The clocks have gone back, the weather is getting worse and the time has come for many riders to take their bikes off the road and lay them up for winter.
But there’s more to over-wintering your bike than just sticking it in the garage or shed and forgetting about it.
The more effort you make preparing your bike for winter storage, the easier it will be to get it back on the road when the weather improves in the spring.
Here’s a checklist of top tips for taking your bike off the road.
- Thoroughly clean your bike to get rid of grit and dirt and dry it fully to prevent corrosion. You can use a fan or buy a special bike drier.
- Polish the paintwork and plastics.
- Protect the metalwork with products such as ACF-50, Scottoiler FS 365, Muc-Off Motorcycle Protectant and GT85 with PTFE. Silicon spray is good to use to stop rubber parts perishing.
- Clean the chain and linkages and lubricate them to prevent rust and corrosion.
- Fill the tank with petrol and add a fuel stabiliser so it does not separate. The thinking now is that it is better to have a metal tank full of fuel rather than condensation which can make the unpainted interior surfaces rust.
- Pump up tyres. Spin the wheels or regularly move the bike slightly over the winter to prevent flat spots on the tyres. You could raise the tyres off the ground, if your bike has only a sidestand, by using paddock stands.
- If where you plan to store your bike over winter is not rodent-free, take measures to prevent them nesting in it. Mice are partial to wiring looms which can prove expensive!
- If the garage or shed is not heated, create some airflow to minimise condensation.
- Keep the battery charged – we stock a range of OptiMate battery maintenance chargers which are easy to connect and keep the battery topped up. You might want to take the battery off and store it indoors where it will be warmer.
- Keep the bike clean by covering it with a dust sheet, even in the garage.
- You might consider changing the oil so it is free of contaminants while standing idle. You could even have it serviced to beat the spring workshop rush so it will be ready to ride when you put it back on the road.
- If you do start your bike, leave it running long enough to get to its proper working temperature so it can dry off any condensation. Let it tick over rather than revving it.
- If the tax runs out while it is being stored, remember to tell the DVLA it is off the road by registering it with a statutory off-road notification (SORN).
Director Rob Walters said: “Many riders will be taking their bikes off the road for winter or certainly thinking about it now.
“The clocks have gone back, it’s probably been one of the wettest Octobers for years and the roads are really mucky. We haven’t had any salt on the roads yet but that will be coming.”
To find out more about cleaning products and protectants visit orwell.co.uk/shop/accessories and for paddock stands check out orwell.co.uk/shop/accessories/bike-stands