Wielding the Wrench
By Dave Foster
You ask, Dave Foster answers!
Do you have a burning “wrench” question? Do you need help figuring out how to fix a problem with your motorcycle? First husband, Support Member Dave Foster is ready to answer your most burning questions. Thanks Dave! We DO love our Support Members!
This issue’s question deals with winterizing your motorcycle and was submitted by Carol Skala #17342. What’s YOUR question?
Dear Dave: At what temperature should you consider winterizing your motorcycle?
Thanks, Carol Skala
Dear Carol: Thanks for the question. I find that it is a personal matter as to when to stop riding and put the bike up for the winter. For me, it is when I can see my breath, but some people can ride when it’s colder. Some bikes have windshields, some have grip warmers and bun warmers, and some people have heated jackets, pants, gloves, and socks, etc. that they can plug into their bike to keep them warm. So ride until you can’t.
Now let’s talk about what to do to winterize a motorcycle. Let’s start with if your bike is close or ready for a service. There is no better time to have a service done than in the winter. Most bike shops are not busy in winter and there won’t be any rush to get your bike back. When you do, here’s some things that I think are important for winter storage:
1. Fill the gas tank with alcohol free gas, if you can get it. Fuel made with alcohol (corn) can damage fuel systems. This is called “fuel phase separation.” This type of fuel absorbs water from the surrounding air and forms little balls of what looks like dirt, which is what ends up clogging carburetor jets.
2. Add a fuel stabilizer of your choice.
3. If your bike is carbureted, let it run to get the stabilizer into the float bowls.
4. Rodent proof the area where the bike is stored. You can’t believe the damage I’ve seen from mice. Make sure to remove open containers of pet food as mice seem to love to hide it in air filter housing (and mice seem to love the taste of green and red wires!)
5. Maintain the battery by using a battery tender or float charger.
6. If you have a center stand, use it to get the tires off the ground.
7. If you store your bike outside, cover it and make sure to lock it. (It’s easy to steal unattended bikes.)
Hopefully in the spring, all you will have to do is check the fluid levels and tires, and you will be ready to ride!
Thanks for the question,
See page 7 for the article…