The cold is settling in…
The heat and good weather have given way to a cool wind that has quietly settled in. The time has now come to put your 2-wheeled animals into hibernation. Some will say that it is not necessary to do anything on your machine before sending it off to its winter sleep. However, if you want to keep your bike in good condition, and especially to keep it for a long time, I strongly recommend that you follow these little tips!
Motor Oil and Gas
First of all, start with a good oil change. Even if your motorcycle is stored indoors, internal parts of your engine can rust, so a new oil change will greatly help preserve them.
Second, consider using a gasoline stabilizer product. Their function is simple: they prevent oxidation and degradation of internal parts during long periods of storage. They protect your engine from moisture.
First, start by filling up with fuel. To find out how much stabilizer fluid you need, your dealer should usually provide this information. If not, it is important to read the instructions on the fluid bottle. The amount of fluid to put in the tank depends on the number of liters of fuel in your gas tank. You can find this product for about 10$.
Then, simply leave the engine running for about 5 minutes to allow the stabilizer to go where it needs to go. Believe me, your machine will thank you when comes the time to get back on the road! Also, know that there will be no problem riding with this product when you bring your motorcycle out of hibernation, so don’t hesitate to use it!
Regardless of the vehicle, batteries and cold weather don’t mix well. If your machine is stored in a heated area, take a few minutes every now and then to make sure the battery stays charged. If, on the other hand, your motorcycle is in an unheated area, I strongly suggest that you remove your battery and keep it warm. This will keep it safe and secure, and away from moisture and cold, thereby extending the life of your battery.
If you have a platform to keep your motorcycle off the ground, now is the right time to use it! Your tires and suspension will thank you once the cold weather is over. The more your tires are in contact with the cold, the greater the risk of dryness, and therefore the greater the risk of cracking. A good storage rack will cost you a lot less in the long run than new tires!
On the other hand, if your motorcycle must be stored on cement or any other very cold surface, it would be preferable to cover it with a canvas. This technique will greatly improve the fate of your tires. Be nice to them!
The Chain and Lubrication
While the motorcycle is elevated off the ground, why not take the opportunity to lubricate the chain? Make sure the chain is clean and dry before you start. Greasing your chain while it is wet can trap water and cause deterioration. If there’s one thing you don’t want… it’s a damaged chain! Oil it well, and also grease the various pivot mechanisms on the bike such as the brake and clutch levers. Be thorough; it’s worth it!
At this stage, give your motorcycle a good washing and you’ll be done! Many products exist to help you give your machine a true makeover. Take the time to thoroughly clean small areas. To avoid damaging the paint, choose a soft cloth, ideally made of microfiber. Never use paper towels!
Start by dusting off the motorcycle. Then, take a basin of water with a bit of washing liquid (yes, it’s possible to efficiently clean your bike without breaking spending dozens of dollars).
Rinse everything thoroughly, and wipe your precious toy with a quality rag. The last step is applying a finishing product. I tried Maxima SC1 cleaner, and I can tell you without a doubt that you can see a striking difference! This product restores the vehicle’s original shine, and gives your motorcycle a showroom look in just a few minutes!
A Little Advice on Registration
Finally, avoid suspending the insurance of your motorcycle. You will always need insurance against theft, vandalism, and civil liability. In terms of registration, you can store your vehicle with the SAAQ. Storage can be done online or in person at a point of service of your choice. For those who do not store their vehicle, you may be lucky enough to be the first to drive before April 30th.
Did you Know?
Did you know that by storing your motorcycle before September 30th, you are entitled to a partial refund of your registration fees? Find out more at the SAAQ!
Finally, I strongly recommend taking the time to properly store your motorcycle. It’s an investment that really pays off. In addition to contributing to your vehicle’s durability, this ritual will enable your bike to be ready to hit the road as soon as spring arrives. After all, your bike deserves to be treated as well as it treats you when you ride it!
Have a great end of season!