How to get your motorcycle ready to survive the winter

Snow and cold is an inevitable part of winter for many people living in the United States. Unfortunately, for millions of Americans, that means that the leather motorcycle jackets get shelved and their beloved motorcycles are put in storage for the winter.

Winterizing your motorcycle is important – unless you want to deal with costly motorcycle repairs in the spring. And that process can start before you even buy a motorcycle.

When you start researching motorcycle dealers to purchase a motorcycle, it’s worth finding out if they will store and winterize your bike for you. If they do, it solves a lot of potential issues for you. If not, then it’s time to get ready to store your bike – and if you don’t do it properly, dead batteries, wrecked carburetors and corrosion can await you in the spring.

It only takes a month of bike inactivity to cause issues when you try to ride again, according to the American Motorcycle Association. One of the first things you should do before storing your motorcycle is fill the gas tank and add a gas-stabilizing additive, which keeps the fuel from breaking down. It’s also key to make sure the oil is fresh, as the contaminants in older oil can be corrosive.

In order to preserve the tires during storage, keep them off the ground the best you can – even if it means putting a thick piece of cardboard underneath them. This will keep the tires off the hard, cold ground, which is important since tires can crack when they freeze.

When it comes to your battery, you have a few options. One is to remove the battery from the bike and recharge it every two weeks to maintain its viability. The other popular technique is to keep a charging system in place attached to the battery, or charge it every month or so – providing you start with a fully charged battery when you store it.

Follow these important steps, and you’ll be back in your motorcycle riding gear enjoying your pastime in no time.