When it's getting towards the end of the year and autumn starts showing its teeth, then it's time to prepare your motorbike for winter storage. The brave among us may simply park their bike outside after its last journey – perhaps without even covering it. It’s easy to imagine what it’s going to look like after a few months and the chances of it running smoothly at the start of the next season are akin to winning the lottery. In fact, even if you store your motorbike in the garage over winter without making some preparations, you can expect the shock of your life next spring: stiff hand gears, rust on all the corners and edges, and a worn-out rattling sound followed by silence after pressing the ignition. MOTOREX has a huge range of maintenance products and lubricants to help bikers overwinter their vehicles, with the right, high-quality product for every need.
If you’re thinking of overwintering your motorbike, you may be asking the age-old question: should I change the oil before winter or not? MOTOREX recommends always changing the lubricant and oil filter before putting your bike into winter storage. This is because used oil contains substances such as acids, water and dirt, which can corrode the engine. If you only drive your bike occasionally, then take this opportunity to do your annual oil change. If you’re a frequent driver who needs to change the oil several times a year because of the high mileage you’re racking up, then time your oil change accordingly.
The winter storage period is also an excellent opportunity for bikers who get lazy with their cleaning to get up off the sofa and reach for various cleaning and maintenance products. But before you get down to the cleaning, make sure to increase the air pressure in both tyres by about 0.5 bar and, most importantly, to completely fill up metal tanks with petrol. This prevents the tank from rusting on the inside during the winter. A petrol additive such as MOTOREX FUEL STABILIZER staves off oxidation, prevents deposits and ensures the engine will spring back into life after an extended time off the road. To achieve this, the additive will need to be present in the entire fuel system. You will therefore need to run the engine with FUEL STABILIZER in the tank for a few minutes, so that the additive can also take its protective effective in the float chamber, for example, in vehicles with carburettors.
After riding off-road, it makes no sense to apply oil to motorbike parts that are still caked in dirt. The dirt needs to come off first. In this case, only lots and lots of water can help you and, if necessary, a steam cleaner. After that, we recommend MOTO CLEAN UNIVERSAL or MOTO CLEAN PLUS by MOTOREX. This specialist motorbike cleaner is simply sprayed onto the dry, cool vehicle, left to work for a maximum of three minutes, and then rinsed off completely with water. Because of its high potency, it’s especially well-suited to removing stubborn dirt, such as insects, brake dust and tar. Cleaner such as this should not be used in direct sunlight.
The vehicle should also be dry for all the other jobs, so give it a good wipe down with a chamois leather and blow into difficult-to-reach places with pressurised air, if you have any, to remove moisture. Before lubricating moving parts, you can first see to the battery, so that the bike has a bit more time to dry off fully. The best contact can be achieved with MOTOREX ACCU PROTECT spray. To do this, disconnect both battery terminals – first the negative terminal, as then it won’t short circuit if you accidentally touch a metal component with the positive terminal – and clean with a cloth and fine sandpaper. Then screw the battery terminals back in, starting with the positive terminal, and apply a thin layer of ACCU PROTECT. As many motorbikes have components such as clocks or alarms that permanently consume electricity, it is advisable to leave the negative terminal disconnected over the winter. If your bike is stored over winter in a free-standing garage, where the temperature is known to fall well below zero, then you would be better off removing the battery and storing it in the basement, in the dark. A battery storage/charging device may also be a sensible investment, as it extends the battery’s life and means that it will be immediately ready to use next spring.
Now it’s time for the chain, pinion and chain ring. For these jobs, it's wise to cover the floor with a big piece of cardboard or similar, so that it doesn’t get dirty. Firstly, heavy grease deposits need to be removed. The best way of doing this is by hand, using an old cloth or brush. Then spray CHAIN CLEAN DEGREASER onto the chain, chain wheel and – if easily accessible – the pinion and leave the degreaser to work its magic. If necessary, you can use a brush to help with this. Once this is done, the dissolved grease deposits can be wiped off with a cloth and the chain can be sprayed with chain spray, such as CHAIN LUBE OFF ROAD, CHAIN LUBE ROAD STRONG or CHAIN LUBE RACING by MOTOREX. For bikes with a centre stand, this is extremely simple; for bikes that only have a side stand, you can’t manage this with only one pair of hands.
Lubrication of moving parts and joints must not be neglected. An all-purpose oil spray that prevents or repels moisture penetration and creates a highly effective protective film, such as JOKER 440 SYNTHETIC or INTACT MX50, would be suited to this purpose. The cans are supplied with a long spray nozzle to help you get into difficult-to-reach places. Which specific places are difficult to reach depends on the bike model. As such, only parts such as the centre and side stands, gear lever joints, shift linkages and foot brakes, hand brakes, moving connections in mechanical clutches and the throttle actuator on the carburettor are worth mentioning. A drop of oil is also good for the ignition lock, seat lock and helmet lock. Exercise caution when oiling cables. If they already have a self-lubricating Teflon layer, this effect will be nullified by spraying oil onto them.
Once the mechanics of your bike are ready for winter storage, you can start thinking about the visual aspect. Painted surfaces, chrome and metal parts can be treated with the MOTO PROTECT maintenance and protective spray: spray some MOTO PROTECT onto a cloth and rub it onto the parts until it leaves a nice protective film. As the spray is oily, it should not be sprayed onto the handlebars, seat or tyres. The surfaces will be protected from corrosion by a light, oily film, which can then be removed easily next year with a special cleaning product.
It would also be wise to proof the leather seat and saddlebags. That's what PROTEX SPRAY is made for, as well as proofing biker gear such as boots, jackets and trousers. The spray can also be used for proofing breathable fabric suits.
Last, but not least, comes the question of whether to cover up a bike indoors. If the bike will remain dry over the winter, then a simple bed sheet will probably suffice. If it has to remain outdoors over the winter, then you’re going to need a waterproof tarpaulin. A somewhat more expensive option would be a breathable tarpaulin cover. These have the advantage of being able to wick away moisture that condenses beneath the tarpaulin. If you go for a plain old tarpaulin, make sure to air it out now and then, so that moisture underneath doesn't collect for too long.
If you prepare your motorbike properly for winter storage, then on the first sunny days next season you will be able to go for a drive with little preparation. Aside from this, regular maintenance helps maintain the value of your motorbike, as well as preventing breakdowns and avoiding the need for expensive repairs, as you immediately notice little faults, so it’s harder for them to turn into significant damage.
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