Motorcycle Articles and Tips

Winterizing a Motorcyle

Posted on November 27, 2011 | in motorcycle maintenance | by

In my part of the country, we are blessed with a longer riding season.  However, there are a couple months when it drops into the teens where it is simply not practical to ride. It is no fun arriving at your destination a frozen popcicle, right? Not to mention the drastically increased risk level of running into ice and dropping your bike.

There are some things you need to do before you put your faithful iron horse to bed until the weather permits you to take it out again. I will cover some of these thing in the following article.

The Battery

The battery on your bike can be damaged by allowing it to discharge by sitting. A couple times letting it discharge and it will be ruined. Cold weather and just starting it for a few minutes can discharge the battery easier than you think.  It the temp drops too low, it can even freeze the water in the battery…turning it into junk.  There are several options you have here.  You can remove it and set it inside your house to keep it warm.  You can use a battery tending device that will work as a trickle charger to keep it up and ready to go. The important thing here is to not ignore it and hope she will start when the weather gets better.



Some bikes , like the metric cruisers have a radiator and are water cooled.  Before you put your bike away, you should check your antifreeze and the level of protection it provides.  The video below will give you suggestions on how to do this.



If you allow your bike to sit for an extended length of time, your tires can develop flat spots that can cause all sorts of mayhem when you blissfully roll on the throttle and zoom off down the asphalt. There are several ways to prevent this, as shown in the video.  You can raise the bikes tires off the floor with a jack, even roll it around a short distance to change the surface of the tire the bike rests on.


Fuel left sitting for long periods in the tank and fuel system can cause some major headaches.  Old fuel tends to “varnish” and clogs fuel lines, jets, fuel petcocks, and generally looses it’s “fizz” (won’t burn well).  Not to mention gasoline left is a fuel tank can attract moisture from the air. My suggestion is to either drain it all out or use a fuel stabilizer.

Cleaning the Bike

Don’t forget before you put your machine away for an extended period to give it a thorough cleaning to remove dirt and road debris. No sense in letting these things cause rust and corrosion while your baby waits for the next sunny day to take you for a ride.

The video below addresses all these issues so enjoy!


Ride Safe! Ride Often!


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