Michigan winters are harsh on motorcycles, so it’s important to prepare your bike properly for long winter storage. Without taking care of your motorcycle before you put it away, many things can go wrong. Failure to prepare your bike for the winter season can cost unsightly amounts of money, unless you have a good motorcycle insurance policy.
Before storing your bike, make sure that you clean it and that you dry the surface of it. Failure to clean and dry your motorcycle can lead to your paint being stripped down and corroded because of all of the bugs and the moisture that can set on your bike.
Make sure to put a coat of wax on your motorcycle. Otherwise, you might take off the cover and find that your motorcycle is covered in rust spots that were not there before.
It is very important to make sure that you take out the battery of your motorcycle and store it because this is the heart of your motorcycle. Failure to remove your battery can cause costly damage and can cause your bike to have much less life than it should.
Check the battery to make sure that it has the right kinds and right amounts of fluids. Then also check to see that the battery does not have any acid. Acids can form from screw-on caps, or if the fluids are not full enough. When this happens, it can completely ruin your battery, which turns into a costly repair.
Purchasing a battery that is maintenance free does not mean that you can just leave the battery intact for the whole year and expect it to work. These batteries still need special care, charging them and taking care of them can help alleviate unwanted costs.
Make sure that you have taken time to fill your fuel tank to the top and add an additive to keep it safe and treated. Failure to do this can be devastating to your bike and can cause your fuel tank to become eroded or ruin your fuel-injector.
Make sure that your bike does not need special fuel for the winter, such as carbureted fuel. By not using the correct kind of fuel, you are at risk of ruining your fuel tank.
Changing the Oil
Just the same as your car or truck, your oil needs to be changed before storing your motorcycle away for the winter. Failing to change your oil can result in the transmission, gears or bearings corroding. This can cause the metal surface to be eaten away, making your bike unable to run.
Do not forget to replace the engine filter so that all of the dirty oil can be removed, and carbon deposits will not sit on your bike’s motor.
Make sure to store your bike on a stand so that the tires do not become flat and loose, causing there to be a flat spot that is permanent after being left for a long period of time. Having low or flat tires can cause the rims to bend, another added expense.
Covering your bike can help to protect the paint and the body, even if you store your motorcycle indoors. Dust and grime, rain, snow or other elements can cause a motorcycle’s paint to erode or cause the metal to rust.
Different animals such as mice or other rodents like to hide in pipes and build nests and if your bike is uncovered, you might discover surprises when you go to start your bike for the next season. Cover your exhaust with a plastic bag and lay out moth balls to keep your bike safe from rodents.
Failure to store and winterize your motorcycle when not in use can be very expensive and costly. These small repairs may seem minimal, but they can cost a lot of money out of pocket without proper care and motorcyle insurance coverage.
Before you store your motorcycle for winter, take a look at your motorcycle insurance policy. Often times, motorcycle owners will decrease the amount of insurance they keep on their bike during winter. But there are many risks throughout this time to keep in mind, and it’s worth talking to your local insurance agent about adjusting your motorcycle insurance coverage.