Winter is hardly the most enjoyable time for those who love to ride and a lot of that has to do with the fact that motorcycles need extra maintenance when the weather turns cold. If you happen to be one of those diehard riders who love their motorcycles enough to not put them away even during the coldest months, take note of the following tips which you will need to keep your ride running in prime condition through the harsh weather.
Use Gas Preservatives
Just putting in a few ounces of your preferred gas preservative in the tank before you decide to fill it up will keep your carburetor and fuel nozzles clean during the winter, when the fuel remains in the tank for longer than usual. It will essentially prevent the fuel from degrading and depositing gunk in the carburetor and fuel nozzles.
The rule of the thumb is to change your tires or not ride at all during the winter if more than half the tread on them is gone. The last thing you want to do is ride on wet and icy roads when the traction on your motorcycle tires is below 50%, because it’s an accident waiting to happen. Get them changed or wait till winter is over before you ride again.
Change the Oil and Filter
When it gets really cold, the bike’s engine is not always able to get as hot as it should, especially since winter trips are usually short ones. As a result, the dirt and grease buildup is not burned off as effectively as it usually is during warmer months. This results in the oil getting contaminated and eventually breaking down much faster. To avoid this situation, the oil and the filter should be changed twice as frequently.
Check Everything and Especially the Brakes
I got OEM Parts for my mini bike last week after finding out that the brake pads are needing way too much pressure from me to engage. It wasn’t failing yet, but I wasn’t waiting around for it to fail on the track. The same thing can happen to regular bikes as well and having brakes that don’t work in the middle of the wet road during winter months is a very dangerous situation that should be avoided at all costs. This pretty much goes for almost every other part really, because some parts may not be as vital as the brake pads, but each and every component of a motorcycle can turn dangerous on becoming faulty.
Keep the Battery Charged
Motorcycle batteries are not fond of the winter and if you don’t keep yours well charged, it may just start to die on you. Some basic battery maintenance tips for the winter include the following.
- Keep the terminals clean
- Charge the battery as often as possible
- It might be a good idea to invest in a battery monitor as well
A final bit of info to add to this list would be the fact that you also need to keep your bike clean. Even when you can’t wash it due to the cold, at least use a moisture displacing lubricant to stop the weather from destroying your bike’s cosmetics. The winter will still be harsh on your motorcycle, but it should be able to handle the season, now that you have prepared it.