wild ride at 175mph

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007


If you don't live in an area that remains reasonably warm during the winter there will come a time where you'll want to put your bike in storage through the long snowy, winter months. Storing a bike properly can have a significant impact not only in its physical appearance, but also its mechanical reliability. Following are steps that you should take when preparing to store your motorcycle for the winter.
1. Clean, wax and detail the motorcycle. Wash all dirt, road grime, and grit off of the motorcycle. Make sure to get the hard to reach areas. Then apply a layer of wax or protectants to plastic, rubber, vinyl, leather etc.
2. Stabilize the gasoline. You don't want to store the bike with a minimum amount of gasoline in the tank. An empty tank or nearly empty tank can cause condensation to build, which could cause rust. Fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers prevent gum and varnish from building up in the fuel line and carburetor.
3. Change the oil. Give your bike fresh oil for the long months of storage.
4. Change the coolant. Fresh coolant will prevent rust and corrosion from setting in during the winter storage.
5. Lubricate the cylinders. When you will not be running the bike any more for the year remove the spark plugs and pour two tablespoons of fresh oil into the spark plug ports. Put the plugs back in (but don't install the caps) and turn the bike over once or twice. This allows extra lubrication to reach the upper cylinder walls, which prevents rusting.
6. Battery Storage- When batteries are not used for a long time the natural process of sulfation is accelerated. Sulfation is the process that happens to a lead-acid battery (like a motorcycle battery) that causes it to lose its ability to hold a charge when it's kept in a discharged state for an extended period of time. In order to prevent this from happening prematurely take these steps. Fill each cell of the battery with distilled water. If the battery is not fully charged then charge it. Disconnect the battery from the motorcycle and connect it to a trickle charger. A trickle charger charges the battery at the same rate that it's discharging. If your motorcycle will be stored in an unheated space, consider removing the battery from the bike altogether and placing it someplace that will not be exposed to temperatures below freezing.
7. Lube and grease the appropriate parts such as the chain, swing arm etc. Apply a light film of oil to exposed unpainted surfaces.
8. Tires- Inflate the tires to their proper inflation. Support the motorcycle under the frame. You want to take all of the weight off of your tires.
9. Cover- Cover the motorcycle. Cover the exhaust and intake manifolds.
Taking these steps will protect your motorcycle during its storage. Don't forget in the spring when you take it out of storage to perform the spring ritual.

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