Your last run on the bike should be sufficiently long to get the engine and silencers hot and burn off any moisture so that internal condensation doesn’t appear. Some riders even stuff rags up the exhaust exits to prevent damp air intruding.
I would always suggest you top the fuel tank right up to keep that winter moisture out which could corrode the inside of the tank, and also help to stop it evaporating – be aware though you may well need to drain the tank & put fresh fuel in as the fuel will go off if left standing, however sacrificing a tank of fuel is going to be cheaper than replacing the entire tank in the spring if it has rotted from the inside. If your bike has carbs, drain them, as the fuel in there could clog up the working parts. Bikes with fuel injection won’t suffer in the same way. You can usually drain a carb simply by starting the engine & then turning off the fuel tap & running the bike until all the fuel in the float bowls is used up & the engine stops.
It’s also a good idea to change the oil before that last run. Oil becomes slightly acidic as it gets used more. Any grit or sludge in the sump will settle out and be first into the oil pump when you restart next year. A little oil squirted down the plug holes will help keep the bores rust-free, too.
But what about storing the bike you may ask? it’s all well & good prepping the bike but how do you keep it safe? All with this in mind, an article has recently appeared in MCN by James Archibald regarding ways to secure your bike over the winter months.
Road salt is just around the corner – so many of us will be storing our machines until the better weather returns. But what’s the best way to protect your machine from crooks while it’s laid up?
We know about ways to store your bike to make sure it comes out of hibernation as fresh as a daisy, but what about security? Just because your bike isn’t getting used much doesn’t mean that it isn’t a target to potential thieves. Here are five products that will help your bike secure while it’s stored this winter…
A sturdy chain and padlock is not only a visual deterrent but will also help keep your pride and joy secure. Generally speaking, aim for a Thatcham approved number as they are tested to a certain standard. This won’t stop thieves but it will certainly make stealing your bike more difficult. If possible try to keep the chain off the ground and combine it with the use of a ground anchor or chain it to something solid for maximum effectiveness.
2. Ground Anchor
A ground anchor will keep your bike in one place and stop thieves simply lifting it into the back of a van. If the adjacent wall is solid then mounting to a wall will help keep a chain off the ground and maximise its effectiveness.
Keeping your bike under a cover or in a non-conspicuous corner of your shed or garage will make it less obvious to thieves that it’s there, especially if your garage has a window. It obviously isn’t going to keep your bike getting nicked, but keeping it from getting noticed will definitely help.
4. Disc lock
A cheap way to provide basic security that will stop thieves simply wheeling your bike out of your garage. It may not be the most effective security but it is a deterrent and it does help.
5. Garage/Shed alarm
Thieves will struggle to swipe your bike at night without you noticing if the garage has an alarm.
you can read the full article online here – http://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/2016/november/5-ways-to-keep-your-bike-stored-securely/
Another older article highlights how to best store your bike if you are planning on putting the bike into winter hibernation which is a prequel to the above article.
Hibernate your bike this winter
What possible harm could come to an unused bike, tucked away safely in the garage? Actually, quite a lot.
Planning on hibernating your bike this winter? Storing a bike well takes the same meticulous level of preparation as braving the elements. Read on for top tips from RiDE magazine on how to do it right.
What possible harm could come to an unused bike, tucked safely in the garage away from the evils of winter-ravaged road? Actually, quite a lot. Depending on how long a bike is left unused, a lot of preparation is required for a machine to come out of hiding in as good condition as it went in.
Ideally the bike should be kept indoors. Using a bike cover can help prevent accidental damage, make it harder for small creatures to nest in the machine and also stops people from seeing your bike. For complete cryogenic status, companies like Airflow UK offer bike chambers for £250 that have filter systems to keep away moisture and dust. www.airflow.com.
After the last ride before storage give the bike a really thorough clean, paying special attention to metal parts and linkages. Not many garages are moisture free, so manually dry the bike and coat metal parts (not brakes) with an anti-corrosion formula (ACF-50, Scottoiler FS365) or GT85 or WD-40. Remember to re-grease any parts (linkages, cables etc) that might have been stripped of their lubricants.
The battery of an unused bike left in a cold garage will start to drain flat. To avoid that, trickle chargers or optimisers can be left on the bike to keep the power level topped up. There’s an argument that these reduce the working life of a battery, but they are still the best option for bikes fitted with alarms. Read our test of the top 5 rated battery chargers. Another option is to remove the battery and store it in a cardboard box, somewhere dry and out of reach.
Brake fluid attracts water like the Brecon Beacons. As most garages suffer from a little damp, you’ll need to re-bleed the system with fresh fluid when it’s time to ride again. Don’t take chances when it comes to brakes! Some owners strap the lever close to the bar to keep air bubbles out of the brake system, but ultimately, putting undue pressure on the seals may damage them over time.
The octane level of fuel reduces after a month, which can affect engine performance or cause pre-ignition. Leaving fuel in an unused bike can leave an enamel-like residue on the fuel system and can clog injector nozzles or carburettor needles and jets. If laying the bike up for 12 weeks, use a course of products like Silkolene Pro FST in the fuel tank for the last ride. For longer periods drain the fuel tank and float bowls.
For bikes stored for any great length of time, blank off the air intakes. It’s suprisingly quite common for small, furry animals to treat an airbox as their new house.
Collector boxes on standard exhaust systems are usually made from the world’s most corrosive metal. They’re also difficult to repair and expensive to replace. After cleaning the bike (see cleaning) make sure the top of the collector box (usually directly under the engine) is completely dry and coat it with GT85 or WD-40. This is worth removing the fairing for.
After cleaning the bike, make sure there is no moisture sitting around the fork stanchions – especially behind the mudguard where it can’t usually be seen. Water can corrode the chrome, causing pitting that can potentially rupture fork seals.
Ever left a wet bike for so long that the brakes need a good knock to unstick them? If left for long enough, the pad material can eat into the disc and bond to it. Not good. Put a piece of paper or cardboard between the discs and pads to prevent this.
Ideally both wheels would be kept off the ground by paddock stands to avoid tyres deforming from long periods of inactivity. But if that’s not possible, place blocks of wood under the tyres to prevent contact with a cold garage floor. Too much exposure to the freezing temperatures absorbed by concrete can affect the performance of the rubber. If the bike’s not up on a paddock stand, try to rotate the wheels through a quarter turn every three weeks and keep pressures up.
Consider a winter hack
No doubt the two-wheeled missile that resides in the garage was the end result of a thoroughly thought-out and level-headed purchase. Despite its awesome array of performance abilities, ploughing through cack-covered roads in sub-zero temperatures was not part of your blue-skied and corner-strewn dreams when you signed on the line.
Winter is a great excuse for purchasing a left-of-field motorcycle in slightly less than mint condition, which is usually only fit for riding in a straight line. You can use it as a winter bike without worrying about something happening to it.
In case justification is needed for increasing the bike collection with something a little different, do a little homework by working out some depreciation costs and the price of components that could be ravaged by salt, should you ride your bike having ignored our ‘prepare your bike for winter’ pages.
You can find this article in it’s full original format by visiting this page – http://www.motorcyclenews.com/new-rider/choosing-kit/2008/november/nov2608-hibernate-your-bike-this-winter/