De-Winterizing a Motorcycle

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Riding season has arrived and here at Performance Machine, we realize that many of you who live outside of sunny California don’t have the privilege of climbing on your bikes year round.

For many of our customers, each year you have to winterize your beloved motorcycles prior to stowing them away for the winter. And when spring rolls around, you have to run the opposite course in order to get your scoot back on the road. By the way — our reference to the California climate certainly wasn’t meant to make fun of you, because while we might have optimal riding weather close to 365 days a year, that privilege comes with a hefty price tag.

Even though we may not have to perform certain seasonal rituals here on the West Coast, we can offer the following de-winterizing tips that will have you and your motorcycle roaring down the highway safely in no time at all:

  • Unveil: Remove the cover and perform a quick visual inspection. Make sure no critters turned your bike into a winter home.
  • Fuel: Drain all fuel from the gas tank. If you winterized your motorcycle, the fuel will contain a stabilizer that will inhibit performance. Fill the tank with fresh fuel.
  • Oil / Engine: Drain the engine oil and replace.
  • Gearbox: Check transmission and primary fluids – top off if necessary.
  • Brakes: Check brake fluid levels. Review your motorcycle owner’s manual for brake fluid change recommendations, if necessary.
  • Chain/Drive: Check drive belt or chain tension.
  • Tires: Check air pressure.
  • Cables: Check throttle and clutch cable function.
  • Exhaust: Remove your exhaust pipe plugs/bags.
  • Clean/Lube: Clean the bike thoroughly and lube all necessary components include chain, cables, linkages, etc.
  • Fire it up! Let the bike warm up and make sure it sounds like music to your ears and is idling well.
  • Ride!

Don’t want the hassle, or don’t want to take a chance doing the job yourself? Get your bike down to a local shop where these services can be performed before you break it in for spring.

Warning: Motorcycles like to be ridden, and when they sit for long periods of time they require special treatment. Neglecting to perform these tips on a sleepy motorcycle may cost you down the road.

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