MCN IAM Better Riding Guide: Putting your bike away over winter

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Over the past five weeks, the IAM have been offering advice on all aspects of biking. But as the temperature drops and the frost appears. It may be the time of year to put your bike away. Whether it’s the first time you’re doing it, or it’s a been a while since you’ve prepared your bike for storage, we can help.

Preparing your bike for storage over the winter will make it much easier when it comes to spring and you’re ready to take the bike out again for the first ride of the season.  So once you’ve had your last ride for the year, give your bike a good clean. Don’t leave dirt and oil on the bike; it just won’t look as good when you go back to it early next year

Give it a polish to help stop corrosion.

While you’re cleaning, it’s important to change the oil and filter.
Don’t forget to take your battery out and put on a trickle charge while it’s not in use.
Ideally, you should store the bike so that the wheels are off the ground. This will help to keep the tyres from losing shape. Make sure you keep the pressures up.

Where to store it

One of the biggest issues of putting your bike away over the winter is deciding where it would be best to store it. Think about where you can store your motorcycle – be it in the house or in shed or garage. Ideally, keep it indoors. Where possible, choose a place without too many windows – sunlight can fade.

The last thing you wanted to do is return to the bike in the spring and it being a different colour to how you left it. When your bike is in storage, it’ll be prone to gathering dust and moisture which could cause damage. To prevent facing any problems like this when you go back to it in spring, buy a decent cover.

It will help to protect the bike from excessive moisture, dust and sunlight.

If you don’t already have one, now is a good time to think about getting an alarm and an immobiliser. It doesn’t matter where you store it, having peace of mind that your bike is safe will be reassuring. But don’t forget, if you take your battery out, an alarm won’t work!

Make the most of cold, sunny days

Try and store the bike somewhere that you can access easily. Remember, even if you don’t enjoy riding in the winter, the colder season does bring with it some great sunny, dry days – make the most of them.

There are a fair few riders, who for them, riding works according to seasons which runs March until September. If you’re one of them – remember to SORN your two-wheeler until spring 2013. You can do this over the phone or online.

If you found this useful, check out previous columns on braking, motorways, filtering and roundabouts.

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Stefan Bartlett

By Stefan Bartlett