump into winter
It should be serviced before wintering. Even when not in use, the motorcycle requires regular maintenance. This will prevent many unpleasant surprises.
An engine oil change and an oil filter change are usual. If you have had your motorcycle changed regularly within the year, this step is optional. On the other hand, it is compulsory after winter storage.
As far as the fuel tank is concerned, you have two options: either you empty and grease it, or you leave your fuel but on condition that you add a degeneration inhibitor in case of a long break for your motorcycle.
This is the time to check your brake pads and change them if necessary. Look at the thickness of the pad lining. See if the lining has reached 1 mm to fit a new pad. If so, changing it will prevent the metal part from rubbing on the brake disc and eventually destroying it. On the other hand, if the brake fluid level is very low, it’s time to replace your pads, or there’s a leak!
Remember to top up the oil level
Although the aim of this article is to make sure your bike doesn’t get cold, that’s no reason not to take care of the cooling system! You must be very careful about the risk of freezing of the coolant, which would damage the motorcycle if this were to happen. Most systems are made of a mixture of water and antifreeze. Maintaining the fluid level is essential.
It is not always thought of, but the oil in your gearbox should also be the focus of your attention. Choose your oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.