If you live in a climate where the temperature starts dropping in October and there's a chance of snow from November through February, you'll most likely be thinking about putting your motorcycle away for the winter.
Your bike is an investment of your finances and your time, and it's important to keep it clean and safe while the weather is cold and snowy. Wherever you store it for the winter season, remember these tips from Foremost and the American Motorcyclist Association:
Gas it Up.
Top off your tank and add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer. Stabilizer prevents your fuel from breaking down and producing a brown residue that can coat your carburetor. Run your engine for a few minutes to circulate the treated gas. Since gas is flammable, do not store a bike with a full tank of gas in an area where there is open flame, pilot lights, sparks or motors.
Clean it Up.
Give your bike a good wash and wax and cover it with a breathable cloth cover. This will keep dirt and dust, or other airborne matter in your garage, from settling on your bike.
Change the Oil.
Just before you put your bike into storage, change the oil. Used oil that sits in your bike all winter becomes corrosive and can damage your bike's parts.
Check the Coolant.
Since bikes are not used in freezing temperatures, many riders overlook the use of coolant. Use a floating-ball device to check if your coolant level is sufficient to resist freezing. If it's low, always add according to the manufacturer's directions.
Charge the Battery.
Remove your battery, store it at a temperature above 32 degrees and trickle-charge it once a month. If you're able to run the bike once a month, leave the battery in the bike and disconnect the negative cable end.
Remember the Tires.
If you can manage it, store your bike with the tires off the ground. If you can't do this, make sure the tires are properly inflated, set the bike on its centerstand and rotate the front tire every so often to avoid flat spots.
By properly preparing your bike for storage, you'll save time in the spring when you want to take your bike out on the open road.
The AARP Motorcycle Insurance Program from Foremost offers all of these important coverages in our specialized policy. Foremost has been in the specialty insurance business for over 60 years and we understand that you want to protect your investment. Foremost has specially-trained claims representatives that handle only motorcycle and off-road vehicle claims — it's not just one of the things they do, it's all they do. We have the experience and expertise to handle claims quickly and fairly.