Do You Winterise?
Well old age has crept up on me and living in the Highlands of Scotland its no longer enjoyable putting on three layers to go out on the bike, in winter, and then come home cold and have to try and wash the salt and muck from it with cold water from the garden hose. That’s if the hose has thawed out enough so I can use it, otherwise its back to the buckets. After last weekend’s temperatures of minus brass monkey weather, the trusty steed is in the garage to hibernate for a couple of months till spring.
To help me prepare to winterise the bike though i turn to the internet, there’s always a forum or you tube video to help there. WRONG…. I have lost three days of my life scouring the vastness of the internet of all knowledge and still not any the wiser. I keep getting distracted by You Tube videos of people crashing on bikes in the snow and ice then onto videos of plane crashes which always somehow lead to videos of dogs and cats in ridiculous situations ….see I told you, start talking about putting the bike off the road and You Tube and the distraction sets in.
So armed with all this knowledge this is a list, not in any particular order (as Ant & Dec like to say), of what I have done, so please chip in with other ideas or helpful tips (and I don’t need any more cat video links) The bike will be stored in a block garage but without and heating for about 4 months (November to March ish)
1 SORN the bike a get cash back from the Government. But kept the Insurance running
2 Good overall clean with cold water especially in the brakes and radiators/oil cooler etc
3 Blow dry with the wifes hair dryer
4 Thin coat of ACF50 sprayed all over and rubbed into nooks & crannies with a cloth
5 Change oil – put in cheap stuff over the winter I have never done this before but reading some forums it is suggested that condensation etc builds up in the oil over winter so its better to change oil before you start up in the spring but leaving old oil in the bike over the winter is not good for it because of the pollutants and crappy stuff in the old oil may make the bike sick……hmmm don’t know about this so it was worth less than £20 of cheap stuff for peace of mind also recommended was 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.
6 Fuel - Now here I was not sure what to do so I went with the fill it to the brim with petrol and add a fuel stabiliser as I probably won’t use the bike till March or so. My bike has fuel injection so don’t need to drain carbs etc but the fuel pump is in the tank and needs lubrication or it dries out and causes no end of problems. Also if there only a small bit of petrol in the tank then the inside of the tank can rust.
7 Lift the tyre off the floor. Put bike on a stand or put carpet under the tyres and move it every couple of weeks so it’s not sitting on the same bit of tyre all the time. I went with the jack it up method and will spin the wheels every now and then in case the brake pads bind on in one place on the rotor.
8 Battery. Now you can remove it or plug in a battery charger/optimiser type device. I went for the optimiser cause I think it will be better for it in the long run and my wife won’t let me store a bike battery in the linen cupboard over the winter.
9 Lastly just about every forum I went on advised :- Do not run the engine for short periods of time over the storage period, this can lead to condensation due to engine and combustion byproducts in the oil. So just let it sit there till you’re ready to go again.
Lastly put a chair in the garage so you can sit a look at the bike and yearn for the better weather to get going on it again
Did I miss out anything??? Is there anything else you do that would be better or anything I suggested that’s just nonsense?