Tips to Winterize Your Motorcycle

Tips to Winterize Your Motorcycle

It is a sad day when it is time to pack up your motorcycle for the season, but revel in the memories as you winterize your ride and dream of the season ahead. With a little preparation for the offseason, you can ensure that your motorcycle will be in prime condition and ready to hit the pavement as soon as the weather warms up. Here are is a list of tips to winterize your motorcycle.

Wash and Detail

Spending the time scrubbing your bike just to keep it under wraps for months may seem like an oxymoron, but you will be glad you did. Squished bugs and water spots in hidden crevices and can corrode the paint finish. Wash and dry your bike thoroughly. Consider using a leaf blower or air compressor to get all the nooks and crannies really dry. Finally, add a coat of wax and WD-40 to protect further against moisture.

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Check the spark plugs

Remove the spark plugs and put a little squirt (about a tablespoon) of engine oil into the holes, then turn your engine over a few times to coat the cylinder walls by spinning the rear wheel with the bike in gear. Once everything is coated, replace the spark plugs.

Lubricate all moving parts

Cold winter air contains a lot of moisture, so it is important to lubricate all moving parts to resist moisture. A build up of moisture will encourage rust. Check the chains, cables, controls, fork surfaces and any other pivot points.

Prepare the Fuel System

Gas tanks will tend to rust while not in use, plus untreated gas will get thick and gummy over time. For winter storage, fill your tank with fuel treated with a that is treated with a stabilizer. A full tank will prevent moisture from forming on the tank walls.

Safeguard the battery

Batteries will self-discharge when sitting for extended periods of time. Use a battery tender, it will monitor the battery and top it off without overcharging. If you do not have a tender, pull the battery from the bike for storage.

Protect the Tires

To avoid tires developing flat spots from sitting all winter long, elevate your bike for storage. You can use a bicycle rack or rotate the tires every few weeks. Avoid allowing moisture from seeping into the tires from the concrete floor, put carpeting or plywood under the bike.

Check Antifreeze

If you are storing your bike in an area that will get below freezing, make sure there are sufficient levels of anti-freeze in the coolant system. This will help to avoid any water from freezing in the system and causing a cracked head.

Cover the motorcycle

After you prepare your motorcycle for winter, protect it with a quality cover. It will keep dust and moisture off the bike. If you are storing your bike outside be sure to tie down the cover so it will not come loose or blow away in gusty winds.

Change Oil and Filter

Drain out all the used oil and change out the filter. It is better for the lubrication system to have fresh oil sitting for several months. As a bonus, the oil will be ready for your first ride of the season. Use a winter weight oil like 5W30 can help it start up easier in the spring.


If you have any questions about winterizing your motorcycle contact Chesapeake Cycles. We all ride and love our bikes as much as you do. We have many of the items in our shop to properly prepare your motorcycle. Stop in and our staff will gladly walk you through the process.

Chesapeake Cycles
104 Defense hwy | Annapolis, MD | 21401
Tues - Fri 9am-6pm | Sat 9am-4pm
p.410.266.0015 f.410.266.5299

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