What Do I Do with My Motorcycle During Winter?

Jim Tice
Written on December 13, 2017

With good motorcycling days gone, it’s helpful to review the steps for storing your motorcycle during winter. This will allow it to start and run well when spring rolls around.  Attention needs to be paid to both the fuel and ignition systems.

Clean Your Fuel Tank.

Fuel left in a tank over the winter can gum up carburetors and fuel injectors.  To prevent that, add a fuel stabilizer like Stabil to your tank just before filling it for the last time.  That allows the stabilizer to mix well into the fuel.  If your engine is fuel injected that is all you need to do.  If it’s carbureted, it’s a good idea to shut off the fuel supply and idle your engine until it dies.  That will get all the fuel out of the carburetor.  Never store it with a partially filled tank.  If you do, water will condense and drop into your fuel, which will make it perform badly the next time you start it up.

Prepare Your Battery.

If your bike will be stored in a heated place, you can hook a trickle charger to your battery. This will make sure it doesn’t run down when you store your motorcycle during winter.  Remove the battery, if the motorcycle will be stored outside or in an unheated place.  Then you can take it to a warm place with the trickle charger attached.  Your battery should have plenty of power to get you started when warm weather comes.

Get an Oil Change.

If you are close to needing an oil change, do it now, even if it is a little early.  It’s best to get the contaminants that collect in oil out of the engine.

Clean It.

Dirt and road grime can accumulate in all sorts of little nooks and crannies. It is always a good idea to wash, wax and clean your motorcycle thoroughly.

Cover It.

In order to keep your motorcycle clean and dust free, it is a good idea to cover it with a sheet or a tarp.

Store It.

If you can, store your motorcycle on a lift with the weight off the wheels.  Your tires will lose less air pressure that way.

That first warm day around the middle of March you will have a clean, fueled, and charged motorcycle ready to go for your first ride of another great summer on the road.