condition if proper care is neglected. This is
especially true in areas of weather extremes.
During the winter months you should prepare
your bike carefully for "hibernation."
Selecting a Storage Area
Most cyclists store their bikes in their home
garages. If you do not have a garage, storage
spaces are available for rent or lease in many
areas. In selecting a building, consider the
1. The storage area must be dry, free from
excessive dampness. Heating is not necessary,
but an insulated building is preferable.
2. Buildings with large window areas should
be avoided or such windows should be masked
if direct sunlight can fall on the bike (also a
good security measure).
3. If you live near the ocean, make sure the
area is sealed against salt spray and mist.
4. Select an area with minimum risk of fire or
theft. Check your insurance to see if your bike
is covered while in storage.
Preparing the Bike for Storage
Careful p r e p a r a t i o n will m i n i m i z e
deterioration and make it easier to restore the
bike to service later. Use the following
1. Ride the bike until it is fully warmed up.
Drain the oil, regardless of mileage since the
last oil change. Replace the oil filter and fill the
engine with the normal quantity of fresh oil.
2. Wash the bike completely. Make certain to
remove any road salt which may have
accumulated during the first weeks of winter.
Wax all painted a n d polished surfaces,
including any chromed areas.
3. Remove the battery and coat the cable
terminals with petroleum jelly. If there is
evidence of acid spillage in the battery box,
neutralize with baking soda, wash clean and
repaint the damaged area. Store the battery in
an area where it will not freeze and recharge it
once a month.
4. Drain all gasoline from the fuel tank,
connecting hoses and carburetors. As an
alternative. a fuel preservative may be added to
the fuel (the tank should be filled to minimize
water condensation). These preservatives are
available from many motorcycle shops and
marine equipment suppliers.
5. Remove the spark plugs and add a small
quantity of motor oil to each cylinder. Crank
the engine a few revolutions to distribute the
oil and install the spark plugs.
6. Check the tire pressures. Move the machine
to the storage area and prop it up with both
wheels off the ground.
7. Cover the bike with material that will allow
air circulation. Don't use plastic.
Before You Start the Bike
If you prepared the bike for storage. there are
only a few things you will need to do before it is
ready to ride again.
1. Before you move the bike, inflate the tires to
the correct pressures. They often get soft over
an extended period of non-use.
2. Check all fluid levels (brake fluid and engine
oil). Top them up if necessary.
3. Make sure the battery is fully charged and
that the electrolyte level is correct before
installing the battery.
4. Fill the fuel tank with fresh gasoline (drain
and flush the system first if fuel preservative
5. Perform a regular tune-up as described in
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