How to Prepare & Store Your Bike This Winter

You and your bike might be hibernating for the winter, but have you winterized your bike? Winterizing your bike can save you unpleasant surprises this spring.
How to Prepare & Store Your Bike This Winter, StreetRider Insurance, Ontario

There is no denying it is cold outside, which is probably impacting your riding, however, did you know that if you don’t prepare your bike for the winter it could lead to a dead battery or corrosion.

Preparing Your Bike for Storage

Wash and Wax: Did you know that bug splatter and water spots can permanently corrode your paint? Use automotive soap to thoroughly clean the surface of your bike and then dry it completely. A coat of wax can be applied to protect against moisture and rust. Spray WD-40 on exposed metal surfaces to stop corrosion from moisture.

Fuel and Fluids:  A full tank of gas will prevent condensation. On your last ride of the season, add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer to your tank when filling up close to home. On the ride home, the fuel stabilizer will circulate through the fuel system before storage. If your bike is carbureted, follow your owner’s manual to drain the carbs. If your bike is water-cooled, you will want to make sure that you have enough antifreeze in your coolant system.

Oil and Lubricate: After you get home from your last ride, change your engine oil and oil filter while the oil is still warm. You will want to lubricate any moving parts to prevent rust from forming. Make sure to clean and dry your drive chain well before applying lubricant.  

How to Store Your Bike

Elevate Tires: Keeping both tires off the ground relieves pressure from your suspension and tires. You might use the bike’s centre stand or a stand-alone product. If you are unable to do this, move the bike around every few weeks and put a piece of carpet or plywood under the tire to prevent the transfer of moisture from the concrete. Your tires will lose air pressure in the cold, so inflate them to the maximum recommended pressure to maintain shape.

Charge Your Battery: When batteries are left inactive they can self-discharge. You can use a battery tender to monitor the charge and keep it topped off without overcharging without removing it from the bike. You can also remove the battery from the bike for storage.

Block and Cover: Make sure air intake and exhaust pipes are covered to keep critters out (make sure to remove the plugs before starting the engine!). Cover your bike with a quality cover to protect from debris and moisture.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as professional insurance advice. The coverage, terms, and conditions of each insurance policy are unique and subject to individual circumstances. The information provided does not guarantee the availability or suitability of any insurance policy for your specific needs. You should not rely on the information in the blog as an alternative to professional advice from your insurance broker or insurance company. If you have any specific questions about any insurance matter, please consult a licensed insurance broker for personalized advice and guidance.